Horror is my favourite genre and I could have quite possibly made a list of 100 moments here. So I’ve managed to somehow dwindle it down to ten of my favourite moments. So naturally there are moments that made me cack myself that never made this list, so be sure to sound out your favourites in the comments. That said, this list is subjective and is in no particular order.
Resident Evil – First Zombie Encounter
One of the most iconic moments in the survival horror gaming genre, your very first encounter with a zombie in the original Resident Evil. After leaving the dining room at the very beginning of the game to investigate a hallway, you hear a crisp munching sound just around the corner and it was hear you witness the horror of that iconic zombie feasting upon the body of S.T.A.R.S Bravo Team member; Kenneth J. Sullivan. It will forever be one of the most pivotal scenes in all of gaming and if you play the awesome remake of the original, you’ll be able to find and watch horrific footage of Sullivan succumbing to his untimely demise.
Resident Evil Remake – Crimson (Head) Zombie
Quite a lot had changed with the remake of the first Resident Evil, not only visuals, but the gameplay was improved, it had added back-story and we were even introduced to a number of new creatures, and one of those was the dreaded Crimson (Head) Zombie. Now this was before the days of everything being leaked on the internet, so when I first encountered the Crimson Zombie, it was not only a surprise, but it was downright terrifying. Staying true to the series roots, running on limited supplies, unless you were fortunate enough to decapitate a zombie (usually via a shotgun to the face) or burned the downed corpse, later in the game that zombie would return in super-form, chasing you at great speed with relentless aggression, dealing extra damage and could even bash through doors! Even after all these years, an encounter with the Crimson Zombie is always one that I dread.
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Resident Evil Remake – Lisa Trevor
The tale of Lisa Trevor was both tragic and horrific. Abducted with her mother and both used as cruel experiment subjects, Lisa endured hell from the hands of Oswell E. Spencer in an underground laboratory located beneath his mansion. These cruel experiments would soon grab the attention of Umbrella Corp, namely Albert Wesker and Dr William Birkin. While her mother was killed after showing no signs of change after receiving one form of Progenitor Virus, Lisa showed drastic change in both physical and mental form which only led to see how far Umbrella could push these illegal experiments. As part of the experiment process, Umbrella even posed two of their staff members as Lisa’s parents, but when she realised their trickery, she killed them both and wore their faces as masks! When Lisa was truly introduced in the remake, you would hear her groans within the catacombs beneath the mansion, which were terrifying alone and that was before you even met her in physical presence.
Dead Space – Opening Moments
When our then silent protagonist Isaac Clarke boarded the USG Ishimura, a “planet-cracking” space mining facility, following a distress signal, it soon becomes apparent that something very evil is happening on this seemingly abandoned ship. Before you even got a chance to get used to your bearings, you had to witness what remains of your crew being slaughtered behind a wall of glass, helpless as these hideous creatures known as the Necromorph’s tore your colleagues to shreds! Then in that moment, their attentions were drawn to you as they chased an unarmed Isaac Clarke deeper into the Ishimura! The original Dead Space was memorable in many ways and this was the perfect way to introduce you to its horror.
Dead Space 2 – Eye operation
There are few things that can make me cringe in the horror gaming world, nail and gentile torture, and eyes, especially needles in the eyes! So when Isaac Clarke was forced to enter the NoonTech Diagnostic Machine in the later stages of Dead Space 2, I had to endure one of my worst horrors. This horrific machine was used to store and suppress information on the Marker, and in order to do so, a needle must be inserted through the ocular cavity and the results can be quite catastrophic. So in order for Isaac to know the location of the Site 12 Marker, players were forced to navigate this needle into Isaac’s eye with the upmost precision. However, as if this moment couldn’t be more tense, you had to keep Isaac as calm by monitoring his heart rate. If you failed and Isaac become to stressed, you would be treated to a very gruesome and graphic death scene.
Silent Hill – The sirens
Silent Hill will go down in history as one of my favourite gaming series of all-time, though the less we say about the most recent games, the better. However, when Silent Hill first began on the original PlayStation, it introduced us to a horror that we’ve not seen before. Sinister creatures, an eerie and evil town surrounded in dark mystery, and an alternate dimension that would send me into a seize of frenzy. Out of all the creatures and encounters that I experienced in the game, nothing gave me that feeling of dread and panic more so then hearing the sirens sound which was the signal that you were about to be pulled into its hellish alternate world of Silent Hill. These sirens would go on to be a iconic feature in the series.
Silent Hill 2 – Encounter with Pyramid Head
It’s always a matter of preference as to which Silent Hill game the next player prefers, but there’s no doubt that Silent Hill 2 is also considered to be one of the all-time greats. There was so much to pick from this fantastic sequel, its sinister storyline, perverse creatures and absolutely sublime soundtrack, but arguably the star of the show was the dastardly Pyramid Head. Quite early on in the game when entering the Wood Side Apartments, the sound of white noise and an imposing figure behind bars in a darkened hallway, this was a glimpse of the horror that was to come. One of these moments was arguably the most horrific, is when protagonist James Sunderland is forced to hide in horror as the Pyramid Head seemingly sexually assaults grotesque mannequin creatures before they fall lifeless to the floor. It’s difficult to describe this particular encounter in detail, but if you’ve experienced it first hand, it will surely live long in your memory.
Project Zero Series – The Ghosts
In the first Project Zero or Fatal Frame as its known in the States, when the brother of Miku goes missing after searching for a famous novelist last seen in what is believed to be a haunted mansion, Miku goes in pursuit to find out what has happened to her brother. However, Miku discovers what lies within this haunted mansion is no myth or legend and its residents are deadly ghosts that look to capture who dares to venture into their house of horrors. What makes this series particularly unnerving, is that the player is not armed with traditional weapons, but instead a camera known as the Obscura which is said to capture the souls of the tormented spirits. Being a wimp of just about anything that features ghosts, the Project Zero/Fatal Frame series is one that always has the hairs stand on the back of my neck (unless I’m playing Maiden of Black Water on Wii U that is).
Alien Isolation – The Xenomorph
This is no ordinary Xenomorph, while it’s not to the size of a Queen, it’s much larger than the standard Xenomorphs seen in the movies and secondly, it quite literally stalks you throughout the game. Its A.I is very impressive and can seemingly predict your path before you even know where you’re going. It will hide in the shadows, in the ceilings, the air vents, basically just about any place you feel vulnerable and boy, does this game make you feel vulnerable. You do get some weapons in this game, such as a hand gun to kill some of the humans and androids, but making noise will only attract the alien towards you. The handgun is practically pointless against the Xeno, with your best gadgets of survival is your motion scanner and flamethrower. But even if you escape its clutches or force it to flee with some fire, you know it’s only a matter of time until you’re the Xenomorphs victim once more.
Resident Evil 7 – The Baker Family
Now I’ll try to be as vague as possible to avoid spoilers, but damn, the Baker family in RE7 are a messed up bunch. Leading the charge are Jack, Marguerite and Lucas (oh and Zoe, but she seems cool). Jack is the main bad guy of the family and will not only stalk you, but he’ll taunt you in the process, and he’s seemingly indestructible. Then there’s Marguerite, but the less said about her fruitful basket, the better. Finally we have Lucas, a genius that would put even Jigsaw from the Saw movies to shame. Throughout the campaign of RE7, you will be shouting “NO, NO, NO”, “F@%K, F@%K, F@%K” and you may even poop a little. Resident Evil 7 is one of the finest games to release in the last 12 months and a big reason for that is the sinister Baker family.