There’s no doubt about it. Visage is, and probably always will be one of the most essential survival horror games on the market. Even though its concept isn’t all that different from that of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, in the fact that you ponder over a gloomy home in search of clues and other noteworthy items—it is still a textbook example of how to add finesse to a stale design.
Of course, with the game being centered around a roomy estate with a ridiculous amount of explorable suites, it does mean there are plenty of alternatives for us to summon. After all, the structure isn’t all that new, and we can definitely conjure one or two titles that flow from an almost identical vein. Therefore, if you happen to get a chance to set Visage aside for a short while, then be sure to give these five a whirl.
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Let’s face it, Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 is probably the closest you’re going to get to an offspring of Visage. And if you enjoy tiptoeing through creaky old homes that rely on candles and moonlight as a source of light, then Biohazard will be fit to check your boxes, twice over. Plus, if you’re leaning more towards the mutated folk, as opposed to the paranormal, than we’d strongly suggest going for Resident Evil 7.
After learning of his wife Mia’s whereabouts near an old plantation, Ethan sets out to pinpoint her exact location. However, after stumbling upon an old home, he soon discovers that a parasite has driven the local family insane, leading them to lash out and attack anything that dares disturb their way of life. The bad news is, Mia isn’t a prisoner in need of rescuing. She’s a part of the family—and she wants you out.
4. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Amnesia probably had one of the most successful careers in noughties gaming, made even more popular by the heaps of high-end streamers binging it for years following its release. And with its overwhelming success, of course, came a sequel, as well as a spin-off to bridge the gap between releases.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs follows Oswald Mandus, a prominent industrialist in 1899 London. After returning from a disastrous trip to Mexico, he finds himself encumbered with a harsh fever, one that causes him to endure prolonged dreams that speak out to him about a certain machine. After exiting one of his lengthy dreams, he finds himself at a loss within his neglected estate. His children, out of the darkness, call for his aid. Oblivious to the situation, he decides to follow, unaware of the dangers that loom on the other side.
3. Maid of Sker
Maid of Sker was directly inspired by Welsh folklore, specifically, Sker House, a prominent landmark made famous by novelist R.D. Blackmore. The game, however, features Sker as a hotel, in which a cult known as “The Quiet Ones” claim as their own. Similar to Visage, you spend your time scooting from one room to the next, dodging evil entities as you unearth clues to solve the mysteries that overshadow the property’s history.
After having contact with his dearly beloved, Elisabeth Williams, protagonist Thomas is tasked with travelling to Sker Island, a place that houses the remote Sker Hotel, owned by Elisabeth’s father. Upon arrival, he learns that its guests have transformed into distorted folk who pray on sound. Armed with nothing but his wits, Thomas sets out to reverse the strange curse that has plagued the once loved location.
2. Don’t Knock Twice
Don’t Knock Twice isn’t a game you’ll want to ignore, especially if you’re fascinated by old manor homes, in which case you’ll be pleasantly surprised, as the bulk of its story is set around exploring such a place. Similar to Visage, you’ll have to evade the patrolling witch that roams the very halls of which you’re trying to search with a fine-tooth comb for clues.
Based on the movie of the same title, Don’t Knock Twice pays its respect to Slavic folklore, specifically Baba Yaga, a famous entity that sits between good and evil. But as far as the video game goes, the prominent witch plays the latter, toying with your emotions and frame of mind as you search a grand manor for your daughter’s whereabouts. And if that doesn’t creep you out, then just know that she can spawn at any given moment. So, headphones are essential, so long as you don’t fear lack of sleep.
Phasmophobia has been making its rounds on Steam for the best part of 18 months now, effortlessly continuing its streak as one of the most popular games on the platform. Rightfully so, because as far as survival horror games go, it does stack pretty high, and it’s also one of the most immersive multiplayer games on PC. Plus, with plenty of content left in the barrel, it’s highly unlikely the game will be retiring from the spotlight anytime soon, either.
Of course, Phasmophobia’s outline does remain the same, in the way that your purpose is to capture evidence of the paranormal by tooling up with a ghost-loving squadron and stepping into the darkest of places. Homes, campsites, schools—you name it. So long as there’s an evil spirit linked to its history—you’ll manage to find yourself and your team knocking on the door eventually. Though, to be honest, it’s finding out who answers that’ll keep you engaged.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.