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modeps
10-03-2009, 09:29 AM
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It's October, the month of haunting, ghouls, and frights. So, lets kick of the month with a spooktastic DISCOURSE! There's nothing better than a good scare, or just a general feeling of disturbance. Some games clearly try hard to provide the frights and fail, others succeed with flying colors. Just like humor, it's difficult to really pull off the dread... so what we're looking for today is what games freaked you out, and what games failed at doing so. Got any special sequences that stick with you to this day?

Thanatosis
10-03-2009, 09:42 AM
The first Silent Hill- the ambient noise, the fog and darkness. It was one of the first games, for me, that was able to scare me without having to resort to making monsters jump out of windows.

Earth Djinn
10-03-2009, 09:55 AM
Obligatory mention of the bathtub scene in Eternal Darkness.

Also the freakiest game I ever played, hands down, was Fatal Frame (or Project Zero).

murpes
10-03-2009, 09:58 AM
I remember being creeped out by the original Alone in the Dark. I look at it now and it seems kinda cornball, so I guess scariness is kind of relative to technology when it comes to gaming. But that game got the atmosphere down right.

There were parts of System Shock I that scared me. I distinctly remember Shodan telling me, "Enter this room and I will kill you" and it freaked me out, one of the best parts of the game. Some of the ghosts in System Shock II were disturbing, but I had a much more visceral and emotional reaction to the original. Bioshock had its moments, too.

When Doom fist came out I played it alone, late at night, in the dark, and with headphones. I recall one time a pinky growled at me from the one side, out of sight but very close, and it scared the shit out of me and I literally fall out of my chair. I had already fallen in love with the game, but that reaction sealed it.

The Path is probably the most disturbing contemporary game I've played. It doesn't make the mistake popular of substituting torture and gore for horror.

Azrael
10-03-2009, 10:08 AM
AvP1 on PC... those facehuggers, a game has never made me jump as often or as high

Wyrm
10-03-2009, 10:21 AM
The first Resident Evil game when the dogs come through the windows in that hallway. I had to turn the damned game off and quit for the night.

Smicer
10-03-2009, 10:37 AM
AvP1 on PC... those facehuggers, a game has never made me jump as often or as high

The same goes for me..

murpes
10-03-2009, 10:39 AM
Not a video game, but kind of relevant ... remember this classic? Loved that one. It had three tiers!

http://www.pinballrebel.com/game/pins/haunted_house/haunted_house_9.jpg

Also here's two Alone in the Dark videos I made a while back. Be careful, you may not be able to sleep at night after watching these.

http://www.wegame.com/watch/Alone_in_the_Dark_intro/
http://www.wegame.com/watch/Alone_in_the_Dark_3/

Orz
10-03-2009, 10:49 AM
Eternal Darkness always felt suitably creepy when I first played it. Atmosphere is the key, just like in the good Silent Hill games. If you can maintain atmosphere, without puncturing it with shoddy production values, cringe-worthy dialogue, or absurd story, you can pull off a good horror vibe.

Resident Evil 5 is a perfect example of how to ruin a horror atmosphere. Fun game, not atmospheric in the least.

Capt_Thad
10-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Scariest area in a game I've played is still Shalebridge Cradle, the abandoned orphanage/asylum building that got burned down in a fire in Thief: Deadly Shadows. Could there possibly be a more potent combination of factors for one building in a horror setting? It might not have been a horror game, but nobody does atmosphere (lighting, ambient sound) like the Thief games did. In Thief, ambiance wasn't just for cosmetics or suspenseful effect; it was central to the gameplay, so they had to have it mastered. The hat-tip to horror was perfectly played.

RE1 and 2 did a good job with atmosphere and general edge of your seat suspense, but they'd still have to bow down to Silent Hill 1 and 2. Siren does a great job of keeping you on your toes too. FEAR also had some great shock moments. Fatal Frame always looked like it'd be the best, but I still haven't actually gotten around to playing any of them.

Anenome
10-03-2009, 11:06 AM
Yeah, Eternal Darkness was a classic, would love to see the insanity system pulled into -way- more games.

Nimos
10-03-2009, 11:23 AM
Silent Hill 2 - I found the Hospital level so nerve wracking that i stopped playing

pwnophobia
10-03-2009, 11:28 AM
I had just gotten my 5.1 surround sound computer speakers and a new 8600 GT when Doom 3 came out and I'd turn off all the lights in my room and crank up the speakers. I crept through that game so slowly because I didn't know when something would pop out next even though the thing that scared me the most was when the marine went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror...I was expecting what happened next.

