It’s that time of year again. The central heating’s back on, it’s dark when you leave the house in the morning and dark when you get home at night, everyone is swearing that the Christmas decorations go on sale earlier every year, and all kinds of ghosts and ghouls are going bump in the night. So hold onto your pumpkin spice latte, dear reader, as we rate the following five games on the spookiness of their skeletons using our spooky scale.
Warning: This list is meant for entertainment purposes. If at any point you find yourself too spooked to read on, take a deep breath, and try to remember that skeletons aren’t real!
1. Uncharted 4
After crossing the globe in search of Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure, Nate and Elena ultimately find themselves face-to-face with the elusive founders of Libertalia, a mythical pirate colony on a stunning island getaway in the Indian Ocean. I wouldn’t recommend it for your next summer holiday, however. Everyone there has been dead for hundreds of years and is crawling with spiders the size of your fist! As spooky as a room filled with dead pirates having a tea party may be, you can’t deny that their fabulous outfits mitigate the effect somewhat.
Rating: P SPOOPY
2. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Speaking of dead pirates, complete all the Abstergo challenges in Black Flag to unlock your very own skeleton crew. Or don’t, because life’s too short, frankly. Sailing the seven seas in a ghost ship isn’t mechanically any different from sailing in a ship ship, but it certainly does send shivers down your spine, even if those shivers have more to do with elation than fear. Shiver me timbers!
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is loaded with skeletons; you can scarcely take a stroll into an ancient tomb or dank cave without encountering the bony bastards. Given how common and easy they are to kill, however, you quickly become used to seeing and dispatching them. Where Skyrim racks up spooky points isn’t in the tenebrous terrain — it’s under open skies.
You don’t always see a dragon coming. Often, your first indication that a fight is about to take place is when a booming roar (or “shout”) comes thundering across the countryside. Survive the ensuing encounter and the dragon's scaly hide will vanish, its essence swirling around you in a nebulous steam that reveals a harrowing network of teeth and bone as it dissipates. I’m getting the spooks just thinking about it.
4. Darkest Dungeon
Darkest Dungeon wears its Lovecraftian influences on its sleeve, like a skull-shaped cufflink. With its regular and regularly un-ironic use of words like “eldritch” and “antediluvian,” it often feels more like a love letter to its inspirations than its own transcendent nightmare. In taking your party of four on a quest you will face unspeakable horrors, the very sight of which will test the mental fortitude of your hallowed warriors.
Nothing you can expect to encounter is quite so disquieting, quite so spooky as the skeletons that haunt the Ruins, however. With spells that will drive your party to the brink of madness, they are a force to be reckoned with, regardless of how powerful your warriors eventually become. That said, their strength is rarely so great as to pose much risk of mortal damage. Not so much spooky as annoying.
Rating: P SPOOPY
5. Dark Souls
Giant skeletons, baby skeletons, skeleton skeletons, wheel skeletons (assholes), those weird beast skeletons in the above GIF (also assholes). Dark Souls has all the skeletons, and Gravelord Nito is the daddy of them all. Not only is he a living manifestation of death (whatever that means), he is literally a skeleton made out of other skeletons.
Check out a spooky clib below for the just released Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel.
He's like a skelephobe’s worst nightmare, made even worse when you consider that his full title, First of the Dead, could be construed to mean that he was the first person to die. The original skeleton, if you will. He also lives in a catacomb and sleeps in a massive coffin and listens to metal music (probably). I’m going to stop there; this is getting 2spooky even for me!
I'm only including Undertale so I don't have to hear about it in the comments.
Rating: NOT SPOOKY
What's the most spooked out you've been while playing a video game? Let me know in the comments below, and have a great Halloween!