Halloween is a special time of year when many people celebrate all that is terrifying and horrible. As with other entertainment mediums gaming has its fair share of horror games and frightening characters. Some games are specifically intended to frighten the player as a core experience, where others have unnerving elements purely by happenstance. Some of these occurrences take the form of jump scares in a specific scene or even an entire level in an otherwise tame story.
This week in the run up to Halloween 2015, we are exploring six of our favorite enemies in video games that make us turn and run in fear.
Turn-Based strategy game XCOM has a setting of an alien invasion which leaves it wide open to insert all manner of horror. Normal alien attackers are bad enough, but once you are introduced to the Chryssalid all bets are off. Whatever your initial strategy was at the beginning of a mission completely goes out the window when these quadrupeds show up. The only thing that matters is destroying the Chryssalids as fast as possible and ensuring they don’t reach any your team.
On first encounter, the look of a Chryssalid alone is enough to strike fear into even the most hardened of soldiers. In addition to their scowl, Chryssalids can move across the battlefield unimaginably fast to ambush your unsuspecting troopers at the slightest misstep. Lacking a ranged attack is where the benefits end, as not only does their melee do considerable damage it also poisons whomever they attack.
This poison causes soldiers to slowly lose health and suffer an aim penalty, and it may sound horrible but dying to a Chryssalid’s poison is a blessing. If a soldier is instead killed by their claws directly, they reanimate into a zombie-timebomb. After three turns of attacking their once allies, a brand new baby-Chryssalid will hatch out of their body that is just as deadly as their parent.
The sadists at Firaxis have said Chryssalids in XCOM 2 will be far worse, so expect an updated entry next year.