Gaming has given us a ton of different experiences and memories over the years but some of the most potent memories come from scary moments in games. They may have been from horror games or games that were just tense but either way, games have provided some scary moments. With Halloween just a few days away, we asked the VGU staff what their scariest gaming experience was. Here is what they had to say.
Editor in Chief
I don’t play too many horror games so my scariest gaming experience doesn’t come from a series like Resident Evil or Silent Hill; instead, it comes from Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo came out in 2001 with the new Xbox system from Microsoft and redefined the first-person shooter genre. The gameplay, mulitplayer, story, and more made it a stand out but one scene in particular was pretty terrifying the first time through.
I’m talking about the introduction of the flood when you find the remains of Captain Keyes’ squad in the underground structure on Halo. The first time I experienced this was watching my brother play the game really late at night. We had turned off the lights in the room so as to not wake my parents but it really just created a creepy atmosphere.
The way that the Chief figures out what happened (playing Jenkins’ helmet cam back) was a great way to build tension in the scene and the flood is truly a terrifying enemy. All of a sudden the Chief is swarmed with zombie-like enemies that are way more aggressive than the Covenant and in some ways more powerful.
The combination of the late hour, the dark room, the creepy setup, and the unknown threat made this one scary moment that I will forever remember as my scariest gaming experience.
Some titles really can offer a truly terrifying experience. They are able to deliver the heart pumping feeling which we would commonly associate with watching a horror movie. Condemned: Criminal Origins offered me a first-hand insight into how truly terrifying a title could be. It was a unique title for its time and offered me an experience which I can still remember to this date.
Released back in 2006, this psychological horror title really did bring with it a fear factor. The plot focuses around Ethan Thomas, a crime scene investigation agent with the FBI’s Serial Crime Unit. Ethan is one of the best the SCU has to offer, which is down to his strong sense of intuition. Ethan’s line of work has him arrive at a crime scene which is believed to be the work of the notorious Serial Killer X (SKX). Ethan is framed for the murder of two policemen during this event and he begins his pursuit to find SKX and clear his name.
The title offered some truly chilling moments, with the mannequin scene being the perfect example. It was the most surreal thing that I had ever experienced. On the quest to hunt down SKX, we find ourselves in an old department store. Whilst the setting is already creepy enough, it’s reinforced by the store being filled with mannequins. When we are progressing though the store, dozens of mannequins start to surround Ethan. Every time we move forward, they follow. They block off any previous route which makes the only option to progress further. The entire sequence is rather disturbing. You must be thing that it can’t get any creepier than this? Well, it does. Whilst we’re casually waltzing down the store the occasional mannequin may move. Paranoia? No, they’re actual people disguised as mannequins. They’d randomly appear behind us and start attacking. I definitely had my guard down, assuming that I was being paranoid. Let’s say I’ve never looked at a mannequin in the same light since playing Condemned.
Condemned: Criminal Origins offered one of the scariest experiences from this generation. The developers even cited that they were heavily influenced by films like The Silence of the Lambs and Seven. This doesn’t surprise me, especially after the title draws upon elements from both films and uses it very well.
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