A game can be made much more effective by the enemies it presents. A good, well detailed foe can make any situation a bit more interesting. However, an enemy that leaves the player with a higher heart rate than normal is always a bit more memorable than the rest.
This is one reason as to why there have been so many incredible nightmarish enemies featured throughout gaming. Let’s take a look back at the most horrifying enemies in video games.
Clickers (The Last of Us)
One aspect that makes these monsters so chilling is that they are somewhat realistic. Clickers are based on a real world fungus known as Cordyceps. This parasitic fungus can infest and control insects and use their corpses in order to spread itself further.
This is what drives the plot of The Last of Us, as Cordyceps has made the jump to humans in that world. This results in the clickers, monsters who make the game incredibly tense whenever they’re around. Plus, the signature clicking sound that they are named for is pretty anxiety-inducing due to fantastic sound design.
Headcrabs (Half-Life 2)
The headcrabs in Half-Life 2 quickly turn a neat sci-fi adventure into a pure horror experience. They cover a wide spectrum of phobias with ease, including arachnophobia, claustrophobia, and more fun things to make you uncomfortable. These shuffling zombies slowly stumble toward the player while making inhuman screeching sounds. The worst part of these sounds are that they form actual, horrific pleads for help when played in reverse.
Xenomorph (Alien: Isolation)
The xenomorph is the star of the Alien franchise and has cemented itself in some of our deepest fears. However, it took a video game to recapture the overbearing sense of dread that filmgoers experienced with the original film from 1979.
In Alien: Isolation, the player is hunted by this perfect predator. It is both deceptively quiet and startlingly loud, depending on how endangered the player is. The alien also possesses terrifying speed and enough moves to keep players constantly second guessing their next move. This makes for a harrowing game of cat and mouse that many will more than likely never forget.
Winter Lanterns (Bloodborne)
Bloodborne is an action RPG that is dedicated to the Gothic horror style. As such, it features some truly unique and interesting character types. However, few of them compare to the winter lanterns.
These Eldritch horrors can actually kill the player simply by looking at them. Naturally, this makes them an enemy worth avoiding at any cost. Fortunately, the creepy singsong sounds that they make help announce their presence. However, it is worth getting a good look at them because their character designs are pretty fascinating. This is especially true for those familiar with Bloodborne lore.
Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
This horror monster just got a re-invigoration via the asymmetrical game Dead by Daylight. However, he first appeared way back in 2001 in Silent Hill 2. Even after all the years since his debut, Pyramid Head is still haunting players with his unending sense of danger.
Simply looking at this monster will make most people raise some red flags internally. This is due to the fascinating and unique design he was blessed with by developers. However, actually seeing him in action is something entirely different. He’s very interesting to watch, but sometimes the urge to run away outweighs that fascination.
Mimics (Dark Souls series)
Nothing creates a sense of unease faster than betrayal. To players of most games, a shiny chest waiting to be open means that a reward is at hand. These kinds of boxes or lootables are typically a cause of celebration. However, Dark Souls likes to play with these expectations in the cruelest way possible.
Some chests in the Souls games contain “Mimics.” These monsters disguise themselves as chests and then eat any player who mistakenly opens their mouths. While these aren’t the scariest enemies ever made, that sense of caution can follow the player around for the entire series.
Necromorphs (Dead Space)
There are zombies, and there are clickers, but then there are necromorphs. These enemies create a height of discomfort for any players brave enough to venture into the Dead Space series. They’re fast, they love to hide, and they are intensely dangerous.
Traveling through the dimly lit halls of the Dead Space games make for a stressful experience. This is due to the fact that necromorphs have so many places to hide for jump scares and sneak attacks. Plus, even the ones in plain sight are uncomfortable to look at due to their grotesque designs and unnatural character movements.
Boys of Silence (BioShock Infinite)
BioShock Infinite was a noticeably more brighter and more colorful game when compared to the original BioShock. Naturally, this took a lot of the creepy factor out of the series, much to the dismay of some fans. However, a late game twist fixes that tonal shift for at least one level.
In this level, the player must contend with the Boys of Silence. These unsettling looking guards apparently keep mental patients in check by demanding silence. If they hear the player move, they go into search mode. Of course, if they find you, they announce it by screaming insanely loudly. Seeing as this level is largely silent, the sudden presence of intensely loud and bloodcurdling noises can throw anyone off.
P.T. (which stands for Playable Teaser) was an interactive teaser by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro for their canceled Silent Hills game. It was available in 2014 as a free download on the PlayStation Network. While this game is technically no longer accessible, the influence it brought is still being felt throughout the horror genre. One feature that is immediately recognizable is the ghostly antagonist Lisa.
Over the course of the demo, Lisa stalks the player in various ways, all of which are honestly just creepy. Stalking from the shadows, hiding in easy-to-miss places, and just appearing out of thin air in order to scare the player senseless. Every aspect of Lisa’s brief existence is done so well that she definitely deserves to be remembered.
Who do you think is the most horrifying enemy in video games? Tell us in the comments below!