4. When The Zombie Dogs Jump Through The Window In Resident Evil
Survival horror is born as the members of S.T.A.R.S. set foot into the Umbrella mansion and walk through the building’s eerie hallways. What seems like a quiet and safe corridor suddenly turns into panic-led mayhem as a pack of zombie dogs bursts through a window unexpectedly.
In an instant, the survival horror genre was established and would give rise to a slew of imitators and also-rans, such as the superb Silent Hill series and more.
True panic and terror was never established in games before, but this one single scare perfectly showcased just how affecting horror in games could be.
Why it’s great
Because a sense of horror and scary moments like this were impossible to convey on previous console hardware. The CD capabilities of PlayStation gave rise to superb visuals, disturbing enemies and chilling music.
Not to mention the opening FMV that sees the members of S.T.A.R.S. chased through the woods by dogs, which, although it seems incredible cheesy today, was actually quite creepy back in the day.
It’s also significant in that it spurred a real sense of validation that Resident Evil was in fact a scary experience, and that games really could get under your skin in ways never before possible.
The impact of the survival horror genre may have waned in recent years in favour of action-led experiences, but for a while, there was a certain thrill tied to buying a new horror game and relishing in feeling scared by the experience.
For younger gamers, it was the gaming equivalent of borrowing your parent’s horror movies and watching them without permission.