Terrifying Unreal 5 found footage game looks so real you'll have nightmares

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,711   +1,162
Staff member
Boo! Every Halloween, I find myself browsing for a scary game to play. I don't know why because every time I stumble upon one, I cannot get far in it before wimping out. Alien Isolation, Outlast, and Resident Evil 7 VR are just a few, but my Halloween tradition dates back to Silent Hill and its damn evil babies.

While looking for this year's bone-chiller, Kotaku's Zack Zwiezen turned me on to a small indy project that I totally want to play, but at the same time, I don't want to go near it. You can see why in the trailer below that debuted on Tuesday.

The game is Paranormal Tales, or PT for short, from a studio called Horror Cam Committee. The two developers drew inspiration from PT, the legendary "Silent Hills demo" that nobody can get their hands on anymore, so the name is not likely a coincidence. There is also a clear influence from the found footage genre of horror films.

In fact, the game's entire premise is to explore the environments from videos recorded by people before they were "lost" and never to be heard from again. Your goal is to re-enact the found footage and survive. The developers have taken to calling it "bodycam-style," perhaps inventing an entirely new genre.

The game plays out in chapters, each being a different found footage file and backstory. The first-person view creates a feeling of stress as you stumble around in someone else's shoes.

The bobbing fish-eye view provided by the bodycam can be a little unsettling for those prone to motion sickness, but Horror Cam Committee says it is thinking about adding some options to help mitigate that. However, it also points out that part of the game's goal is to take players out of their comfort zone.

"[The game] feels completely terrifying, almost claustrophobic, and puts an interesting twist on horror," the developer says in its FAQs.

Players should be prepared for jump scares, anxiety, nervous breakdowns, and maybe spiders.

"Don't play if you're scared of the dark, ghosts, jump scares, and just horror in general," the developer warns.

The most striking thing about this game is its realism. It's built on Unreal Engine 5, and sometimes you can't tell if what you are watching is the game engine or a YouTube video. Others have done some amazingly realistic stuff with UE5, but nothing this creepy.

Unfortunately, the only thing Horror Cam Committee has ready for Halloween is the announcement trailer and some screenshots. The Paranormal Tales Steam page is up with a "wishlist (if you dare)" link, but there is not even a vague release window yet.

That's too bad. I suppose I'm still in the market for a game too scary to play this Halloween. I'm familiar with and have played most of the mainstream entries. If you want to help, drop me some suggestions in the comments — the more obscure, the better.

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Snazz

Posts: 19   +17
In what way does this look real OR terrifying?
UE5 is impressive but this trailer is blurry and post-processed to s**t. Meanwhile the supernatural (I.e. unrealistic) scares are cliché and predictable, and I don't even play/watch the horror genre.
 

trgz

Posts: 423   +201
Slow down (or freeze frame) the woman scurrying towards you - is it me or does it look like someone with a carboard cutout of a face stuck on the back of their head as they scamper at you? (Not 100% convinced that this wasn't actually real footage either). Don't like the awful chromatic abberation either (are they wearing really cheap plastic glasses?) - first thing that gets turned off
 
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VitalyT

Posts: 6,471   +7,334
So now TechSpot allows articles written like clickbaits?

There was nothing terrifying or very realistic in that blurry footage. And UE5 can do much better than that.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 489   +838
When I was younger, I liked scary stuff. Now that I'm an old fart, not so much. Don't like a lot of blood and gore anymore.

Rather play stray and be a kitty.'

Oh yeah, this will probably play just fine on my 2080 Super. I don't need the personal nuclear heater 4090.
 

AdamNovagen

Posts: 9   +13
Y'all are a bunch of grumpy old curmudgeons. Have you ever actually seen found/handycam footage from the late 2000s? Because frankly, it looks exactly like this, chromatic aberration, warping, blurring and all. Those warts are exactly what made videos such rubbish quality back then, and this is actually a pretty perfect imitation of it. Here's hoping the rest of the game measures up!
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,757   +2,600
This looks great super scary nah some of us aren't that soft.

I would play this in the dark with surround sound on.
 

Hellbishop

Posts: 30   +18
Thanks Cal Jeffrey on the heads up on PARANORMAL TALES. Definitely will check it out when it is available. Some creepy horror games with similar ultra photorealistic graphics and also inspired by the PT Demo I love to play regularly are-

INFLICTION by Caustic Reality currently on sale at $5.99 from its usual $19.99 price.

THE MORTUARY ASSISTANT by DarkStone Digital currently on sale at $21.24. The one game which terrifies me as much as INFLICTION and the PT DEMO.

VISAGE by Sadsquare Studio currently on sale at $17.49 from its usual $34.99 price.A very high tension unnerving game.

What I love about all the above horror games is they don't kill the immersion with overcomplicated puzzles. Everything is discovered pretty much by exploration in environments which seem to be ever changing and supernatural forces which are always doing things in different ways and showing up where they did not in a previous game session making it feel as if the game is actually alive with evil.

Another game on a rather fun level is SINISTER HALLOWEEN by Celeritas Games more b-movie horror campy than the dread filled ones mentioned above and a steal at its very low normal price and the current discount price of $1.49. It also has a VR mode.

Hope this brings some nightmarish Halloween joy your way while waiting for PARANORMAL TALES to arrive.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,794   +2,588
I've learned about myself, that I can handle scary games on a monitor but I can't handle it in VR. Everyone is different.
 

Hodor

Posts: 394   +283
9 out of 10 pharmacologists selling Valium would recommend this content to children.