Monday, 31 October 2011

Top 10 Gaming Fright Fests

As today is Halloween we thought we'd share with you some of the spookiest, scariest and most intense games we've had the “pleasure” of playing. If you aren't out trick-or-treating tonight, or lobbing sweets at ravenous (almost Zombie-apocalypse-esque) wide-eyed children, consider picking them up and scaring yourself silly.

10) Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls
Though these games are not scary in the conventional “ah! He's behind you” sense, they can leave you just as nervous and frightened. Will the next corner be hiding something straight out of my nightmares that will proceed to pummelling me into dust or will it be another player that had invaded my world to chop me in half with a single swing?

9) Bioshock
The spiritual successor to the classic System Shock (1 and 2) uses a fantastic dark setting and a cast of intimidating enemies to scare you, if you've played though it remember the first time you picked up a shotgun ;)?

8) The Resident Evil Series
Since it began Resident Evil has been synonymous with the “Survival Horror” genre of games. I can still remember running around Raccoon City as Leon Kennedy, terrified that a Licker would pounce on me from some unseen corner and though the series has changed format recently the tension of being swamped by zombies is still there.

7) The Silent Hill Series
Unbeatable enemies that you have to run away from/out-smart, a spooky soundtrack and limited visibility due to a monster filled fog, Silent Hill has them all and when they are mixed together in this title they deliver fright after fright perfectly.

6) Condemned: Criminal Origins
Though there is nothing particularly scary or supernatural in the games setting, dark and deserted set pieces filled with hidden, heavy breathing enemies that call out to you can really leave you feeling on edge. Combine this with limited ammo and a gritty melee combat system and you have the makings for very sweaty palms.

5) Doom 3
If you had played Doom, Doom 2 or any of iD's games you probably thought you knew what to expect when the game started, I know I certainly did, but unfortunately I wasn't thrown straight into demon killing with a super-powered arsenal like the previous games. Instead I found myself start a game that began superbly by giving me a torch and telling me to go into the bowels of a dark, ominous and sparsely populated research facility where surely “nothing could go wrong”, lies I tell you!

4) F.E.A.R (1)
Whether it was seeing the shadow of a certain little girl projected suddenly on a wall in front of me only to disappear as quickly, or arriving just in time to hear NPCs meet their gruesome and untimely death and find fleshless corpses lying in piles, the things in F.E.A.R had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire game.

3) Dead Space (1 and 2)
What I love about the Dead Space series is its slow paced approach to introducing you to enemies. Instead of throwing hundreds of them at you at once while you stand on top of a rubble pile with the “Super-Hyper-Blaster Cannon 20XD6” it forces you to trek carefully through claustrophobic corridors and eerily abandoned plazas all the while hinting at what lies in the shadows waiting to rip your face off. Through the use of shadows, amazing audio pieces and monster sounds the game will have you constantly turning around to check behind you. Embarrassingly I could only play this game for an hour at a time before my heart started to feel like it would explode out of my chest.

2) Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
What made this game superbly creepy was not the monsters, soundtrack or even the setting per say but rather the ingenious Sanity element of the game when it interacted with the player. Whether it was “adjusting the volume”, “disconnecting the controller” or blowing up my characters head (with seemingly no consequence) the game used methods to convey the loss of sanity that bled uncomfortably into real life.

1) System Shock 2
This is one of the games that started the atmospheric horror genre as we know it. Instead of running through corridors gunning at hideous creatures wildly this game set the mood with whispers from potential enemies, a terrifyingly omnipresent enemy and a fantastic setting. After playing through this for a few hours you'll see where a lot of modern horror games (such as Dead Space and Bioshock) seem to draw their inspiration.

Agree or disagree? Join in the banter on the CeX Facebook page.
Happy Halloween from all at CeX.

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