Faith: Chapter II's free prelude offers unsettling retro horror

The original Faith is one of the best horror games of recent years: a retro-styled, top-down adventure set in a creepy old house in the woods. Playing as a priest armed only with a crucifix, you had to banish several well-hidden spooks from the property, holding the cross up before you to repel the spirits, and keep them from tearing you apart. That same basic premise holds true for its recently released sequel, Faith: Chapter II, but, as with the original, there are plenty of genuinely frightening surprises along the way.

While Chapter II isn't quite free—it's pretty damned close, setting you back only $1—developer Airdorf has released a free 'demo' that's really a standalone prologue to the second game. Swapping a spooky old house for a spooky old church, it nonetheless involves plenty of tense investigation, and moments of sheer panic after a creature suddenly emerges from the darkness to do you in.

Even more so then the first game, the pixel art in Faith II is excellently judged, evoking the technology of the early '80s, while at the same time stepping beyond it for memorable sequences including the game's surprisingly violent death animations. The only real sore spot, for me at least, is that some of those deaths can feel quite unfair, leading to plenty of restarts from the game's sparingly sprinkled checkpoints.

Despite that little wrinkle, Faith II is definitely worth a play. You can grab the free prologue on here, while the main course can be had from the same page for only a dollar.

For great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.