Heavy metal and video games are old buddies, from the thrash-metal inspired MIDI soundtracks of Doom and Duke Nukem 3D in the early 90s, to modern games like Splatterhouse that features death metal and grindcore in its soundtrack.
But a game doesn’t need a heavy metal soundtrack to be “metal”. It just needs to appeal to the savage beast inside us, like blowing heads off zombies with Beethoven music in the background. That’s pretty metal, if you ask me.
So without further ado, here’s a list of 5 of the most metal horror games that will surely appeal to your inner headbanger.
Killing Floor 2
Technically a squad-based survival-horror game, you and five other players need to survive waves of grotesquely undead creatures, from bile-spewing Bloats to chainsaw-armed Scrakes. It’s a bit similar to the Call of Duty franchise’s Zombies mode, but far more intense.
Killing Floor 2 uses the Unreal Engine 3, giving it spectacular graphics and smooth framerates on even lower-end PC hardware. The devs worked hard on the M.E.A.T System (massive evisceration and trauma), so that blood splatters are extremely realistic, and there are 22 points of dismemberment on creature models.
The game’s soundtrack is pure brutal metal, with a large variety of tracks from heavy metal and deathcore bands like Living Sacrifice, Demon Hunter, and Impending Doom. There’s also an option in the settings menu to toggle music vocals on or off, which means you can have pure instrumentals pounding as background music if you desire.
It’s kind of ironic to be writing this, because Living Sacrifice has been around for a long time, and their name came up during a chat with a friend the other day, who turned out to also be a metalhead. On another note, there’s a lot of cool metal and rock-themed slots around these days, like the House of Doom or Motörhead Slot, so check out Casumo live casino if you’re into those as well.
Overall, Killing Floor 2 is about as metal in gaming as you can get.
Take a tablespoon of Doom, a dash of Event Horizon, a sprinkle of Resident Evil 4, blend it all up, and you get the pulpy, liquid viscera that is Dead Space. Not only was the first Dead Space downright terrifying as a horror game, its gameplay concept of “strategic dismemberment” made it so much more than your average creature-shooter.
Necromorphs (reanimated corpses infected with an alien virus) aren’t killed by regular old bullet wounds. You have to dismember their limbs to make sure they stay dead. An in-game character summarizes it best:
“Take their legs out, and they’ll drag themselves toward you. Shoot off an arm, and they’ll use their other arm to rip into you. Nope, the only real way to take these creatures out is to completely rip them apart.”
How do you accomplish this, as Isaac Clarke, ship systems engineer? With a variety of engineering tools as weapons like plasma cutters, disc rippers, flamethrowers, and rock-demolishing laser beams. That’s pretty metal.
What’s more metal than bleak, post-apocalyptic existence in Moscow’s metro system due to radioactive fallout on surface level, with opposing human factions at war, and mutated creatures that go bump in the night?
Okay, that was more the plot of the first two games (Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light), while Metro Exodus has you traversing the great outdoors much more. The game still does an awesome job of building suspenseful moments, and forcing you to count every last bullet as you scavenge supplies to survive.
While the soundtrack is utterly void of heavy metal, Metro 2033 did feature a lot of hauntingly depressing acoustic guitar tracks mixed with ambience, really nailing that “we live in Moscow’s metro tunnels and I traded a can of sardines for these strings, man” feeling.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
From the developers of F.E.A.R, so you know it’s good, came this survival-horror slash addict-beating simulator. You play an FBI crime scene investigator on the trail of a serial killer who has been killing all the other serial killers you’re investigating. Basically, you’re chasing Dexter.
The city of Metro is also experiencing extreme waves of violence and crime, due to some weird cult stuff that eventually makes the game’s plot jump the shark. But! It’s a helluva enjoyable ride, because finding clues in dark basements and alleyways with homeless drug addicts leaping out of the shadows swinging 2×4’s at your head is downright terrifying.
Ammo is extremely scarce, so your only option is to fight back with whatever melee weapons you can pick up. This includes the aforementioned 2×4’s, baseball bats, metal pipes, fireaxes… oh, and the combat is extremely brutal in first-person, like teeth visibly flying out of a junkie’s mouth when you smack them with a shovel brutal.
The granddaddy of them all, Doom and metal have gone hand-in-hand since 1993. The original Doom’s soundtrack had MIDI compositions heavily inspired by bands like Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, and others.
There’s been plenty of Doom sequels over the years, but most fans agree that Doom 2016 is the best of all. While the latest Doom Eternal is pretty good, it focuses too much on platformer elements. Doom 2016 is just good old balls-to-the-wall demon-shooting mayhem, like the old glory days of the franchise.