Halloween is almost upon us and this seems to bring with it a slew of horror games. 2014 has a bumper crop of titles to please gamers who like a bit of terror. Stay tuned for reviews on Evil Within and Alien Isolation, to name but two.
In honour of all Hallow’s eve, I’ve selected the scariest video game characters ever. Read on…if you dare (sorry, couldn’t resist).
The Witch – Left 4 Dead
You don’t see The Witch, you hear her wailing and sobbing. Then you notice her, sitting on the ground, hair over her face. A woman in distress? You decide to go to help, but this spells your doom, sucker. Her giant claws slash at you and in the blink of an eye, you’re dead.
Alma – F.E.A.R
F.E.A.R came along around the same time that everyone discovered Japanese horror films, such as Ringu and Dark Water. This game cashed in on the Japanese aesthetic of pale-faced girl with long, black hair draped over her face and created Alma. She’s a mixed up little girl with psychic powers that leave carnage in her wake. Wherever Alma goes, horror and destruction follow.
I remember it, as if it was yesterday – the first time I met the Flood. There’s a nice slow build up. You know something bad is happening and it’s not just Covenant. Then Master Chief finds the helmet with the video footage and the true horror is revealed. When you open that door and hear the skittering and then wave after wave of mutated badness comes at you, that’s when you realise how bad it is. Halo isn’t a horror game, but it succeeded in creeping me out. Fortunately, I had a bad ass gun to make it better again.
The Blind Woman – Fatal Frame
Fatal Frame was another game that traded off the popularity of Japanese horror films. True to form, it involved a Japanese girl in a haunted house. Horror does have a preoccupation with women and young girls as sources of terror. The Blind Woman falls into this trap, but she does it so well, that I’m going have to let her slip through. She appears, grasping in the dark, her hair loose and her kimono disheveled. Her eyes have been gouged out, so she only reacts to sound. The gameplay twist that Fatal Frame introduces is that you don’t get to run away, instead you have to turn and face the spectres to take a picture of them. And it’s this that makes it all the more scary.
Nemesis – Resident Evil 3
He’s the king of Racoon City and terrified hosts of gamers. He’s got tentacles that poison you, resulting in a frantic search the famous Resi herbs. Not content with killer tentacles, Nemesis also packs a rocket launcher – you know, just in case. You never knew when he was going to pop up and that just made it all so much worse.
Pyramid Head – Silent Hill 2
He may be an obvious call, but Pyramid Head has still got it, even after all these years. He remains the best because he was there for a reason. Pyramid Head represents guilt throughout the game. He symbolises the James’s guilt at killing his wife and his repressed desire for her, making Pyramid Head the ultimate manifestation of horror of the best kind – the horror of the mind. If he was just a loon in an apron, with a big knife, he wouldn’t have been half as terrifying and there hasn’t really been one like him since.
Did I pick any of your favorites in my frightful list? Let us know which characters made you sleep with the lights on in the comments below. Happy Halloween everybody!