If You're Scared Of Spiders, Obsidian's Upcoming Game Will Have A Mode Just For You

Illustration for article titled If You're Scared Of Spiders, Obsidian's Upcoming Game Will Have A Mode Just For You
Screenshot: Obsidian Entertainment

Let’s face it: spiders are scary. Even more so if they get blown up to monstrous proportions. Grounded, the upcoming survival adventure from Obsidian Entertainment, will apparently feature a special “arachnophobia mode” to help players avoid coming face-to-face with the game’s giant eight-legged monstrosities. What exactly this mode will entail is still a mystery.


Grounded is basically Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The Video Game. If you’re around my age, I’m sure you still carry the emotional scars from some of the 1989 classic’s more terrifying scenes, especially if you’re freaked out by creepy crawlies in the first place. Sure, Grounded gives players the ability to build bases and combat bugs with a variety of weaponry, but it might be hard to fight back if the mere sight of a spider sends you running for the hills.

Spiders appear to play a huge role in Grounded if early footage is anything to go by, stealthily hunting the player character through the game’s backyard biome. While speaking with Kotaku reporter Nathan Grayson last November, director Adam Brennecke played up the fact that the various creatures in Grounded will form a complex ecosystem that can be thrown into wack should any species be weakened or wiped out completely.

With this in mind, it’s clear that spiders can’t be removed from Grounded without a big chunk of the game being affected. It’s possible that they’ll be replaced by a similar predator. When asked about this on Twitter, the official Obsidian account said that there is “still research being done” on what arachnophobia mode will look like. Kotaku has contacted Microsoft for more details.

Arachnophobia, according to some cursory research I did moments ago, is one of humanity’s most common fears, but scientists still haven’t come to a consensus on its origin. One study has shown the possibility that we’re born afraid of spiders as an evolutionary holdover from when our ancestors depended on these responses to keep them safe. Another theory comes from a professor of psychology at the University of Sussex, whose research has pointed to arachnophobia’s predominance in European countries as a sign that the fear might be cultural.

This knowledge may come as little consolation if you suffer from arachnophobia, but it should be a relief to know Obsidian will have your back in Grounded. I personally think spiders are good friends despite their Lovecraftian appearances, so I might use the arachnophobia mode just to avoid having to kill them.

Staff Writer, Kotaku



That’s actually kind of big for me, as I have had an issue with spiders in visual media for years. For some odd reason, if I see a lot of a spider in detail, I get physically sick (I actually don’t mind small ones in real life, but I do get ill if there’s a big spider in real life. A friend in college showed me this pet spider that seemed way larger than a tarantula and I immediately felt acid build up in my throat and had to throw up before even stepping out of the doorway, because it was right up against the glass with its weird ass underside looking at me). Like I had to stop playing, I think it was called Darksiders, because there was a part with giant ass spiders and you could see underneath them. A friend of mine didn’t believe I had this problem but I threw the controller down, ran to the bathroom and vomited. He beat that part for me, which was pretty cool of him.

Skyrim I played on PC by turning all of the spiders into bears. I basically look for spiders to anything else mod any time I play a video game with giant spiders in it. Note that I’m cool with things like Diablo III, but stuff like Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles where they, like, fall toward the camera and do that thing with their legs as they die, I can’t handle. Visual fidelity doesn’t really matter, just that it’s there.

So this is a neat little thing that’s going to at least guarantee I check this game out once it releases.