We all love a good horror video game. It’s becoming one of the most successful of game genres, with people flocking to play the latest scary episode of a series, for example. But for every Silent Hill game there are, chilling elements in non-scary games that actually has a section or two in it that will genuinly send chills down your spine.
A true landmark game, and one that cemented the Rockstar game factory as a legend in developer circles. The game attracted quite a lot of controversy anyway (games where you run around shooting people tend to do that) but one of the most exciting aspects was the genuinely creepy moment right in the middle of the game.
Head up to Mount Gordo for the mission it holds, and you’ll eventually meet a ghost. It's a lady that will stay in your mind for a long time after playing the game.
In Gone Home, which is actually a reasonably pleasant diversion from horror in general, there is a basement. And in that basement there is nothing short of a terrifyingly chilling atmosphere. It's part of the story, and you have to visit the basement if you want to complete the game.
Once you are down there, you’ll feel like something awful is going to happen. It actually doesn't, but the suspense and fear present is enough to give you nightmares.
Everyone loved playing this game. It had bullet-time physics, and plenty of gore. All of that is tied up into a glorious package by a truly gripping story.
When Payne’s family is murdered, he sets out for revenge like an early version of John Wick on steroids. But at one point he’s given a drug that makes him relive those tragic events. It’s awful, nightmareis at times, and genuinely unsettling.
Metal Gear Solid 2
This is one of those games that you don't really expect to scare you senseless, but it does. And it does it so well.
No ghouls and ghosts here, just the frantic ramblings of an insane colonel. He sounds like a demon, babbling away, and his skull-like face doesn't help things either. It's A head trip, and one that you’ll wish was over sooner. It is one of the most chilling elements in non-scary games.
This is not a horror game, in fact it's more of a fantasy role-playing experience. It is incredibly difficult to play, but it's also definitely not a horror game. Until you come to a particular place in the game, a small place called Oolacile, and when you get there you hear the screams of all the inhabitants of the village over the wind. It's a terrifying moment and quite clearly one that is meant to scare..
The GTA series is rightly seen as an absolute legend in the world of gaming. This particular title in the sequence is also great fun and set in a city that is plainly the meant to be New York City. Instead of the Statue of Liberty we get the statue of happiness in this game. But if you do get into the statue of happiness, you will see that the heart of the Statue is literally a beating heart, suspended in chains. There was some seriously weird and walked thinking going on with the developers creating this particular part of the game.
Yes, Minecraft. Possibly the most friendly game on the planet, and one that children of all ages can play. If you find yourself in a cave at any point during the game, and we do not recommend that you try this in the night or early hours, you will hear a selection of some of the weirdest sounds you've ever heard in a video game. It's a true horror moment, and has actually been known to prevent some players from entering caves in the Minecraft world.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Another iconic character, and also one of the characters that you don't really expect to have too much horror attached to their game. Right in the middle of this game, which happens to contain some of the most nasty characters ever created in the Batman universe, there's a horrible surprise that should give you chills.
The section we are talking about happens in the morgue, and it's one of our most chilling elements in non-scary Games. Here, you see a sequence where Bruce Wayne's parents taunt him from the grave. On top of that, you meet the Scarecrow, who lives and survives on fear alone. That should tell you all you need to know but it's a genuinely creepy sequence.
One of the first true first-person shooters, the Half-Life series has since kind of melted away in history. But all players who picked up a copy of this remember a certain place called Ravenholme. It's just creepy, and it's not meant as horror, just more as unsettling atmospherics. It's easily does the job, and the feeling you first get when you wander there will stay with you forever.
The granddaddy of space first-person shooters, and some say the beginning of what would later become Destiny, Halo had a third episode that contained a prehistoric family that lived in a cave. It was completely and utterly incongruous to the game, and just some kind of twisted reminder where we all come from. They did nothing, other than sit there and you could look at them for ages and become slightly scared and uneasy, or you could shoot them. Guess what most people did?