Originally I was going to write a post about the top ten enemies in gaming that have made me scream over the years, but after realizing that the number one spot encompassed the broad category of “zombies,” I decided instead to discuss my hatred for the undead.
I hate zombies. Simple as that.
I don’t really know why zombies freak me out worse than any other enemy type. Maybe it’s because they’re surprisingly resilient for a walk corpse. Maybe it’s their single-minded determination to kill my character no matter what obstacles lay in their path. Maybe it’s the unnerving way they move, either shambling towards me or, worse yet, running at me. Or perhaps it’s because they often travel in packs, making all encounters with them like fighting through a horde of crazed Wal-mart shoppers on Black Friday. Whatever the reason, zombies are a guaranteed scare for me. No other supernatural creature instills this kind of fear in me. And it’s not just zombies in the traditional sense that scare me. Any enemy that behaves like a zombie freaks me out.
But in spite of this fear, I still play games or watch movies with them in it. I guess I just like torturing myself. It’s hard to escape the popularity of zombies in the media, especially in gaming. In fact, it’s getting to the point that it seems like if a game includes any shooting, there has to be zombies somewhere in it. Take Saints Row: The Third, for example, which is probably one of the few cases where zombies don’t scare me. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m too distracted by the fact that there are only four zombie models (two male & two female) or because I’m too busy enjoying sniping them from rooftops.
There have been some great zombies in gaming. I just want to give a brief list of what I consider to be the scariest zombie-type enemies:
- Half-Life 2: Because who hasn’t been freaked out by the cry of the fast zombies?
- Doom 3: What I consider to be the scariest zombies I’ve encountered. While I don’t consider the various types of zombies to be the scariest enemies in the game (that honor goes to the Imps), the dark corridors & secret passageways gave a constant sense of paranoia that a zombie was going to crawl out & eat my face off. It didn’t help that in a brilliant show of Marine intelligence, your character can’t use a weapon & flashlight at the same time. And whose bright idea was it to give the zombies chainsaws!?
- Hunter – The Reckoning: Based on the White Wolf mythos, the zombies in this game always come in packs & hordes. Although slow & shambling, they always made me keep my distance as I picked them off.
- Halo (The Flood): Technically not zombies, the Flood behaves in a zombie-like manner. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I never finished Halo, but I did make it past meeting the Flood. I find them far scarier than the Covenant because of their overwhelming numbers & ruthless attacks. It’s like a wave of fast zombies.
- Mass Effect (Husks): I cannot express in words how much I hate husks. I loathe them. They’re basically fast, cybernetic zombies. Any time I know I’m going to encounter them, I always send my squad ahead of me so I don’t get jumped. The Abandoned Mine the Reaper IFF are still nerve-wracking missions because you get swarmed with them.
What about you guys? Which zombies scare you the worst? Or what is your most hated enemy type?