Welcome to Respawning’s Games Club! The purpose of this is to get a bunch of us together every week, to allow us the chance to chat shit about whatever takes our fancy in the world of video games and discuss what we’re currently playing.
With Vampyr knocking on our coffins relatively soon, we’ve been taking a minute to step back and look over the years of monstrosities, mobs and malicious machinations that gaming’s conjured! The foes that we’ve most dreaded facing, had the hardest time toppling, or even just fought over and over again just due to their designs… Here are our favourite monsters in gaming!
Oh man I’m gonna have a field day with this one. Enemy designs are some of favorite things about games and where I believe it matters most has to be in horror games! So let’s get some easy ones out of the way, The Regenerator from Resident Evil 4 is a simple, sleek and yet terrifying design as he towers over you and has a creepy ass smile on it’s face. It’s the stuff of nightmares really. Then we have the Necromorphs from Dead Space. I absolutely love Dead Space and seeing these enemies for the first time really makes a lasting impression. The mangled and fucked up bodies of these things that were once human also have a little gameplay mechanic in their where you can cut off their Baraka-esque blade arm thingies and use stasis to throw it right back at them! I might be breaking the rules a teensy bit here but I have to mention the Shibito from Siren. These fucking these are absolutely terrifying. Their essentially just people who’ve gone absolutely apeshit and start bleeding from their eyes. What makes them so terrifying is that even after they’ve become what they’ve become their personalities still kind of stay. So they just start doing what they normally do such as farming or patrolling etc. And then come their later forms which are not only annoying as hell flying types but the wings that they sprout unnerve me to no end.
That’s it for me! I know I’m missing a lot that I’ll regret later but maybe next time we’ll discuss more monsters!
Ok, my mind is screaming at me to say ‘Werewolf’, and cite Darkstalkers‘ Jon Talbain, Yugo from Bloody Roar, or heck, even Ralph from Rampage... But that’s way too easy: It’s almost a cop-out answer. So, werewolves aside… I’d say my favourite video games monsters would probably have to be the Colosi from the PlayStation 2 classic, Shadow of the Colossus. Beings made of rock, dirt, grass, and crumbled ruins, each Colosi has its own look and feel. Encountering one feels like stumbling across something truly ancient, some mythological beast minding its own business until you force confrontation. And when you do? Nothing can compare to that feeling you get, when you’re climbing a Colosi, your hand squeezing down that R2 button in a desperation to just keep holding onto the mountanous beasts and resist its shakes… And when you finally slay it, you feel that achievement; you feel that melancholy for taking it from the world. It’s a bittersweet – and powerful – combination.
If you’ve yet to play the game, I strongly recommend you pick it up – In-fact, a remaster for PS4 released earlier this year, so its not hard to find.
(Oh, and I second Salman’s comments on the Shibito – Siren / Forbidden Siren is a really overlooked gem of a game! Just don’t play Blood Curse if you like quality…)
So my choice is a little smaller than Chris’ but just as intimidating! The Big Daddies from Bioshock. As monsters of gaming go you’ll be hard pressed to find anything as iconic! With their lumbering gait and unsettling whale like moans we can all agree they’re a creepy presence in the already scary Rapture. The first time you encounter one of the diving suit clad monstrosity you witness him butcher a splicer like its nothing and only an hour later you’re told to kill one yourself! Each Big Daddy fight is a lesson in the 7 P’s (Prior preparation and planning prevents piss poor performance) as if you go in unprepared early game you’ll get a nice view of the room as you’re send flying across it from a solid drill punch to the noggin! It’s a real game changer form the earliest stages of your under sea adventure where the toughest enemies you face can still be floored with a cheeky lightning bolt and a wrench smash. The Big Daddies take bucket loads of punishment but look awesome the whole time so each fight with one is a real battle. Even later in the game they’ll keep posing the greatest challenge with their upgrades to elite forms. Make sure you’re loaded up with ammo and juiced on EVE!
Goombas are my choice…. Nah I’m just kidding. One that’s super fresh in my mind are the Valkyries in God of War, although optional, these feel like huge part of the main game and something that’s definitely worth getting round to, i love the planning and thought that goes into these battles and the sheer fun of killing them and removing their wings. The Valkyrie queen is an absolute fucker though and it’s going to take a lot to beat her.
Additionally i suppose any monster from the Witcher 3; I loved how there was an actual story behind all of them and a reason for their existence that you could investigate. One that’s really early on, a Noonwraith who’s haunting a well, who you discover was wronged and her body was in the well and you have to destroy her bracelet (Or something) for her to be freed, I remember doing this and immediately realising this game was different from others and actually made you a monster hunter. The other is a werewolf later on who’s been terrifying the village or some such, it turns out he’s not as bad as he seems and can’t help himself and was screwed over, I killed that evil fucker anyway!
Due to my own personality when playing Borderlands 2, I felt that I had to include Dukino on this list; you come across a trio of side quests in Lynchwood simply named Animal Rescue: Medicine, Food and Shelter, in which you find a poor defenseless Skag that, you guessed it, have to give it medicine, feed it food and find it shelter. For me I felt that, for once in the barren world of Pandora, I did a good deed and wanted to give this little Skag a fresh start; plus they look like dogs, I’m a huge dog person… And c’mon his name is Dukino (Oh who’s a good little Dukino, oh you are, yes you are)! How cute!
Monsters in gaming have always interested me – Through their interesting and varied designs, a wide range of emotions can be felt; fear, love, pressure, terror… But for me, one monster that’s always stuck out to me is Legion. For the unaware, Legion (Or rather known as Granfaloon in Symphony of the Night) is an absolutely terrifying monstrosity born from the very depths of hell itself… Essentially, this demon from the Castlevania franchise is, and I kid you not, a ball of corpses. In my eyes, whilst it’s not the most notable design in the world, it’s iconic simply due to there not really being anything quite like it prior – I mean, think of any other game where you fight against a huge ball of corpses? What’s worse, however, is that hidden inside this monstrosity is a fleshy, alien-like core, fit with laser and flame-shooting tentacles… I’ve seen enough hentai to know where THIS is going.
Regarding more innocent monsters, however, my secondary pick has to be the Protopets from Ratchet & Clank – Fluffy little blue balls (Hang on…) of fur that are the cutest god-damn things in the Bogon Galaxy; essentially the alien versions of dogs or cats, every household likely has a Protopet – And gosh darn it if I wouldn’t get one… Well… As long as they didn’t fall for their… More savage instincts…
I’ve been playing Vampyr this week ahead of my review, and can safely say that the titular monster is one of my favourite monsters in gaming – Whilst I can’t say much about Vampyr itself due to embargo, I can say that the Vampire is one of my favourite monsters in ALL of gaming.
Recently I have been playing Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines and this reaffirms my opinion here as I feel the use of multiple types of vampires in both that and Vampyr ranging from eloquent doctors to nosferatu beasts the vampire has such great range.
Also – Shoutout to Kain from Legacy of Kain here… Oh and Dracula in Castlevania… Oh and Rayne… the list goes on