First off, fair warning to everyone: don't look at this article if you don't think you can handle it. Video games are often violent, and these games took it to the next level. If you're squeamish, a wuss, just don't like gross stuff, or any combination of the three... you might wanna reconsider your choices in articles. But if you're into that kind of stuff, you're definitely in the right place!
A bit of background: for 3 years I was an EMT and 911 first responder. Because of that it's safe to say I've seen some horrible stuff. That being said, I'm also a huge horror movie fan (and writer), ever since I first saw Freddy vs. Jason when I was in elementary school. So, it's pretty easy to say that I am completely messed up in the head. Personally, I'm completely numb to the goriest, bone-snappiest, messed up junk that the internet and film has been able to offer. But I still love it.
So if this stuff gives you nightmares or makes you question the fragility of life, then I did my job right.
As an EMT at heart, I'm also gonna give you guys an update on the realism of the attacks, the longterm damage, and whether these non-kills would land you in a morgue in the real world. So, to start us off...
20 Having An X-Ray Doesn't Really Help In This Case
Now, a gunshot wound (GSW) means we're looking at some major trauma, and this game is full of that. Assuming that this bullet does not hit him in a crucial place (it seems to be going for his face here, but it's possible it'll hit him in the shoulder or something since it seems to be pointed down a bit) he might, and if there's a medic around the corner, this guy could make it out of here alive. Either way, this would really, really hurt and we're glad that this isn't happening to us.
EMT Assessment: major trauma that won't be easily fixed.
19 Trapped Like A Rat
Our boy Jason Voorhees has been ending young camp counsellor’s lives since the early 80s, and has the highest kill count out of any slasher villain in horror history! This incredible behemoth is not someone you wanna mess with! In his recent video game release Friday the 13th: The Game, Jason has a plethora of ways to kill and maim and torture to avenge his own death, but my personal favorite on the gore score is the bear trap.
In most games a bear trap is a great stun to trap your enemies in place, and give you time to get ready for your next attack. But a bear trap is going to cause some major damage to your leg! This game shows that brutality.
EMT Assessment: My EMT senses tell me we’re looking at possible fractures, definite multiple lacerations and punctures, with the added lacerations from the victim trying to pull their leg out. You’re gonna be in bad shape, so don’t get trapped!
18 Retro Trauma
The original Doom games were gorey AF for the time period, but the pixelated bright red digital blood hasn’t done much to traumatize anyone since then. If hearing the bones of demons from hell snap under your furious fist doesn’t make you gag, than we would probably get along, honestly. Whether it’s beating a demon with their own arm or whipping out the chainsaw (saw is law), this game lets you cause some major damage and the gore factor has never been higher. Honestly: you walk through the gore riddled remains of hell for about 90% of this game.
EMT Assessment: Unfortunately my EMT background can’t help these demons, as I have no clue how demon anatomy works... other than that they bleed. Someone should tourniquet that.
17 Evolving The Gore Into HD
This was the original game that my mom didn’t let me play. It was my first FPS with the ability to blow a velociraptor’s skull into 1,000 adorable little pieces. This game had the gore back in the day, and its PS3 installment is no exception. This game has you fighting dinosaurs instead of raiding the Middle East for the hundredth time. That being said, if you’re not into animal abuse…well, do dinosaurs even count? I mean, it’s kill or be killed, right? Or at least… grievously maim and injure to get the hell away from one of these feral lizards on steroids.
The go-to gore factor in this game has to be sticking one of these dinos cleanly with an arrow and seeing it stick out of their body as they rush you with no fear. This was one of the first games that had that arrow realism to it that made me a happy little future sociopath.
EMT Assessment: Watch those teeth from the dinos and you’ll get to keep your appendages.
