Survival horror- the words alone make some gamers cringe in fear and turn on their favorite episode of Dora the Explorer. To others however, these words are a dare. Unable to resist the call of duty, many gamers such as myself, live for these horrifying challenges.
Whether you’re using Isaac’s mining tools in Dead Space to dismember legions of Necromorphs, or crying whilst running for your life in the awful world that is Amnesia, no genre provides that same rush that survival horror does.
Ever since I was a child I have loved survival horror titles. Silent Hill didn’t just help my mom realize that you shouldn’t buy your young son ANY game; it helped me realize that games can be truly terrifying.
Unlike movies, you can’t look away during a game or cover your eyes, you have to live the fear the character is experiencing. That said, many of them as of late have been laughably bad, using poor camera angles and cheap thrills as an attempt to capture terror.
In honor of those that do succeed, and in the spirit of Halloween, I present to you my list of the top five creatures that make me risk ruining my favorite jeans.
5.) The Flamelurker- Demon’s Souls
While not a traditional survival horror title, Demon’s Souls is still one of the most terrifying games I have played. Every creature in Demon’s Souls was created with the sole intention of ending your life. That said, none of the enemies in Demon’s Souls come close to inducing the kind of terror the Flamelurker is capable of.
After the somewhat easy beginning of Act 2 you find yourself before a boss gate. Upon entering the gate you are greeted with a cinematic during which the Flamelurker not only ignites himself, but leaps from the ceiling with the grace of a two-ton Natalie Portman.
As soon as the cinematic ends he simply runs towards you with terrifying velocity. By the time I realized what was happening and had picked my jaw up from my lap, I was already being clawed to death. When he’s not swinging his enormous claws at you he also enjoys detonating himself like a bomb, and long walks on the beach.
It is not only his horrid appearance, but also his speed and strength that secure him spot number five. Did I mention he is on fire?
4.) The Pack- Dead Space 2
Dead Space has quickly become a household name in terms of survival horror…okay maybe not household. Known for its disgusting enemies, the Necromorphs, Dead Space truly is one of a kind. What makes matters worse is that many of the enemies not only look horrific, they simply keep coming, dismemberment be damned.
So which one of the many creatures takes the cake for Dead Space? Why the one who looks the least, well, dead.
Known simply as “The Pack,” these little fellas are the worst. Not only do they look like miniature albino Lex Luthors, they also run incredibly fast, travel in groups, and tend to climb on your face.
Despite the fact that they die in one shot from just about anything, they still manage to incite terror, as they are rather good at sneaking up on you by the dozen. These awful traits combined have helped them scamper their way to spot number four.
3.) Zombie- ZombiU
The zombie- nature’s greatest creation. If you turn on your television right now, odds are you can find one somewhere. They’ve never been more popular than they are right now, whether it is on television, in video games, or in your backyard.
ZombiU, arguably the most popular launch title for Nintendo’s latest console, decided to try its hand at zombies as well. Donning no bells or whistles, most of ZombiU’s zombies are plain and simple zombies, in all their rotten, blood thirsty glory. Despite having nothing flashy about them however, the zombies in ZombiU are damn scary.
Upon sighting you they often let out a shrill screeching sound. This not only lets other zombies know where to find you, but also makes your heart hurt a little. They then proceed with shuffling towards you at a rather quick pace, not stopping until they have eaten your face, or you have smashed theirs.
Paying homage to the classic zombies in appearance, while sporting the quick speed of modern zombies, these undead bastards have earned their place at number three.
2.) The Creeper- Minecraft
What is he looking at? Why does he look so devoid of emotion? Is that the shape of his mouth, or his nose too?
Similar to a mobile Rorschach test, the creeper is prevalent to causing great emotions to arise from people…and he explodes. Perhaps the most iconic creature or item from the hit indie title Minecraft, the creeper has become quite the celebrity. While he may look silly in all his pixelated glory, he is anything but.
The creeper moves without making any noise, steadily making his way towards you. Once he has gotten close enough to hit first base with you, he lets out a lovely hissss, and then promptly explodes. As if killing you isn’t bad enough, his explosion often results in hours of building being undone, and he ruins your yard.
Even if you manage to get the jump on the creeper you still have to hit and run, otherwise he will sing his song and explode, lest you run away. Nobody else in gaming history has been so skilled at the art of property damage, and it is because of that that he ‘creeped’ his way to second place.
1.) Lisa Trevor- Resident Evil (2002)
Resident Evil is one of the most popular survival horror titles ever. Despite their latest (and far from greatest) iterations, it still manages to be one of the best-selling survival horror series. Spanning over 20 titles, there are many enemies for one to love, hate, fear, and get slaughtered by. So which character takes the cake?
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the scariest Resident Evil character and number one on my list of abominations: Lisa Trevor.
Lisa Trevor may look like nothing more than a malnourished, mutated, shackled girl, but she is much more. Making her appearance in the 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil, Lisa Trevor is an absolute terror.
Throughout the entirety of the game, the player is able to hear wails echo down the hallways. These continue for hours, looming over you and reminding you that you are far from alone. As you get closer to the source of the noise, you can hear chains rattling back and forth, as someone shambles down the hallways.
Once you finally encounter Miss Trevor, you see what has been causing all of this noise. Sporting designer rags and wooden shackles on her hands, Lisa looks absolutely wild and terrifying. As if this wasn’t enough, years of hauling around wooden shackles on her hands have made her arms rather strong, meaning she packs quite the punch. She’s also surprisingly quick for someone with their feet chained together. These two characteristics leave her very efficient at killing you and looking like the stuff of nightmares.
By haunting the player hours before even making her appearance on screen, Lisa Trevor has earned her place at number one. It’s also worth noting you can’t kill her…with anything. To make matter worse, she rejected my flowers.
There you have it folks. Ranging from flaming demons, to mutant tweens with mommy issues, survival horror has it all. The gaming horizon is rather grim for survival horror titles at the moment, but you can guarantee I will keep my eyes to the sky and my keyboard and controllers ready for the next terrifying challenge. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Dora to watch.