I don’t know about you, but watching people play scary video games is one of my favorite pastimes. I have a distinct memory of forcing my friend to play Silent Hill 2 back in the day and feeling pure delight as she screamed in terror while pyramid head lumbered after her. Does that make me a sicko? Maybe. But was it funny? Hell yeah.
There’s been an uptick in streamers playing scary games on Twitch since Resident Evil 2 Remastered released in January, and in my opinion, they make for some of the most exciting content on the platform. Who doesn’t want to watch their favorite streamer experience horror and dread first-hand? So, shut off the lights and grab some popcorn; this week’s #CruxPicks features streamers playing some of the most popular horror games on Twitch.
There’s no shortage of opportunities for self-imposed challenges when it comes to classic horror games, especially with the Resident Evil series. Speedruns, no damage attempts, and hardcore mode are popular installments in the category, and CarcinogenSDA does them all. Some might call him a Resident Evil master – he’s one of the best RE speedrunners in the country, and his knowledge of the series is almost unparalleled. Check out his channel for a variety of RE2 challenges, including hardcore speedruns and No Save/No Damage attempts as both Leon and Claire. And if you’re looking for pointers, you can always watch his post-run commentary videos or tutorials on his YouTube channel.
Dead by Daylight is a 4 vs. 1 survival game based on classic horror tropes where survivors must work together to escape the killer. In other words, it’s a wildly fun game to stream. Players better hope they don’t get matched with experienced killer BreadHeroDan – he’s sunk hundreds of blood points into each of the game’s 14 antagonists, and since he doesn’t main as any one character, he’s well-versed in the strengths and weaknesses of each. But despite his murderous tendencies, Dan is a nice guy. He’s a natural-born comedian and entertainer who is highly engaged with his chat, and he spends time during each stream explaining his character builds and strategies. When he’s not painting the level with the blood of his victims, that is.
JediN is the hype man that we all need in our lives. He’s a lovable goofball with a delightfully welcoming community, and his passion for gaming is second only to his passion for spreading positivity and giving back to his viewers. His family-friendly streams are always lighthearted and fun, which is quite an achievement considering he plays one of the creepiest, most frustrating sandbox survival games I’ve ever encountered: The Forest. Thankfully, his upbeat attitude offsets the crippling fear of imminent death that taunts participants throughout the entire game – it’s much easier to enjoy watching someone play The Forest when you’re not overcome by existential dread. Check out his channel for jokes, good vibes, and the occasional Jim Halpert-esque camera stare.
As the name implies, Deceit is a game in which players try to trick each other into dying. So, yeah, excellent Twitch fodder. The game is a mix of psychological terror and frenzied combat; Innocents must work together to snuff out the Infected, but players are never fully sure of who’s who until it’s too late. Mistrust is the real enemy here, and Kokodad is an adept detective (and illusionist). Whether playing with viewers or strangers, his charisma and communication skills tend to land him the role of the leader. And even though the queues can be a tad long sometimes, Koko keeps downtime interesting by answering questions and entertaining the chat – show some support, and you can ask him a truth or dare question, request a bandana change, or make him eat gross stuff.
Dying Light is not for the faint of heart. It’s action-packed, it’s terrifying, and frankly - it’s disgusting. But hey, that’s what makes scary games so fun to watch, right? And while it may not be one of the most popular horror games on this list, its breakneck pacing and gore galore make it a great choice for streamers who appreciate content that thrills. Like Chief Pow. Somehow, he’s able to maintain focus during the most frenetic of moments while chatting along as effortlessly as if he was playing a farming sim. Join him as he traverses the city roofscape, decapitating and eviscerating zombies with a menagerie of homemade weapons along the way. And if you’re watching with the lights off, well, maybe his funny accents and whip-smart commentary will help you laugh away the fear.
Looking for More Scary Games to Watch?
I get it, sometimes one serving of gore just isn't enough. If you're really in the mood to binge, head over to the StreamCrux leaderboard to find even more streamers playing horror games on Twitch. And check back soon, too - with Days Gone coming out next week (!!!), there's going to be plenty of terror and fright sate your appetite.