There are plenty of games that are made to scare gamers. The horror genre is filled with jump scares, dark corners, strange noises, and grotesque creatures made to keep us up at night. They are not the only terrors that the gaming world has to offer. Here are 4 horrors that any gamer can experience.
Honorable Mention – Hardware Fault
So you buy your new console, get it all the way home and play it to your heart’s content. But just as you’re getting into your stride, the console dies. Cue scenes of frustration, anger, and desperate Google searching.
Sometimes it’s a design fault (See every early Xbox 360 console), other times its just bad luck. No matter what though, suffering through a dead console is enough to make you scream in horror – and it something we dread the longer we own our beloved consoles. Certainly, one of the worst horrors that can befall a gamer.
Nothing hits a gamer quite as quickly and abruptly as a power outage. Totally immersed in playing the game that there is no time to cast a glance to the storm outside. The last time I was struck by this situation it was at the tail end of hours of playtime into Persona 5. Of course, it had been a few hours since I had done a proper save as well. It was only light rain and I was in denial.
The power had cut off and cut back on so quickly that it did not seem like anything wrong had happened. It had to have just been my TV, the cord got messed up or the remote had been hit. But as my TV came back to life I saw the reality of the situation. I had lost a least of a month within the game that I had to work through again. Power outages can be the worst bearers of lost progress and sometimes we may not even have a choice in these horrors.
Not every game has autosave or the ability to save at any moment one chooses. Even then there is always an inclining hope that nothing will go wrong and I’ll be able to make it past this one point.
The glitches within a game are not always terrifying, but maybe that makes them more threatening. We can laugh at Ryder’s odd running, but their soulless eyes were truly cringe-worthy. Certainly, for the developers, there is a horror when those missed glitches go viral around the internet. Not all glitches are harmless little things to poke at like ones that keep a mission or the game itself from being completed.
I’ve experience missions I couldn’t complete in Mass Effect Andromeda and in Dragon Age Inquisition. For the latter of those games, it meant restarting the mission. For Mass Effect Andromeda it meant waiting until they patched the game for a fix. But let’s not focus solely on Bioware for this one. ReCore, the AA game developed by Level-5 Concept and Armature Studio, at launch had a few glitches that nearly ruined the entire experience one of which stood out the most to me. It was in the last battle of the game and I had gotten the final boss down to his last sliver of health, but the fight was not ending. I had been in the fight for a least half an hour and the health bar of the boss was no longer decreasing.
I paused the game to take to the internet. I learned about a glitch that made the boss fight unwinnable. Then I let out a groan as it meant restarting the boss fight all over with no guarantee I wouldn’t get the glitch again to be in another continuous loop. Still, there were no other options than to quit and try again later. One of the horrors gamers don’t want to experience.
No one plans to fall into the abyss when jumping platforms, die to an enemy, or get caught in a trap. It happens though and when that happens we get respawned. If the game has checkpoints then usually we’re safe, at least that’s what we hope. Memories of watching my friend play Sonic ‘06 and continuing to fall off the same ledge with each respawn come to mind.
Or when I was playing ReCore, running through one of the platform courses. I managed to jump over the oversized electrified ball that rolled its way back and forth across the platform. Before I could make the next move the ball had returned and since it was coming from behind me I had no clue of the danger until the shock occurred. I was pushed from the platform and with the shock keeping me from having any chance of reacting in time to make it to some form of safety.
With my respawn I would be back in that spot, but this time the ball was already waiting for me and I fell again, and again, and again. I was already well over the time trial for the route, but I could not care less about whatever conditional unlocks I would miss. I just wanted to get out of that loop. I did eventually, but without a broken spirit and a fear of platforming.
Bad Internet Connection
It sends a chill up my spine just thinking about the trials internet connections have caused in my gaming life so far. I am a rarely even a person to jump online, but I have a few select games that I enjoy. My first experience with this horror to share arrived with Monster Hunter. I can go on and on about my love for the series, but even they have slipped me into a terrible situation once or at least fifty times in my many years of playing the series.
In the days of Monster Hunter Tri and 3 Ultimate to Disconnect meant losing out on the rewards for the Hunt and needing to wait for the rest of the team to return potentially (if they all didn’t disconnect with you). Which is traumatizing when you were just out for one more piece from the monster, not even a rare piece it was just being one talon short for the next weapon upgrade that was within near grasp until the internet kicked you out. In the more recent games when the party disconnects the quest doesn’t end, but now it means going solo.
I remember whimpering in dread as I was left to fend for myself against a monster when a Savage Deviljho appeared to make it all the harder for me. Even more of groan since I needed parts of the Savage Jho, but did not have the confidence or equipment to take the beast down solo. Nowadays, most of my online gaming is spent on Splatoon 2 and with each disconnect comes with a warning from Nintendo that can lead to being cut off from online for a period of time. All the more frightening during the Splatfest events that are only running for limited periods of time.
These bad internet connection are not just an issue on your end either. Other people, you might be playing with could have faulty connections and disconnect. This means one less team member or even getting cut out from the match entirely. I mentioned Splatoon 2 before and every experience I have of seeing 3 man teams against 4 people during it turf war it always ends in a loss. It’s one of those horrors that every video gamer experiences – but one fo the horrors we dread happening to us.
What are your experiences with these gaming horrors? Or are there some other issues that you dread?