16 Bare Handed Brutality
I’m not even going to get into the brutality of the hidden blade, or Altaïr or Ezio’s masterful swordsmanship. I’m taking this game for sickening brutality just based on its hand to hand combat. Drop your weapon and watch as whichever assassin you currently are proceeds to mess people up. My personal favorite comes from Assassin's Creed III with my main man Connor. This Native American knows how to deal some punishment with his hands. From breaking arms, knees, legs, and more, Connor’s fists are weapons of brutality. Nothing in that game was as satisfying as the *crack* of a guard's arm from some insane disarm Connor got away with. The sound is what elevated this game into the list; listen to those bones break! Isn't it music to your ears?
EMT Assessment: Major blunt force trauma: broken bones, contusions, and lacerations.
15 I Want To Play A Game
Another horror movie series makes its way to consoles everywhere. Now, I played this game knowing nothing more than the fact that I'm a huge Saw fan, and I've always wanted to see if I could make it out of Jigsaw’s grade-A torture equipment. That being said, this game is nothing but nonstop gore and honestly isn’t worth the time it takes to do a full playthrough. I made it through the opening sequence, where I used a scapel to remove a key from under my eye socket and dodged assorted traps that were sure to have me hospitalized in a best case scenario. But I’ll be dammed if that game didn’t completely bore me after the first 10 minutes.
EMT Assessment: This one is pretty simple. Jigsaw designed most of the traps to be painful and brutal, but survivable on their own. Watch your blood loss, tourniquet if you’re severing anything off, and most importantly don’t run out of time.
14 There's No Escaping This Guy
This game gave me nightmares. The gore factor is pretty much in the character design; I mean, you’ll find 3-4 bodies fused together into some demon spider from hell in this game, and it’s just another day at the office. The brutality in Silent Hill is prevalent in its obvious blood and gore, but its psychological damage cuts deeper than Pyramid Head’s sword. Many, if not all of the demons in this game are based off real psychological disorders and psychosis. While the blood on its own is enough to make your head start to spin, knowing the messed up stuff that is going on in the protagonist’s head to create these demons from things within his own life is enough to make the gore somehow worse.
EMT Assessment: Honestly, I'm not sure if you can bounce back from a meeting with Pyramid Head. If you can get away from this one, you're looking at at least a concussion, and probably some broken bones and ripped out hair.
13 The Broken Patients
Evil Within brings the blood. Whether it's spurting from an infected psych patient’s bullet-riddled head, their barbed wire skin suits, or the general horror that seems to have gone down at this psych facility... this game has a gallery full of gory moments. Wading through blood and bodies, listening to the possessed inpatients scream in pain as you shoot their kneecaps into pieces, and the constant encounters with blood trails and decomposing flesh. This is a great game on its own mechanics, and the horror elements make it a must-play for horror fans.
EMT Assessment: While I'm not sure the thing on the right can be saved, the guy on the left can easily get out of there and save his own skin.
Joel and Ellie gotta do what they gotta do to survive the post-apocalyptic nightmare that is The Last of Us. The game is already hailed as one of the best single player games in the last century, with brutal, realistic hand to hand combat and devastating gun play. Plus, our girl Ellie goes through so much... we don't like that!
Nothing beats sneaking up on a dude and bricking him in the noggin with... well, a brick. The brutality naturally goes hand in hand with the general realism for this game. Joel doesn’t fight like Ryu or have powers like Spider-Man; he’s a man who survives because he’s ruthless in a fight. From gouging eyes out to smashing heads into walls and railing, Joel is a guerrilla fighter who knows how to win a one on one fight.
EMT Assessment: Brick to the head? Concussion, possible brain haemorrhage or skull fracture, laceration at impact point along with some definite major contusions and one hell of a headache when you wake up.
11 That's Gotta Hurt
While realism and Call of Duty don’t exactly go hand in hand. COD has had some pretty brutal moments within the stories. The moment that sticks with me is out of MW2 and probably didn’t stick with anyone as much as it did with me. When you’re chasing some guy (sorry it’s been a while) through the streets of the middle east after jumping out of a truck, your CO calls out to shoot this guy in the leg.
