Over the past 15 years, Sony has witnessed a prodigious number of gaming’s most iconic ghosts, ghouls and all manner of mangled monstrosities to grace its ever-expanding repertoire of consoles, from industry staples such as Resident Evil’s ubiquitous, lumbering zombies to the psychologically warped abominations witnessed in Konami’s Silent Hill series. More importantly, they’ve all got one fundamental element in common – each and every one of them has given us countless sleepless nights and had us cough up a fortune in fresh underwear. Not a pretty picture, as we’ll sure you’ll agree.
With Halloween haunting us today, PSU has endeavored to compile a list of the top ten scariest beasts to grace a Sony platform to date, plucked from a variety of landmark releases covering everything from the days of Sony’s original grey box of tricks to our beloved black behemoth, the PlayStation 3. Join us now as we count down the top ten scariest monsters to grace a Sony platform. As always, if one of your own favorites didn’t quite make the cut, be sure to post it in the comments section and let us know what creatures have rendered you a gibbering wreck over the years. On a final note – Happy Halloween from all here at PSU!
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Horror games owe a lot to our shambling, flesh-hungry undead friends. While some would argue that Alone in the Dark was technically the proper horror game to market, Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise catapulted the genre on to the mainstream consciousness, and with it, created one of the first intrinsically frightening game monsters to date – Zombies. Lumbering in search of quarry throughout empty halls, leaping out of cupboards, groaning in painless frustration as bullets rip through their decaying flesh, Resident Evil’s bread-and-butter foes may seem about as scary as a wet flannel after all these years, but their undeniable impact on the games industry at the time (in their ability to scare the pants off players night after night) cannot be overlooked. Over the years they’ve been given a facelift, realized they can run, and mastered the intricacies of working a doorknob to become an even bigger threat. Let’s just hope Capcom decides to bring them back and ditch their current fascination with parasitic pitchfork wielding farmers.
Sony’s PSN revamp of the original Siren is home to all manner of nightmarish monstrosities worthy of praise, though none have quite made us bake more trouser brownies than the mammoth maggot Shibitos. Standing more than 10 feet tall, these hulking beasts possess incredible strength and resilience to your weapons, as well as boasting a grotesquely warped physique which further heightens their impact on audiences compared to the bog standard Shibitos wandering the village. Make no mistake; if one of these abominations manages to spot you, you better hot tail it out of the area as fast as humanly possible.
Cult classic Clock Tower’s ultimate scare comes in the form of a chap named Scissorman, who, as you might have guessed, has something of a penchant for cutting up his unfortunate victims with a gigantic pair of scissors. Cropping up at various intervals throughout the game in a similar vein to RE3’s Nemesis character, this inexorable foe can only be thwarted by either hiding in a safe location or knocking him unconscious, marking a welcome departure from the usual manner of dispatching your foe through the application of conventional weaponry. He’s no slouch, though, and will hunt high and low for you before giving up the ghost – if he’s successful, then say hello to an instant death. This, combined with some moody music and jump-out-of-your-seat shock tactics, further solidifies the madman’s status as one of the all-time great practitioners of video game scares. What an iconic figure from one of horror’s most underrated classics.
The Head Crab Zombie remains one of the most iconic game monsters to have graced our screens in recent years, infesting PS3 consoles via the release of Valve Corporation’s Orange Box compilation. Forged when a scuttling, parasitic entity known as the Head Crab attaches and assimilates itself with a human host, these rotting, shambling husks attack in large swarms with sharp mandibles in an attempt to cut their unfortunate victims to ribbons. What’s more, these creatures can also withstand quite a pummeling from your weaponry, able to claw their way after you even after having their torso blown in half, exposing putrid innards and spraying claret all over the shop. Lovely.
Although typically overlooked in favor of their Bubble-headed counterparts from latter installments, the Puppet Nurse/Doctor in Konami’s inaugural entry in the Silent Hill franchise are perhaps the most disturbing incarnation of these creatures to have graced this venerable series thus far. Boasting a grotesque, twitching hump on their backs, these doomed employees wander the halls of the Alchemilla Hospital in search of prey, emitting unearthly moans and lashing out with their razor-sharp scalpels. While lacking the fidgety, faceless demeanor of latter variations, these undead foes possess no less of a malevolent presence of their popular Silent Hill 2 counterparts, and in our opinion are among the most aesthetically pleasing (and outright disturbing) humanoid foes from the entire series. The male versions in particular are conspicuous by their absence from future titles, which boggles the mind as they proved far and away more vicious than their female counterparts.
