Has a videogame ever scared you?

September 23, 2009

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After reaching the fantastically creepy morgue section the other night (“When’s it going to stop?” said my girlfriend of the moaning) in Batman: Arkham Asylum, it got me thinking of times when videogames have actually really chilled me.

Two moments come to my mind. One of them is in Condemned 2: Bloodshot (which turned out to be a pretty average experience) where you turn around to see an army of bald, armless mannequins lit up by a flash of lightning and then immediately disappearing, and also the approach to Dr. Steinman in Bioshock where you see him fanatically stabbing a corpse on his operating table as he screams and raves.

Both of these moments actually raised goosebumps on my arms. Has a moment in a videogame had a similar effect on you?

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9 Responses to “Has a videogame ever scared you?”

  1. Mr Tom Says:

    Kirby scares the crap out of me. The freaky little sod!

  2. Los Says:

    I can only think of two. The first being Resident Evil 1, when I first encountered the kerberos. The game had horrid voice acting, but when that insane mutt comes running at you from nowhere, man. Maybe I’m just old and this is the reason the original Frankenstein movie was horrifying back then, lol.

    Anyway, the second would be the first Half Life, the first encounter with headcrabs. Didn’t see that coming.


  3. OH yes, the doctor made me and my 2 friends jump like hell, i threw the controller down on the floor and scraped my back against a pointy object.

  4. ShawnS Says:

    Absolutely! The original Resident Evil scared the crap out of me and I was forced to play much longer than I wanted to by spectating friends and family. I couldn’t even finish the first Silent Hill and the demo of Dead Space pretty much ruled out me ever playing through it.

    But the scariest game, a game that was so frightening I wouldn’t go down to the basement alone for a week to use the computer was… Zork. I still claim Zork had the best graphics ever because I was picturing it all in my head, making worlds and atmosphere that no modern game can ever come close to recreating. I still haven’t ever finished that game.

  5. The Author Says:

    Resident Evil does indeed seem to have an enduring legacy – I first played it many years later with the beautiful remake on the Gamecube. It says a lot about its appeal that it had the power to scare despite it’s low-tech graphics when it made it’s bow on the PS1.

    Dead Space is a phenomenal game – it’s scares are more psychologically disturbing. I don’t remember any ‘jump moments’ as much as I do the point where a guy is smashing his hand against a wall until he collapses – fantastic sound design for that moment!


  6. […] I started over at Eurogamer, with a question identical to the one posted on this blog (”Has a videogame ever scared you?”), I still wasn’t convinced that I would be genuinely scared by it. How wrong I […]

  7. Tony Goff Says:

    Don’t laugh but Blair Witch Rustin Parr scared me a lot. It was an amazingly tense game at times. I can still remember running though the forests at night. This one time I had to rewind a cassette tape to hear a haunting message from the dead while thunder and lightening cracked over head and illuminated the muddy forest floor. Still sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.

    I enjoyed Dead Space but as a big science fiction fan I felt that it adhered to the genre a little too well. It didn’t do anything that new or exciting and I didn’t jump at all. Still a great game though, just not that scary for me.

    • The Author Says:

      I cant laugh because I never played it. Didn’t even realise there were Blair Witch games. PC gaming largely passed me by – especially as I’ve owned a Mac for the past 10 years or so. Shame really, sounds like I’ve missed out on some forgotten gems.

  8. Tony Goff Says:

    The first one was actually quite good, the other two (set in different time periods) were poo.


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