A few problems here: thats one hell of a shot to not hit something vital, and I’m under the impression the military doesn’t shoot unless they shoot to kill. That being said, making this shot, and watching this dude’s calf explode in blood was a moment that always stuck with me. To think of that excruciating pain makes my stomach turn.
EMT Assessment: GSW to the lower extremity: not necessarily life threatening assuming you’re on it with bleeding control, and if the lucky idiot didn’t catch one in a vein or artery. Probably looking at a broken tib/fib from impact via a high powered rifle.
10 The Zombies Aren't The Only Ones Who Are Gonna Hurt
Left 4 Dead brought me so much joy. Nothing was better than hoping on the ol’ 360 for some good old fashioned zombie slaughtering. The gore and brutality is the selling point of this game’s gameplay, as well as fast paced decision making. The brutality is in the sound, and the weapons of opportunity: baseball bats, katanas, shooting off limbs... it was all bloody, all gore, and awesome.
The look of these zombies is the key brutality in this game. The zombies look real, beaten, bloody, and still looking to feast on your entrails. Shooting open a Boomer’s stomach, or watching a sprinter run with his intestines out is enough to make a grizzled veteran queasy.
EMT Assessment: Only the undead should have their entrails on the outside, unless you quickly want to go from living to very dead.
9 The Grandfather Of Gore
Mortal Kombat is a legend in the blood and gore community. The original game basically invented the ESRB system by being so realistic and brutal that the "M" rating was made specifically for this completely messed up game.
Johnny Cage is a gangster and smooth talker that would put even Deadpool to shame with his witty AF lines. That being said, Scorpion has managed to totally rough him up.
EMT Assessment: Multiple closed fractures, guaranteed major contusions and deep bone contusions. That orbital fracture means that Johnny Cage will be lucky to see anything after major reconstructive surgery. His jaw is clearly shattered and dislocated which means JC won't be talkin' with his jaw wired shut in recovery. This is not only a major trauma patient, but JC would be lucky to survive with all of those skull fractures and fragments now dancing around his brain. If he managed to survive, he's out of this fight for sure.
8 Unleash Your Inner Psycho
Ahhh, the game more infamous than Infamous. Manhunt has you making snuff films for some creep, where you get points for varying up your murderous rampage skills. This game was banned in the U.S for a very long time due to the graphic and generally serial killer-producing vibe the game seemed to give off. Killing comes easy in this game. Non-kill-wise, the game is full of brutal ways to injure your victims, breaking legs, making them drag their future corpse around the map to try to escape your brutality.
EMT Assessment: Check yourself into a psych ward if you find yourself enjoying this game a little too much. If you become a serial killer from this article I’ll be mad, but totally flattered. As for this photo, depending on how deep the axe hits, you might be okay.
7 Would You Kindly?
BioShock is every dystopian hipster’s dream. Gore, blood, and the ability to light a dude on fire with the snap of your fingers. While some of the best gore moments are Big Daddies turning Splicers into drill food, or the ending of the game, one of my favorite non-kill moments in terms of gore within this game is a large part of the BioShock 2 campaign and character. The spear gun. I loved impaling people’s limbs to the floor and watching them try to struggle their way out. Damn, I need to speak to a therapist. But this game is full of bone snapping and impaling with a drill that will definitely maim, if not completely kill your target.
EMT Assessment: Injecting a needle you found on a body is never a good idea. Unless it’s for shock jockey or electroshock… then… well, would you rather have a blood borne disease and lightning fingers or no lightning fingers? Yeah, l’d choose to be the new Static Shock too.
6 Ungodly Pain
YES! KRATOS! Everyone’s favorite Spartan has quite the rep for ripping off appendages and making his enemies drip blood all over Olympus. Since we're not going for kills, let's just go off one of my favorite brutal things to do as the self-claimed God of War. Grabbing and enemy from a distance in God of War III is one of my favorite brutally gore infused things to do in any game series. For the uninitiated, Kratos uses his blades with chains attached to impale people from halfway across the map, then drag him over here with the zeal and pleasure of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.
