Scary Gaming Moments
Some of the most memorable moments you can have as a gamer involve you screaming like a little girl as something horrifying happens on screen. Scary monsters and villains are not just the preserve of survival horror games, although many of the best examples can be found there. Some of the most chilling creatures are also not necessarily the big boss characters. In this top ten we look at the characters and creatures that sent a chill down your spine or had you reeling back from the screen in horror. If you don’t agree with the list post your own scariest video game villains in the comments.
10 - Splicers in Bioshock
These grotesque creatures were people once and they run rampant through the broken down underwater world of Rapture. Addicted to the ADAM substance they have been genetically altered. They are fast and vicious and they come in a variety of shapes throughout Bioshock. The fact that many of them wear Masquerade Ball masks makes them infinitely creepier and conjures memories of The Shining.
9 - Alma in F.E.A.R.
This young psychic girl was tormented by the Armacham Technology Corporation as they tried to extract the secret of her powers. Instead they made her bitter, twisted and intent on revenge. The image of a young girl with black hair hanging down in front of her face has been used to great effect in Japanese horror films over the last few years and it works every bit as well in F.E.A.R.
8 - Pyramid Head in Silent Hill 2
Based on the chosen aesthetic of torturers and executioners from history the villainous Pyramid Head is an incredibly unpleasant character. Slow, virtually silent and wielding a huge knife he is a stylized nightmare of epic proportions. This methodical monster is relentless and he cannot be defeated. Watching him go about his macabre work is enough to send chills down your spine. Definitely one of the scariest video game villains ever created.
7 - Bloodsucker in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
To be honest S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is filled with some of the scariest monsters in video games thanks to the radiation problem and none of them are exactly pleasant but the bloodsucker is especially scary. This underground dweller stalks caverns and is a master of camouflage. They are virtually invisible and you often won’t see them until they kill you. Their hideous tentacles can latch on to your corpse and then they like to suck out the contents. These guys really take some killing.
6 - The Witch in Left 4 Dead
The sobbing, the quiet singing and then bang, the horrible text pop up informs you that you have startled a witch. This message is quickly followed by a screaming banshee flying out of the undergrowth in front of you and scratching your eyes out before you can react. It is best to tread carefully when you hear the sound cue and avoid witches altogether because if you do startle one there’s no escape from her. Check out our Left 4 Dead 2 Infected Guide for more.
5 - Licker in Resident Evil
Several of the scariest creatures in games pop up in the Resident Evil series but the licker is the worst for me. They aren’t the toughest but these mutated zombies are skinless with gross swollen brains and ridiculously long tongues. They also have talons and they can climb on the ceiling and leap at you from quite a distance away. They may have lost their sight but they can hear the slightest movement and they hiss and scream in combat.
4 – Flood in Halo
The Flood are the surprise aliens in Halo and they are an awful lot nastier than the Covenant. There are loads of types of these horribly mutated creatures and the worst of the bunch has to be the hunched carrier. There’s something about the way it pops and releases scampering little nasties who flood toward you that is just chilling. They aren’t clever or particularly tough but they fill you with revulsion as you furiously back pedal and try to blast them into oblivion.
3 - Cherubs in Doom 3
These freaky wee creatures are just plain wrong. It appears to be a baby, a cute cherub, but in actual fact it has claws and the lower half of its body is like an insect. They can use their wings to hover and they emit a nasty buzzing sound. Although the cherubs are very weak in the hierarchy of nasties you face in Doom 3 the twisted blend of human baby and insect is deeply disturbing.
2 - Poison Head Crabs in Half-Life 2
These parasites attach themselves to your head and assume command of your body. They cause the host to mutate and develop long claws. The scampering headcrabs are obviously inspired by the facehugger from Alien and they are deeply horrible. The worst of the bunch for me is the poison head crab zombie, a shambling form covered in headcrabs who hurls them at you. They are slow and they make horrible gasping sounds as they lurch towards you. These things are disturbing.
1 - Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid
The gas mask, the long pale, impossibly skinny limbs and the black outfit are only part of the story with Psycho Mantis. His appearance is definitely creepy but the same style has been used for many characters over the years, which detracts a bit from his scare factor. He is an ex KGB and FBI agent with psychic and telekinetic powers and he has absorbed the personality of a serial killer he was interrogating. The awesome thing about Psycho Mantis was the clever way they used the technology with him scanning your memory card, commenting on your save games and making the controller move using the rumble function. It blurred the line between the game and reality and made for the scariest gaming moment ever.