Okay, so I’m probably the most pansy-assed 19-year-old in the world. This is likely not the kind of thing you should talk about in a weblog, but I feel particularly self-ironic right now, so I’ll be fine. Seems to me most video games these days have parts of varying length that are designed to be scary. This poses a problem to me, since I don’t really like being scared by video games. I can handle scary movies, I’ll just turn the sound off when it gets really bad. I very much enjoy reading scary books such as Lovecraft stories, it’s different… less visual. I don’t mind being freaked out, I just don’t enjoy the sight of blood and entrails too much, so scary books are quite fine. But video games… that’s the worst. You’re not seeing something scary happening to somebody, you’re EXPERIENCING something scary happening to you. Important difference.
Me: He– hello?
*A flock of sinister ravens take off in a sinister way, making sinister sounds in the process*
*Zombie jumps out through a wall, wooden splinters flying in all directions as it appears*
Me: AAAAAAAAAAAH! *Faints*
Zombie: Mmmm… tasty brains…
*Zombie eats my unconscious brain*
So, obviously there are some games I just don’t buy. I’d love to try out System Shock 2 once, but it’s a horror game, and thus automatically banned from my collection. Playing Doom 3 never even entered the vicinity of my considerations, I watched a friend play it for an hour or so, and that was quite enough Scary for me, thank you. But there are games that I just have to buy, even if they contain Scariness. Some of them are even games that are built around general scariness, such as Vampire: Bloodlines. In games like this, I generally get through them by summoning friends to help me through the really creepy parts. Here’s a list of the most recent games where I needed help to play through. It will contain minor spoilers.
Vampire: Bloodlines – Remarkably, I got through the Oceanview Hotel merely by being in the company of my mum; she thought it was a very well-made and exciting level. For the Tsimisce mansion, I had to get a friend to play through that entire level for me, the walls made of human skin and dripping blood kinda got to me. The werewolf-chase in the observatory was completed for me by another friend, but I think it freaked him out as much as it did me; even though it was his second time through that level.
Thief: Deadly Shadows – Here, I needed the assistance of the same friend who did the Tsimisce mansion in Bloodlines for me: First he took care of the Abysmal Gale for me, I had some problems with the undead. Later he returned to play the entire Cradle level for me, and I have never seen the man so scared in my life (he was the one who showed me Doom 3, and I think he was far more freaked out by the Cradle than by all of Doom 3 put together). He was also with me when I completed the game, those last levels were kinda creepy in their own right, although they didn’t even begin to compare to the Cradle.
And now Half-Life 2. Sad, isn’t it? But true, I’m afraid. Torsten is coming over tomorrow to offer emotional support while I attempt to make it through Ravenholm with my sanity in good shape. Time will tell if I’ll ever complete this game.
Ironically, The Nameless Mod has several levels designed to give the player the creeps. Designed by me. Bleh.