Our boy also uses the head of Apollo to stun enemies. One more time. He uses the HEAD OF A GOD to stun people. That's some guy.
EMT Assessment: Hey, that's some major lacerations and punctures from those blades; I’ve seen people come back from worse, though. Just keep your heart on the inside, walk it off.
5 The Bodies Hit The Floor
The most confusing game of all time, Metal Gear Solid V, has some great gore and injuries and messed up moments. It’s quite sickening to watch the opening cutscene where Big Boss has crawl his way through bodies in a hospital. With a hook for a hand and no muscle to stand, he crawls through the bodies of the slaughtered patients, hiding among them and their bloody bodies. When the guards come by, and you have to pull a fresh corpse over your body for camouflage... that's when you know a game is going to mess you up.
EMT Assessment: Despite being in a hospital, you'll have to get that looked at. Lots of rest is needed, since we don't want you to suffer from muscular atrophy. Head needs to be checked at for concussion or wounds. PTSD could arise from this experience.
4 Honeymoon Suite
Dead Island brings the zombie gore scale to about 11/10 (14/10 with Rice). This game has you amputate more appendages than a Civil War surgeon and constantly grosses you out with the world the island has become. You are zombie-bite proof, but that doesn’t mean having some guy with a half of a face trying to eat you is any less disturbing.
The moment that sticks with me for this game is actually the game’s cinematic trailer. This shows a little girl turn zombie and start chomping on her family to a melancholy piano. What makes my stomach turn in this game isn’t the exploding heads or decapitated bodies, but that opening's implication that these were all people, not bad people, who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
EMT Assessment: major damage from the zombie bite, bleeding, and haemorrhaging. If infection hasn't spread, any bitten limbs will have to be amputated in order to save your life.
3 Ad Victoriam!
Crippling raiders, blowing ghoul appendages off, taking a baseball bat to a gun fight... Fallout lets you unleash the beast on your fellow survivors with brutal weaponry, or even your bare hands if you fancy yourself the next Grognak the Barbarian. The moment that sticks with me in terms of gore and violence on steroids within the Fallout universe is in Fallout: New Vegas. When you come across the Ultra-Luxe Casino, the masked guests seem unnerving, like they just all drank the Kool-Aid together. What gets messed up is when you find their dining hall where they’ve gone full Dahmer and started eating people for pleasure. The fact that they had enough food to survive and CHOSE to eat people is what makes this group so… horrifying.
EMT Assessment: just stay away from these guys, for real!
2 Killin' Nat-zees
The classics are always the goriest, most brutal games. The remastered Wolfenstein for the PlayStation 3 gave you hours' worth of Nazi brutality. If you have a problem with me beating the blood and bone out of one of these jerks with a pipe like the Bear Jew from Inglorious Basterds, I have nothing else to say to you. This game makes you feel like an unstoppable behemoth of pain, which we all know these Nazis deserved. From limbs getting blown off to the the satisfying *ping* of smashing a Nazi helmet with a steel pipe, this game is satisfyingly violent.
EMT Assessment: With these knockouts on a 911 response, hopefully we don’t see a conceived skull or major brain haemorrhaging. At the very least, they'd probably wake up with a solid concussion and a headache or some major dain bramage…. brain damage…. maybe I shouldn’t have been boxing while my brain was developing.
1 Stay Away From The Baby!
We've finally made it to the worst of the worst. Dead Space is the best place to go for your gore fix. It’s killing aliens/necromorphs so… it doesn’t count as killing if it's already dead, right? The game’s crowning mechanic of dismemberment sets the tone for one of the most horrifyingly gory games in gaming history. The best moment is still watching a Necromorphed baby crawl to a survivor, only to have the whole baby (and the lady) explode. This game is full of crazy transformations and trying to keep needles out of Isaac’s eyes. If you need your 80s slasher movie horror fix then look no further.
EMT Assessment: This woman literally explodes. I promise you there's nothing an EMT can do to save you from that.