Hapless
10-03-2009, 11:45 AM
I just recently played through Doom 3 again. Talk about a good dose of constant adrenaline, by far the best horror game I've ever played.

docfate
10-03-2009, 11:54 AM
Yeah, Eternal Darkness was a classic, would love to see the insanity system pulled into -way- more games.

When I played this, I turned off all the lights and was sitting inches away from my 36" TV. It was the level where you are running toward the camera and you can clearly see yourself turning into a zombie. Combined that with the "thud thud" of the vibrating controller, I was in a state of sheer terror.

But then my computer monitor clicked on from an ICQ message or something and I literally screamed out loud.

So awesome!

EL CABONG
10-03-2009, 11:54 AM
Silent Hill 2. I think horror games need to be far less ploding and clunky in the future. RE5 wasn't a bad game but I am just not into that stlye of game anymore. I want the character I control to move faster maybe even be able to shoot while moving.

Frag-L-Rock
10-03-2009, 12:05 PM
THIS game (http://www.giantbomb.com/shadowgate/61-5516/) or this one (http://www.giantbomb.com/uninvited/61-9775/). Shadowgate or Uninvited. OMFreakinGOD. If I remember correctly (which I probably don't, very fuzzy memory) there was one part in one of those games that mimics those "stare at this picture, then scary face suddenly pops in". Love those games.

Resident Evil 2 was my first brush with the more "modern" horror genre. Was over a friend's house in college and stayed up long after everyone had gone to bed. Things crawling on the cielings, limited ammo, man. I was floored by the creepiness.

I agree with the Doom 3 comment above, I loved the game and thought it was pretty creepy and intense.

One part in F.E.A.R. (minor spoiler I guess?), and one part only, there was no creepy music buildup or visual clues to announce an Alma sighting coming, you were just climbing up a ladder of all places, and BAM! she was lying down looking down over the top of the ladder at you coming up. Nearly had a bloody heart attack!

modeps
10-03-2009, 12:14 PM
There are several games that I'd like to mention now that you all have weighed in a bit. No particular order, just me rattling them off and numbering them for separation purposes.

1) Condemned: Criminal Origins - The Mall: The first Condemned was much better than the second, particularly in making me feel uneasy as hell. When you enter the abandoned mall, and come across the spooky mannequins who like to surprise you from behind, that stuff stuck with me long after I shut it off.

2) Resident Evil 1 - The Dogs: This was the first game to scare me... I picked up RE1 after hearing good things (in the fat cardboard box at the time) and decided to play it in my basement... with the lights off. Walking through the hallway, then having the skinless dogs jump through the window at me... ugh.

3) Clive Barker's Undying: If you've never played this game, you should. It's certainly dated, but hell... it may be the most complete frightening experience in a game ever.

4) Doom 3's Monster Closets - Despite being a bit cheap with the jump frights, they worked on me. I had to play that game walking backwards most of the time to ensure no monsters would get me... Then, when I thought I was safe, I'd turn around and face the proper direction... and of course, get jumped again.

5) Aliens vs Predator 1&2 - These games did a great job in general of making you nervous the whole time, particularly during the Space Marine parts. I just hope Rebellion can get back the same feeling that 1 had.

6) Dead Space - Great recent example on how to do horror properly. Isolation, outstanding audio direction, fully immersed, and plenty of freaky moments... It was like Event Horizon.

Honorable Mention: While not particularly scary, Left 4 Dead is just a fantastic game in the horror genre. I can't wait for L4D2.

EL CABONG
10-03-2009, 12:19 PM
Dead Space is a good one. It plays a good to. It was slow but not clunky like alot of other horror games.

PacerDawn
10-03-2009, 12:24 PM
Second nod to the Thief games, especially the first one. Creeping around and hearing things moving around corners was extremly nerve wracking.

On a side note, developers seem to insist that having save everywhere spoils games in that it makes them easier and less exciting. This is pure BS, and is used as an excuse to hide the fact that they just just don't know how to program games to be exciting without introducing a frustration factor.

The Thief games are a great example of games with save anywhere but are still veru suspensful and fantastic to play.

