This Halloween, Brutal Gamer writers share with you some of their favorite video game frights!
I asked staff to share with me their favorite scariest moments while playing video games! So gather around the fire and see if the games that scared the crap out of us, did the same to you!
As the Features Editor, I get to go first!
One of my favorite terrifying moment, in video games, goes back to the days of the Atari 2600. There was a game called Mountain King. I don’t recall the point of the game, other than you were a treasure hunter. And it was dark. At the bottom of the mountain, was a pit. If you fell down there, you had to book your sweet ass to a ladder, or else a giant whit tarantula would show up and get you. The anxiety of falling down into the pit, not knowing when the giant spider would show up was really got my adrenaline pumping. But it was the “crunchy” low-fidelity Atari sound effects of the spider clambering to you that was truly horrifying.
My runner-up for most terrifying moment is the introduction to Dead Space 2, where Issac sees the vision of his dead girlfriend, walk across the room and onto the desk, while the psychiatrist was asking him questions. I though that was really well done! I knew from that moment it was going to be one helluva ride! Then, of course, all Hell breaks loose.
Which leads me to my favorite scary game: Dead Space 2. You gotta play that one with headphones in the dark!!
A few other favorite scary games: Doom 3 (PC), Half-Life (PC) (those head crabs scared the crap out of me every time!), Dead Space, and The Walking Dead series – it wasn’t overly frightening, but put you in the middle of some pretty grizzly and uncomfortable situations.
The scariest moment in video games for me is the forbidden section of the library in Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets. I know it doesn’t sound like it should be scary, but it is. The ghosts that come flying at you constantly are unsettling, and you can’t kill them either. They make some pretty weird noises too. They’re always in your face, constantly reminding you of their presence; I really hated going to that part of the game.
My favorite scary game would have to be Luigi’s Mansion. I used to play that on Halloween quite often. It had its scary moments, like that shadow showing Luigi getting hanged. That was pretty surprising, seeing that in a Mario game. For the most part though, it was because of its game play that I liked it so much. You could do pretty much anything with the Poltergust 5000 on Luigi’s back.
I can’t remember the console I used to have it on, think it was NES but in my experience it has to be the
Jurassic Park video game. The one where it’s an over the top Zelda like walk around the park during the day nice and casual going through gates and to different remote buildings. Then you have to collect
something from inside the building and it suddenly turns into a first person shooter where you walk around
flickering light rooms and corridors on multi-levels that all look the same and at any second a Raptor
will appear right in-front of you as you turn around. Having them literally pop up out of nowhere so close
you could only see their face with sound effects really made me want to not go in those buildings!
Second place for the insta-scares of the same type is the old DOS PC game Deep Space Nine: Harbinger.
I can’t remember the enemies name or type, but I think it was supposed to be some kind of cloaked assassin.
Just casually walk around the station clicking ahead to move/see the next section all in first person, then if you walk down the wrong corridor or turn around at the wrong moment a completely random shock encounter happens and
The first Resident Evil title spooked the heck out of me at times. For most of the game, I thought the frights were cool enough, but not really anything that I’d call ‘scary’- with a few notable exceptions that is. It’s really early in the game, but the first time you really see (and have to fight) a zombie was just downright creepy. From the moment you step into the room and hear the crunching and snapping of the undead snacking on your fallen comrade… then that gush of blood… and that slow turn of the face as that thing glares at you… that’s some scary stuff and one of RE’s very best moments. For the record, I was also spooked by the dogs smashing through the windows in the hallway and the thing under the stairs, which was exclusive to the GameCube remake. Eeech, that thing was gross!
I’m going to have to mention Doom here too. I love Doom, it’s one of my favorite games of all time- hands down. Sometimes it could be pretty freaky too! I’ll play Doom on any platform at any time, even the Atari Jaguar (remember that!?). The scariest version of the game, for me, comes down to a tie between the PSOne version and the PC sequel. I don’t know what it was about Doom II on the PC, but it just… bothered me at times. Sure the imagery is demonic and intentional scary, but there was a simplicity to it that, when added to the atmosphere, made it feel like creep-city, especially in the Hell-spawned levels. As for the PSOne game, the lighting effects were awesome (for the time) and brought a whole new level of spookiness to Doom.
While those are some of my favorite horrific moments in games, they’re not my overall favorite scary games. I could probably go on for a while on this too, so I’m going to fire off my five favorite (overall) scarefests of all time in an effort to wrap up my section of this article without cracking a thousand words. And here… we… go-
Eternal Darkness (GameCube)
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox/PC)
Alone in the Dark (PC)
Resident Evil (GameCube)
Splatterhouse (Turbo 16)