Video games are filled with a large variety of enemies that need to be killed or defeated, some are rather soft and easy to deal with, while others cause you to lose control of your bowels, all create memorable experiences of fear and exhilaration. In my mind the key to a truly terrifying game is atmosphere and tension but of course fear in games can come in the form of startles and jump scares. Regardless of the method, all successful horror games include horrifying and disturbing creatures that hunt or stalk the weary protagonists. From meat hook throwing crawlers to spike ridden giants, each of these creatures puts a deep uneasiness in our psyches. And in return, we put bullets in their heads. Here’s a list of the ten scariest, most violent, and weirdest creatures I’ve had the pleasure of dismembering. Enjoy!
If it wasn’t for guns, the Deathclaws would be the apex predators of the spent American wastelands. They are fast, lithe, extremely dangerous hunters that burst forth from piles of rubble or deserted buildings. Their skin is nearly bulletproof and they are constantly pissed off. In a land full of mutation, depravity, and hopelessness, these enormous, vile reptiles hunt in small packs with incredible success. They are led by the Deathclaw Matriarch, a territorial and powerful alpha female. But regardless of gender, size, or disposition, Deathclaws exist to kill and they scare the heck outta me. Make sure you have a good supply of Stimpaks if your unfortunate enough to run into these bastards.
Lickers (Resident Evil)
If the zombie was simply damaged sufficiently and left to rot, however, the T-Virus will eventually begin to run rampant in their bodies, causing a new transformation whereby they become Crimson Heads. If the Crimson Heads – already far faster than the average zombie — are similarly left to their own devices they’ll begin to mutate further, eventually gaining extended tongues, large claws and brains outside their heads. They’ll also lose their eyes in exchange for incredible advances in hearing. Thus a Licker is born.
Crawling on all fours, both on the ground and on walls and ceilings, Lickers hunt using their ears. Once they’ve located prey they’ll dart forward and use their spear-like tongue to capture survivors, either killing them with their claws or using their tongues to decapitate you. They do let off hissing groans from time to time, so if you stop in a room and listen for a while you may hear the Licker before it hears you.
The Mannequins (Condemned: Criminal Origins)
Condemned was one of those games that just really knew how to create atmosphere and get inside your head, it would turn the simplest things into the worst of nightmares. So when these faceless entities kept inexplicably appearing round every corner and seemingly follow your every move, you can’t help feel an overwhelming anxiety about their next move. Several mannequins appear to follow you around in the department store level, even completely encircling you when you fall into a dark pit, they never actually attack you but still there was just something disturbing about the way that they seemed so lifeless and yet once your back was turned…
Nurses (Silent Hill Series)
In the Silent Hill games, monsters are created by the town itself, it acts as a mirror of an individual’s anxieties and fears. Due to the recurring themes of hospitalization, insanity, and death, each game features at some point a trip to one of Silent Hill’s hospitals and once inside the hospital, the player will encounter monsters manifested by the town which resemble malformed, disfigured nurses.
These iconic ladies are some of the most disturbing representations of torture ever seen in any form of media. Their faceless, fleshy heads and lack of clothing have become legendary in the gaming world, and for very good reason. The creatures of Silent Hill are varied and awful, but the Nurses twisted appearance and affection for needles make them the creepiest of the bunch. At first glance, you may want to run. But if you do, my advice would be for you to do it very, very quietly. They are alerted by sound, and having a group of twitchy, kinda sexy nurses chasing you down can be extremely damaging to the psyche.
Spider Splicer (Bioshock)
Splicers are the main enemies within the BioShock and BioShock 2 series. The remains of Rapture’s human population, they are the result of the violent conflict during the Rapture War. During this war and the chaotic days that followed, the Splicers apparently murdered most of the sane population of the city. Due to large amounts of ADAM consumption, their bodies and minds became deformed beyond repair and they have become dependent on the substance, both mentally and physically.
The Spider Splicer is the first Splicer the player sees when they arrive in Rapture, although the player does not have to fight one until later in the game. These Splicers can crawl on the ceiling and throw hooks at the player from afar, which can be caught and tossed back with Telekinesis. When on the ground, the Spider Splicer will get near enough to slash the player, then quickly jump onto the ceiling or backflip away and come at them from another angle. Their ability to crawl on walls makes them difficult to hit. On top of their meaty, disfigured faces, they have elongated arms and tatty skin that hangs from their bones like old rags. To take one of these fuckers down requires a ton of ammo, and once you do, it’s likely that there will another four or five right behind you.
