6 Games That Will Scare You Into Your Next Life - Dangerously Genocidal

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Friday, 21 April 2017

6 Games That Will Scare You Into Your Next Life

Let’s face it – for some reason, we gamers like to have the living crap scared out of us. Why? Who knows – but while it’s happening, we enjoy every second of it. Is it any wonder, then, that there are so many fantastic scary games out there? But despite the hundreds of horror and suspense games currently on the market and in development, there are a few that stand head and corpses above the rest. Warning, here be spoilers. Here are:

6 Games That Will Scare You Into Your Next Life



1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games 2010

If there is one thing that Amnesia is known for, it’s that it doesn’t stoop to using jump scares to freak you out. Instead, you can expect hours of tension, anxiety and panic attacks as the game progresses. Safe(ish) puzzle areas become terror inducing gauntlets of horror, and the creation of the atmosphere through the use of sound and narrative is so effective, it’s downright disturbing.

What makes the entire experience worse is that you have, as the title alludes, amnesia. You remember nothing but your name and that something is hunting you. All you have to go on are notes and pieces of a diary that you wrote to yourself; notes which, at its root, just serve to tell you how you became an asshole and killed a little girl to try and save yourself before your little memory wipe.

Nice going, dick.


2. SOMA, Frictional Games 2015

If you’ve ever played Amnesia, as described above, then you know that Frictional games has a gift for horror games – so it’s no surprise that SOMA also makes this list. This game takes place in a dystopian future where humanity is on the brink of extinction, and it falls to you to face the horrors of the PATHOS-II facility, and ensure the safety of the collective consciousness’s of the human race. Naturally, the whole facility is under water – because what is scarier than the murky depths filled with crazy AI’s and mutants?

What really makes SOMA a worthy addition to this list is its narrative – the story is thought-provoking and, at times, downright philosophical. Even though it is a survival horror game, it terrorizes you psychologically rather than just with horrific images. It’s the choices you need to make and the consequences thereof that make the biggest impact. This, combined the disturbing gameplay, is a winning combo that will leave you with nightmares for months afterward.

Of the ending itself we shall not speak. That as a separate horror you need to experience for yourself.


3. Fatal Frame/Project Zero II: Crimson Butterfly, Tecmo 2003

When faced with unspeakable horror, it is the first instinct of any sane person to run for their lives like the devil himself is behind them – and sometimes he is, too. But not Fatal Frame. The most unique element of this game is also its most terrifying. Taking the old saying that you have to face your fears quite literally, Fatal Frame forces you to do exactly that. The only weapon you have is a camera, and your only defense is to look right at the terrifying spirit coming after you.

Actually, scratch that. Looking at the spirit isn’t enough. You better hope and pray you spot the bloodthirsty ghost in time, because you need a perfect Kodak moment to get rid of it.

I’m ready for my close-up now, Miss De Ville.


4. Outlast, Red Barrels Studio 2013

In Outlast, you are an investigative journalist out to find out just what kind of ‘unethical experiments’ are being conducted in a psychiatric hospital. The patients are extremely violent, and the hospital is in complete disarray. You have to avoid murderous patients set on tearing you limb from limb and figure out just what happened in this Frankenstein’s madhouse. The first ten minutes alone offers up a suspenseful introduction and anxiety inducing atmosphere – and a couple of jump scares – that set the tone for the rest of the game.

Cameras seem to be becoming a very popular addition to survival horror games, and in that regard, Outlast has joined the trend. But while it got onto the trend train, Outlast destroyed the traditional format of survivalist gameplay. Let’s put it bluntly: You might have a camera, but aside from helping you in the dark – and running out of battery power – it’s about as useful as a rolled up newspaper against the horrors that await you in the asylum.

...Wait, let me rephrase. A rolled up newspaper would be more useful than your camera. You don’t get a single weapon with which to defend yourself which, basically, leaves you with three choices:

Run, hide, or die.


5. Dead Space, Electronic Arts 2008

Ever heard of a Necromorph? No? Consider yourself lucky. In Dead Space, Necromorphs are mutated human corpses that seem set on tearing you to tiny pieces – you being little more than a space engineer wielding a weapon of dismemberment. That’s right; aiming for the brain – if they even have a brain – does you no good whatsoever. Your only option is to pick them apart limb by limb – and you have to do this while the clanging of approaching pincers warn you that more are on the way.

Worse still? Not everything that you see or interact with is actually real. So not only do you have to save the universe from crazy religious nuts bent on becoming mutated monsters, you’ve got to deal with your own descent into insanity as well – and you don’t even realize it until it’s too late.


6. Silent Hill 2, Konami 2001

If you’ve never heard of Silent Hill, whether that be the games or the movies, I’ve got to ask: Have you been living under a rock? And although Silent Hill 2 is the second in the series, it is widely considered to be the most terrifying of the series. It’s the seriousness and the maturity with which they handle traumatic manifestation of anger, sexual abuse and guilt that really clinch this game in the top – if not at the top – of the survival horror genre. The journey into the protagonist tortured psyche is as addictive as it is terrifying.

Of course, there’s no avoiding the most petrifying moment of all – the first time you see Pyramid Head. Feel free to scream as you flee. I did.



Honorary Mention: P.T., Kojima

Although P.T. is technically not a full game, it still deserves a mention. The entire game takes place in a seemingly endless looping hallway – and for turning that single hallway into one of the most terror inducing and mysteriously ominous corridor, Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro deserve a standing ovation. P.T. was meant to be a playable teaser – hence P.T. – to introduce the world to a Silent Hill game that will never be realized. However, in the very brief window of existence, P.T. sent almost painful chills down the spine of every person who played it.

And be forewarned – once you’ve seen the twisted bathroom-sink-fetus, you’ll never be able to unsee it.




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2 comments:

  1. Good article. I find the way the developers used different aspects of the games fascinating.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I have to say, I prefer the ones that use atmosphere rather than jumpscares to set the tone.

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