The “This game makes me a Coward” Award
When I was a wee lad I was a complete wuss. Afraid of the dark, the light, the sound my old houses toilet used to make when you flushed it. I was a cowardly child. This of course was true for the games I used to play. For almost a year I never played the zombie mansion levels of TimeSpiltters: Future Perfect, just replayed all the story missions up to that point before turning them off. I also avoided the horror levels of other games such as the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Of course this meant I rarely ever played horror games, and to this day I still don’t. While I’ve grown more comfortable with the undead and other horror tropes thanks to other games, there are still times when I feel like a young boy, cowering in fear to something I can neither understand nor beat. The game that has had this effect on me more than any other is the one and only Dark Souls 2.
Regular readers of this blog will know my relationship to Dark Souls 2 wasn’t a good one. But thanks to the recent Steam sale, I picked myself up a cheap copy of it, then used my physical copy to install it. So far so good. When I started to playing, I finally got what people so loved about this game. It’s grim, oppressive feel that grinds your will to fight down, but you some how persist because that’s all you can do. With every new boss I encounter I feel pangs terror just seeing a wall of mist. As I make my way through and find the monstrosity that I must I tremble. If I survive the first fight all is well. if I fail however, waves of terror crash over me as I realize I have to fight it again. I start avoiding that boss that I know I have to fight, farming those who I know I can kill just to feel good about myself. It’s this sense of constant dread that really plays with you. Right now I’m thinking about fighting this Red guy on a rope bridge who constantly kills me. He’s not even a boss he’s just some prick out to get me and it’s horrid to know he’s still out there!
Other games I considered for this category include State of Decay, which can make you feel both powerful and helpless at the same time. Hiding in a shed as a horde shambles past you, waiting for the moment to make a dash to your car. Another and this will come as a surprise is Heathstone. I don’t play many competitive games, especially one on one games. When I’m constantly thinking about my moves, and my opponents counters, my heart races and I get nervous as all hell. Because of this I have 100% win rate at rank 25 (the lowest rank) thanks to the nerves I feel I tend to play a few games then stop for a few days, allowing my rank to naturally decay back down to 25. I’m planning to play more of Heathstone and If I’m to do that I’m really going to grit my teeth and play.
(Most would have said man up, but I don’t consider bravery to be a gender specific trait)