The scariest day of the year is almost upon us. And while you've almost certainly outgrown real life trick-or-treating, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate Halloween within the bounds of your favourite games.
Without further a boo (sorry), here are a bunch of appropriately spooky events and updates to enjoy between now and All Saints' Eve this Tuesday.
The adrenaline rush prompted by scary entertainment is an intrinsic part of rollercoastering. I get that rush from teacup rides and particularly scary adverts rather than hurtling along rails but to each their own. Anyway, that basic setup makes Halloween and Planet Coaster logical bedfellows and thus we find not a timed free pumpkin-fest but a ghost-infested wodge of paid DLC including a spooky building set, a free-spinning haunted house ride and a motion platform rotating… thing? Look, I’d be anxious if they put ghost costumes on the teacups so don’t ask me to investigate further! The Spooky Pack is £8 but if you fancy something a bit smaller to scratch a Halloween itch I also spied a Munsters Construction Kit for a couple of quid.—Pip
World of Warcraft
A plague of pumpkins has infested Azeroth marking the annual festivities of Hallow's End. The longest-running Halloween celebration on this list, Hallow's End offers Headless Horseman quests, a Wickerman burning, stink bombs, candy buckets, apple bobbing and, of course, there are cosmetics coming out the wazoo. I haven't booted up WoW for many a year, and never at Halloween, but I particularly like the sound of the stink bombs. Often Halloween modes go heavy on the pumpkins and the loot but miss out on the trick part of trick or treating.
FYI if you want to drop stink bombs that's a Horde thing. The Alliance part of the stink bomb quest equation involves cleaning up after said stink bombs because Alliance is laaaaaaaaaame. —Pip
Continuing to avoid the obvious OverWITCH pun opportunity, Blizzard have, instead, opted to build on last year’s Halloween Terror event. Players of the team FPS must deal with the return of Dr Junkenstein and his PvE horde mode (now also available in an “endless” flavour). The point is either to enjoy an over-the-top riff on Halloween gaming or to grind/pay your way through as many jack-o-lantern lootboxes as it takes to get the cosmetics your wizened, creepy heart desires. What is Zarya’s eighties exercise skin really worth to you as a human being? —Pip
Minecraft’s puntastic Spooktacular is well underway with howling winds, lightning storms, and more bats than a fearful and loathsome trip to Las Vegas. Spread across three servers, players can hunt skeletons, flee from zombies, take part in a haunted house parkour course (obviously), capture themed DLC pets, and take on quests from the Pumpkin King, among a number of other weird, wonderful and appropriately spooky endeavours. This ‘un kicked off a couple of weeks back, but will run till October 31. —Joe
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
The Halloween Scream is a cocktail of loot drops, a dedicated double XP playlist and boss modes pulled from the zombies side of the game. It’s been running for a while already but there’s still time to sneak in a few games if there’s anything you fancy or if you want to use the double XP to grind out some Prestige levels. I’d probably be doing exactly that if this was Advanced Warfare and I was anywhere near that spectacularly ugly-amazing Grand Master Prestige Gear. So beautiful. —Pip
Killing Floor 2
Given its penchant for zombie horde dismemberment, a Halloween-themed Killing Floor 2 event seems almost redundant. Nevertheless, Tripwire has given us Halloween Horrors—a free update that adds a new map, new weapons, and new enemies. I like Andy’s words on the update from earlier this month:
The new map, called Nightmare, features randomized rooms "themed after a different nightmare or phobia," which will challenge players to "conquer their fears and the attack Zeds simultaneously." Because nothing says "overcoming your fear of public speaking" like a desperate, gore-soaked last stand against onrushing hordes of screaming mutants, right?
Of Halloween Horrors’ new arsenal, the Hemogoblin is capable of pumping “all of the blood” from hostile Zeds. Trick or treat, indeed. —Joe
World of Tanks
I think it’s best to post the blurb for this event directly because I always get distracted by the sheer number of questions it raises about the concept of tanks and the nature of existence:
“There is a popular belief among tankers: they talk about Leviathan—an evil lord of the underworld. On gloomy autumn nights, it hunts for the souls of fallen tanks to imprison them in its kingdom of eternal darkness and appease its neverending hunger. No one knows if it’s true, but they say that at midnight its sinister deep growl resounds over the battlefields and the glow of its scorching belly glimmers in the distance.”
I mean, in World of Tanks is it an accepted fact that the tanks are actual creatures like iron ducklings, wandering about with agency? Are they capable of redemption and damnation? And who are you in this fiction? Is it a tank-themed version of Innerspace? So many questions. I think it sounds like a horde mode? —Pip
Indie papercraft horror shooter Phantom Halls isn’t hosting a Halloween event per se, however does have a Halloween update that comes with themed enemies, traps and environments—as well as an early prototype of the game’s planned multiplayer component. Expect scarecrows, vampires, pumpkin traps, and a Pumpkin King, so says developer Incendium.
Phantom Halls’ last update involved an official crossover with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, which is quite clearly the best horror movie ever made. I reckon that cements Phantom Halls’ place on this list, even without considering its latest Halloween update. —Joe
Skin Bundles, Landing Craft Skins, Armour, Syandanas and Glyphs feature in Warframe's Halloween bag-o-goodies. Echoing the Mexican holiday of the same name, the third-person online shooter's Day of the Dead event returns—bringing with it all of the orange-tinged tat included in previous annual DotD instalments. —Joe
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online goes all out at Halloween, with a deluge of frightful costumes (not least its obsession with 'sexy' outfits), themed events and player rewards. This year, a blood red moon hangs in the sky, pumpkins line the streets and a Wizard of Oz-like quest sees players offing a Black Witch at the behest of her White counterpart. Central hubs are treated to All Hallows' Eve-styled makeovers, while a neat-sounding Alice in Wonderland theme adds props from the Mad Hatter's tea party. —Joe
Announced this week, Fortnitemares (the name was a shoo in, yeah?) marks Fortnite’s first Halloween-themed event that adds the new tongue-twisting Hexsylvania zone. Costumes come by way of cats, mummies, skeletons and the like, while gathering 1,000 tickets promises something special.
“For every 1000 of the tickets you have, those will be automatically converted to Scavenger llamas,” so reads this post. “Any additional less than 1,000 will not be converted and don't carry over to the new event. Pick up those last few Scavenger Llamas, there is a spooky spectre on the horizon.”
Hmm… any guesses on what it might be? —Joe
Candy corn becomes currency for a limited time in the world of car sports. You can earn that by playing online matches and trading it in for cosmetics. Perhaps that’s a comment on the general consensus regarding how enjoyable candy corn is as a foodstuff and how perhaps it would survive an automotive uprising to become pocket money—actual metal money being considered as flesh by metal beings. Perhaps not though as there are also Halloween crates you can buy with real cash. —Pip
"Due to science, you cannot die during Space Halloween. Bleeding out, suffocating, or being incinerated in an exploding pod will permanently turn you into a living skeleton," creator Tom Francis explained on Steam. "Once Halloween is over, you’ll remain a skeleton but any lethal damage will finish you off."
There are upsides to being a meatless apparition of death. Heat sensors can't detect you, and you can spacewalk indefinitely, since you don't need to breathe. In missions with a Ghost Clause, you become an actual ghost: You can be seen, but attacks will pass through you harmlessly. And yes, it's perfectly possible to become a skeleton ghost. I mean, it only makes sense, right?—Andy
Of course this is just a sliver (shiver?) of the Halloween events that are live now on PC—which ones have we missed? Let us know in the comments below, and invite some other readers along to your favourites.