9. The Gatherer - Amnesia: The Dark Descent
In Amnesia, the main protagonist, Daniel, is trapped in the mansion of a callous and sadistic baron, with no memories and only a note telling him to kill the mansion’s owner.
The game uses the mechanic of sanity to create a feeling of tension and unease. Disturbing imagery and darkness cause the main character to lose his sanity, eventually turning him into a mind-broken mess.
This is where the Gatherer comes in: a grotesquely malformed monster that chases you around the mansion and makes sure that nowhere is truly safe. Although his stretched out maw and bloodied claws are more than enough to keep you up at night, the sanity mechanic gives him an additional edge, which makes every encounter with him all the more suspenseful.
Because your sanity decreases when your eyes stumble upon his freaky visage, you can’t really look at him, yet because you lose sanity in the dark too, you can’t hide forever.
The sanity mechanic adds depth to the character of the Gatherer that it wouldn't be able to achieve on its own. As freaky as his appearance is, it wouldn't be able to consistently scare the player throughout the entire game.
With the addition of a system that establishes stakes when looking at the monster, each time the Gatherer is on the hunt, you know it’ll only be a moment before you go mad... or the monster catches you...