Anenome
10-03-2009, 12:42 PM
When I played this, I turned off all the lights and was sitting inches away from my 36" TV. It was the level where you are running toward the camera and you can clearly see yourself turning into a zombie. Combined that with the "thud thud" of the vibrating controller, I was in a state of sheer terror.
But then my computer monitor clicked on from an ICQ message or something and I literally screamed out loud.
So awesome!
- Lol, that's classic :D

Silent Hill 2. I think horror games need to be far less ploding and clunky in the future. RE5 wasn't a bad game but I am just not into that stlye of game anymore. I want the character I control to move faster maybe even be able to shoot while moving.
- Talk about less plodding and clunky, check out 'Left 4 Dead 2.' That's a roller-coaster of a horror game. None of this lazy zombie BS, full on charging you.

ElfShotTheFood
10-03-2009, 01:05 PM
Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth had some really great horror moments, like the bit where you had to escape from the hotel while the enemies where battering down the doors with axes. I don't scare easily, but this game gave me nightmares.

Aliens vs. Predator. The Marine campaign was one of the most intense and nerve-wracking experiences in all of gaming.

Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachai. This is a budget FPS from a few years back that no one has probably played. Very moody and creepy, with lots of jump scares. Obviously inspired by classic horror films.

Doom 3. Not really scary, but very atmospheric. It's a very elaborate haunted house.

Dead Space. It's Doom 3 on a spaceship. Good enough for me.

vallancian
10-03-2009, 01:06 PM
resident evil 5 was a let down in scares i thought it being a resident evil it would carry on the trend but it seems not. as for the one thats stuck with me i'd say alone in the dark: the new nightmare only being 7 when i first played it the sight of elaine in that coffin and those zombie dogs still stick with me today.

Falkuse
10-03-2009, 08:19 PM
The haunted house in Vampires: bloodlines was awesome :)

And yes the marine campaign of AvP and FEAR had its moments aswell.

Johan
10-03-2009, 08:24 PM
Be careful, you may not be able to sleep at night after watching these.


I hope you were joking. I watched both video clips and died of boredom. This is my ghost, back to let you know you killed me. ;)

Wyrm
10-03-2009, 08:25 PM
There are several games that I'd like to mention now that you all have weighed in a bit. No particular order, just me rattling them off and numbering them for separation purposes.

1) Condemned: Criminal Origins - The Mall: The first Condemned was much better than the second, particularly in making me feel uneasy as hell. When you enter the abandoned mall, and come across the spooky mannequins who like to surprise you from behind, that stuff stuck with me long after I shut it off.

2) Resident Evil 1 - The Dogs: This was the first game to scare me... I picked up RE1 after hearing good things (in the fat cardboard box at the time) and decided to play it in my basement... with the lights off. Walking through the hallway, then having the skinless dogs jump through the window at me... ugh.

3) Clive Barker's Undying: If you've never played this game, you should. It's certainly dated, but hell... it may be the most complete frightening experience in a game ever.

4) Doom 3's Monster Closets - Despite being a bit cheap with the jump frights, they worked on me. I had to play that game walking backwards most of the time to ensure no monsters would get me... Then, when I thought I was safe, I'd turn around and face the proper direction... and of course, get jumped again.

5) Aliens vs Predator 1&2 - These games did a great job in general of making you nervous the whole time, particularly during the Space Marine parts. I just hope Rebellion can get back the same feeling that 1 had.

6) Dead Space - Great recent example on how to do horror properly. Isolation, outstanding audio direction, fully immersed, and plenty of freaky moments... It was like Event Horizon.

Honorable Mention: While not particularly scary, Left 4 Dead is just a fantastic game in the horror genre. I can't wait for L4D2.

I'll agree most assuredly with Undying. That game is downright frightening. The first time you use your second sight inside the mansion in front of a family portrait, and it changes from a serene painting into a grotesque zombification, I nearly voided my bowels.

Oh and Condemned! Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiist! That was the first game I ever saw running on the 360, and it oozed with atmosphere. I never could get into the second one, because I felt that the subdued supernatural elements of the first game were far better than the overt commitment they made from the beginning in the sequel. When you were never really sure if it was just the character going nuts or if the world truly was going to shit, the intrigue was incredibly high. In fact, I shall go and replay said game!

TeeCakes
10-03-2009, 08:44 PM
Remains the only legit scare I've ever had playing video games:

HjuTnJhyC5M

(edited because otherwise I'd have nightmares watching this!)

