Thought I'd start this up, due to running across a Doom WAD a while back that, when I looked at the game map, found that it was in the shape of a demon! (I couldn't get a good shot at it, since trying to do a screenshot resulted in a blank, so I just had to take a digital photo of the screen.)
Doom wasn't gigantically scary as a whole though, although certain parts of it definitely made you jump, just like in the very first level where the Cacodemons are introduced, where you flip that switch and then you hear this horrific hissing sound behind you. That scared me pretty good the first time that I heard that, as I sure as hell wasn't expecting it!
I don't really have anything current though, but even Tunnel Runner on the Atari 2600 was scary, due to using the RAM Plus technology where you could run around in 3-D mazes. Once things start moving quickly, catching quick glimpses of the Zot Monsters as you ran around (not a good idea though!) was frightening enough, along with the musical numbers that accompany them as well, especially when you get trapped somewhere, you hear one approaching, and you're dead meat/in a dead end.
Even back then that was scary, even for a system with little power as compared to pretty much anything else that came out within just a few years after its release.
Shadow of the Colossus is scary at times. When you encounter the first boss for the first time it is pretty intense. Then much later on, the largest colossus in the game jumps up suddenly from behind a huge cliff.
It's kind of scary when Hitler appears towards the end of Bionic Commando. For me as a kid playing the American version, (japanese original portrays the enemies as Nazis but in america they were rebranded "the Badds"), it was very startling and unexpected.
Post by wyldephang on May 10, 2014 15:18:36 GMT -5
If you're into these types of games, then I think you'd really get a kick out of how far horror games have come in the last generation. You're spot-on about Doom, by the way. I think id Software knew they had a good formula for horror, so when they made Doom 3, they made it even scarier than its predecessors.
I could add a few games to the list. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Resident Evil on the PS1 was the first game that gave me nightmares. The entire atmosphere of the mansion, with zombies lurking around every corner, is just creepy. But the Resident Evil remake for the GameCube is by far the scariest survival horror game I've ever touched. In one hallway I recall that a zombie outside the mansion was pawing at a window. The room was partially illuminated by the moonlight and the zombie's ghoulish frame cast an eerie silhouette on the wall as I passed through. It was seriously unsettling; I had the worst feeling he was going to come crashing through the window on my way back, and he delivered on that--and brought a couple friends, too. I also remember seeing the main hall for the first time, and being taken aback by the sheer depth of all the shadows as they draped across the room. Adding to the horror is the fact that dead zombies can return as "crimson heads" if you don't dispose of their bodies quickly enough. When they reanimate, they're beefier, faster, and deal more damage. It's a bad day at the office to have one of those crimson heads chasing you down a hall. I really dread playing this game alone.
BioShock was also an immensely unsettling game. I recall that, at some point in the game, you encounter this enemy called the spider splicer, which has the ability to scale walls and ceilings, and attack from above. The first time you fight one, it's attacking from afar and you can't really get a good idea of what it looks like. But, anyway, eventually you get to this part of the game where some insane fellow has been making paper mache sculptures out of people's bodies. :-\ So, you walk into his museum and pass a couple of these models on your way down to the basement. After you pick up the key item, you head back, but on your way you notice that something is different: some sculptures have moved around! As you get closer to investigate, they spring to life and attack you. When you return to the main lobby, you come to find out that all of the sculptures were spider splicers in disguise, and they're now crawling all over the lobby. Regular spider splicers will shout threats at you and taunt you, but the paper mache splicers are totally silent, and you never know when they're going to pop out.
One last one. Dead Space was one of the most terrifying games I've ever played, and I also have a story to share about that one. The game takes place on an abandoned spaceship, which you come to find out is infested with aliens. I remember passing by this one enclosed area--it looked like a bathroom with the lights off. There was a pile of dead bodies next to this room, and the corridor itself was very dark outside of a flickering light or two that illuminated the gory spectacle in a sort of strobe effect. Though I could not see anything through the blackness, I peeked inside, but cowardice got the better of me and I decided to leave the room alone without investigating. There are very few times in video games that I'll be too unnerved to want to explore an area of a level. It was at that point that I realized Dead Space was a cut above almost every other horror game I've played.
I would have mentioned Silent Hill, too, but I haven't played through it. Another suspenseful game was Alan Wake, where you control a character whose main defense against the terrors of the night is his flashlight.
I think id Software knew they had a good formula for horror, so when they made Doom 3, they made it even scarier than its predecessors.
Yeah, I heard at one point you hear of someone saying "help me" or something and you find a Marine (or someone) up on the ceiling. There's also some level that it *looks* like you've finished it and then suddenly a CyberDemon shows up.
Definitely agree about Doom 64. It's very dark and unsettling; in fact, I think that's where they drew most of the inspiration for Doom 3 now that I think about it. Back then, I recall that some people felt slighted because the game uses sprites instead of polygonal character models. Also, if I remember correctly, there's no Y-axis aiming, so the controls feel a little dated. I've always had fun playing the game, though.