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With the release of the newest Silent Hill and Resident Evil titles not far off, let’s take a look back at some of the most gruesome moments in videogames so far. Videogames have come a long way from the days of forcing your change into a Donkey Kong machine at your local arcade or bar. Modern day visuals in games are making things more realistic than ever, allowing developers to get their wildest ideas on screen. The arrival of home consoles from the Sega Mega drive up to the Playstation and N64 showed us that horror was no longer a genre that was confined to the film industry.
The first Mortal Kombat is reason the ESRB exists today. Its graphic ‘fatalities’ and general violence has raised court cases worldwide and the most recent game has been banned in Australia. From ripping out your enemies’ spine to slicing your opponents head literally in half, Mortal Kombat is up there for some of the most graphic kills in the video game world. View some of the most insane fatalities here:
With Mortal Kombat setting the bar high in showcasing brutality, how do you beat it? The answer seems to be realism; displays of graphic violence that seem too realistic. In 2003, a game created worldwide controversy and never saw light of day in several countries around the world. The game was Manhunt. Featuring three different types of executions, players are encouraged to murder as horrifically as possible in order to rank higher. Executions range from suffocating your victims with carrier bags and then bashing their skulls in repeatedly, slowly prying apart skulls with crowbars and even death by a scythe to the arse. Lovely.
Resident Evil is seen by many to be the pioneer of the survival horror genre. The latest titles may have moved towards a predominantly action-based style gameplay, but the original titles rarely fail to scare ten shades of crap out of the majority of their players. We’ve seen the Nemesis’ tentacle enter the back of Barry Burton’s skull and leave via his mouth in Resi 3. We’ve seen chainsaw decapitation in Resident Evil 4 and 5, but the most iconic moment of gore from any game has to be your first zombie encounter in the original Resident Evil. As you peer round the corner and stumble across the first of many zombies you’ll encounter through the games you’re reminded why this is no game for kids. As the white, bald head turns around, flesh hanging from the roots of his mouth and his eyes a tarnished white, gamers saw for the first time how beautifully gruesome a zombie could look in the video game world. A couple of years later it happened all over again in the graphically enhanced remake for the Nintendo Gamecube. Watch it here:
Silent Hill was one of Konami's finest moments. From stepping out of your car into the middle of a thick cloud of mist, ‘everything seems quiet, too quiet’. You’re instantly hit by the spell of Konami to make you expect the worst. Your heart pounds faster and you’re gripped like you’ve never been gripped before. The lighting suddenly gets; you use your lighter as your only source of light. As you’re forced to follow a route of increasingly narrowing back passages, surrounded by walls of blood covered fence gates, the music suddenly picks up to a dramatically haunting climax. ‘What is this?’ ‘What’s going on here?’ Above a pool of blood a mangled corpse hangs from the fence, suspended by its own flesh. You turn around to escape and you’re advanced upon by an army of walking burning corpses. It may not look visually fantastic compared to some of today’s games, but this is unarguably one of the most stand-out moments in the survival horror genre today. Relive the moment here:
Dead Space is now up there with the top survival horror games. Set in a dark and mysterious sci-fi world, Dead Space pits you against an army or reanimated human corpses. It’s hard to pick a single moment from the first or the second game considering how beautifully terrifying they are throughout, but how about those death scenes? It sucks dying in any game, that’s a fact, but it’s a kick in the teeth when you’re forced to watch your character get ripped apart, literally. The ways in which Isaac can die in the Dead Space games are numerous; various displays of decapitation, severed limbs and even a syringe through the eye. Some of the most horrific ones are on display here:
With video games forever pushing the boundaries of how visually grotesque they can be, this list could go on forever! It would be unfair to not mention the God of War games, Ninja Gaiden, Condemned and The Darkness in particular, and a special mention has to go to the Cerebral Bore weapon in Turok 2.