Anenome
10-03-2009, 09:14 PM
That's one of my favorite games, Tee, dunno why ppl didn't like it, except that it was so different from the previous. Taken on its own merits, it rocks.

Raw
10-03-2009, 09:31 PM
Doom 3? you've got to be kidding me. Very good action game, but 0 horror. Just because it has zombies and demons it doesn't make it a horror game, just like the Diablo series.

Want a good horror game?
Fatal Frame Series,
Eternal Darkness,
Silent Hill 1 to 3 (4 and 5 aren't that good),
Dead Space (from now on called the "Return of the Horror Messiah"),
System Shock series (where's my bloody SS3 dammit!?).
Siren (both the original and the remake) and Condemned 1 are good contestants too.
And some more...

The best horror genre, in my opinion, is psychological suspense or horror, just like Silent Hill 2, because it needs a very good atmosphere as a key design value, which leads to an increase of immersion.

Be very careful not to mix horror games with games you've been scared of. I remember that when i was a kid i couldn't play Diablo (100% action-rpg) without shitting my pants, mostly because of the Butcher (God i hate him) and his meat on a stick decorations.

Anenome
10-03-2009, 09:40 PM
Imagine how good horror games could be once we have 3D headsets with head-tracking, total immersion, and ubiquitous 5.1 sound <_< >_>

eighties
10-03-2009, 10:27 PM
Doom 3 was great when i first got it turned out all the lights...and the only game so far thats made me jump.


Call of Cthulu and condemned was great too

JazGalaxy
10-03-2009, 11:08 PM
Alone in the Dark was leaps and bounds above any other horror game ever made, in my opinion.

Firstly, you weren't a twenty something action hero, you were a down on his luck private investigator was a little too old, a little too scrawny, and a little too much of a loser for anyone to bet on your getting out alive.

Two, it actually dealt with the supernatural and the occult. Witch chemical zombies, or hell zombies or whatever, you always know the limit past which they can go no further. You know the rules they are playing by. In Alone in the Dark, the haunted mansion could literally do anything. You could walk down a hallway for the third time and suddenly a painting hurls an axe in your back. Or you could read a book that contains knowledge that kills you. No place was ever safe.

Three, you picked up and carried EVERYTHING. Sometimes it was useful and sometimes it wasn't but everything could be, if nothing else, thrown as a weapon. This means that you would frequently find yourself running away from monsters while throwing books, lamps, ashtrays and whatever else you could find to kill them before they killed you. If you DID find a gun, you never knew whether to use it or save it because you never knew what horror you were next to find.

Four, all the puzzles made sense within the context of the story and every puzzle had a clue hidden in a book or another room someplace that explained the logic behind the puzzle. If you didn't know what to do, you probably just weren't looking or thinking hard enough.

There were plenty of more great things about the game. I think one of the greatest travesties in gaming is that Resident Evil became popular by blatantly and badly ripping off alone in the dark.

atariv8
10-04-2009, 06:02 AM
I have to say Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth was the scariest game I've played due to the fact they give you no weapons for half the game. I always felt a step behind and underpowered which kept the tension up. The mood and atmosphere are top notch and there's always some cool moments to catch in windows and back alleys if you look hard enough. I like games like fear, condemned and Resident Evil but the minute you get high end powers or weapons things aren't too scary anymore. Another game that got to me was Echo Night Beyond for most of the same reasons above.

I do love the first part of Doom III where you're just finding out what's going on...I guess I love the first moments of any horror game where everything is setup. It's the same reason I love most horror novels. The point where everything seems normal but there's a hint of trouble and then being thrown into something where you don't know what's going on. I actually hate finding out the reason behind things near the end of books/games because it doesn't pay off like I would like. Dead Space was a rare horror title that I thought had a great overall story telling arc that payed off well.

Kragg
10-05-2009, 05:03 AM
All time? Eternal Darkness.

Most recently? Dead Space. Absolutely fantastic.

The first 45 minutes or so of F.E.A.R. did a good job of scaring me, then the tricks got a bit old.

zaekrex
10-11-2009, 06:07 PM
How is it that Clive Barker's Undying is STILL not mentioned in this thread? FOR SHAME.

modeps
10-11-2009, 06:32 PM
How is it that Clive Barker's Undying is STILL not mentioned in this thread? FOR SHAME.

Reading is fundamental!
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1796527&postcount=18