The Top 7... enemies that scuttle and jump at your face

5. Swarmers | Dead Space

As their name suggests, Swarmers swarm. A horrible scuttling swarm. Ideally they like to swarm all over Dead Space's serially unlucky spaceman, Isaac Clarke, and violently swarm him to death. They are like deadly, mobile slices of man-eating kebab meat. And, like the kebab meat found clinging to rotating meat poles in some of England's most finest post-pub eateries, it's difficult to ascertain what fleshy bits Swarmers are actually made from. In the Middle East, they call kebabs 'Shawarmas'. Which is a lot like Swarmer. Coincidence? We don't think so.

Above: Which one would you rather eat with a hot chilli sauce after a night of extreme refreshment?

In addition to scuttling and jumping, Swarmers have a couple other things in common with Facehuggers: 1) They can live inside a host and burst out in a big gross mess of guts and puss and insidey bits (admittedly it's the Alien universe's Chestburster which does this, but whatever) and 2) They have a proboscis (although the principle use of the Swarmer proboscis seems to be as a fleshy little weapon to stab victims as opposed to a rubbery tube of impregnation).

Here is a picture of Swarmers working together with their proboscises to inflict harm on poor old Isaac Clarke.

Above: See how they are jumping at his face

We have no idea what the liquid stuff is that's flying everywhere in that picture. It could be gravy. What is apparent from that image, though, is that you don't want multiple Swarmers latching on to you. If they do, it slows you down and you have to follow the correct sequence of on-screen button commands in order to shake them off. Or if you're playing on Wii, you actually shake the controller. Which brilliantly demonstrates how much better and more realistic motion controls are.

4. Trites | Doom 3

This one stands out from the rest of the horrible skittering things on this list for one very important and highly respectable reason. It’s not actually a rip-off of Alien’s Facehuggers. While essentially all of the monsters and franchises on this list take a great big scuttley cue from the works of Ridley Scott and James Cameron, Doom 3’s Trites are a far more original beast. Because they rip off John Carpenter’s The Thing instead.

That bit in The Thing where that guy’s head sprouts spider legs, detaches itself from his body and runs away? That’s not just one of the finest executions of a fine idea ever to grace horror cinema. It’s also the genesis of the Trites. Spider bodies, upside down human heads. They’re a frickin’ abomination. Turning the human visage 180 in the wrong direction and then stapling it to the most abhorrent creature in all of Christendom? Godless, barbaric depravity. That’s what that is.

And then they have the cheek to be monsters of the “individually weak but bloody terrifying in large numbers” ilk, meaning that you’re always, always forced to feel stupid for the disproportionate amount of terror incited by each and every sighting of one of their hidey-holes or webs. Which always, always in turn incites a sub-conscious flashback to every unthinking, unfeeling, smug, inhuman arsehole who’s ever made light of your real-life spider-terror on the moronic, uneducated grounds that “It’s more scared of you than you are of it”

It isn’t. It can’t be. I have an intelligent, articulate, developed human brain. It has a tiny, primitive spider brain, which operates on pure instinct and hatred. Just shut up, Mum, and hit it with a shoe.

But yeah, we’ve gone slightly off-track here, haven’t we? Moving swiftly on…

3. Parasites | Metroid Prime

There's a whole bunch of stuff that moves like a homing missile in the direction of your head in the Metroid games. The most obvious, of course, is the blobby alien jellyfish Metroids themselves. They like to latch on and suck up life energy like a thick shake. But they don't make the list because a) they don't really scuttle and b) they don't really jump. Then there's Hopping Metroids. And Phazon Hoppers. But no. It's Parasites that make the list because they are crazy good at scuttling and will get green shit all in your face.

Above: That's exactly what we just said

In terms of causing actual pain and harm, Parasites don't pose much of a threat. But they will make a terrible mess of any helmet or ventilation shaft. They scuttle about in large numbers and splurge themselves in an explosion of green splurge. In fact, the sole purpose of Parasites seems to involve nothing more than scuttling and making green splurge all over your face by exploding in close proximity to the face area. It seems like a completely bloody pointless existence. But it is a video game, so, like, it's not even real. This picture illustrates the sole purpose of the Parasite.

Above: Pretty pointless

Seriously, that green stuff gets everywhere. There should probably be some kind of space age windscreen wiper for the power suit visor to avoid it getting all chogged with muck. And if you get any on the Zero Suit it's an absolute stain nightmare. If this does happen, however, we'd suggest gently rubbing the stained area with some liquid detergent, leave for 5 minutes and then soak in cold water for 10-15 minutes. That should do the trick.