- The entire beginning of the game is oppressively nightmarish to Lara, seeing as she's still somewhat of a well off fresh faced British chick thrust into a terrifying jungle landscape with no survival skills whatsoever, with insane cultists hunting Lara down through an unforgiving terrain that wants to keep them trapped on the island forever. Obviously she gets better at it, but still.
- Lara technically has some semblance of foundation survival skills at the beginning of the game—such as starting her fire, using the bow after finding it, hunting some deer—but they have all been in theory, and under a bit of Roth's supervision. She gets to put theories and hypotheticals she's learned into action, and builds up immensely from her foundation into feasible skillsets, though, and making her a terrifying individual to the Solarii by the end, instead of the fearful young woman she started out as.
- Some preview and review articles have mentioned that some of this game's particular death animations are EXTREMELY gruesome. The Kotaku review, in particular, has a very, VERY disturbing impalement animation planted in their review.
- The entirety of the game has you trapped on an island full of insane, monstrous cultists that want to do horrible things to you and your allies.
- The island is peppered with hundreds of sacrificed women still strung up in the shrines they were burned in.
- The wolves that are sprinkled throughout the island that can leap out at you. In some cases, they'll leap at you in slow motion and if you're not able to put them down with a well-placed arrow, they will rip out your throat and break your neck.
- You'll even have to go in one of their dens to retrieve supplies early in the game. As you venture through it, you'll hear snarling and growling, shadows passing across the wall, and the bones of animals and....perhaps even humans. Walking into a dark cave knowing there are wolves moving around, just waiting for one to jump out at you, is a Dead Space-worthy bit of suspense.
- There's one section in the game that finds Lara in a dark area that is littered with the various rotting remains of humans, blood splattered all over the walls.
- There's also the reason why they are there in the first place. They are the tablescraps of an oni .
- A scene that acts as a shout out to Apocalypse Now has Lara escape capture by jumping into a standing pool of human blood. As in completely submerged in it from head to toe. While she has open wounds, the most prominent of which being the gaping hole in her torso from being impaled at the beginning of the game. It doesn't help that this leads Lara into The Pit... All the fetid corpse-ridden water Lara wades through upto her nose. To put this in perspective, this is actually worse than the cover for Dead Island: Riptide which mirrors the scene, or any in game content. It's worse than Riptide, which drips Nightmare Fuel, is rated R and the trailer was banned. Yikes.
- To further add on to this, earlier before the blood pool and the brutal beat down Lara receives from the Solarii, she had to parachute her way through the forest to get to that general area. Before she has a chance to patch up that gaping hole in her side, Lara had to crawl through a muck of clearly contaminated watermost likely stagnant and filled with all kinds of waste including rotted corpse and bodily waste. Even Lara is disgusted and utters, that smell, as she pushes through it. Imagine the medical care shed need after wading through the waste water and then the stagnant blood pool, and so much more. Hopefully she was treated from the possibility of sepsis or worse.
- An early section of the game finds you fleeing from a deranged madman. If you're not able to get away from him, a large boulder will fall upon your legs, followed by another crushing your head.
- The man himself is pretty damn creepy as well. He's not a whooping and hollering maniac. The way he speaks seems to indicate he wants to help you. Unfortunately, this "help" consists of sinking a climber's axe into your chest."Shhh... It will be over soon."
- The man himself is pretty damn creepy as well. He's not a whooping and hollering maniac. The way he speaks seems to indicate he wants to help you. Unfortunately, this "help" consists of sinking a climber's axe into your chest.
- Really, the fact that the deaths are so startlingly brutal compared to the previous games.
- It's not so much that they're more brutal, it's that Lara now looks photorealistic as opposed to more of an exaggerated cartoony type.
- They also aren't anything you wouldn't find in a Dead Space game. Which really says it all right there: a Cosmic Horror game would be comfortable using the death scenes from this installment.
- The "unholy ones" in the Pit. The sheer insanity they show with every word is unnerving in the extreme.
- One QTE involves Lara sliding to avoid sharp sticks jutting out of a rapidly-moving river. If you fail, Lara gets gored through the throat. When Conan O'Brien tried this on his show, he failed repeatedly, leading to having to see the scene over and over again...with the audience clearly horrified each time.
