WHAT DO YOU MEME? All Screwed Up
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There’s no one thing that makes a horror game truly disturbing. Some are so gory that you begin to wonder if you can physically endure them for much longer. Others get under your skin in ways that may not be immediately apparent until you find yourself having nightmares about them. The one thing all disturbing horror games share is the way they make you want to escape them at any cost. Of course, the best such games keep you hooked long after you know you should go. You control main character Ethan from the first-person perspective, which gives you a privileged point of view to the horrors he must endure – including getting his arm chainsawed off at one point. I could see some arguing that The Cat Lady isn’t a “horror” game in the most traditional sense of the idea, but I truly believe it qualifies for the purposes of this list. Besides, few will argue that this game is anything less than seriously troubling, regardless of which genre they ultimately put it in.
At first glance, you’d never guess DDLC of being anything other than a cute dating sim with an adorable cast of hot anime girls – but you should never judge a book by its cover. While many games play with the idea of making you question your sanity by forcing you to separate the real from the unreal, Sanitarium arguably gets the most mileage out of that concept. There are points in this game when you’ll really start to question which (if any) of the game’s worlds you’re really in. This game is just a masterpiece of surrealist storytelling that grabs you with its incredible premise and striking style before making you question how far down the rabbit hole you’ve fallen. 2. Agony At first, I felt kind of bad about including two gory FMV games from the ‘90s on this list. Ultimately, though, it was hard to part with either of those twisted, ugly journies that leave you feeling like you just played through a snuff film.The opening narration informs you that Isaac's mother spends her day watching religious television, and that God spoke to her and informed her that her son Isaac (that's you!) needs to be killed. And it only gets worse from there. As you get further through the game, levels start to get names like "Scarred Womb," and you battle with more and more enemies that resemble malformed versions of Isaac. Rule of Ros e has always been a controversial game. Actually, this PS2 survival horror game was banned in the UK at the time of its 2006 release, and it was almost banned in several other countries as well. While some of those bans can be attributed to a lie-fuelled moral panic designed to score political points among “moralists,” there’s no denying that Rule of Rose is a deeply disturbing game.
Finally, I tried to avoid major spoilers when possible. However, I would warn anyone who may be bothered by generally disturbing material to please look into some of these games a little bit before diving into them. Many of these games feature some incredibly troubling themes and content. That’s exactly the kind of world explored in LISA: The Painful, where your balding middle-aged playable character must protect his adoptive daughter from the dangers of a post-apocalyptic world with no women.While pretty much any of the Silent Hill games could have made this list (it’s kind of a messed-up franchise, in case you didn’t know), I think Silent Hill 4 is most deserving of this spot. It’s not the best Silent Hill (or even my favorite Silent Hill), but it is the most deeply disturbing entry in the franchise. Just as a well-timed jump-scare can make you lose your chill, a deeply disturbing game can shake you down to your core.