Rapture’s resident behemoth, Big Daddy are a force to be reckoned with. While they’re not going to give you sore eyes like some of the nightmarish beasts found elsewhere in this feature, they’re insanely tough, hulking and baying for your blood. Don’t let their seemingly innocuous relationship with resident Little Sisters fool you – while they’re not overtly pugnacious from the get-go, they’ll defend their adolescent buddies with fearsome retribution should you wander close enough or open fire. Kitted out in a mechanized diving suite, these lumbering foes come equipped with either a rivet gun or heavy drill, which it employs with devastating effects against anyone willing to go toe-to-toe with them. Indeed, surviving an encounter with one of these underwater behemoths feels like an accomplishment in itself, let alone getting out of Rapture alive.
Ask any fellow Resident Evil aficionados what made them shriek out of their sofas in RE4 more than any other foe, and they’ll almost definitely feel inclined to mention the Regenerator. While the game was disappointingly devoid of the trademark scares that have become expected of the series, these lumbering humanoid critters more than made up for the lack of truly frightening enemy encounters – Chainsaw-wielding maniacs included. Insanely tough and grotesque in appearance, Regenerators are made all the more fearsome due to the method in which players must dispatch them, requiring the pinpoint application of the Sniper Rifle (equipped with an infrared scope) to shoot out the parasites that inhabit their bodies. Needless to say, even the most dexterous of fingers will have trouble holding back the trembles when faced with a group of these inexorable, slobbering monstrosities baring towards them, elastic limbs elongating and teeth bared in hope of grasping you and snacking on your flesh. If that wasn’t enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention, these mutated beings emit one of the most utterly disturbing sounds ever conceived in a RE game, coming across as an amalgamation of asthmatic breathing patterns and mindless hunger, and can, as their name suggests, regenerate lost body parts within just a few seconds. If you don’t have the necessary firepower to put these things down, you better hope there’s an exit nearby.
A relative newcomer to the horror gaming scene conceived by the folks at Electronic Arts (who’s foray in to survival horror territory at first seemed a decidedly idiosyncratic move on the developer’s part in comparison to previous efforts), the Necromorphs are, unequivocally, one of the most terrifying beasts to grace our screens over the past decade. Sporting a hideous, writhing physique and razor-sharp claws, these space-bound abominations lurk throughout the deserted corridors of an abandoned space station, feasting on anything with a pulse. Tenacious buggers by nature, Necromorphs are capable of dragging themselves towards their prey even after having numerous limbs blown off, and can only be eliminated by way of strategic dismemberment. This, combined with the dark, claustrophobic nature of the game’s environments ensures that you won’t forget these humanoid abominations in a hurry. Overall, they are one of the most original, downright terrifying creations to come out of the horror genre in years.
While Capcom’s multi-million selling horror series has ample pickings when it comes to pant-wetting monstrous bio-weapons, none of them quite match up to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis’ eponymous, near-unstoppable behemoth. Manufactured by Umbrella’s European division as a means of hunting down the remaining S.T.A.R.S team members (in other words, you) Nemesis has got it all; brute strength, speed, heightened resilience to firearms and the ability to reduce grown men to teeth-chattering, knee-knocking adolescents. If that wasn’t enough, this leather-clad monstrosity also brandishes a rocket launcher from time to time when he doesn’t fancy pummeling you with his fists, and undergoes various mutations throughout the game, gradually chipping away at what little resemblance to a human he may have possessed. Aside from his intimidating physical attributes, Nemesis’ fear factor is accentuated more so via a brooding soundtrack that plays whenever the creature is lurking nearby, subsequently kicking in to overdrive as he appears. Speaking of appearances, Nemesis rocks up when you least expect it, making his entrance in variety of sofa-soiling manners such as dropping down off of rooftops, busting through doors and waiting behind blind corners. Sure, you can incapacitate him on a temporary basis, but he’ll be back – and baying for your blood.
Silent Hill 2’s pointy-hatted antagonist has garnered a prolific reputation as one of video game’s most fearsome monsters following his debut in the 2001 psychological horror classic, and with good reason – he’s bloody terrifying. Acting as protagonist James Sunderland’s personal punisher, Pyramid Head rocks up at numerous intervals throughout the fog-bound town brandishing a whopping great knife, which, as you’d expect, is capable of calving up prey in a single, deadly blow. Other times he appears to favor a spear or outright brute strength, though nonetheless he loses none of his potency. To top it all off, he’s invulnerable to damage, cannot be deterred by any conventional means, and enjoys sexually molesting the more feminine monstrosities found throughout Silent Hill in his spare time. Definitely not the sort of bloke you want to cross in dark alleyway. So impacting was his inclusion in the game, in fact, that this inexorable adversary later found himself imprinted on the consciousness of mainstream movie-goers with the 2006 movie adaptation of Silent Hill, and to this day remains as synonymous with Konami’s venerable franchise as Akira Yamaoka’s haunting score and the malevolent, decaying Otherworld reality.