We have all been in difficult situations “NO.” Whether it’s heavy freeway traffic, unwanted family drama, or that scary movie that makes you want to calm down, sometimes you have to say “NO” and go.
Regarding video games, I haven’t said “no” to many. After all, I wrote a list of video games based on going to the bathroom, so clearly I’m a man with trashy taste. Still, I’ve drawn my line in the sand, and these games made me say “NO” faster than a character in a Jordan Peele movie.
5 Death field
A visual horror novel? How scary can it be? It turns out Death field was one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. It may not have the graphics and cutscenes of Capcom’s latest horror flick, but it more than makes up for it with disturbing artwork and chilling sound design.
In short, you play this guy with a mark on his wrist that looks like a tattoo your friend thought would look grumpy after setting someone back. This brand, called death mark, is a prophetic omen, a la The Ring. When the mark appears on your wrist, you will die that night unless you confront the ghost responsible for giving you the mark.
But who gave the protagonist Kazuo Yashiki his mark? There’s the rube! Each night focuses on a new ghost that may or may not have given Yashiki the death knell.
Death Mark’s first chapter takes place in a haunted school. Okay, scary, but bearable, right? NO. Every room I entered had a new surprise, including a jump from a ghost boy’s face that took up the entire screen. I was able to finish the chapter with the sound off, but I haven’t returned to the Death Mark since.
4 Mortal Kombat 9
Don’t get it twisted; I love Mortal Kombat. My cousins and I played the game ad nauseam as kids. And we were happy adults when the next-gen reboot came out in 2011. This game had it all: a return to 2D combat, fan-favorite characters, and a story mode that finally helped us understand what the hell was going on. It’s the turning point the series badly needed after its tough 3D era.
I loved playing MK9. What I didn’t do it love entered into Crypt. In previous installments, Krypt was a gruesome and bloody shop where you could unlock game items with koins. I expected a similar experience in MK9. And for my first visits to Krypt, that was it.
Then, during a fateful Krypt visit, I started hearing footsteps. Not human footsteps, but the frenetic scurrying of an animal. “Meh, just some creepy sound design,” I thought. And that’s when the budget Nosferatu appeared on the screen and screamed at me!
My heart skipped five beats. Then I ran up to the Xbox 360 and turned it off like it would eat me if I left it on. NO. I wasn’t going into that Crypt again. Sindel’s alternate color wasn’t worth a fatal heart attack.
3 Dragon Age: Origins
I have never considered myself arachnophobic. For example, I’ve stomped on my fair share of spiders while my mom whined at me, “EWWWW. KILL IT! KILL IIIIIT!” But something about Dragon Age’s spiders gave me the creepy crawlies.
I don’t think I played the game for an hour when I found myself inside a cave filled with these giant monstrosities. I cringed every time I passed a corner, imagining another eight-legged horror coming my way. And the more I thought about it, the more I got those phantom itches you only get when you think a bug is on your skin.
Was I terrified? Not really. But it was a sensory experience I didn’t like. It’s like someone asked me to pet a tarantella. Like, okay, they’re kind of cute from afar. But I don’t want to feel the furry pedipalps on my hand.
FYI: I’m making Lucille Ball watch as I write this paragraph. Okay, I was just saying, “NO,” but i also said, “EwWwWwwweeeeeeyuccccckugh!”
2 Resident Evil 7
When it comes to horror, I’m half okay with zombies. And the last couple of Resident Evil games looked more action/thriller than a creeper feature. So when I bought a copy for my mom Resident Evil 7 on mother’s day i thought we could give up the controller and play together. After all, she loves a good scary movie.
Unfortunately, RE7 perfectly encapsulates why I enjoy watching horror movies but not playing horror games. I can watch a horror movie in the safety of my sofa, with a delicious bowl of popcorn and a pillow to cover my eyes when it hits the fan. But horror games are interactive. I can’t cover my face with my controller or I’ll get killed.
And that’s exactly what happened while playing Biohazard. Mom and I got through the first hour or two just fine. In fact, we crawled through the sewers, searched the abandoned house and rescued Mia from her makeshift prison cell. Of course we had some ghosts along the way, but we dealt with them well.
Then Mia Winters walked on a raging zombie and charged at us with a chainsaw. I felt like Regina Hall in that scene from Scary Movie when she sees Shakespeare In Love at the cinema. All I could think was, “Mia, you better get out of my face.
Mom and I passed the controller back and forth like a ticking time bomb. Finally we both said “NO”, and never played again.
PT stands for Playable teaser, a short demo used to announce the cancellation Silent Hill sequel designed and directed by Hideo Kojima in collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, Silent Hills. It is a landmark in video game history for several reasons.
First, the game features immersive visual storytelling. Second, it’s connected to a long-dormant franchise. Third, it was infamously removed from downloads shortly after launch, making it almost impossible to play now. And finally, it’s the scariest hours you’ll ever play in your life.
Let me clarify; I’ve never played PT But I saw a Twitch stream of the game. As much as I knew this game was more than I could handle, I was drawn in. I couldn’t stop watching the stream. And, honestly, since I didn’t play the game, I figured I could at least handle watching it.
And, indeed, PT is a fascinating game to watch. The entire story takes place in a haunted hallway. Every time the player character goes through the end of the hallway, they go back to the beginning. You have to solve the puzzles in the hallway to complete the game.
During the first few passages, things felt creepy, but tolerable. Furthermore, radio spots and haunted phone calls fleshed out a murder plot I wanted to know more about. I love a good mystery. Then the game became more complicated. The player encounters a bloody baby fetus in a bathroom sink, voices start coming from nowhere, and then you are confronted with the scariest scare of a grotesque spirit.
And by the way, that spirit was follows you in the game all the time! Yes, someone hacked the game and found a model of the ghost behind the player’s back throughout the teaser. It’s clutter to the next level.
In short, stalker ghosts and bloody fetuses? NO. That’s a hard NO from me bro. No. No. No thanks. Never. No how. No fam. NOOOOOOOOO.
Next: The Best Horror Game Jump Scares