Frightfest 2017: Scary Soundtracks #6

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Like every great horror movie bad guy, there is no stopping this series!

Today’s song is an absolute belter too; so make sure you follow my simple rules for maximum unsettlement:

  1. turn off the lights
  2. headphones on
  3. close your eyes and sit back
  4. be terrified

Left 4 Dead may not be the first game you think of when you hear the words “horror game” but mark my words dear reader, it is perhaps the most effective of all horror games! “HOW?” I hear you scream; well read on Mr Inpatient!

  1. The simplicity of its mechanics give the player a very clear and defined set of rules by which to abide if they are to survive.
  2. The multiplayer nature of the game gives us a false confidence and heightens the potential for bad decisions to be made (in order to save ourselves or our friends)
  3. The AI director keeps us guessing and ensures that no two playthroughs are the same.
  4. The lack of maps and modes ensures that we have an intimate knowledge of the map which makes tactical coordination much easier (but not the game).

One of the most important design choices made by Turtle Rock was to make a roster of “special” zombies that were tough to kill but spawned at random; this threw the most critical ingredient of effective horror at the game; unpredictability. While each of the specials were to be feared, there was one that was a million times more terrifying than the others…

…the Witch! She appears on her knees, crying that creepy horror cry and when you happen too close to her she will rush you and kill your sorry ass – your friends will try to save you, but the ammo required to put her down means that it is often easier for them to cut their losses and run to the exit!

Her theme is also deeply disturbing. It begins with a MASSIVE BOOM out of nowhere, you will jump and it will put you right on the edge of your seat and of your sanity! The pace is quickened here, the lyrics to the song are of an unnatural pitch and the volume is inconsistent – it is all ‘off’. It invokes a sense of panic and intense fear in the players and makes decision-making difficult. All of these feelings get more and more intense the longer the song plays – everything about this song becomes heightened to the point where it is genuinely difficult to listen to it.

It is brilliant, and somewhat unexpected. Give it a listen!

Do you listen to my song choices in the way that I suggest?

Tell me how effective these songs are for unsettling you!

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