10 Scariest Hidden Encounters In Open World Games

Don't go in the lake.

metro exodus
4A Games

There’s a lot of things in the world that are pretty scary - spiders, working retail on a holiday, maybe lotus pods or the recent Silent Hill trailers for the poor souls with trypophobia. For many gaming is a safe space, away from all those scary things.

Unless you’re playing a horror game, of course, but really that’s on you.

Some developers, however, didn’t seem to get the memo about a nice relaxing power fantasy. There’s a slew of jump scares, disturbing situations, and frightening things hidden about their levels. But what about open world games? As they become more popular, the amount of places to hide scary stuff also grows.

Not content with simple things like your friend jumping out of the dark screaming “Boo-yah” or a piano mimic in a Mario game - no, these non-linear games give you ample space to let down your guard before you open a door to find a taxidermied bear or a dude three times your size wielding a baseball bat.

So here are times open world games scared the absolute yellow into your trousers, without having the decency to give you a head’s up.

10. Man-Bat - Batman Arkham Knight

metro exodus

You want scary in an open world game? I’ve got two words for you - Man Bat. The fourth game in the fantastic Arkham franchise, Batman: Arkham Knight, sees you - as the titular superhero, swinging from rooftops to traverse Gotham city, once again.

Most of it is just getting from point a to point b, maybe finding some Riddler trophies, and setting yourself up to drop down on some unfortunate goons to hospitalize. But if you play the game and do some rooftop rambling on Miagani island, you can grapple hook your way up to a face-to-face encounter with the mutated villain, Man-Bat.

Even after beating the fellow originally named Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a few times, curing him of his mutation, and imprisoning him in the Gotham Police Department you can have two more similar encounters. The first occurs anytime after that, and it will be the Joker’s face, instead - a hallucination. The second is if you play the game on Halloween, or set the console date to October 31st.

The cutscene of coming face-to-face with Man-Bat will play again and you can return to the GCPD to learn Man-Bat transformed again and escaped.


Author of Escort (Eternal Press, 2015), co-founder of Nic3Ntertainment, and developer behind The Sickle Upon Sekigahara (2020). Currently freelancing as a game developer and history consultant. Also tends to travel the eastern U.S. doing courses on History, Writing, and Japanese Poetry. You can find his portfolio at www.richardcshaffer.com.