Bloodborne offers the most fun you can have being terrible

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Bloodborne
It's not, you know, pretty pretty, but Bloodborne's grim Gothic setting does have its charms. Photo: Sony

Bloodborne’s village of Yharnam is a dangerous place. It’s full of werewolves, trolls, giant pigs and a host of other terrible beasts that want to kill you. And they can. And they will. But that’s all part of the fun.

Yharnam is a towering, Gothic, often claustrophobic place with buildings piled on buildings and dead ends everywhere. It isn’t a vacation spot, and it isn’t here to make you happy. It exists to give those who venture within exactly what they deserve, for good or ill. The village rewards those who take their time, study their enemies, and plan their moves carefully. And it punishes those who rush or are otherwise careless.

If you want to survive Bloodborne, you must be careful and learn everything you can about both your own and the monsters’ capabilities. This might take a while, but it’s a game in which progress really feels like progress, and you have nobody to blame for failure but yourself.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 squishes action and horror into a game sandwich

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Hey, Barry's back! Photo: Capcom

The Resident Evil franchise has suffered a bit of an identity crisis in recent years, straying from its survival-horror roots toward something considerably more action-based. The latest entry, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, tries to have it both ways by splitting its four-chapter tale between two storylines. One features two frantic survivors struggling for resources, and the other has you playing as a heavily armed man of action.

It seems like mixing these two extremes would end up diluting them both, but somehow developer Capcom managed to take the best of both play styles and create something distinctive, harrowing and still damned scary.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell delivers devilish fun and awesome superpowers

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Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
This weaponized recliner represents sloth. But not so much sloth that you lack the energy to kill every demon you see. Photo: Deep Silver

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell is a weird game. And I’m not just saying that because it’s about two members of a street gang going to hell to rescue their boss before he or she is forced to marry Satan’s daughter. Because that’s super-weird, don’t get me wrong.

Other than that, Gat is an expansion to 2013’s Saints Row IV that doesn’t require you to own the main game but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you haven’t played it. It has a six- to eight-hour story with an additional dozen or so hours of open-world gameplay. Whether you’re new to the series or not, you’re in for its special brand of relentless fun.

Death is no stranger in repetitive Hellraid: The Escape

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hellraid1
Death is inevitable as you battle your way through a labyrinth of dungeons in Hellraid: The Escape.

I’ve been trying to slip past demonic guards to escape magical chambers for the past few hours as I fight my way through the horrific world of Hellraid: The Escape. At its best, the game is gruesome, bloody and full of suspense, but it can also be painful and highly frustrating.

Because in this iOS game, death is no stranger: Die you will, over and over — that’s bloody guaranteed.