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For years video games have served as the ultimate form of escapism. Forget books and movies. The interactivity of gaming has helped me personally escape to the lands of Midgar, Hyrule, the Mushroom Kingdom etc. countless times when my real life has totally sucked. That said, games also have the power to harm as well as protect. Whether it is with intent or by sheer accident, sometimes games can just freak the hell out of you. Below is a list of ten truly freaky moments in games. If any of your own personal gaming night terrors are missing, let us know in the comments below. On with the horror…
10. The mixed narratives (Assassin’s Creed 2)
(Spoiler alert!) We have some great stories being told in our games, but our narrative structures remain rather shallow in comparison to films and books. With most games adhering to the standard chronological hero’s quest structure, the Assassin’s Creed series has been markedly interesting for its split narratives. Having been used to experiencing the story of Desmond Miles and the adventures of Altair or Ezio as two entirely separate plot strands for the entirety of the first and second AC games, the ending to Assassin’s Creed 2 really put me on the back foot. More of a WTF moment than a genuine freak out, Minerva’s discussion with Desmond via Ezio was a markedly ethereal and weird segment of Assassin’s Creed 2 that really took me by surprise. (End Spoiler alert) Skip to 1:25 to see the moment of truth. Cheers to oOoMastermind for uploading the vid.
9. The power of music (Front Mission 3)
Music can be a very moving thing. This is more of a personal terror than one that many are likely to have experienced but, with a little bit of luck, my fellow Front Mission fans will know where I’m coming from. Despite its lack of mass appeal and popularity, Front Mission 3 was a fantastic strategy RPG with a rich, if disturbing, storyline. All the bizarre and unsettling aspects of the plot were always accompanied by one particular piece from the game’s soundtrack. Something about it still makes my breath catch at the back of my throat. Thanks to 4885295 for the upload.
8. The torture scene (Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days)
Kane and Lynch has been a franchise that has always been dogged with its issues. In spite of this, the second game told quite an engrossing story. The narrative change to focus on the insecure and unstable Lynch made the plot more of an emotional roller-coaster than we see in a lot of shooters, and no scene demonstrates this more than the aftermath of the high octane torture scene halfway through the game. There was maybe a little bit too much nudity for its own good, but it remains an unsettling scene all the same for its intense voice acting and stomach turning visuals. Kudos to Stedal1978 for the upload.