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7 of the Scariest Creatures in Gaming (and How to Kill Them)

Video games have the capacity to be the scariest medium. They can be scarier than film (which uses visceral imagery and compelling audio) and scarier than literature (which is powered by the imagination).

 

The interactivity inherent to video games, represented by player agency and choice, puts the player in the role of the protagonist. This central position gives gamers a front-seat view of the action, putting them directly in the haunted house, a cruise ship with no way out, or in the path of a serial killer.

 

Games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Dead Space have become some of the most famous examples of the horror medium. Their enduring popularity through the decades is testament to their effectiveness. The gloomy settings, bleak atmosphere, and pervading sound work are only part of the equation. These games’ mechanics, in their disempowering of the character, play a huge part as well.

 

But it is the enemies, the ones terrorizing the player, who are primarily responsible for striking fear into the hearts of players. Let’s take a look at some of the most fearsome characters in gaming, and how to take them down.

 

1.     Tank (Left 4 Dead)

“TANK!”

 

Eavesdrop on any Left 4 Dead session and this is the most common word you’ll hear—outside of expletives and cries of agony. This Special Infected is a hulking great zombie, bigger than any other Infected in the game. Instead of shuffling aimlessly towards you, the Tank is able to pick up cars and throw them at you, among other devastating attacks (like picking up and throwing you, which is capable of killing you instantly). It’s no wonder a yell of “Tank!” is enough to put the fear of god into any Left 4 Dead player.

 

l4d tank

'Nuff Said.

 

BONUS:

How the heck do you beat a beast like this? Most people just run away from it, shooting as they go, but if you want to take it out yourselves, you’ll have to use squad tactics.

 

Use a pipe bomb to attract regular infected away, and blast away uninterrupted at the Tank. There are four of you and one of it, so use your ever-so-delicious brains to spot its patterns and outwit it.

 

2.     Nurse (Silent Hill)

Video games have been criticized for their misogynistic portrayal of women, but there aren’t many things more disturbing than the Silent Hill Nurse. Her faceless head, unnatural movements, and the sexual imagery of nurses in general combine for a discomfiting enemy.

 

silent hill nurse

They also do mean Pop Locks.

 

BONUS:

Getting away from the Nurse is incredibly difficult. They are alerted to sound, so running for it won’t work. You’ll have to sneak past them, or risk facing an entire horde of faceless harpies.

 

3.     Diablo (Diablo III)

The Lord of Darkness himself. Just look at him. He looks like hell spawn mixed with a Xenomorph. Diablo is the stuff of many an adolescent nightmare. The final boss of the game, he presents a considerable—and terrifying—threat to those who are unprepared.

 

diablo

Wetting your pants since the 90s

 

BONUS:

You may have to spend all of your gold to get gear and equipment needed to kill Diablo, as he has insane health. The good news is, he has no special traits or resistances.

 

Keep his attacks in mind—like the Ground Stomp, Ring of Fire, Hell Spikes, and Overdrive—and you’ll be able to avoid most of them while getting some damage in yourself. Remember to hit and run, and you’ll have a notch in your belt for Diablo in no time.

 

4.     Crimson Head (Resident Evil)

Older gamers will have traumatic memories of the Crimson Heads in Resident Evil. They could sneak through doors, and take a ridiculous amount of ammo to kill. And in Resident Evil, there really isn’t enough ammo to go around. That sound it makes as it creeps up on you will inspire terror for years to come.

 

crimson head

They changed the definition of "Red Heads" in gaming

 

BONUS:

While you can try to kill Crimson Head with loads of ammo, you can take the smart route and remove its head. Use the shotgun, handgun, or the magnum to disable it. Alternately, you can prevent Crimson Heads from appearing in the first place by killing them with fire.

 

5.     Witch (Left 4 Dead)

While the Tank is overtly terrifying, wreaking havoc while it decimates your team, the Witch is the silent killer. One bullet in its direction will trigger its attentions, making it ready to rip you a new one. Its shriek is one of the most dreaded sounds in the game as well.

 

l4d witch

"Got beef with me, puto?"

 

BONUS:

Similar tactics can be used in fighting the Witch as the Tank. But you also have to account for the fact that the Witch favors cramped spaces, giving her many more chances to kill each and every member of your team. Aim for the head with a shotgun!

 

6.     Slender Man (Slender)

The scariest enemies are the ones you can’t see until it’s too late. Throughout your journey through Slender, the eponymous Slender Man is always at your periphery, subtly influencing your movements and the paths you take. His presence is indicated by continuously increasing static on your screen, adding to the creep factor.

 

slender man

I know there's a pun on corporate people here somewhere...

 

BONUS:

Slender Man cannot be killed, which makes him all the more scary. Even if you finish the game, gathering all eight pages, he remains, ready to haunt you for all time. The expanding lore and the culture that surrounds his mythos make him a truly terrifying figure.

 

7.     Creeper (Minecraft)

Some of the most terrifying enemies aren’t in horror games. When monsters appear in otherwise colorful and creative titles, it makes them all the more terrifying. After you spend the entire day making your megacities in Minecraft, there’s nothing worse than hearing that dreaded hissing noise that signals the arrival of a Creeper, who will promptly explode, destroying your creations... and you.

 

creeper anime girl

She certainly likes to blow up buildings. IYKWIM.

 

BONUS:

There’s really no avoiding the Creeper, unless you turn on the easiest difficulty level. Be on the lookout for its telltale hiss, and make sure to keep yourself armed with a bow. When the Creeper appears, run away and shoot it until it explodes. It may blow up parts of your buildings, but at least you remain alive.

 

These are just some of the most horrifying enemies in video games. Facing off against them, assuming that you can overcome the terror, will add to your fearless gamer cred. Are there other characters that have made you piss your pants? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

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