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A few of my “most frightening gaming moments”:

1. Silent Hill 2 – The shining moment of glory for Silent Hill was when the writers tossed all of that cruft about cults and demons and brought the conflict down to a deeply personal level. There is nothing less frightening than some squeaky-voiced idiot in a robe, ranting about demons and the end of the world.

2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent – I might write an article on this later, but I thought this game was amazing.

3. Thief III – The game as a whole wasn’t really intended to be a horror game, but Thief III makes it onto this list for that one level. And if you played the game, you know what level I’m talking about.

4. Silent Hill 4: The Room – Most people did not like this game, but parts of it really worked for me. I’ve always thought that first-person lent itself more readily to fear than third-person, and so I found the apartment sections of the game to be pretty tense. The second half of the game was a chore and not worth sitting though, but those first couple of hours were really satisfying.

5. Half-Life 2 – It’s hard for me to believe it now, but the Ravenholm section of the game was genuinely scary the first time through. Now the game feels more like Zombieland, a funhouse ride of zobmie-pulverizing antics. But back when I hadn’t mastered the gravity gun, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, fast zombies were still new, and I hadn’t yet figured out that most of the spooky sounds were just sounds. That was really something.

Shamus Young is the guy behind Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, and Stolen Pixels, Shamus Plays, and Spoiler Warning.

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