There are a lot of different ways of creating fear in a horror game. Whether the developers go with absolutely unbearable tension and atmosphere or if they get their kicks by making the gamer jolt with cheap startles. Regardless of how horror games get their fans adrenaline pumped and possibly cowering under their beds, there is always one thing all horror games have. A pillar of stability in a chaotic world. This pillar is horrifying enemies.
Left 4 Dead
Sure the infected in the Left 4 Dead series are all pretty scary. Whether it is the collective roar of a crescendo event or the singular adrenaline-inducing howl of a Tank. It's a pretty scary game, however there is one enemy above all that just makes you regret every decision that brought you down that particular path—the Witch. Disturb the Witch with light or noise and you may not live to regret it. She is fast, she is vicious, she will murder you before you even know what you did. Next time you find yourself playing Left 4 dead and hear the sobs of a woman, don't be a hero, just walk away, man. Just walk away.
Lickers are what happens when a zombie mutates a certain way, their brain becomes exposed, their eye sight fades and they end up tasting the air to find prey like some sort of deranged snake. Sure, the fact that they are near perfect hunters is terrifying enough, but there is no greater shock than when you are surprised by one. You're just walking along, trying not to get ripped apart by regular zombies, when suddenly you turn around and there it is. Low to the ground, flicking it's tongue at you. You shoot, but it jumps up on the ceiling or around the room before mauling you right in the face. But at least their one weak point, the brain, is fully exposed for the less agile gamer.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
You know how to make a really heart attack-inducing game? Place a character in an old creepy mansion with no weapons, make the enemies attracted to the light, and make the dark slowly drive your character insane. This is what Amnesia does. The enemies, The Gatherers, are attracted to light so it is best to put the light out when you spot them. Not only because they will murder you, but because you just don't want to have their faces burned into your nightmares for the next few weeks. They look like a game glitch gone horribly wrong in any other game but Amnesia. They look scary, yeah. however, I believe the fact that you have no way to fight them and your only hope is to run, hide, or kiss your butt good bye just makes things worse.
Silent Hill 3
Ah, nurses. The age old "sexy" profession for women. Nothing says screams hotness like a bosomed women tending to your wounds. Unless she happens to be donning a blood stained outfit and is in want for a face. These enemies are alerted by sound and move with the kind of stiffness that you would expect from someone doing the robot. However, in this case, they skipped robot and went right for zombie. Loosen up their joints a little, rustle them up some faces and they could be in the Thriller video. Quip aside, a situation with a bunch of faceless nurses chasing you is not a situation one would want to find themselves in.
Poisonous Head Crabs
Half Life 2
That's right, now genital crabs are not the only crabs deserving of your worries. Poisonous head crabs are proof that even the smallest, most formless things can be just so terrifying. These little jerks are fairly easily to kill, however they are just stupid fast and can leap across a room and start nipping you before you know it. It doesn't help that they are small and blend well with the scenery either. What's worse is that when they bit you, they knock your health down a whole percent, which is troublesome when other things are trying to do the same and you are stuck trying to kill this one fast little stupid crab. Of course, they also shriek signifying their pounce. A shriek so nerve wrecking when Half Life 2 play testers first encountered them, they flew into a tizzy of ammo-wasting panic.
Fatal Frame 2
Fatal Frame is a majorly forgotten series of game. It's unpopularity, I blame on the face that gamers were too scared to fight using nothing be a camera. While pretty much anything in that game is terrifying (as you have to fight them by taking their picture), the more notable monsters that can quickly make a pair of blue jeans turn brown is the Kusabi. The Kusabi is the ghost of a sacrifice victim and he really wants to touch the crap out of you. Of course, if he does, you die. At first, you cannot even fight him with your handy-dandy camera. Your only hope is to make a mad dash to the door and hope you make it. Since he uses a tactic of shock and charge, you sometimes don't make it…Especially if you are prone to panic and screaming like a girl.
Crimson Heads are what happens to zombies after zombies. You see, if you shoot a zombie in the leg or push him down, really incapacitate in any kind of way, but do not kill. Well, his body goes through zombie puberty as it were. The heart rate drastically increases, making the skin turn red, the fingers and toes sprout claws, and the zombie gets incredibly fast and strong. These creatures take way too much ammo to kill and will completely mess up your game. They are also little jerks who like to play dead until you walk past them, at that point, you are as good as dead. So, remember kids, always shoot your dead right in their head. Don't let them go crimson head.