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Starting off ourweek with a bang, here is ’s list of games voted most likely to make your date spill her popcorn and seek comfort in your manly, veiny, well-trained arms. I’m assuming you have manly arms. If you’re a girly, wussy man, switch that to “seek comfort in your pasty, white, flabby man fat,” you unbelievable embarrassment to Y chromosomes everywhere.
Here’s an oldy but a goody. The first Alone In The Dark came out way back in the dinosaurs-roamed-the-Earth era of 1992, when the scariest thing in games up to that point was the risk of suffering a nervous breakdown while figuring out exactly which specific word the text-input adventure games of the time wanted you to type to avoid getting anally inconvenienced in the showers.
Pick up soap. “I can’t do that, Dave.” Retrieve soap. “That does not compute.” Dodge incoming erection! “What’s an erection?” Fuck you! “Yes, he is!”
In this day and age, the scariest thing about Alone In The Dark is the completely outdated “3-D” graphics. But at the time, this was a true chiller. It had only bare-bones music, therelied mostly on creepy sound effects to get your heart rate going. Like Resident Evil after it, Alone used the limited scope of vision provided by awkward camera angles to keep you guessing as to what you might encounter around the next corner. Throw in a story inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos and you end up with a true horror gaming classic.
Bit of a dark horse choice here, since it’s a lesser-known title than the others in this article, but as a big fan of the original movie and its remake, this 2002 sequel to John Carpenter’s classic, much like a properly chilled Pepsi or a well-trained hooker, hits all the sweet spots to make me stomp my foot up and down like a cat getting its neck rubbed… That comparison got a little away from me there, didn’t it?
Essentially a middle-of-the-road third-person shooter, The Thing excels at recreating the paranoia inherent to the movie. You can recruit fellow survivors to your cause… if you trust them not to turn intotentacle monsters at the drop of a hat. The game provides you with blood test syringes to check on your compatriot’s… uh, Thingness? Thingability?
Bob, shown here, has clearly failed the Thingability test. I guess that makes him a Thingamabob.
It’s a universal rule that you can’t write up a list of scary games without at least mentioning the Resident Evil series. While my fondness for the original game has not diminished with age, despite its many and varied flaws, I would rather have nominated later entries in the franchise for this article.
Resident Evil 4, considered by many to be the series at its peak, contains more pants-wettings scares per square inch than one of those tiny cars that clowns keep pouring out of. Or maybe that’s just me. And yet, the first game brought so many innovations to the horror genre that it’s hard to ignore it. Limited inventory capacity, the sheer randomness of whether or not thatwould stay down after two shots or five, the laughably horrific voice acting… But the real reason RE1 deserves a spot on this list? The fucking Doberman through the fucking window jump scare.
I swear to God, I’ve finished this game 20 freaking times since it came out and I still forget to brace myself for that damn dog’s glass-smashing entrance every single time. It once scared me so badly I banged my knee on the slide-out keyboard holder for my desk and broke the darn thing. Now it’s a constant reminder never to play Resident Evil 1 with headphones on and the sound cranked all the way up. Some people swear by the Silent Hill series, but I’ve always been a Resident Evil man.
While some franchise purists look down on this entry in ID’s legendary series, I’m personally quite fond of it. Yes, the action is taken down several thousand notches from the first two games, cranking down your encounters with undead beasties from several dozen to no more than a few at a time, but the increased emphasis on a horror atmosphere compensates quite well for the lack of spent shell casings. Essentially a remake of the first game, Doom 3 replaces the brightly lit open areas of its predecessors for malfunctioning lights, darkened corridors and the occasional sex pervert waiting to molest you in the Martian base’s grimy bathroom.
GAH! Where’s my rape whistle!?!
The game also kicks the religious imagery up a notch, which may be only mildly creepy to an atheist like myself, but it easily rattled some Christian nerves upon its release. And I’m totally down with anything that rattles some Christians.
While every game thus far on this list includes gun play as a main feature, the Condemned series is all about visceral hand to hand, in your face combat using a variety of blunt force trauma inducing weaponry. No other game on this list provides the same type of exhilarating combat. Plugging a bad guy from a mile away is easy; feeling his breath on your screen as you pitifully attempt to tear him off you in order to deliver a baseball bat strike to his short-term memory is an entirely different experience.
And that’s his face BEFORE I hit him with the bat!
Toss in a serial killer on the prowl plot taken straight from, nutty cultists on the loose and a route that will take you through abandoned subways, demolished buildings and empty department stores, and you have a recipe for a creepy good time.
More of the scariest video games to play on Halloween after the jump…
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