WARNING: THIS PIECE CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS FOR THE EVIL WITHIN, RESIDENT EVIL 7, ALIEN: ISOLATION, OUTLAST, DEAD SPACE 2, MADiSON AND VISAGE.
It’ll be pretty obvious to anyone that’s ever met me or seen me on Twitter that I am an absolute freak for anything mildly spooky ranging all the way up to absurdly grotesque. So, it might come as a surprise then that I have not always had a love for everything scary. The love that I now possess for the horror genre only seemed to blossom around the time I realised what masturbation was (totally unrelated). Gamings Best Horror Experiences
As a child, I sat down and watched Night of The Living Dead (1968) with my parents. It is apparent to me now that I might have been far too young for a film like this as I spent the next 2 months of my youth waking up crying from nightmares of zombies eating my face and generally mutilating me. This fear of zombies also extends to the original Resident Evil game on the PlayStation 1. Times were tough back in the day, but luckily, I was fortunate enough for my dad to gift me an original PlayStation, that is until I was greeted by the copy of Resident Evil that accompanied it. Not really knowing what to expect, I excitedly inserted my new game into the console and swiftly switched it off upon entering that first corridor containing a zombie and once again, the nightmares began! Nowadays I hold Resident Evil in very high regard and it is up there as one of the best franchises ever made (we do not talk about Resident Evil 6).
Even extending to the amazing storytelling found within Telltale’s The Walking Dead game. I am a changed man now and will always gravitate to the scariest-looking new releases first. Now, let’s get stuck into some more horrifying highlights
The Evil Within – Laura
Ahhhh, another franchise I hold deer that is yet to give me a third entry into its series. Whilst generally grotesque and horrible to experience (in a good way) Laura is a personal highlight for me. A spider-like creature who is almost completely immune to bullets and emerges from the floor with little to no warning, Laura truly is a sight to behold upon your first encounter and arrives in a way that gives you no time to digest what you have just witnessed. She will certainly make your heart pound.
Alien: Isolation – The Xenomorph Kills
As a massive fan of the Alien franchise, I have had to wait years for a truly stellar Alien title. This experience was finally delivered in the form of Alien: Isolation.
What makes Alien: Isolation so scary however is the developer’s attention to detail in correlation with the movies. The way the Xenomorph stalks you, the use of the motion sensor and the sound of its footsteps whilst you are hiding in a locker all merge together to make your skin crawl. The real pant-stain moments hide in the brief moments of not knowing whether or not the Alien has spotted you in a locker until ultimately ripping the door open whilst you helplessly wait for death. The best Alien game without a doubt and a top-tier survival horror one too.
Resident Evil 7 – Marguerite Baker Boss Fight
It’s no surprise another Resident Evil moment has made the list. The Marguerite Baker boss fight can be a tough one and can get seriously tense. Prior to kicking off this final fight with Marguerite, you find yourself walking around a dilapidated outhouse behind the Baker Mansion. She then proceeds to burst through a glass window if you dare even touch the stairs, kicking off this boss fight. Covered in sores, cuts, and bruises she really is hard on the eyes. This is a moment that kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the big scare, to which I then proceeded to the toilet for a much-needed break from the horrors of the Baker Mansion.
Outlast – Chris Walker/”Little Piggy”
Miles Upshur is the little piggy during his time at Mount Massive Asylum. Not long after your arrival, you will stumble across Chris Walker, a big, tall, and scary all-around lunatic who will continue to call you his “little piggy” every time you encounter him. The first time you encounter him is the most upsetting part, as he proceeds to lift you up into the air with one arm to then throw you down a storey in the asylum. This stuck with me as I got up, looked around whilst standing on the spot and then turned Outlast off and left it for another time as I did not want to run into the “Little Piggy Man” again anytime soon!
Dead Space 2 – Necromorph Babies
During a nervy stroll around a daycare, you will witness a weird baby-like creature crawl into the arms of a woman before exploding and covering the glass in blood. By this point I am already on edge, not a few more steps forward puts you in a room with cribs, then starts the insufferable cry of multiple babies, amounting to one of the more horrific horror experiences I have had. It’s certainly one that has been burned into my retinas. A small group of baby Necromorphs, truly the stuff of nightmares.
MADiSON – Exploring the House
A lesser-known title here but one that all horror fans should put themselves through because MADiSON is top-tier in its atmosphere and scares. The whole game can be summed up as one big NOPE and will continuously fill you with a sense of dread. Although there are a few stand-out moments, one of the most horrific is when you need to power off the backup generator to complete your next objective. It is here where I made the mistake of using my handy camera flash to see where I needed to go. Here is a little warning; DON’T.
MADiSON works in mysterious ways and one of them is scaring the absolute life out of you when you are least expecting it. The dark corridor you need to venture down with the only source of light being the flash from your camera? You will only catch of glimpse of her with your flash down these dark hallways but the image will last a lifetime and live among your nightmares.
Visage – Lucy
Visage holds its place as one of the most well-crafted horror experiences I have ever played. I imagine Silent Hills: PT would have been on this same level of horror should it have ever of come to fruition. Visage manages to deliver a very unsettling atmosphere with a good story and some well-placed scares.
The stand-out ‘crap-my-pants’ moment for me is found within the Lucy chapter. As you are rummaging around in the basement, you approach a dark doorway which is when a female figure emerges from the shadows and slowly walks towards you. She does back away in the end but this moment will fill you with a sense of dread and might even cause you to dashboard from the game and walk away, which I *totally* didn’t do myself.
There you have it! Some of my most memorable moments (so far) in the horror genre. Have you experienced any of these or have I totally missed the mark? Maybe I am just a big wimp and should stick to playing Peppa Pig?
Of course, I have many more but it would be impossible to include them all here!
I am super excited about the future of the horror genre with upcoming titles like The Callisto Protocol, Dead Space Remastered, Alan Wake 2 and much more. You can find me on Twitter @BERSERKER_THiiS should you want to see what gruesome games I am diving into. You can also check out my reviews Complete Xbox, too. Make sure to get your spooks in this Halloween and enjoy the festivities!
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