October 28, 2008 by Adam Dioria
In his recent review of cinematic adaptation “Max Payne,” Orlando Sentinel film critic Roger Moore states that video games are “emotionally inferior to movies… Nobody ever shed a tear over an [in-game] character’s death.”
We can only assume that Mr. Moore has never been chased through a peasant village by a horde of frothing, pitchfork-wielding madmen capable of sprinting at inhuman speeds and their best friend, a chainsaw-waving Leatherface clone using a burlap sack for a mask. Nor has he survived a three-hour marathon session wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland subsisting on human corpses only to discover a hidden cache of food and portable nukes only to have it all wiped out in a single, heartbreaking second when an irate spouse suddenly pulls the plug on the Xbox 360. But we digress.
With all due respect to Mr. Moore, dating as far back as 1982’s Haunted House for Atari 2600, games have been able to stir at least one convincing sensation in viewers – abject terror. Including that is, the palpable discomfiture and, yes, sometimes even tear-jerking angst and horror that comes right along with it. Whether living in mortal fear of an impending grounding (to a 16 year-old, two weeks away from the Super Nintendo was like doing a year in Guantanamo) or drizzling your shorts at the sight of the original Alone in the Dark’s polygonal ghoulies, be honest. Over the course of their virtual career, anyone who considers themselves a bona fide gamer has experienced at least one shock courtesy of electronic entertainment.
With Halloween just around the corner, the time seems ripe to offer a quick peek at the latest crop of simulated shockers vying to send a chill up your spine. While they may not move jaded souls like Mr. Moore to tears, or even a raised eyebrow, we remain confident that these titles will leave more open-minded viewers doing a double-take. Because while none may be as scary as Hollywood’s recent output (Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Now that’s frightening…) we’re not afraid to go out on a limb and give each of the following two severed thumbs up.
View slideshow of 10 Scariest Games.
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