Dead Space 2 – The Baby
Dead Space 2 was full of scares and uncomfortable moments, the eye bit included. However, the bit that really strikes home and will just terrify you for the shock value of it all, is the baby in the nursery. As Isaac, you’ll look through a window into a daycare where you’ll watch as some disgusting mutated toddler crawls its way across the room to a woman.
After a moment in its mother’s warm embrace, the thing stops screaming, before exploding and sending the woman’s blood and guts all over the window in front of you. It caught us off guard and was our first meeting with the exploding toddlers to come. We cannot unsee this.
Batman: Arkham Knight – Man-Bat
Batman: Arkham Knight for the most party was not a scary game. You were Batman, after all, and had all of his technology and badass combat skills to keep any threats at bay. However, there was one moment that was quite possibly the most terrifying moment in gaming from 2015: Man-Bat!
You know exactly what we’re talking about because we all got just as scared. You’re gliding majestically through the air, and go to grapple up onto a roof when BAM! Man-Bat is all up in your face with his nasty drool going everywhere. An unexpected scare that likely caught everyone off-guard.
Slender – The Hunt for the Last Page
Slender is a scary game in general. There’s not really a moment where you feel at ease in the dark outdoors. Yet, things really start to ramp up when you’re close to finding that very last page. For those unfamiliar with Slender, the more pages you collect, the faster Slenderman hunts you down and the more crafty he becomes. What’s more, your torch will run out of batteries the more you use it meaning by page eight you’re probably running around in complete darkness anyway.
Sprinting through the forest in desperate search of the last page, with your torch pretty much useless, and the deep booming of the drum is one of the tensest moments we’ve had playing games. Of course, Slenderman then just has to appear out of nowhere and scare the crap out of us. The screen gets that static effect as the piercing noise rings in your ears and his figure blends into the whitening screen. Never again.
Outlast – Low Battery
Outlast is scary not because it throws tons of enemies at you, though it kinda does, but because you’re completely defenseless and your vision in the game is massively impaired by darkness. Due to this, you’ll be relying pretty damn heavily on your video recorder’s night vision lens to help you navigate the corridors of the mental asylum and spot any enemies trying to rip you apart.
Unfortunately, your character appears to have bought the video camera that just devours batteries. Having the night vision on for more than about a minute will see the battery nearly completely dead. With such a limited supply of them in the game, you’ll be desperate to conserve energy, so when you’re running low and flash it on to see an enemy all up in your face, you’ll be done for. You’ll wonder how you can get out of this mess. Where will you hide? Is it still running after you? Better not waste those batteries, though. Nope nope nope!
Alien: Isolation – The Chase
Alien: Isolation’s gameplay, for the most part, saw you as Amanda trying to escape the deadly grasp of Alien. Unfortunately for us, Alien was highly intelligent and completing each level wasn’t as simple as just crouching behind a wall until it walked past. Each chase and level that saw us trying to get past said Alien was one that required meticulous planning and use of the environment. Oh, and those human-sized lockers and cupboards that you always felt safe hiding in? If you don’t hold your breath Alien will just rip you straight out of ’em.
After dying a number of times and planning your escape, sprinting down a corridor to freedom only to hear Alien chasing after you is quite possibly one of the scariest moments in video games. Not to mention if it catches you it’ll shove its claws straight through your stomach… not one to play in VR if you’re easily scared, FYI!
Resident Evil 4 – The Regeneradors
Experimental bioweapons found in Resident Evil 4 thanks to the Plaga virus, the Regeneradors were some of the scariest enemies we’ve had to deal with in video games.
Not only do they just look creepy as all hell, but these things just didn’t like dying. You could throw grenades at them, unload your shotgun, just about anything and they’d be all good five seconds later. Only after emptying clip after clip, or shooting a conveniently-placed explosive barrel would these things finally die. Now imagine bumping into one of these when you’re already running pretty low on ammo and you have Ashley running around all over the place. It’s something pulled straight out of your nightmares, trust us.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – First Seeing the Figure
Amnesia: The Dark Descent manages to create an uncomfortable atmosphere without you even seeing a monster. Its environments are eerily lit, diary entries paint a picture of those that used to live here, and you just know that any minute you’re gonna be greeted by a terrifying monster.
When one finally appears, then, you don’t really know what to do with yourself apart from run in the opposite direction. You’ll find a closet to seek refuge in and peer out, paralyzed in fear that it’ll spot you. As it breaks down the door and surveys the room, you sit quietly, telling yourself you’ll never put yourself through this again… You will, though, because it’s just the beginning.
Silent Hill 2 – Pyramid Head
Pyramid Head is arguably the most messed up scary villain in video game history. Therefore, every time that it rears its oddly-shaped head in Silent Hill 2, we couldn’t help but get slightly terrified of what was to come. Whether it was that fateful, bizarre first encounter where we looked on from the wardrobe in sheer terror at what was unfolding before us, or any of our unfortunate run-ins with him further down the line, each one was as uncomfortable and fear-provoking as the last.
Pyramid Head was certainly at his best in Silent Hill 2, and as we watched the gory maniac doing all kinds of messed up stuff to some mannequins in the back of a cupboard, we knew exactly the kind of scary and twisted experience that lay in store for us in the game.
Condemned 2 – The Bear Scene
The bear scene in Condemned 2 offered up more of a natural scare. It wasn’t about ghouls or any other manner of scary fictional creature popping out and trying to eat your face. Instead, you just had to escape and then kill a giant rabid grizzly bear.
With you watching the same bear tearing the limbs off a guy as you navigate the house, falling down the hole and seeing it staring at you from the other side of the room is not what you want to see. You’ll have to squeeze through tight gaps, sprint up stairs, and block doorways and the damn thing still won’t let up. Then, you’ll need to perfectly time a shot to take it down. It’ll have your heart racing for sure.
Resident Evil – The Dog
It’s just not possible to talk about scary moments in video games without mentioning the zombified Doberman leaping through the window of that ominous corridor in Resident Evil. Having not come across anything else in the mansion up until that point, you’re almost expecting something to come at you any minute… but not straight through the damn window!
And thus, the nightmare of Resident Evil began, and it all started by a zombie Doberman jumping through the window to remind you that there’s a swathe of flesh-hungry zombies roaming the streets outside of the mansion.