May 20, 2023

Dying Together: Six Underrated Co




From Resident Evil 6 to Dead Space 3, multiplayer-focused horror games used to get a bad rap. This makes quite a bit of sense, as it’s hard to sustain interactive scares when players are distracted by their silly friends as they explore a spooky three-dimensional space. That being said, “hard” isn’t the same thing as “impossible,” and in recent years we’ve actually seen quite a few multiplayer horror games that manage to balance cooperative fun with legitimate digital scares.

And while there are plenty of well-known examples of cooperative horror out there (from the Dark Pictures Anthology titles to the recent Evil Dead game), today we’d like to highlight six of the most underrated Co-op horror games for players who have already experienced most of the famous ones. After all, there’s nothing quite like sharing interactive scares with your buddies – be it online or on the couch.

For the purposes of this list, we’ll be considering any game where players have to work together to survive as a cooperative title, though we’ll be shying away from more popular releases in favor of the less appreciated ones.

With that out of the way, don’t forget to comment below with your own co-op horror favorites if you think we missed a particularly fun or scary one.

Now, onto the list…

6. Forewarned (2021)

While it’s often overshadowed by its more popular cousin Phasmophobia, Dreambyte Games’ Forewarned stands out among its peers due to its unique setting and several throwbacks to classic archeological adventures. Putting players in the shoes of archeologists tasked with exploring ancient Egyptian ruins, the game even lets players continue to aid their friends after dying and becoming a mummy yourself!

While it’s technically still in early access, there’s nothing half-baked about the game’s puzzles or mechanics, and I especially appreciate the fact that the developers support offline play. It may not be the most polished horror experience out there, but I’d still recommend it for players who enjoy good old-fashioned Mummy-based frights.

5. Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop (2017)

An updated version of what was originally an Unreal Engine Mod, Alien Swarm is a free-to-play top-down shooter that clearly pays homage to James Cameron’s Aliens. Allowing up to four players to band together as they hunt down xenomorph-inspired extraterrestrials, this title doesn’t just rely on the titular swarm to scare you, but a grueling difficulty curve that requires complete cooperation between the squad in order to be overcome.

And don’t let Alien Swarm’s $0 price tag scare you, as this is a fully-fledged survival horror experience with more than enough content to justify even a hefty price tag. Just be sure to bring your most trusted friends along for the ride, as communication is key here.

4. Space Beast Terror Fright (2022)

Don’t you just love it when a game contains exactly what’s labeled on the tin? Nornware AB’s Space Beast Terror Fright is precisely one of these cases, with the rogue-like shooter featuring plenty of sci-fi scares as it challenges players with exploring procedurally generated spacecraft while dealing with hostile lifeforms and the spookiest game mechanic of all – permadeath!

While this is basically another homage to Aliens, the addicting gameplay and clever use of visual limitations make it a great time for friends on the look-out for claustrophobic sci-fi thrills. Just be aware that you’ll die often due to the sheer volume of one-hit-kill enemies, so good luck.

3. SCP: Secret Laboratory (2017)

It’s a shame that the SCP stories have yet to be properly adapted into film and television, but at least there are developers like Northwood Studios who take advantage of the narrative (and mechanical) potential hidden in the Foundation’s horrific anomalies. This is precisely what makes the multiplayer shooter SCP: Secret Laboratory such a fun time, with the title featuring oddities like quantum-locked monsters and unkillable predators as it tasks players with either restoring order to the facility or escaping it.

Originally inspired by Undertow Games’ infamous SCP: Containment Breach, Secret Laboratory has since seen a myriad of revisions and updates that have turned it into its own multiplayer experience. Sure, it’s still a little janky and the visuals aren’t anything to write home about, but it’s an incredibly fun time with friends that also happens to be surprisingly faithful to the SCP lore.

And the best part? It’s completely free!

2. Eronoctosis: Put Yourself Together (2021)

An experimental title that takes a couple of players and challenges them with going on a psychosexual journey into the darkness of the subconscious mind, Dream Toaster Games’ Eronoctosis definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. On the surface, it’s a low-poly survival-horror romp with combat that mixes Alan Wake with Fatal Frame, but the deeper you dive into this strange experience the more unnerving it gets.

