I had my first gaming genre betrayal at the end of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I'd been enjoying the pace of the game, with the occasional action section broken up by scavenging for treasure, or climbing steep cliff faces. I loved the playing through the Indiana Jones-esq thrills. But then came that German bunker section.
Suddenly, I found myself being hunted through dark, winding corridors by twisted creatures I can only describe as Gollum's overly-aggressive cousins. Uncharted took a completely unexpected turn from goofy adventure to full on horror game and I can only hope my neighbors didn't hear me screaming at the TV.
And Uncharted isn't the only game with a surprise horror section.
Recently, the market for #SurvivalHorror games has been booming. Huge titles such as Alien Isolation and #ResidentEvilVII have succeeded in petrifying horror fans around the globe with their tense, gripping, and downright frightening gameplay.
However, some people don't find it particularly fun to sit on the couch, filling their newly-bought adult diaper as they experience every adrenaline-pumping jump-scare in Resident Evil VII. These people may instead want to play a more relaxing game, or at least a game which isn't trying to make them scream in terror at every twist and turn.
But then, the game you trusted, the game that was meant to relax you, stabs you in the back by surprising you suddenly with a terrifying level. You're not ready for it, you never expect it to happen, but there's nothing you can do but play on, drenched in cold sweat.
Here are five of the scariest moments in non-horror games:
'Batman Arkham Knight' - Joker Sequence
Batman Arkham Knight sees players take control of the titular hero, Batman, in the final chapter of Rocksteady Studios' celebrated Arkham Trilogy. Most of the time, in a game where you play as a badass gadget-wielding superhero with muscles that rival Arnold Schwarzenegger's, you'd probably never expect to be scared. I mean, you're literally Batman, and he's not exactly the type of person that scares easy.
Unfortunately, Arkham Knight knows that you feel a little too comfortable as the apex predator, so in a terrible twist it decides to turn the tables on players near the end of the game by instead turning them into the Dark Knight's vulnerable prey. Not cool Rocksteady, not cool...
In the level, players control the Joker in a first person shooter sequence as he tears through enemies with his trusty shotgun. However, just when you feel like you're safe, all of a sudden you're thrown a cruel curveball as you find yourself hunted relentlessly by #Batman himself. Man, talk about unlucky!
The atmosphere as you progress through the level is truly unnerving, and it gives a perfect glimpse into the unsettling, tense, and creepy ways in which Batman stalks his enemies. The creepiest moment by far, however, is when the Joker finds himself in a room with a number of Batman statues, which move and duplicate every time they're out of sight. No matter how many you destroy, there's always more right behind you, getting closer by the second.
That's right, Batman Arkham Knight took the Weeping Angels from #DoctorWho and gave them capes and bat ears, and it's scarier than you'd think.
'Fallout 4' - The Museum Of Witchcraft
When you sit down and load up #Fallout4, what you expect is that in no time at all you'll be wandering aimlessly through the broken beauty of the Commonwealth wasteland, whistling along to your Pip-Boy radio as you ocassionally stop to loot a building, shout at your dog, or blow a ghoul's head off. It's all good fun, well, until you find The Museum of Witchcraft of course...
Even from the outside, The Museum of Witchcraft is an intimidating structure. Its rough, gothic exterior is complete with spike-tipped wrought iron gates, murky stained-glass windows, and menacing old wooden doors inviting you to explore the horrors within. So yeah, it's pretty creepy.
You can find this building in the North-East corner of the map, near the town of Salem. To enter, go to the side of the building and find the soldier's dead body, and follow the instructions from there.
Now, spoiling too much about this quest would be a terrible shame. The atmosphere inside the Museum is tense and spine-chilling, and for a few minutes you'll feel as though you've accidentally loaded up #ResidentEvilVII instead of Fallout 4! Basically, you might wanna bring your brown pants...
'Halo: Combat Evolved' - The Flood
When players first powered up their original #Xbox consoles to play Halo: Combat Evolved, they didn't expect to be scared out of their wits. What they expected was a futuristic first person shooter, played in the shoes of Master Chief, the genetically modified super-soldier fighting back the evil forces of the Covenant. And for over half of the game, that's exactly what they got...
...and then came The Flood.
Just over halfway through the game, everybody's favourite AI, Cortana, sends players on a dangerous mission to extract Captain Jacob Keyes, who has gone missing whilst searching for a weapons cache to fight the #Covenant. However, upon arrival in the facility, players find that all is not as it seems.
In one of the biggest plot twists in gaming history, players soon found out that the real threat was not the Covenant, but The Flood. These parasitic aliens had been released accidentally by the Covenant, and they would stop at nothing to infect the entire universe.
This section of the game delivered true terror to players, who had grown accustomed to comfortably sitting at the top of the food chain in the confident shoes of Master Chief. The sudden realisation that even supreme-badass Master Chief may have met his match had raw, unrelenting fear coursing through the veins of each and every player, and to this day it's still remembered as one of the scariest moments from the incredibly successful #Halo series.
'Bioshock Infinite' - Boys of Silence
The Boys of Silence are some of the creepiest enemies from 2013's highly-rated action game, Bioshock Infinite. Arguably seen as Irrational Games' masterpiece, before their studio's heartbreaking closure, the game had huge shoes to fill as it took a different spin on its incredible predecessors, #Bioshock and Bioshock 2.
Luckily, the risk of moving from the submerged dystopia of Rapture to the war-torn sky city of Columbia paid off, as Bioshock Infinite achieved stellar reviews across the board. One thing that particularly stood out in the game was the variety of creative and horrifying enemies which players had to face as they navigated the cobbled streets of Columbia. However, some of the enemies which stood out the most from the teaser trailers were the Boys of Silence.
What makes these boys so scary are their quirky helmets, which amplify their sense of hearing. These enemies are locked into the helmets from a young age, and forced to act as watchmen for Comstock House, which is strange, seeing as they have no eyeholes...
During the Comstock House section of the game, players must avoid the eerie Boys of Silence as they creep through creaking corridors and dimly-lit rooms. However, the scariest moment by far comes near the end of the level. As players flick a switch to deactivate a lock, they turn around to be faced by a Boy of Silence who was standing right behind them, who then screams loudly and sounds the alarm.
This sudden jumpscare was reminiscent of a similar moment in the original Bioshock, where players were also surprised after turning around to find an enemy just behind them. But, rather than noticing this cool little throwback to the first game, most players just swore loudly at the screen, and can you really blame them? Those helmets look creepy as hell!
'Uncharted: Drake's Fortune' - German Bunker
The Uncharted series tells the story of Nathan Drake, a wise-cracking treasure hunter with an unfortunate habit of getting himself into a variety of life-threatening situations. Developed by the acclaimed Naughty Dog game studio, whose other notable works include Crash Bandicoot and The Last of Us, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune promised players an epic, action-packed adventure as they tried to find the ancient lost treasure of El Dorado.
However, in the later sections of the game, players discover that the treasure of El Dorado comes with a terrible curse, one which transforms its victims into bloodthirsty mutants! But after finding out the terrible truth behind the curse, players found themselves trapped in a WWII-era German bunker, infested with these man-eating creatures.
The dark, confined corridors of the bunker provide a perfect backdrop for the monsters' attack, as they lurk in shadowed corners, or crawl quickly towards the player as they try to hold them off with a very limited amount of ammo. The entire level is a total change of pace from the rest of the game, and the heart-pounding escape from the bunker is a moment which has undoubtedly burned itself into the memories of #Uncharted fans to this day.
Which other moments in non-horror games scared you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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