Blood and gore in videogames has been perennial controversy for as long as I can remember, ever since Mortal Kombat stepped into the limelight way back in the early 90s. Back then, not much could get past the censors; remember when the SNES version of MK had the blood removed? Or Joseph Frost’s death in Resident Evil’s live-action intro was toned down to spare us the horror of him being ripped apart by plastic zombie dogs? Hell, even Chris Redfield couldn’t get away with smoking a fag in the cast introductions.
Still, these days, even with the advance in technology, gamers have remained gorier and grislier than ever, with most titles passing the ESRB/BBFC process without any cuts made. Claret is free to flow and the limbs are free to spasm, letting game makers get pretty creative when depicting death in their titles. PlayStation has always been at the forefront of some of the industry’s biggest adult-rated software, and over the past 15 years or so, we’ve seen some of our favourite (or not so favourite) heroes and heroines bite the dust in all manner of grisly ways.
Some of the bloodiest games in history have been made available on PS3, and as such, we decided to look at some of the goriest deaths witnessed on Sony’s black box.
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ACID BATH (Resident Evil 4)
Capcom’s Resident Evil series is a PlayStation poster boy for gruesome death scenes dating right back to the original. However, these days the games are showing their wrinkles in terms of looks, thus the deaths don’t quite carry the same shock value as before. Resi 4 on the other hand is still pretty grim, with lead hero Leon S. Kennedy able to meet his maker in some devilishly creative ways should you prove unlucky enough. While the chainsaw decapitation is an obvious choice, we think the Novistadors’ acid attack offers unquestionably one of the most gruesome deaths in the game, culminating in half of Kennedy’s face being burnt off, exposing glistening bone and muscles. Lovely.
HIVE MIND IS HUNGRY (Dead Space)
You’d be hard pressed to find a death in Dead Space that didn’t end with Isaac Clarke getting ripped limb from limb. The game’s last boss, Hive Mind, offers probably the most gruesome of the unfortunate space engineer’s deaths in the sci-fi horror romp. Here, Clarke is scooped up by one of the Hive’s many tentacle-like appendages, and ends up in the creature’s multi-teethed maw – providing, that, is, you don’t shake free. Just when you think he’s a goner, the game torments poor Clarke by having him pop back out of the thing’s mouth with both his arms missing, wailing in agony, before getting bisected by the abomination and becoming a late-night snack.
POKE IN THE EYE (Dead Space 2)
Like its predecessor, Dead Space 2 is packed to the rafters with eye-wincing death scenes, though as grim as Isaac Clarke’s myriad of dismemberment scenes are, none are quite as disturbing as this gem. Remember when you had to stick the needle in your eye? Pretty wince-worthy in itself, right? Well, that’s nothing compared to when you muck it up, as the needle isn’t the only thing that gets shoved in your eye. The whole mechanism slams down your face, and Clarke’s right side is crushed in a mass of blood, gore and metal. The scene is even more memorable when juxtaposed with the tense, ponderous crawl of the needle descending above Clarke’s eye, making for a truly nail-biting experience that no limb-ripping monster could hope to replicate.
MAKE A WISH (Mortal Kombat)
Noob Saibot’s origins are very well known among the Mortal Kombat community, but despite his humble beginnings, this shadowy bloke is anything but a joke when it comes to his MK 2011 fatality. Easily the grimmest in the entire game, Noob and his doppelganger each grab a leg each before literally ripping his unfortunate victim apart – crotch first. Cue buckets of claret and assorted innards slopping to the floor; and this is while Noob’s opponent is conscious, we might add. Mortal Kombat was always never afraid of going to extremes when depicting death throughout the series, and this sort of thing makes Shiva’s skin rip seem tame. Bloody fantastic!
POSEIDON’S DEATH (God of War III)
If you want your death dished out in the most brutal way possible, then Kratos is your man. The perpetually-pissed off brute hasn’t shown any mercy since the series’ inception and GoW III is no exception. Here, we have one of the series’ goriest deaths, namely the demise of Poseidon, who attempts to impede Kratos’ progress only to get slapped down something rotten. Not content with letting his enemy slowly perish though, baldy locks proceeds to slap him about some more, brutally throwing him against a rock before committing one of the grisliest acts of his career: shoving his thumbs into Poseidon’s eyes and then snapping his neck. Ouch.
ADAM SHEPARD’S DEATH (Silent Hill Homecoming)
Silent Hill Homecoming was a decent enough debut for the series on PS3, and packed some one of the franchise’s bloodiest death scenes to date. While protagonist Alex Shepard could meet a grisly demise at the hands of the foggy town’s many creatures, it’s his father, Adam, who endures the worst fate at the hands of Pyramid Head. Tied up between two pillars, Adam only has time for a couple of minutes with his son before the point-hatted baddie shows up and brutally bisects the Shepard patriarch in a shower of blood and gore. Alex can only watch on in horror as his father’s remains slump lifelessly to the ground, his executioner silently descending further into the depths of the church. Oh, and we’re given a grisly close-up of the remains to boot, exposed innards spilling out of the open wound.
BRUTAL MELEE (Killzone 3)
One of the best (and goriest) new features introduced in Killzone 3 is the Brutal Melee kill, allowing gamers to take out their foes from close proximity fast and efficiently. From snapping necks to slitting throats, Guerrilla Games’ seminal shooter offers a myriad of viscerally-satisfying ways in which to take down your foes, the best of which is the eye-poke. Here, players ram their combat knife through the Helghast’s eye before brutally twisting the weapon, putting your adversary down in fine spray of crimson. Oh, and if that wasn’t bad enough, you can also shove both thumbs through their eye-sockets, Kratos-style. As far as shooters go, it doesn’t get more grisly than Killzone 3. Great.
JAMES HELLER’S FURY (Prototype 2)
Prototype 2’s shape-shifting anti-hero James Heller is one pissed off chap, and woe betide anyone who manages to get on his bad side. We didn’t actually nail down one particular death in this gruesome open-world actioner, simply because they’re all pretty grim no matter which way you slice it (no pun intended). Quite simply, Heller can decimate his victims with his deadly tendril attacks, dismembering foes with brutal efficiency. Or if you fancy being a bit more creative, you can use them to lob objects such as cars at your enemies, squashing them to a bloody pulp. Prototype 2 has it all though: limbs flying, decapitations, bloody explosions and much more to satisfy those with a penchant for the red stuff.
Got a favourite death scene on PS3? Let us know in the comments section below!