It’s certainly not for everyone, featuring some disturbing sexual imagery and obtuse narrative design, but there’s no other game that quite takes advantage of the cooperative experience like this one. Plus, the mix of two-dimensional sprites with 3D assets looks absolutely gorgeous.

1. Obscure II: The Aftermath (2008)

The first Obscure is often remembered as one of the better Resident Evil clones, featuring difficult puzzles and chilling combat lifted straight from Capcom’s iconic franchise. However, the multiplayer aspect of the game certainly could have used some improvement, with the survival horror mechanics working better in a single-player context (especially when permadeath is a factor).

Fortunately, Hydravision Entertainment would address these concerns in the sequel, with Obscure 2 being completely rehauled in order to cater to cooperating players. While this action-packed sequel isn’t quite as fulfilling in solo play, lacking many of the survival horror idiosyncrasies that made the first game (and classic survival horror in general) so interesting, the smooth combat and better camera system make this the true pinnacle of horrific co-op.

Born Brazilian, raised Canadian, Luiz is a writer and Film student that spends most of his time watching movies and subsequently complaining about them.

Limited Resources: Six Underrated ‘Resident Evil’ Clones That Time Forgot

Six Other Horror Video Games That Deserve the HBO Treatment

‘Aliens’-Inspired FPS ‘Space Beast Terror Fright’ Exits Early Access on Steam




While much of the initial fanbase that helped turn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into a pop culture phenomenon aged out following the original cartoon (1987-1996) and live action movies (1990-1993), the property has continued to flourish with reboots in TV, film, and comics every few years.

If the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has you interested in exploring various versions of TMNT, there’s no better place for a horror fan to start than Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series that aired for five seasons between 2012 and 2017.

While there’s an inherent connection to horror in the various mutants and monsters that pop up throughout the franchise, no rendition embraces the genre nearly as much as this one. In addition to references to classics like Alien, Friday the 13th, and The Evil Dead, the series employed several notable horror actors throughout its 124-episode run.

Here are 15 horror icons who lent their voices to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012.

1. Corey Feldman – Slash

Corey Feldman may not be synonymous with horror, but the pedigree of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, The Lost Boys, and Gremlins is more than enough to make him an icon of the genre. His TMNT legacy is even stronger, having voiced Donatello in the first and third live action films.

In animated form, Feldman play Slash, who was a villain in the original series but an ally in this version. He starts out as Raphael’s pet tortoise, Spike, before being accidentally mutated. He’s introduced in Season 2’s “Slash and Destroy” and appears in total of 12 episodes, culminating with the series finale, “The Big Blow Out.”

2. Kelly Hu – Karai

Feldman’s not the only Friday the 13th franchise alumnus on the show. Kelly Hu’s resume includes The Scorpion King, X2: X-Men United, and Arrow, but horror fans will recall her film debut as Eva in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Hu plays the integral TMNT role of Karai, a character that debuted in the comics in 1992 and previously appeared in the 2003 animated series. She’s in 31 episodes of TMNT 2012, from season 1’s “New Girl in Town” to season 5’s “The Foot Walks Again.”

In this incarnation, Karai starts out as a fierce, teenage Foot Clan member that was raised by the evil Shredder. She later aligns herself with the Turtles upon the revelation that she’s actually Master Splinter’s biological daughter from before he was mutated. In season 3, she’s exposed to a mutagen that gives her serpent-like abilities.

3. Cassandra Peterson – Ms. Campbell

Cassandra Peterson — beloved by all as horror host Elvira — is usually vivacious, but her part on TMNT required a more monotonous performance. She voices Ms. Campbell/Utrom Queen in six episodes, from season 1’s “The Alien Agenda” to season 5’s “When Worlds Collide.”

Ms. Campbell is introduced as a woman who takes an interest in April O’Neil before it’s revealed that she’s an evil robot sent by the evil Krang, armed with laser eyes and missile arms. When her human disguise is damaged in season 4’s “The War for Dimension X,” the Utom Queen’s true form is revealed.