Iron Maiden/Regeneradores (Resident Evil 4)
Resident Evil 4 blew the world away with its magnificent creature design. And the Iron Maidens featured late in the game epitomize that. With decaying skin, a mouth full of jagged teeth, these tall monsters are slow moving, extremely difficult to kill, and lethal. If you shoot off an arm, it grows back. If you shoot out its legs, the Iron Maiden will crawl along the floor, pulling its massive remaining body right at you. Running away doesn’t even do much, as an Iron Maidens arms can stretch across a room and bring the two of you together in a deadly embrace.
Regeneradores were experimental bioweapons created by the Plaga procedure. Capable of instant regeneration, they were able to take incredible amounts of damage before finally imploding. The first one is encountered when you collect a keycard from a dead body, a Regenerador awakes in a nearby locked room. The Regenerador breaks down the door and attacks Leon. First time seeing it, most players will likely run away because of the terrifying creature’s appearance and it’s (seeming) invulnerability. Soon after you will begin to hear very eerie music and a terrifying breathing sound when one is near but you won’t know where until it’s too late.
Pyramid Head (Red Pyramid) Silent Hill
Pyramid Head, also known as the Red Pyramid, is a monster appearing in Silent Hill 2. In Silent Hill: Homecoming, a monster known as the Bogeyman closely resembles Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2. This furthers the theory that Pyramid Head is more than just a mere monster, being that he has multiple versions and is usually associated with feelings of intense remorse and therefore the desire to face retribution for an individual character’s sin(s). He is in both of the Silent Hill films as Red Pyramid, and appears in other various Silent Hill media. Pyramid Head is one of the most well-known and iconic monsters in the series.
Pyramid Head is very pale, and wears a blood-soaked butcher’s smock. His most outstanding feature, and what gives him his name, is a large, red, triangular helmet that completely covers his head. He also wears white gloves, which feature the same melted fingers feature the Nurse enemies have. Pyramid Head is known to wield a very lightweight spear, or his most famous weapon, the Great Knife. Pyramid Head has also been known to grunt and moan, and violently kills, other monsters in the games, as well as humans.
Necromorphs (Dead Space Series)
Necromorphs are the reanimated corpses of the dead, reshaped into horrific new forms by an extraterrestrial infection. The creatures are extremely aggressive, and will attack any uninfected organism on sight. Necromorphs are the main antagonists of the entire Dead Space franchise. The sole purpose of almost all Necromorphs is to acquire more bodies to convert and spread the infection.
The Necromorphs in Dead Space provide some fresh, original monsters for gamers to kill. With long slender cleaver-arms and fleet feet, the Slashers are always getting in your face, and no gun has adequate stopping power to keep them at bay. Their torn bodies are nasty and horrifying, and they have blades for arms. A single swipe can deal a lot of damage and you never know where they’ll show up.
Lisa Trevor (Resident Evil, Gamecube)
The disgusting biological experiments tried by the Umbrella Corporation are to be blamed for her hideous appearance. Her story will move you to tears, but the moment you meet her, all the pity you have for her will vanish instantly. Her grotesque face hidden behind a mask of rotten flesh, bony arms and a hunchback gives her a very disturbing appearance. Moreover, she has the ability to attack with the shackles that bind her hands and can hurl herself at enemies.
While in various parts of the mansion, the player may hear the harrowing wails and cries of Lisa, as well as read a few crude entries in her journal. She also is able to croak, “Mo…ther…” upon finding her mother’s skull. Lisa’s main attacks include hurling herself towards her enemy and hitting them with her chain and shackles. However, Lisa’s true power is immortality, as she is capable of taking huge amounts of damage and still manages to get up after an extremely short regeneration time. There were rumors that she actually became immortal from experiments and even Albert Wesker doubted if it really was worthwhile fighting her.
Ghosts (Fatal Frame/Project Zero)
The original Fatal Frame introduced the concept of the “Camera Obscura,” an old-timey styled camera that possessed the ability to drain the essences of ghosts by capturing them on film. Set in a haunted, Japanese style mansion, the game tasked with you escaping from the dilapidated, ghost-filled building armed only with said camera, and with the enemies being ghosts instead of zombies or corporeal monsters, they could literally pop out anywhere. Adding the tension was the Camera Obscura itself, which in forced you into a claustrophobic first person perspective every time you needed to deal with a ghost, which left you even more unsure of what was behind you.