Best horror games

Rock solid in the sense “scary game with no story”? [/quote]

Since when do FPS games need a story? :P It had enough to explain the missions so there was some backstory there, an AvP2 style story would have been better, of course, but I never felt that the somewhat sparse storyline in AvP detracted from the gameplay experience.

And the added tension/frustration of fighting (nearly) insta-kill enemies with no saves felt a wee bit over the top (to me and many others. Probably Rebellion too since they patched that part after release).

True, it was frustrating at times, but if you are looking for a truly frightening experience the added tension is a good thing.

I agree, up until you first meet Pyramid Head. He’s simply the best stalker-type character I’ve seen in any game, and he had me playing the rest of the game walking on eggshells. I only felt safe when I was strolling the city streets - any time I had to go in a building I started (mildly, but still) panicking, wondering when he was going to strike next. Let alone that, but his actions in the apartment complex were just - perverse.

Now that I’ve seen the movies from the Art Of Silent Hill DVD, my biggest disappointment with SH2 is that, as Tom mentioned in his preview here, Konami obviously cut out material that they thought was too offensive. If you’re curious, check out this great source of the DVD material, and in particular snag a copy of Fukuro.avi. It’s basically a music video of a lot of scenes that were cut from the game, and while you’ll recognize some of the things Pyramid Head does in it as actual scenes from the game, the backgrounds in which they take place are fucking disturbing. Apparently the dark side of Silent Hill was going to play a much bigger role than it did in the final product, and in retrospectit really sucks that they felt the need to tone down the content.

Edit: Whoa, I should mention that the link is worksafe, but the movies are definitely not. Not quite porn, but way too close for any reasonable person to care.

I’d agree up until the point that the game stops being tense and just becomes incredibly frustrating.

Somehow I never went through that with Aliens V Predator, at least not until I tried replaying the Alien missions recently, but I did with System Shock 2 (before the absolutely essential patch). The crew’s audio logs and ghost encounters were extremely cool, but constantly trying to repair my broken weapons while battling zombies that kept attacking me in mid-really-cool-audio-log-playback like so many orcs emerging from a Gauntlet monster generator was not fun.

I actually feel that Silent Hill 2 has an excellent, well thought out storyline. The only problem is you have to read the 120K plot guide on gamefaqs to fully comprehend it all. Here’s a nice quote which contains spoilers.

The dark forces of Silent Hill knew that James wanted to suffer for what he’d done, and have tricked him into coming here. Maria represents everything that James wished Mary could be: charming, seductive, and pleasant. Silent Hill created Maria to fill James wish, so that he would remain there with her forever. That is why Maria’s goal seems to revolve around making James stay with her and Protect her. But Silent Hill is also what you bring with you. Just like when James stares into the mirror at the very beginning of the game. Being in Silent Hill is like staring into a dark mirror, only the person’s inner demons are manifested and made real. In Silent Hill, the past is not something you can forget, it is made physical and it can bite you in the ass. That is why James has been fighting monsters, and why all of the puzzles he’s been solving and all of the memos he’s been reading seem to bear personal messages for James alone. Quite frankly, James is the only character that has seen monsters, and he is the only one that has seen Maria. Notice how Maria is never around when James runs into Laura? This is probably because the little girl either wouldn’t have been able to see Maria, or she would have seen that she was only a cheap and hideous facsimile of Mary, created to entrap James. Maria is someone for James to love, who will love him back. In all respects, she is a perfect copy of Mary. She even has many of the same memories. But she is also here to haunt James, and that is why he is forced to watch her die repeatedly, while he remains helpless. Just like what happened with Mary, Silent Hill is determined to make James suffer for what he’s done, and to make him face the fact that he is a murderer just like Eddie and Angela. The entire town is like a perfect reflection of the past, where things that you don’t like are changed to suit your liking. But the intentions are purely evil, since the forces in control
of the town hail from the Satanic realm. The dark secrets a man hides in his soul are the food that the demons of Silent Hill crave, and this town has tricked him into returning here so that it may compound and feast upon his misery.

Where do the vomitting zombies of No Fear come into it? A physical manifestation of the time he skipped out on the cheque at Denny’s?

That one’s easy. Those are representations of his wife. They’re deformed, like she was due to the disease, they’re vomiting, much like you can probably assume she was… they’re symbolic of what the disease did to his wife. When he kills a zombie, he’s basically…

whoops, SPOILERS! highlight the rest of this post to read on, be sure not to quote it if you don’t want to read it…

[color=#eeeeee]reliving the moment where he mercy-killed his wife. That’s the evil nature of the town, making him suffer through that pain time and time again, although for quite a while he has no idea what’s going on because he’s deluded himself so thoroughly about the circumstances surrounding Mary’s death.[/color]

I guess Jazar wanted to link to this Silent Hill 2 plot guide, but fell victim to the now evil url tags:

(you might have to copy&paste since Gamefaqs doesn’t like direct links)

whoops. I should’ve checked that. Thanks

I’ve seen more merciful…

Maybe I’m just a sissy girly-man, but I found Parasite Eve scary. As further evidence of my sissyness, Silent Hill made me put down the controller and walk away for a little bit.

Alone in the Dark
System Shock
Thief: The Dark Project (not horror but very scary at times)

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Has anyone here ever heard of The Dark Eye? Its not so much a game as an interactive computer experience that controls kind of like a game, but it was by far the scariest experience I’ve ever had, movie, book or game. There were so many times when I just had to stop and wanted desperately never to play it again, but went back to it out of sheer curiosity. That game is totally evil. I don’t tend to be that thick-skinned to horror, but I’m not a total wuss either.

Something about The Dark Eye was just a little too insane, it was like one of those dreams where you feel like you’re trapped in them and you can’t get out and this is reality now, and sense and certainty and a feeling of security is completely gone. It was like eating my hand with a fork while chatting with someone’s head I’d just torn off with a crowbar. Something relatively normal like a camera angle

In any case, I don’t think ever been so completely kerblinkered and frightened by anything else. Even thinking about it makes my heart rate and blood pressure go up. The only thing that ever came close is Kamaitachi no Yoru, or Kamaitachi Night. The kamaitachi is a mythological creature that is like an invisible cutting monster that slices people to pieces and the only way you can tell its around is a certain noise it makes when its preparing to cut you to pieces. The genius of this game was that the danger wasn’t so much the “kamaitachi” as the people you were trapped with (its one of those cliche trapped in a house with a bad thing on the loose horror stories at first) who driven insane by the fear and starting doing extremely bizarre self-destructive things. The image of the girl who locked herself in the bathroom and started cutting out her stomach and innards with a knife and feeding them bit by bit into the toilet, stirring the blood and bits of body around with her finger and licking it while chanting children songs isn’t going to live me anytime soon. What was cool is the different endings, where it isn’t clear whether you were the prepetrator of the original crimes or out of your mind or there really was a kamaitachi. One way or another its very hard to not earn the ending where you are forced to mercilessly slaughter your best friend out of madness. Sick, sick game. I will forever remember how much it disturbed me.

By the way, a Fatal Frame review in English is up: Yeah its IGN, but it looks like they’re the only ones so far.


I don’t know, I found the mansion absolutely terrifying. Maybe it’s latent agoraphobia. Large spaces behind me I can’t see, creaky noises from upstairs when nobody should be there. More than one of the jump scare hallucinations were memorable, too – I was playing at night when I ran into the one I think you’re talking about, and as I went off to bed afterwards, I was thinking “oh shit, I have to go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I don’t want to go in there …”

I see a couple of other scary mansion games mentioned here; I’ll have to try them out.