It’s that time of the year again, when we masochists pay tribute and give thanks to all things that left us screaming for mother and replacing our favourite pants. Year after year, game developers have been finding new and enhanced ways of scaring us silly.
After all, with more horror games you play, the more desensitised you’d be, right? Nope. You’d still get a panic attack by that sneaky little rodent scampering around a corner. Or a bad case of the willies when that apparition does a full-on Exorcist twist. Or even by your own shadow.
Someone must have made a game developer really mad for him to be making a living out of frightening people.
Clock Tower: The First Fear (1997)
The old game’s graphics might be showing its age these days, but the Japanese have always sent us screaming away.
Featuring Edward Scissorhands gone wrong, the point-and-click survival horror sees Jennifer trapped in a mansion while trying to find her foster mother and friends. Discovering the dark truth while getting chased around by Bobby, Clock Tower: The First Fear is indubitably second to none.
Skip to 3:50 and you'll see Jennifer entering a room full of dressed mannequins. At first, a mannequin’s head falls off, and we shrugged the jolt off. Then, the mannequin beside it falls over, with Bobby standing in its place.
[Video credit: Toa of Animation]
Resident Evil 2 (1998)
In many ways, the Resident Evil series was the genesis of the horror games industry in a time when most people looked towards cinematics for a good old scare. Despite it being one of the best games in its time, RE2’s camera and controls were still clunky and awkward, giving our panic meters a clean headstart every time a mutant enters our sights.
Leon runs along a few hallways to reach a metal door in what seems to be an interrogation room. After picking up some really invaluable items, a Licker suddenly springs through the one-way mirror, shattering the glass, and our composure.
[Video credit: Fish ‘N Bicycle Videos]
Fatal Frame ll: Crimson Butterfly (2003)
The second instalment of the Fatal Frame franchise follows a pair of twin sisters, Mio and Mayu, in an abandoned village. While you mostly play as Mio through the game, the addition of a twin sister adds a level of emotional complexity through the game.
As more secrets unravel, Mayu gets increasingly affected by the hauntings and spirits in the village, leading her to have some really disturbing behaviour.
You get to meet Sae for the first time, and it isn’t all handshakes and greetings. Entering the Great Hall, bodies are strewn everywhere as Sae, clad in a bloody kimono, sends chills to the nape of our necks with her deranged, maniacal laughter.
[Video credit: RelyonHorror]