I watched OutsideXbox’s “7 Moments So Scary We Stopped Playing” video this morning and immediately started to think of which games creeped me out the most.
Sidenote: I am really loving this on-going series of Outsidexbox and OutsideXtra videos where the gang does their personal stories. Just feels like we’re all hanging out together and chatting about games.
Silent Hill 3 — I had played the second Silent Hill game before picking this one up so I knew I was in for some disturbing moments. But something about this one sequence caught me in a moment of panic. You play as Heather, a teen girl with ties to the mysterious town. The game starts in a mall, of course. At some point, I was trying to escape something and ran through the first door I saw. My heart was already racing and I walked into what I had hoped was a new passageway but turned out to be a dead end. And not just a blank brick wall – it was a mirror. I could see Heather’s reflection in it. And then I heard a weird squirting sound and noticed blood pooling on the floor. NOPE! I turned away from the mirror and ran to leave the room but OMG! the door was gone! Freaking out, I spun her around because there was no where else to go and what did I see? Heather in the mirror but now she was covered in blood!
In a moment of sheer panic, I threw the PS2 controller away from me. But here is the real horror story – when I tossed the controller, I managed to hit the “Start” and “select” button at the SAME TIME! This REBOOTS THE PS2!!! I lost all of my progress so far in the game and I realized that meant I was probably going to have to go back into that room to continue!
Yeah, that sat in the player for a while, untouched. I did eventually go back to the game and now that I knew that the room was going to become a horrifying blood soaked nightmare, I was ready for it. Which is good because I think after that it resets back to normal and there is some kind of item in there you need to go on.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem — Andy mentioned this one and everything he said about the sanity meter toying with your emotions was true. But after this incident with Silent Hill 3, I was particularly triggered by the sanity breaking moment where the game pretends to reboot your Gamecube, just stopping and bringing up the Nintendo logo. I remember yelling at the TV “WHAT?!?!” Then it flashed back and you were in the game again, but that was enough for me. I can deal with bleeding walls and screaming voices, but don’t make me think my game system is on the fritz!
Fatal Frame II — Honestly, not much I can say about this game because it freaked me out way too much right off the bat and even though my friend was nice enough to buy it for me as a present after I talked about how I liked scary games, I could not bring myself to play it. The whole set up for the game is that you play as two little girls, twins and you have a magical camera that lets you see ghosts. You don’t fight the ghosts with swords or magic wands – you use the camera to capture them by taking photos of them. Each photo drains their power. You can only see the ghosts when you look through the camera. Did I mention this takes place in Japan so all the ghosts look like the creepy girl from The Ring? So you walk into an empty room, notice that you can now see your character’s breath so that means something is in the room with you, so you have to put the camera up to your face to see. BONUS: to do the most damage/fight the most effectively, you need to let the ghost get as close to you as possible. From a distance, of course, they look relatively normal, but the closer they get, the creepier they get. I don’t think I made it through one ghost before the game was back in the box, on the shelf and shunned.
Alien: Isolation and Call of Cthulhu — I watched my brother play Alien: Isolation on Twitch and just watching someone else play was freaking me out. I tried to play on my own but found, like Ellen, I was too on edge from the start. I recently completed Call of Cthulhu and there was a sequence in there that almost made me quit and it made me realize something – I do NOT like being chased in the dark when in first person mode of a game. Third person is fine, first person is too much for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Alien:Isolation but I did end up Googling a walk-through for the bit in Call of Cthulhu that upset me the most then the rest of the game was fine.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — LOVED this game. It was very atmospheric though and I my brother insisted that I play it with my headphones on to get the full experience. It is beautiful and terrifying. It definitely got my heart racing many times, especially since each time Senua dies in battle, you see a bit of the darkness creeping into her veins and it is just very upsetting. I can’t pinpoint a single moment, but there were several sessions of this game where I would play and then need to walk away and calm down again, maybe play some Stardew Valley to lose the jitters. But I’m mentioning it here because everyone should play it even if it is intense.
How about you? What were some scary moments in games that are now burned into your memory because they caught you off guard or just generally creeped you out? Share in the comments!