Consistency is often a difficult thing to achieve when making a video game. More often than not, a game will have one section that stands out among the rest; sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. While some games may be a “must play” minus one lacking area, others have the complete reverse situation: one particular section that serves as a shining light to the rest of the otherwise lackluster gameplay.
Horror games in particular are subject to this phenomenon as keeping players on the edge of their seats for the entire campaign can be a rather tiring task to achieve. Here are a few notable horror games that may be mediocre, but have one section that makes the whole experience worth it.
Major spoilers ahead!
7 One Late Night – The Witch’s First Appearance
One Late Night is an indie game by Black Curtain Studio, made to be a short immersive experience that puts players in a seemingly mundane, everyday situation that slowly evolves into a dilemma the player must struggle to survive. The game begins slowly, starting the story with the player spending a late night at the office, in an effort to get some work done. However, after finding out that the office door is locked and discovering suspicious notes and items in some coworkers’ offices, the player realizes there is something disturbing happening around the office.
The slow pace of One Late Night may not be for horror fans who want their scares to be less subtle as the first section of the game is mainly spent digging for clues. However, the moment the ghost witch appears in the office is absolutely worth the wait. After freely walking around the office without a single antagonist or enemy to worry about, the ghost witch suddenly shows up, changing up the pace completely, and making the once-simple task of walking around the office a dangerous journey.
6 Outsiders (Dread X Collection) – The Final Reveal
Outsiders is not a stand-alone release and instead was made as part of the “Dread X Collection” along with other small horror games. The game purposely leaves the player in the dark for a good duration of the story, letting the player roam around the house endlessly without any real direction or solid hints to go off.
It is part of the game’s design to be played over and over again in order to progress and may feel frustrating to certain players. However, any determined players that persevere long enough to finally uncover the game’s story will be glad they stuck around as the big ending twist is worth the long lonesome wait. It turns out that in the end, the game’s mechanic of forcing players to loop through the same cycle of actions was actually plot-driven and part of the lore, not just an ordinary “reset” or “respawn”.
5 Little Hope – The QTE Chase
The Dark Pictures Anthology has been rather successful so far, but Little Hope received mixed to positive reviews. Little Hope does have its strong points but overall doesn’t stand out like the other installations of the Dark Pictures series.
However, there is one particular section that effectively delivers both intense gameplay and terrifying scares. During one scene, the group is being pursued by the terrifying monster versions of themselves that are seeking to kill them. This then puts the player in a QTE chase scene that tests the player’s ability to perform under stress, all while seamlessly switching from character to character. This one section was unbelievably intense and somehow managed to make mundane QTEs more stressful than ever!
4 Siren: Blood Curse – Bella In The Shibito House
The Forbidden Siren games are known for their terrifying enemy designs, immersive world-building, and fantastic soundtracks. However, their rather clunky controls hold the games back from being labeled as perfect end products.
Regardless of the gameplay issues, there is a section in Siren: Blood Curse that stands out as truly horrifying. The game constantly switches between characters, and while most of these people can carry and use weapons to defend themselves, Bella Monroe is an exception.
Bella is a young child and cannot fight or defend herself against the shibito in Hanuda Village; Consequently, she can only resort to hiding in order to survive. In one section, Bella finds herself trapped in the closet of a shibito family’s house, tasked with finding a way out without being noticed. Even more disturbing, the shibito family, despite being undead, still going about their everyday lives; Cooking, cleaning, reading, and even listening to music.
3 Ju-On: The Grudge – The Derelict Apartments
The Grudge The game didn’t get much love upon its release in 2009, and while it may not be solid gameplay-wise, it still does a great job at delivering genuine (yet fun) scares. Rather than playing like the typical survival horror, the Grudge game plays as a “haunted house simulator”.
The game is separated into distinct levels, including a hospital, the original cursed house, and of course, the derelict apartments. The latter area is arguably the scariest in the game. While Kayako is freely roaming around in other levels, this area is different.
The player takes the role of Kenji/Ken on his way to deliver a package to a seemingly abandoned apartment. On Kenji’s journey there, the package suddenly begins shaking and as he looks down, Kayako emerges out of the package he was carrying the entire time. This part of the derelict apartments not only makes for a terrifying twist, but it also doesn’t stop there as Toshio also makes an appearance right before Kenji’s inevitable end.
2 Rule Of Rose – The Funeral For Jennifer’s Dear Friend
For the majority of Rule of Rose, the protagonist Jennifer is timid and shy, often being too scared to stand up for herself. Jennifer, likely out of fear, was forced to play along with the Red Rose Aristocracy and every one of their whims, regardless of how cruel they were.
Jennifer’s only real solace in the ordeal she was forced into was her dear friend (and faithful dog), Brown. Sometimes the best parts of a game are within the cutscenes rather than the gameplay, and this is the case with Rule of Rose.
In the heartbreaking scene where Jennifer realizes that the Aristocracy had finally taken Jennifer’s only happiness away from her, the game takes a drastic turn. It is at this moment that Jennifer finally begins to fight back, and the game takes a (somehow even) darker turn and the story begins to unfold from this point on; finally uncovering all the hidden secrets of the Aristocracy and also Jennifer’s past.
1 Resident Evil 6 – The Playground
It’s no question that the Resident Evil series is a staple in the survival horror game genre, however, Resident Evil 6 doesn’t get nearly as much love as other installments in the series. While most of RE6 was sub-par, one little section makes the journey (almost) worth it.
Other than keeping up with the Resident Evil storyline, players can also enjoy a fun day at the park, letting their inner child roam free. The player switches between characters throughout the game, so Ada and friends can all get their own turn in the playground and try out the slides and swings. RE6 It may not be the strongest game in Capcom’s franchise, but the sight of Chris Redfield on a panda-shaped spring ride is almost enough to forgive the rest of the campaign.
It’s about time the Resident Evil cast got some time to relax!
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