3. American McGee's Alice:
If you fear for your own sanity, this is the game that I recommend not playing at all. If you are the type to wonder how truly messed up the tales of our childhood books were, then this game really answers a lot of questions.
I always wondered about the stable mind of anyone who writes a story about a magical world involving vanishing cats, sociopathic madmen who only drink tea, and the demented cruelty of a queen immersed with an affection with hearts. Alice took the childhood tale and turned it into a world of confusion and dark dealing blended with suicide and drug use. Not really sure if it was the mind of the game developer or if it was the ideas planted by Lewis Carroll with his story Through the Looking Glass, but either way, both are equally twisted delightful tales.
2. Silent Hill 2:
A mastery of twisting truths and deceptive characters seem to be some of the key ingredients to making a really good horror game. Silent Hill 2 had a plethora of both. Decidedly, the Silent Hill franchise hinges on scaring the crap out of you more than involving you in the story with more than a passing concern. The thing about Silent Hill 2 is that at every turn you bought into the pleas and cries of the main protagonist James and his search for his wife Mary. Even though there were parts of the game that led you to believe otherwise, you still believed in him as a character. Finding out the end result of following James through his story would have been detrimental to some, but it does not make it this high on the list just because of the questionable actions of the main character. No, the reason Silent Hill 2 makes it this high is for one of the scariest villains you will ever meet in a game. I am, of course, talking about Pyramid Head. Just this creature's presence was enough to send people into fits of fear. Not to mention the sometimes-puzzling actions of the creature, just down right disturbing in my book. Top this with some of the creepiest music in a horror game, and you have yourself a frightening experience.
1. Fatal Frame:
Fear is one of those things that is different for each of us. However, having said that, there is only one title that I can say will scare anyone. It is almost sad to say that it is a title based on one of the worst concepts: battling ghosts by taking pictures of them. I know that sounds like one the craziest ideas for a horror game, but as I said, this one will scare anyone. The sounds of the game are the most sense shattering to ever grace a game. While in a traditional horror movie the music has always been a dead give away into the impending gore, here it is used to constantly keep you on edge. The music is not the only thing in the sound department that will keep you on edge either. There are countless creaks, scratches, moans, and the occasional shrieks of surrounding ghosts that will play on your nerves. The beauty of the sounds of the game is brought to life when you play this game at night with the volume turned just loud enough to hear every little scratch and moan. Add the horrific sound to the brutal flashes of ghosts and various images that only burn a hole in your mind for a second, and you will be thinking that your shadow is one of the vile ghosts trying to attack you. If you are looking for that good scare, then this is the title for you. Don't say I didn't warn you about keeping the lights on and the volume turned down though; I have enough of my own nightmares to worry about.
CCC Project Coordinator