Top Five ‘Oh Shit’ Moments in Gaming


We’ve all got them, those moments in gaming where things just aren’t going your way. Things that once made you smile now make you cringe. Rather than providing a nice release from the stress of everyday life, your play session slowly turns into an exercise in frustration and you can’t help whimper the phrase ‘Oh shit.’ (Or some variation thereof. Personally I prefer the up-and-coming, drawn-out ‘shhhiiit.’ But you get the idea.)

One of the most important points to this list is distinguishing the difference between an oh shit moment and a jump scare.

A jump scare is really just a cheap way of giving you a momentary fright.

But an ‘Oh shit’ moment isn’t really about suspense, terror or even anger. It’s about acceptance. It comes at a point where anger has left your body and you’re just euphorically apathetic. That split second between fear and nothingness. When you know the deathblow is coming and are content to meet your fate with a simple, quiet and poetic: ‘Oh shit.’

5Pulling Aggro in World Of Warcraft

Pro tier raiding in World of Warcraft is a cruel mistress to say the least. Suddenly, the game isn’t about exploring the wide world of Azeroth or jumping about in Stormwind with your friends. It’s about being as robotic and flawless as possible. You’re no longer viewed as a committed member of the guild but a hollow voice via Ventrilo. An autonomous drone, who’s only as good as their last DPS / healing meter.

So when you stuff up, your heart literally skips a beat because it’s your ass on the line. Sounds like a small point but the simple act of pulling aggro during a heated boss encounter is an ‘Oh shit’ moment you’re never going to forget. Suddenly that giant dragon isn’t facing the way it should and someone’s shouting ‘WHO DA HELL WAS DAT?!’ right in your ear. And so begins your career in looking for a raid. Obviously disregard this if you’re the Tank, not pulling aggro in such a case would be a baffling situation indeed.

4The Spotted ‘Shwing’ in Metal Gear Solid

I’ve always been a bit of a completionist. When I play a game, I play for keeps! I’ve got to explore every nook and cranny, uncover all the secrets and unlock every last achievement. If it’s about action, I’ll do action to the ninth degree. If it’s racing, well if you ain’t first, you’re last.

And stealth? Simply being spotted warrants a restart. So when I was playing Metal Gear Solid (Snake Eater especially) I simply HAD to keep it stealthy and nothing made me sigh a subtle ‘Oh shit’ quite like the classic Metal Gear Spotted ‘Shwing.’ In Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 it wasn’t that much of a big deal. Sure you felt like a dumbass when you were spotted but you had the assistance of the minimap complete with view cones to give you fair warning.

Not the case in Snake Eater, you’re not afforded that luxury. It’s all about situational awareness and, even at the best of times, old mate Snake drops the ball. The set up is simple. You’ve just spent half an hour crawling through the jungle and have made it to the edge of the enemy base. Guards are everywhere but you think you’ve got a clear shot to your next point of cover. You carefully survey the surrounding area and wait for your moment. You stand up, take two steps then, Shwing! Five seconds later it’s all “Snake!? Snaaaaaaaake!!?!?!”

3The Slenderman Crackle

What’s the crackle? Well if you haven’t played yourself a game of Slender I simultaneously pity and envy you. Pity because it’s one of the most atmospheric titles out there. And envy because that lanky freak probably doesn’t haunt your dreams at night.

But the crackle, as opposed to the drums signalling the hunt or the shudder when you actually spot Slenderman in full view, is the sound of impending doom. It’s that moment your screen starts to go all hazy. When the sound gets distorted and you feel the bony, elongated hand of death on your shoulder. And it’s around this moment that I usually throw my hands off the keyboard and mouse to simply say: ‘Done.’ (An Alt + F4 usually follows.)

2The Claymore ‘click’ from Call Of Duty

If you’ve ever taken a game of Call of Duty online, chances are, you’ve heard that dreaded Claymore ‘click.’

It’s an age old story. The game’s going so well. You’re up 10 kills and are just shy of that phat 11 streak bonus. Everyone’s out to get you, but you’re dodging Predator missiles and last stand noobs like you’re Captain Price himself. Enemy UAV online? Well that doesn’t matter because you’re dashing from place to place so you can’t be locked down. Far off in the distance you spot some unsuspecting mouth breather camping in a location that leaves his gun barrel sticking through a wall.

You get this devilish smile across your face and move for the kill. That sweet sweet kill-streak will be made all the more rewarding because you and your trusty knife made it personal. You’re practically in striking distance. The coup de graciâce awaits. You can smell it. Taste it. All that remains is one last step and … *click*

1Blue Turtle Shell Inc.

This is easily the most nostalgic ‘Oh Shit’ moment on the list and therefore the most important by far. (Nintendo nostalgia beats all) You know the drill. You’re about 12 years old, flying through the Kalimari Desert in 1st place like a bawse. That ‘High Noon’ flourish in the soundtrack just graced your ears and you’re totally pumped – all jacked up on Mountain Dew. You come around the bend and see the train approaching.

‘This is gonna be a close one,’ you say to yourself *mini oh shit moment* You drop your final Red Mushroom and boost it to the crossing, seconds ahead of the train. That’s when you hear it … A high pitched, incessant droning sound. And in that moment you realise that there is no God.

Special Mention: When your mouse runs out of battery halfway through the most important game of your life. (As in, at any point. Ever.)

So what are your ‘Oh shit’ moments in gaming? Let us know in the comment section below!

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