4. Keith David – Sal Commander

Keith David achieved cult status for his roles in The Thing (which, incidentally, inspired TMNT’s season 3 episode “Burned Secrets”) and They Live, but his rich pipes have also earned him Emmy awards. His extensive voice work includes Gargoyles, Coraline, The Princess and the Frog, Spawn, and Rick and Morty.

On TMNT, he voices Sal Commander (also known as G’Throkka) for five episodes, from season 4’s “The Moons of Thalos 3” to season 5’s “When Worlds Collide Part 2.” An ally to the Turtles, Sal is the commander of the Salamandrians, an extraterrestrial species that resembles large, humanoid salamanders.

5. Jeffrey Combs – Rat King

Rat King is a villain that originated in the comics and appeared in both the 1987 and 2003 animated series. Re-Animator star Jeffrey Combs lends his voice to the character for four episodes of the 2012 rendition.

He debuts as Dr. Victor Falcon in season 1’s “Monkey Brains” and returns in “I, Monster,” in which his experiments yield him the ability to control rats, hence the Rat King moniker. Splinter defeats him and his army of giant rats in season 2’s “Of Rats and Men.” His final appearance is in season 4’s “Darkest Plight” as a hallucination to Splinter.

6. Ron Perlman – Armaggon

Ron Perlman has played and/or appeared alongside various creatures in the likes of Hellboy, Blade II, Alien: Resurrection, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Sleepwalkers. For three episodes in TMNT’s fourth season, he voiced the villainous Armaggon, an alien cyborg shark.

Armaggon debuts in “The Outlaw Armaggon” as a bounty hunter hired by crime lord Vringath Dregg (voiced by Peter Stormare) to capture the Turtles. He makes his final appearance in “The Evil of Dregg,” in which he’s defeated for good.

7. Chris Sarandon – Dracula

Over three decades after starring as Jerry Dandrige in Fright Night, Chris Sarandon returned to his vampiric roots to portray the ultimate blood sucker: Count Dracula. He plays an integral role in season 5’s four-part Monster & Mutants arc, first appearing (albeit without dialogue) in “The Curse of Savanti Romero.”

Dracula is one of the creatures recruited by time-traveling sorcerer Savanti Romero to take over the world, along with Frankenstein’s Monster, Vulko the werewolf, and The Pharaoh mummy. Dracula plans to betray Savanti, but Michelangelo destroys him before he has the chance.

8. Dana DeLorenzo – Esmeralda

No stranger to being surrounded by monsters after three seasons of Ash vs Evil Dead, Dana DeLorenzo can be heard alongside Sarandon in “The Crypt of Dracula.” She plays Esmeralda, the daughter of Vulko the werewolf. The Romanian traveler shares her knowledge of monsters with the Turtles.

DeLorenzo’s Ash vs Evil Dead co-star Lucy Lawless voices Daagon supreme ruler Hiidrala in season 4’s “The Cosmic Ocean.”

9. Danny Trejo – Newtralizer

Machete don’t text, but he does voices. Genre favorite Danny Trejo plays Newtralizer (also known as K’Vathrak), a Salamandrian bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to eradicate the Kraang — even if that means taking out innocent humans and the Turtles.

The character first appears in Season 1’s “Operation: Break Out,” in which he breaks out of his cell and Donnie gives him his nickname. Trejo came in to play him in season 2’s “Newtralized,” briefly teaming up with Feldman’s Slash in an episode loaded with Star Wars references, and later returning in season 5’s two-part “When Worlds Collide,” where he has the newfound ability to wield electricity.

10. James Hong – Ho Chan

James Hong has over 600 credits — from Blade Runner to Seinfeld to Kung Fu Panda to Everything Everywhere All at Once — but horror fans will always associate him with Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China. He plays a similar role in TMNT’s Big Trouble homage, “A Chinatown Ghost Story,” in Season 2.

Hong voices the villainous Ho Chan, an ancient ghost sorcerer who even borrows a line from ol’ Jack Burton, “It’s all in the reflexes.” While the Turtles ultimately defeat him, he vows to return at the end of the episode. He does so in season 5’s “End Times,” but this time around Splinter ensures it’s the last of him.

