If Halloween is best spent doing scary things with pals, Phasmophobia is one of the best games to play this Halloween. The cooperative game sends us to investigate haunted places, trying to capture evidence of ghosts without getting murdered by them. And now it's even more Halloween-y (well, technically Friday The 13th-y) thanks to a big new early access update, which has added a new map set in a haunted campground, new types of ghost, and new spooky weather. Great, just what I wanted in a game I'm already too scared to play.
The new medium-sized map is Maple Lodge Campsite, home to tents, picnic sites, a log cabin, and a haunted lake. Developers Kinetic Games boast/haunt that it has "more unique objects, higher object density and more visual detail" compared to other maps, which might cause problems for really slow computer (though they say it should be fine if you're at minimum spec). They plan to refresh other maps with "more detail and more unique objects at a later date".
Also new, four types of ghost: Onryo, The Twins, Obake, and Raiju. Oh grand, spooky twins! Ideal. And so players have a good chance to meet them soon, they're more likely to appear during this Halloween event.
Further spookening is provided by the addition of variable weather, with one of six weather types selected randomly each time you visit a map. "Change in temperature will make finding the ghost's location more difficult, rain or wind will impair your hearing, and a thick fog will reduce visibility," Kinetic explain.
Do check out the Nightmare Update patch notes for full details. Some important changes to ghost movement speed, hunt duration, and more. Difficulty levels have been rebalanced too, with a new Nightmare difficulty level ready to fully murder you and all. And you'll definitely want to be warned that using the walkie-talkie during hunts will attract the ghost.
I admire the heck out of Phasmophobia. I like watching streams of it, and I like talking about it. It's janky in a way which helps build the mood; ghosts should be slightly unpredictable and weird. I like when a game bends jank in its favour. And ghost-hunting with gadgets is such a great idea for the game. I only wish I weren't such a baby. I have bought Phasmophobia but chicken out extremely quickly. I will never, ever play the singleplayer.
Phasmophobia is available on Steam Early Access for £10.99/€11.59/$13.99. Kinetic Games had once planned to launch the full version in 2021 but early access seems to be fruitful for them so I wouldn't be at all surprised if they take longer to expand and polish it. You can follow their progress on their public Trello board.