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AT's Top 10 Scariest Video Games
Often referred to as the spiritual successor of System Shock 2, BioShock practically embodies all the elements of suspense, drama and horror, neatly enwrapping it all in a fulfilling plot and adding contemporary visuals and superb art direction. The fictional underwater setting, portrayed effectively through locations of Rapture city, creates a moody and unique in-game ambiance. The trouble with BioShock though, was that by the time it got out, many experienced gamers did not find it all too scary. The game uses somewhat obvious tactics to induce fear and anxiety. Actually, it's nothing we haven't seen before. On the other hand, that doesn't mean you'll play the game without so much as flinching. Generally, most gamers are bound to be afraid at some point - as soon as the main character arrives to Rapture and the first tormented human-like opponents rush at him. The shock-effect reaches its climax, when you catch a glimpse of "Little Sisters," as they feast upon nearby corpses, innocently calling out to their guardians; the robust and ill-tempered "Big Daddies." Next-generation horror finally has a name - BioShock. Just so you know others have declared BioShock one of the scariest titles ever released and publications like Wired acknowledged that BioShock tops most modern-day movies when it comes to intimidating audiences.
3. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
You simply can't talk about top-notch horror and omit a name like Resident Evil, known throughout Japan as Biohazard. After two successful iterations, RE promptly gained fame and was released on the PlayStation, GameCube, N64, Sega Saturn Dreamcast and PC. The first two games have undoubtedly set precedents, but you could easily say that the horror franchise culminated with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Paying the game alone (preferably at night with the old headset) can cause some serious fear and panic attacks, especially if you're new to the genre. RE3 features classic monsters-jumping-from-closets style moments, stylishly thrown into play. More than that, Capcom, the creators of the series, are known for producing some of the most hideous unearthly monster designs ever seen in a game (or in a movie, for that matter). Bizarre abominations will leap at you left and right. One of the best survival horror licenses, reached its fourth installment and is going to continue with Resident Evil 5. Not to mention, the game lived to see three blockbuster movie adaptations.
The game's title says it all. Monolith's F.E.A.R. is considered by many as the very definition of a modern-day horror FPS. Why? Well, you'll certainly know why if you've played it. Players are thrown into a fast-paced, but carefully directed FPS experience, as they rush through darkened, claustrophobic corridors, witnessing excessively violent scenes almost every step of the way. Some of these scenes will have you scared stiff. As 2lions said: "you can use your flashlight AND your gun, and the game will STILL scare you!" The developers cleverly implemented scenes of dread and horror to keep you on your toes through the entire game. Besides the superb atmosphere, there are certain aspects of this game that made it stand out. For one thing, we'll never forget Alma, the eerie little girl whose presence creates a disturbing, yet very effective, ambience worthy of first-rate horror movies. Her role is significant, but further details on her backdrop and purpose are expected to emerge with release one of Monolith's next endeavors - Project Origin. Another exceptional aspect of F.E.A.R. was the intelligent behavior of enemies; an opponent sees you, he knocks a table over and immediately ducks behind it. This is but a mere example, but such AI behavior greatly contributed to some intense combat situations. An unforgettable experience to say the least.
1. Silent Hill
One of the most influential survival horror titles, Konami's Silent Hill is easily the scariest game of all time. If you want to know what it feels like to be in the center of an honest-to-God horror narrative, Silent Hill is your cup of tea. Players are thrown into literarily terrifying situations. For starters, when playing, you'll get a perfect idea of how it feels to be the sole survivor and frequently the only living thing for miles around. Isolated and uneasy, you walk through the mist-enshrouded surroundings, regularly inhabited by sinister bloodthirsty life forms, and all you have to keep you company is a trusty handgun and, of course, sparse ammo, to raise the stakes in typical horror fashion. Certain scenes are likely to creep out even the greatest skeptics. While most hardcore gamers feel Resident Evil is the mother of all horror games, Silent Hill objectively came out as the top choice in our list for one simple reason - the game is damn scary. Resident Evil may have provided the cornerstone, but Silent Hill manages to encompass all the essentials any top-quality horror game should have. The success of the video games eventually brought about a big-screen version and a series of Silent Hill comic books.
Added by 2Lions:
0. Nancy Drew Mystery Games
Seriously, think about it. It's a mystery game about a 1950s female detective that no one has ever heard of. People have forgotten who Elvis is, and yet Nancy Drew is topping the sales chart every_single_month.
If we are to write off several more outrageous theories, the only plausible explanation remains that Nancy Drew games are the manifestation of a huge self-sustained AI "organism" that is able to manipulate sales of PC games by harvesting souls of casual shelf-browsing consumers.
Through the modern society's dependency on information, DrewNet uses companies like NPD Techworld to pave the way for its global domination via digitally-induced terror of the human flesh.
You know I'm right. Nancy Drew Mystery games are scary on a level so profound you are now at risk just by knowing this information.
And the Runners-up Are...
The following were also considered:
- Alone in the Dark
- The Suffering
- Silent Hill 2, 3 and 4
- The Darkness
- Fatal Frame
- Condemned: Criminal Origins
- Resident Evil 1, 2 and 4
As always, you may or may not agree with our choice, so we'd be more than happy to hear your comments and suggestions on the subject.
(Go ahead and disagree with my choice. I'll just know DrewNet got to you. - 2Lions)
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