11. Robert Englund – Dire Beaver / Dread Beaver

Robert Englund is, of course, best known for his work in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. When TMNT drew inspiration from the horror classic for season 5’s “In Dreams,” they called on Freddy Krueger himself to provide a voice.

Englund voices Dire Beaver and Dread Beaver, two of the four interdimensional Dream Beavers that trap the Turtles in their dreams. The episode features several nods to Freddy, including the beavers’ long claws, a musical cue reminiscent of the Elm Street theme, and a nightmare involving a furnace.

12. John Kassir – Dark Beaver / Dave Beaver

Along with Englund in “In Dreams,” the other two Dream Beavers — Dark Beaver and Dave Beaver — are played by John Kassir. He has over 250 credits to his name, the majority of which are voice roles, but his unmistakable pipes are best known for Tales from the Crypt‘s ghoulish host, the Crypt Keeper.

13. Bill Moseley – Bernie

Would you believe there’s a third horror icon in “In Dreams?” Bill Moseley — known for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, and Night of the Living Dead — plays Bernie in the same episode.

A physicist-turned-grocer, Bernie has stayed awake for decades to prevent the Dream Beavers from attacking our world. His weapon of choice is a chainsaw with “The Saw is Family” engraved on the blade, in reference to Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

The character later makes a photo cameo later in season 3 in “Dinosaur Seen in Sewers,” where he’s featured on a tabloid with the headline “Man did not sleep for 40 years.”

14. Lance Henriksen – Zog

With credits including The Terminator, Aliens, Near Dark, Scream 3, and Pumpkinhead, Lance Henriksen is an undisputed genre legend. He lends his talents to TMNT as Zog, a character that was originally created for the comics and previously appeared in the 2003 animated series.

Zog appears in season 3’s “Dinosaur Seen in Sewers” as a scout who plans to signal his fellow Triceratons to attack the Earth in order to destroy the Kraang – until the Turtles get involved, that is. He refuses Raphael’s attempt to save his life, instead opting to plummet to his death.

15. Michael Ironside – Emperor Zanmoran

Michael Ironside brings a signature gravitas to all of his projects, from Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and Scanners to Terminator Salvation, Turbo Kid, and TMNT, in which he plays Emperor Zanmoran.

Although he only appears in one episode – Season 4’s “The Arena of Carnage” – Zanmoran is a pivotal foe whose presence can be felt throughout the season’s space arc. Zanmoran serves as the sadistic leader of the Triceraton Empire and commander of their armada.

Some of the many other recognizable voices that pop up throughout the series include Sean Astin as Raphael, Seth Green as Leonardo, Clancy Brown as Rahzar, David Tennant as The Fugitoid, Mark Hamill as Kavaxas, Jesse Ventura as The Finger, Paul Reubens as Sir Malachi, and TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman as Ice Cream Kitty.

Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Series is available on DVD. Select seasons are streaming Netflix and Paramount+.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem opens in theaters on August 2 via Paramount.

6. Forewarned (2021)5. Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop (2017)4. Space Beast Terror Fright (2022)3. SCP: Secret Laboratory (2017)2. Eronoctosis: Put Yourself Together (2021)1. Obscure II: The Aftermath (2008)Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem1. Corey Feldman – Slash2. Kelly Hu – Karai3. Cassandra Peterson – Ms. Campbell4. Keith David – Sal Commander5. Jeffrey Combs – Rat King6. Ron Perlman – Armaggon7. Chris Sarandon – Dracula8. Dana DeLorenzo – Esmeralda9. Danny Trejo – Newtralizer10. James Hong – Ho Chan11. Robert Englund – Dire Beaver / Dread Beaver12. John Kassir – Dark Beaver / Dave Beaver13. Bill Moseley – Bernie14. Lance Henriksen – Zog15. Michael Ironside – Emperor ZanmoranSean AstinSeth GreenClancy BrownDavid Tennant Mark HamillJesse VenturaPaul ReubensKevin Eastman