The dark gods of survival horror are smiling at you on this day, my child. Resident Evil Village is now available, inviting you into its township like a big church bell. But wait, before you tiptoe around the disturbing cabbage areas of those zombievamp wolves, or whatever, please come over here. I have a map for you. A route of other small settlements. Here are the 8 scariest villages in PC games.
Yaughton – Everyone’s gone for the kidnapping
The first abandoned village on our list. This will be a theme, because the void is unsettling (it’s also handy for developers who don’t have time to make a bunch of NPCs). A completely empty village is doubly disconcerting when everything looks picturesque and summery. In this game, it’s a beautiful day in rural Britain. People should be on the move. They should have flower displays, they should be sitting in a park with a disposable barbecue, their skin taking on the same suspicious pink hue as the burgers sizzling on the charcoal. But Yaughton has become full of Mary Celeste, and only the ghostly voices of its inhabitants remain.
Mundaun – Mundaun
Your grandfather died in a remote village and his priest neighbor has written to tell you. âYou don’t have to make the trip here,â he wrote. Hmmmm. It sounds like an invitation to an inevitable folk horror week to me. Mundaun is a graphite pencil mountain community made up of muttering holy men, symbolic goats, and large straw monsters. It’s the kind of village where you have to collect water from a pump 50 feet from your front door, and even this little trip is loaded with fear. You sleep with a sharp piece of wood on your chest, facing outward, to ward off evil spirits. You drink coffee to give you courage. There’s a little girl singing and throwing paper planes and, I’m telling you, she’s not right.
Distressed Village – A Plague Tale: Innocence
The life of a young nobleman is hard. One minute you’re in the woods catching wild boars with Lord Dad, the next you’re being chased through a village by a big boy with iron boots. Does he have no respect? Dad owns this town. Dozens of other hapless villagers are also chasing you and your little brother Hugo, hoping to catch and burn you both as strangers. The streets really sell the medieval atmosphere here. White markings are painted on the doors, warning of the plague. A corpse rots in the forgotten corner of a stone wall. Miasma descends from a church above the village. Third-person action-adventure games don’t have time to hang around, of course, and they quickly point you to new places. But it’s a strong opening that plunges you straight into the gutter of the Middle Ages.
Village on stilts – Dead cells
There’s a type of enemy here who shoots cannonballs at you and frankly I find him unbearable.
Albero – Blasphemous
Albero is the safe zone in the world of whips and lamentations of Blasphemous. It’s as heartwarming as a small town of moans and hurt can never be. Imagine the beautiful sunny cliff settlement of Mejula in Dark Souls 2 if it was inhabited by a group of weird monks called “the kisses of the wounds”. There are corpses on the streets here, and smiling red-eyed crows on the rooftops. The village will become healthier as you play, with more (non-sick) people arriving and hanging out in the background. But it never really loses its smell, you know?
The village – Guardian of the cemetery
Ah, what a quaint village. Look at the lighthouse. Check out this basket of fresh eggs that works on the honor system. Let’s go have a pint in The Dead Horse. Strange name for a tavern, but hey. Say, these burgers are pretty … gamey. Where did the NPC’s bartender say he got them? From the cemetery keeper? No question asked? Oh, well, if he has a trader’s license, then that’s fine. The locals here are really friendly. Certainly not seasoned practitioners of willful ignorance who remain happy to trade with the odd-smelling gravedigger entering town through a tunnel hidden behind a bush. We should come here more often, honey.
Graavik – Draugen
Abandoned village number two. This small handful of houses in a Norwegian fjord is less frightening than mysterious. You arrive by boat in search of a missing sister and you are not long in looking for a missing person. The whole place is deserted, and soon you are rummaging through the belongings of every person in the city, uncovering a history of quarrels and grievances. Unlike others on this list, Graavik is an isolated colony whose downfall appears real. Its story is mired in human conflict over concerns that are both serious and petty – money, resentment, paranoia. This grounding in reality is somewhat undone by other elements later in the story, but it lasts long enough for this village to feel as strange as it is idyllic.
City – Darkest Dungeon
I once went to the small village at the foot of the decaying estate of Darkest Dungeon, because I thought there weren’t enough fences between the stores that exist there. There is an abbey, a blacksmith, a sanatorium, a tavern, all useful for the characters in the game. But there is no border between them. I really wanted to build poles, or thin bars, to separate each building in this hamlet. But the game didn’t let me do it, so I didn’t get very far. Well, it won’t be long before you see what I mean. Over time, you will know the tragic extent of my grids.
One Off The List ofâ¦ the best bugs in games
Last time around, we went looking for the top 9 bugs in PC games. But you ruled that an issue should be disqualified and considered a feature. Hisâ¦ put a bucket on the head of a trader in Skyrim.
“I think this is just a beautiful accident symptomatic of the sacred but impossible quest of the immersive sim genre to bring real life to our computer screens,” argues bug exterminator “Shazbut” in a close review of the list. “In the next generation, the trader will complain about the bucket on his head, but players will find that you can just stick a turnip in his mouth to prevent him from speaking and continue to steal with impunity.”
A future we can all hope for.
Until next time, list the goblins. Don’t forget to grab your forks, light your torches, and suggest which entry on this week’s list we should burn in a giant wicker PC case. Goodbye!