According to a global study, arachnophobia is one of the most common fears in the world, with a rough 6% of the human population owning up to having it, or having undergone treatment to cure the actual fear of the eight-legged arachnids. So what did video game developers do once they got their paws on such statistics? Why — they injected them into a web of money-making nightmares, of course. And then some.
It's fair to say that spiders aren't the nicest things to encounter in video games. Even if they're just background textures with little to no meaning — they're still an eyesore for those slumped with the fear. However, some games have gone above and beyond to assure its furry friends are front and centre for the sake of triggering the fear. Take these five, just as a few examples. If for whatever reason you have an alarming fear of spiders — then you might want to give these one the broom.
5. The Evil Within
If it has eight legs and crawls at high speeds — then it might as well be a spider, right? Well, technically, no, not always. The Evil Within managed to capture both of those without actually slotting in a generic arachnid. Instead, it expanded on its appearance by giving it a jet black hairdo and a set of contorted facial features. Oh, and a name — because why not?
Okay, so Laura lacks the two extra legs to make up eight — but that doesn't stop the fact that she basically radiates an arachnid's worst characteristics. She crawls at high speeds, pounces at specific targets, and looms within the shadows, using the cover of darkness to spring traps on those that fall into her lair. Throw in a whole lot of shrieking and senseless screaming and you've got Laura, The Evil Within's most terrifying boss.
Even without the presence of a spider, Limbo still reeked of unhinged terror and uncertainty. However, with shadows accounting for the entire world you're submerged into, it's sort of no wonder the common spider planted roots in its charcoal abyss. And over the years, as time and space continued to unwind, that very spider eventually evolved into something much, much more sinister.
Although only featured for a short period during the relatively bite-sized story, the giant spider was still hands down one of the most memorable in the whole game. And boy, even as an silhouette — it sure was enough to make our skin crawl. Having to defeat it by detaching its legs, on the other hand, was a task best done just once. Nightmare material, plain and simple.
3. World of Warcraft
It seems funny, putting an MMORPG that's known for its bright and bashful colour palettes on this list. But then, after reminding myself of the entities and unorthodox creatures that said RPG actually possesses, I couldn't help but put this one down as an arachnophobic's idea of complete and utter hell.
Of all the creatures one can find in Azeroth and its outside worlds, there definitely seems to be more eight-legged foes than two. Spiders are abundant no matter where you look — especially if you're gearing up in Tirisfal Glades as one of the forsaken. Whether you like it or not, you're going to have to fend off angry mobs of spiders every once in a while. So, not exactly the greatest idea of fun for a player with chronic arachnophobia.
2. Brutal Legend
I can't speak for every bassist in the world, but whenever I've spotted a string break on stage, I've always found that a set of steel alloy replacements usually fixes the job. Unfortunately for Eddie Riggs, however, steel alloy just didn't do the trick in Brutal Legend. Instead, he was forced to venture deep into a labyrinth riddled with offspring strewn from an enormous metal queen spider, all in order to acquire metal strings made from webs. Joy.
For a solid thirty minutes or so, you're tasked with braving the clouded domain and fending off waves of crawling foes, as well as navigating a cluster of death-defying obstacles with a timer counting down over your head. It's a bloodbath fueled by metal music, floods of spiders, and a looming queen with a dying hunger for your flesh and bone. Not exactly a walk in the park, I won't lie.
1. Dark Souls 2
Picture the worst possible spider in the world. Double its size, throw on some padded extras and a few million bristles — and you've got just one of the spiders from Dark Souls 2. As for the rest, well — we'd be lying if we said there wasn't a lot of them. There are, in fact, colonies full of the things. Though, to be fair, nothing comes as close to being as terrifying as The Duke's Dear Freja.
It was a pet, wouldn't you believe? Yes, that thing. Once adored by Duke Tseldora, who was known to have a passion for the eight-legged creatures, Freja was placed to guard a Great Soul. Not great for anyone with a fear of spiders, mind you — but it was a pretty exhilarating boss battle nevertheless. Just one we wouldn't want to have to face a second time.
So, let's talk spiders. What video games would you put on this list? Have you braved the above five? Let us know over on our socials here.