As a special treat for the final week before Halloween, some of our friends have graciously contributed spooky posts for your reading pleasure. The first of the wicked writings comes from my good friend Jeremy, who is a battle-hardened veteran of so many PC shooters. A top tier virtual gunman, Jeremy has a frightful tale of a game that caused him many a restless night. Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!
There are many games that try to frighten their players, anywhere from a general sense of unease to actual horror. Many of these games accomplish that goal, but very few leave any lasting effect on the player. For me, the game with the most vivid and terrifying images stuck in my brain was First Encounter Assault Recon, or F.E.A.R. (aptly named), a game about a black ops unit dedicated to the supernatural.
The whole game had an eerie feeling, and was best played with headphones in a dark room. A fairly large chunk of the story takes place in an old facility used for covert psychic warfare experimentation, so the game is rife with dark hallways, random noises, and otherworldly flashbacks to set the mood. There were jump scares aplenty, but the most frightening moments were always delivered in slow motion. Any time things started to slow down, my pulse would start to speed up. I knew something was about to happen.
One such instance still haunts me to this day. The whole sequence begins by following dead soldiers that disintegrate as they walk, bits just floating into the air and evaporating. That is creepy enough. Past these ghouls is a room with a skeleton on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood and gore. “What happened to this guy?” You wonder. “I hope I don’t meet whatever bad mamma jamma gibbed him.” But you continue on, ‘cause you ain’t skeered.
You jump over a rail into a normal looking hallway. Within an instant, the end of the hallway is engulfed in flames, and directly in the center is a creepy little girl. Both girl and flames move towards you, everything dragging in slow motion, so you know you are screwed. Shooting her does no good as she staggers closer and the flames explode around you. You are well-and-truly boned, and may need a change of underwear.