Happy 31st of October, gaming fans! Let’s take a really quick break from esports and celebrate the day of All Hallow’s Eve.
How? By bringing up some top scariest & dread-induced moments in games. From the obligatory jump scares to the freaky stuff that creeps into the game bit by bit, here they are in no particular order.
*Disclaimer: we’ll avoid spoilers as much as possible because there’s nothing truly terrifying than having an impactful moment in a game taken away from jerk writers like us.
#10: Visiting Your Best Friend’s House A Second Time – Doki Doki Literature Club
Without going into spoilers for a recently-released free PC game, this game goes from a saccharine-sickening visual novel fare to a psychological thriller that you will not forget anytime soon. The “best” part about all this? The dark turn just snowballs from here on out.
#9: The Infamous Glitch From MLB The Show 17
We won’t show it here for fear of triggering someone, especially those with trypophobia. But the image made the rounds on Reddit so many times since the game’s release and that alone is enough to instill fright and dread into an average gamer. Check it out at your own peril. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
#8: Man-Bat Says Hi – Batman: Arkham Knight
The best jump scares are the ones that come out when you least expect it, especially from a game where you’re a kungfu detective wearing a customized bat suit. This one part happens while you’re grappling-hooking your way up when you’re in one-third of the game hunting down a giant-sized man bat thing. There’s also another jump scare that happens early on in the game, but we won’t spoil that for you.
#7: The School – Detention
If you thought your ghost stories back in school were disturbing, think again. Kudos to RedCandleGames for placing this game in Taiwan 1960 during the White Terror incident. There’s really nothing more dread-inducing than having a ghost story being told during a dark part of real-world history.
Anyone familiar with Asian culture will see the allusions to all things taboo in the supernatural realm, and that’s frankly terrifying. And for you story-rich fans, Detention has a mindblowing twist at the end – if you survive.
#6: Your Own Psyche- Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
Speaking of which, we can’t forget about the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 2’s the most memorable among the lot since it’s basically about a guy coming to terms with the death of his wife in the most messed-up way possible: by going to a town filled with Silent Hill freaks.
It goes way deeper than that since said freaks our main “hero” James comes across in the town are his inner demons and guilt physically manifested.
#5: Hotel Lobby In Pittsburgh – The Last Of Us (PS3, PS4)
This part of the acclaimed Last Of Us captures claustrophobia, isolation, and dread very well. This action adventure game is a human drama story set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with cordyceps-infected zombies, so it’s only fitting that there should be some tense moments when traversing in abandoned places searching for supplies and help or even a way out.
While there are heartfelt moments and emotionally dark bits here (remember when the Winter chapter started?), we can’t forget about the gameplay bits that have us on the edge of our seats, rooting for protagonists Joel and Ellie to make it out of this hellish landscape alive.
#4: BSOD – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (Nintendo Gamecube)
Way back when game developer Silicon Knights was still around and was not being sued to the ground by Epic Games, they developed & published classic goth-influenced titles like Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen and Eternal Darkness. The latter requires special mention because it set the bar for future horror games with its purposely-crafted glitches and warped storytelling focusing on the psychological.
The game’s patented Sanity effects (one of them being the BSOD) made sure that you’re playing a true gothic adventure that doesn’t rely a lot on cheap jump scares.
#3: Mimics – Prey (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
In space, no one can hear you scream. On space station Talos-1, there are still some people on board who can, but they’ll be muffled out by that gooey spidery-like thing that used to be an innocuous coffee mug near a flight of stairs. The latest iteration of Prey may not be classified as a horror game, but the way these Mimics pop up unexpectedly can instill paranoia within you.
You’ll be hitting every single trashcan, table, and coffee mug you see on the space station with your wrench, trying to fish out a Mimic that wasn’t even there. And then when you least expect it, that vase in front of you jumpscares the crap out of you, and then you have to reload your last save.
#2: Getting An Eyeful/Daddy Day Care – Dead Space 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
It’s rather sad that the developers of the Dead Space games are gone, but they will not be forgotten. The series is known for borrowing from horror classics like Event Horizon and Alien, and then making a unique sci-fi survival horror experience. The second game amped up what made the first game great: more levels, more backstory, more gore, and more scary moments.
We had a hard time picking either the late part of the game where Isaac had to go through an eye-opening procedure, or the middle portion of the game where Isaac visits the space nursery featuring a long-gone woman and Necromorph babies that explode. So just this once, to pay tribute to the late Visceral Games, let’s pick both for this spot.
#1: Must Love Dogs – Resident Evil (PS1)
Who could forget their first scare? For most horror game fans who played games during the PlayStation One era, there’s nothing more frightening than the Resident Evil series. And this one early part in the first game’s mansion is a doozy. Imagine walking to and fro in a brightly-lit corridor, with the game’s fixed camera purposely angled as if nothing was wrong.
Then out crashes through one zombie Doberman. You run like heck. Then another comes in from another window. Do you fight? Do you flee? While it’s not as harrowing as fighting a T-virus victim twice your size with little to no ammo left, iconic horror moments like the above prove that despite the cheesy voice acting, Resident Evil delivered well on the “Evil” part.
Got a scary moment you want to share in a video game? Talk about it on our Discord channel. Happy Halloween!