TA Top Five: Edge of Your Seat Moments

By Marc Hollinshead, 2 years ago
Whenever I go to the cinema with family or friends, we always chat about the film afterwards. Maybe I'll say "I loved that bit when..." or "That bit with the (spoiler) was so sad!" Perhaps there's the odd occasion where you'll say "I was on the edge of my seat at that bit!" Films are jam-packed with moments like this, and due to the suspense, plot revelation or downright scary moment, we are completely in the moment and everything around us just disappears. Sometimes we may literally be hanging off the edge of those seats, just ready to topple off. As gamers, we also dedicate a huge amount of time to our virtual worlds, and even then, we can find ourselves being sucked right into a moment in the game. In this Top Five list, we will be looking at those moments when you find yourself engrossed in a game so much that you're on the "edge of your seat." We'll be looking at a wide variety of moments so don't expect to see a list just full of horror games.

Honorable Mentions

Entering a Dungeon - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Please be a mudcrab, please be a mudcrab, please be a mudcrabPlease be a mudcrab, please be a mudcrab, please be a mudcrab

The music plays a huge part in creating atmosphere in Oblivion. Upon entering a dungeon, extremely eerie music begins to play and, all of a sudden, the hairs stick up on your neck. As you delve further into the unknown, all you can hope for is that a mudcrab waits for you on the other side, instead of a hungry mob of trolls. Always proceed with caution in the dungeons of Cyrodiil.

The Spider Chase - LIMBO

The phrase It's more scared of you doesn't really work hereThe phrase "It's more scared of you" doesn't really work here

That feeling of something chasing you is absolutely terrifying. When it's a giant spider with long, gangly legs, that doesn't really help matters. The poor, young boy in Limbo can do nothing but run as fast as he can when this thing hunts him down, and we're unable to relax either until it's gone for good. Anyone with arachnophobia who has experienced this part of the game before, I feel sorry for you.

Wandering Around in the Dark - Alan Wake

It's a miracle you've made it this far with your staminaIt's a miracle you've made it this far with your stamina

Alan Wake isn't really a super hero. When he's plunged into the darkness of Bright Falls, it makes him, and us, a little uneasy. The game isn't rip-your-hair-out scary, but when you're having Alan walk through a dark forest alone, and you hear leaves rustling and spooky noises, it's understandable to feel just a teensy bit scared. Until the sun rises on the small town, that feeling of unease won't disappear.

Top Five

5. Clementine Fixes Her Wound - The Walking Dead: Season Two - Episode 1

You're much braver than I'll ever be, ClementineYou're much braver than I'll ever be, Clementine

This girl hasn't had an easy ride. From seeing loved ones die to creeping through a horde of walkers, Clementine has faced a barrage of emotional obstacles. This one, though, is something else. Towards the end of the first episode of Season Two, the player will have to literally fix Clementine's wound that she acquires earlier on. It's heart-wrenching to see her in so much pain, but it's even more horrible to have to watch the needle sink into her skin. As you carefully move the needle through the damaged skin, Clementine's screams of agony do all they can to put you off. Once the wound is fully stitched up, an enormous sigh of relief from both us and Clementine is most definitely earned.

4. The Suicide Mission - Mass Effect 2

Can you save them all?Can you save them all?

Everything in Mass Effect 2 leads up to this point. Shepard and his/her crew embark on a mission that is almost impossible to accomplish. Even the game's case says it on the back! While playing through this final mission, you'll be desperate to see all your beloved companions make it through to the other side. Will you make the right decisions so that you have an efficient team? Or will the Collectors abduct and destroy those you worked so hard to save? Unlike many games in which a simple checkpoint reload can save someone, it's not quite so simple here (unless you crash your Xbox in time). With an epic climax, you'll be spending a good half an hour rapidly biting your nails to see what happens to these characters.

3. The Eye-Poke Machine - Dead Space 2

Don't worry, Isaac, it'll just be a scratchDon't worry, Isaac, it'll just be a scratch

I think it's safe to say that we all love our eyes. So being faced with a sharp needle and the prospect of our eyeballs being prodded makes us look like Isaac here. Towards the end of the game's campaign, you are forced to enter a machine and endure this excruciating experiment. The aim is to manually move the needle at a pace which makes Isaac feel calm so his heart rate doesn't raise too much. If it does, then you will end with this gruesome result. When successful, the needle will pierce Isaac's eyeball, which is just lovely. The feeling of putting Isaac's life and eyes into your hands for those few seconds is very nerve-racking and even though the good result is still not the best, edging that needle closer to his eye definitely edges you further away from your comfort zone.

2. Facing Pyramid Head - Silent Hill 2

Pyramidophobia: The fear of trianglesPyramidophobia: The fear of triangles

Nothing does survival horror as well as Silent Hill. That first moment when you notice a mysterious figure with a weirdly shaped head in the hotel of Silent Hill 2 was the beginning of an iconic monster. When James Sunderland encounters Pyramid Head for the first time and the door locks behind him, you can feel the fear that's inside him. Although Mr. P moves extremely slowly, his giant knife scraping across the hard floor throws his speed out of the window. The enclosed space you have to fight him in means that James will be frantically racing around the room wondering what to do. The fact that the monstrosity isn't vanquished after you "defeat" him, and he that he simply wanders off, doesn't ease the tension one bit. Keep that adrenaline pumping, otherwise you'll be succumbing to Pyramid Head's wrath.

1. Entering a Fog Gate - Dark Souls / Dark Souls II

Imminent death aheadImminent death ahead

When thinking of a moment that brings your bottom further and further off a chair, nothing works quite as well as Dark Souls. As your undead hero journeys through Lordran and Drangleic, these walls of mist will encroach and entice you to enter. There will regularly be messages left by other players to warn you of what dangers lie beyond the fog, but more often than not, there will be a brutal boss ready and waiting to smash you into pieces. The anticipation as you enter these doors is hard to beat due to the nature of the game itself. Is there a terrifying boss on the other side? Will it rip me to pieces? Or is it just a new location, which will still murder me anyway? Whenever I have found one of these, I have literally had to straighten up on my bed because of what I think lies on the other side. For those of you playing the title courtesy of Games with Gold, heed my advice. Don't take these doors lightly!

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.