- Even worse, during the parachute scene, Lara will get skewered by multiple rows of sharp branches if you keep hitting the tree's. She'll twitch and struggle in excruciating pain until she gives out.
- Along the beach where Jonah gives Lara the sports bow there's a number of cliffs and wrecks to traverse. Big deal, kids and teens do that on the beach all the time. Miss a jump and you'll realize why some places say no jumping or diving when Lara is graphically Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on something just under the water surface. Hoy...
- Towards the end of the game Lara must sneak past The entire Stormguard Army. The creepy chanting, inhuman roars and the painful consequences of being detected makes this encounter rather unnerving.
- The No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that Lara receives midway through the game, is probably one of the most brutal depictions of the trope in recent gaming memory.
- Vladimir, the Ax-Crazy maybe-rapist who other mooks say loves killing and seems to enjoy hunting people (and implies that he does it a lot,) is pretty terrifying considering what a vulnerable position Lara is in at the time (even though most players will have seen the trailers which let you know he's Lara's first kill). However, his death itself is pretty scary, given that he is a notable aversion of the Boom, Headshot! Instant Death Bullet; the man is groaning and spluttering for a while with a hole in his bloodstained head.
Vladimir: So are you gonna play hide-and-seek with me, baby? (suggestive tone) You are good-looking, aren't you? You remind me of my sister.
- This man was the subject of much controversy surrounding the game's release, but the sexual undertones of the scene where he captures Lara are unmistakable, especially if the player understands the Russian he says while stroking her.
- During Lara's first encounter with The Stormguard, she is captured and suspended in a chamber full of corpses and body parts. Once she manages to free herself, she starts crawling through a tunnel when The Oni Stalker enters the room. If Lara tries to go back into the previous chamber, then a scene is triggered where she is detected and smashed into a bloody pulp.
- Shortly after you escape from the Stalker, you have to walk across a cliffside filled with spirit gates...which is carpeted in the remains of Imperial Japanese soldiers from World War 2, butchered by the Stormguard.
- In the game, you can find two artifacts. These artifacts are toys. Yes, toys, and they belonged to two little girls: Coco and Millie. This alone is pretty horrifying in its own right. But then you remember what the Solarii normally do with girls on the island.
- Before the toys are available to find, Lara is trapped in the Pit, a location in the Geothermic Caverns. This is an underground cavern where the Solarii imprison new male survivors, where they are psychologically broken, and either rot away or are initiated into the brotherhood. The cavern features some roaming prisoners that will attack Lara, and other prisoners stuck inside cramped cells. If the player gets over the initial primal fright of being jumped by the roaming prisoners (usually by killing them when they come at you), take the time to listen to the locked-up prisoners. Amongst the ones screaming in fear or anger, there is one guy that speaks calmly and to himself. He mentions that his family was shipwrecked on a sailing trip. His family that consisted of a wife and two daughters. The remaining monologue from the prisoner indicates that he may have seen his daughters, and possibly his wife, get killed in the fire ritual or by the Solarii's brutality. Whether the player learns this before or after the toys are discovered, it remains disheartening nonetheless.
- The part with Lara climbing the old, rusty ladders of the radio tower is an absolute nightmare for those who are afraid of heights.
- At the end of the game, when Himiko starts trying to possess Sam, the face of the statue she's encased in chips off, revealing her real, horribly decayed face. Which starts screaming.
- While wading through the waste water in Shanty Town, you hear a conflict in the housing above. A man is clearly being interrogated, brutally so, by one of the members of the Solarii. The man, most likely another crew member from the Endurance, pleads his case about not knowing where Grim, the old man, has gone. The grunts of pain and then a sickening crack sound off right after the Solarii mentions not believing his prisoner and mentioning, Maybe I need to loosen your tongue. The implications of how that scenario in the room above happened are left solely up to player. The aftermath, however, is viewed by Lara right before you exit the underpass with the mans lifeless body being dumped under the floorboards without a second thought. Evidently, not everyone makes it to initiation in the Geothermal Caves.
Nightmare Fuel / Tomb Raider (2013)