Death is rarely the end for us in the magical world of videogames, but it’s certainly never a picnic. Apart from when you die in Picnic Simulator 14, but that doesn’t happen often because I just made game that up.
Whether you mistime a jump and fall to your doom as Mario, or get your arse handed to you for the umpteenth time on Dark Souls, there are a wide range of ways to meet your doom when you have a controller in hand.
I’ve decided to find five of the most atrocious ways to die in videogames. To clarify – I don’t mean annoying or common ways to die. I mean deaths that are genuinely shocking and hard to watch, so if you’re not big on gore, maybe give this one a miss.
The Last Of Us – Bloaters
After the first half hour of Naughty Dog’s incredible story driven adventure, I think it should be pretty clear to everyone that The Last of Us isn’t exactly a happy game, but shit the bed I was not ready for this.
So you’re trapped in a school overrun by those crazy infected motherfuckers. You manage to fight your way through the gym when suddenly this giant bastard (a Bloater) crashes through the door and gives chase.
Unless you’re awesome, you’ve probably died a few times in the game already by this point. Get bitten, get infected. Bit grim, but no big deal, just restart. And then, I was grabbed by the Bloater, who proceeds to put his fungal fingers in my mouth and pop my jaw off like wet cake.
I stopped playing for a while after that.
Resident Evil 4 – Death by Chainsaw
Nobody likes that prick with the chainsaw in Resident Evil 4. Whenever you hear the familiar revving and spot the sack headed fiend pelting towards you, you know some serious shit is about to go down.
It doesn’t help that he’s harder to take out than the average 90’s horror movie serial killer. Plus, whenever he gets too close for comfort with the ol’ chainsaw, you’re treated to a charming animation in which your head is slowly but effectively chopped off.
The best part is getting a good few seconds of watching Leon lying on the floor in a pool of blood, sans head. Cheers Capcom.
Mortal Kombat – Skeleton Rip
Obviously I’m gonna have to limit this list to one Mortal Kombat fatality, since the fighting game franchise is known for gruesome finishing moves and could dominate an entire article of it’s own (last week it dominated a grim 2 hour video).
So how to choose? As the franchise has evolved, the deaths have certainly gotten more visceral, but I’m gonna go for a healthy blend of original shock value and gore. As such, it has to be Sub Zero’s skeleton rip from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
If you can’t work out what happens from the name, I’ll fill you in: Sub Zero literally rips his enemies skeleton from their body. It’s not as grim as it could be thanks to the dated graphics, but the grisly nature of what he’s doing is enough to earn it a spot.
Tomb Raider (2013) – Impaled
When Tomb Raider received an excellent next gen reboot back in 2013, we were given a grittier and more believable world. Naturally, with that comes a whole range of disgusting ways to meet a sticky end – but Lara’s river impalement takes the cake.
Not really sure what to say about this. You’re being washed down a river at high speed. There are sharp spikes jutting out everywhere. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s gonna happen if you don’t avoid them.
I can’t really stress enough how grim this one is. It’s really fucking horrible.
Dead Space 2 – Needle Death
Needles to say, this one is super gory. That wasn’t a spelling mistake by the way, eye was trying to be funny.
Sorry. Anyway, in the amazing Dead Space 2 there’s an absolutely horrendous scene involving eyes and a needle. You know the one. It’s very possibly the hardest thing to watch in any videogame ever (apart from the cutscenes in Sonic ’06).
If you can watch the entire above video without blinking once, then you’re made of stronger stuff than me pal.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.