If I write these lines with humor of course, I must still admit to being half serious. Minecraft is one of the games that most managed to scare me and yet it's not for lack of having tested several "real" horror games of all kinds ranging from Alien Isolation to Hello Neighbor. Here are, in my opinion, the reasons why Minecraft is and will continue to be one of the scariest titles in the world.
With their cubic and sometimes even too cute (hello Enderman) aspects, Minecraft's mobs don't seem very threatening. However, the creators and especially the sound designer, managed to transform them into startling monsters at any occasion. Between the Creeper that crackles and explodes before you even had time to understand, the Ghost that "meows" and you can't spot while you're building a bridge over lava, or the baby zombie that appears out of nowhere and runs at you at full speed.
And once you feel like you're quiet, giant bats (nightmares) shamelessly attack you in the middle of the night because you haven't slept enough! And I'm not even talking about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse who, enthroned, proudly on their skeleton horses, circle around your house, waiting for you to come out to demolish you.
The oppressive sound effects
Oh sure, I think the worst currently is none other than the Warden , freshly added to the game with the latest update. It was he who finally convinced me that Minecraft was a horror game, a real one. You are mining quietly in a straight line when suddenly you hear a strange noise as if someone is playing with a marimba. You keep digging and the sound gets faster and faster. You continue and... A low sound sounds, you turn around and all the candles you had left behind go out one by one like in a famous scene from The Matrix.
The Warden, the Ghost or the Enderman are not the only ones to have quality sound effects. The shrill cry of spiders is often a bad omen in the mines, for example, since you know full well that you will very quickly be invaded and poisoned if you don't find the spawner right away. And I haven't even mentioned the underwater depths yet with the castles filled with sponges and sorts of poisonous octopuses giving you a real screamer.
In short, you will have understood, for me it is the management of sound and music that makes the heavy atmosphere of Minecraft so successful.
The constant anxiety
As a sandbox survival game, Minecraft offers us an almost infinite open world where the objective is to discover new resources in various biomes. Thus, even before arriving in the Nether or fighting the famous Ender Dragon, the player must venture into unknown territory without ever knowing what he will come across. Even before the recent big update adding height and depth with underwater caves, Minecraft scared me.
The truth is that I only played there for the first time 5 years ago. First solo, I was terrified of having to venture into the depths not knowing what to expect. The zombie noises were oppressive and I couldn't take more than two steps without pausing. Fortunately, Minecraft is a multiplayer game first and adventure with 2 or more is much more fun in my opinion.
Fear of heights and lack of direction
Finally, I find that Minecraft confronts the player with a certain fear of heights even if he does not have vertigo in real life. Falling from a height of a few blocks can be fatal and simply cause you to lose all of your stuff. As long as you have a few diamonds, falling into a lava lake is probably the worst case scenario that can happen to you. And if you fall into a crevasse far from home, good luck finding your equipment afterwards if you hadn't noted the coordinates on a notepad. And again, when you start, managing the XYZ with the famous F3 command is not so easy. Again, this fare much better in multiplayer as you will always have someone on your team to pick you up and drive you home.
As explained above, I believe that Minecraft might not be scary if the management of sound effects and music were less perfect. That said, I've never tried to play with the sound muted, but I'm still convinced that it's the atmosphere that is everything. And you what do you think ? What terrifies you the most in Minecraft?
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