Monday, 30 November 2009

Why Horror Games Suck!

Inspired by Ron Gilbert's article "Why adventure games suck" I decided to do my own list. To be fair I do not think that all horror games suck (in fact some are really good!), but there are some common problems that pretty much all the games have. These issues hold horror games back from using the medium's full potential and I am convinced that games can be a lot more scary and engaging than what we have seen so far.

I also want to point out that the Penumbra games all have their share of flaws from the stuff below and are by no means exceptions from the rule. However, it is always a start to notice what kind of flaws that exist, so that one can work upon fixing them. It is our goal that our upcoming game Amnesia will minimize on these sucky aspects! Now that I have lined up the mistakes, it would be quite stupid to step into them.


Control is taken away when things get scary
"The protagonist enters a seemingly empty room, starts looking around when suddenly a strange sound is heard from outside. Something is about to enter and it's time to hide. At this point the game removes the player's control and a cut-scene is started showing how the protagonist hides and just barely manages to remain unseen by the approaching monster."

This is a very common situation and I have seen it in just about every horror game that I have played. Just about when things are about to get really scary, the player's control is taken away. Why does this keep happening in games? It's been over 10 years since Half-Life skipped having cut-scenes and it seem rational that all horror games should be using this approach by now.
I think the major reason for still using cut-scenes like this is because a certain scenes requires "special moves" (like hiding) from the protagonist and/or will lead to a strange situation if the player does play along (tries to kill the approaching monster or similar). This does not mean that the cut-scenes are needed though and scenes can be rewritten or game mechanics can be changed to make it work. It is also possible to allow players to do really stupid decisions as long as they has been given a fairly good hint on what a good action would be. If some of the players insist on walking up to the man seen butchering his victims then just put them up against him in an unwinnable fight. Next time they should be a lot more careful...
Another reason for designers to add cut-scenes is because they do not want the player to miss something. In horror games this could mean a shadow briefly seen in the distance or similar. Often this is very sloppy design and some simple changes can make the shadow almost impossible to miss. Let's not forget that it is an interactive medium either and it is often trivial to add some line-of sight check and activate the shadow when the player is actually looking in that direction. Sure, a small percentage of the players might miss it, but that is something one has to live with when working in an interactive medium.
If one needs to have a cut-scenes in a horror game, then make sure not to have it during the actual horror segments. Doing that is like having Mario enter a cut scene when he is about to jump from one platform to another.


Combat is designed to be fun
Many horror games are fairly combat oriented and because of this a great deal of design time is spent making sure that combat is fun. If players will spend a lot of time killing stuff, is it not reasonable to make the combat fun? Unless the goal is not to make a really scary horror game then the answer to this is "NO".
If fighting the monster is the best part of the game, then this what players will want to do. In horror games, where enemies almost always are the main mechanics for making the player scared, this approach is counterproductive. Players are supposed to fear the monsters, but if killing them is what makes the game worth playing then enemies are bound to be a lot less scary. If one gains positive feedback whenever an enemy is encountered then approaching sounds might give a reactions like: "Oh, that might be an enemy! Goodie!". This is of course the completely opposite of what a horror games strives for.
But if combat is not "fun", then will it not be boring, meaning that the game will be boring too? I would like to answer this with a loud "NO" this time too. First of all, combat can be "unfun" for many different reasons and some reasons are better than others. For example, the combat still needs to be pretty fair, responsive and not feel too frustrating. A good way to make the combat feel unfun is by resources, an example being System Shock 2 where ammo is very sparse and weapons will degrade (and eventually break) whenever used. In Silent Hill (the older titles anyways) combat use responsive controls but aiming can be imprecise and a bit clumsy, making it feel more like a last resort than the basis of fun in the game.
These examples have their own flaws, but point at least in the right direction. Also, with all the problems that combat give rise to, one might consider skipping it altogether. Even though it might be hard to believe, violence is not the only way to drive gameplay...


Overusing the same enemy
Usually a monster in a horror game has some kind of spooky encounter at which they are quite frightening, but then an hour into gameplay, they have become cannon fodder. For some reason, designers seem to think that all hope is lost after this encounter and that they might as well scatter thousands of copies into the rest of the game. Or perhaps they think that if it was scary once it will be scary every other time too (embarrassingly, I am guilty of this myself in the past). Horror is tightly connected to the unknown and if something becomes too familiar then the impact that it first had will be lost. This means that for an enemy to remain scary, the way it is presented needs to vary and the player can not be exposed to it too much. Players will eventually learn patterns, what to expect and the moment this happen, pretty much all scariness connected to the enemy is lost.
I think the main reason that this flaw is present in just about every horror game is because content is so expensive and time consuming to make. Players need to have something to do when playing and the easiest way to do this is to scatter enemies around the levels. This is far from good horror design though and just leads to repetitive and predictable gameplay instead a truly frightening and engaging experience.


The monster is always shown
A well known fact in horror is that the audience's own imagination is the greatest asset. It allows the horror to be more vague and people to project their own fears into the experience. Because of this, many books and movies keep the monster hidden in darkness, not revealing its true form until the very end or not at all.
In games it is quite different. Sure, before a monster is shown there can be shadows and strange sounds, but as soon as it comes into play it's there in full high-poly detail (preferably with lots of slime and/or gore). It seems like horror games are way too anxious to show of the monsters and there are extremely few games that uses an unseen enemy as a gameplay device (and not just some foreboding ambient piece). I suggest that games should add proper gameplay mechanics to an unseen monster and if possible even refrain from showing it at all!
Some might wonder how an enemy that is not seen can affect gameplay, if it can hurt the player, surely it must be visible? I do not think this is needed and in Penumbra: Black Plague we had an enemy that was entirely sound based and never shown in the game. It was far from perfect and had a plenty of flaws but it is at least a step in the right direction. If horror is to reach new levels in games, the fear of the unknown must be used to the fullest!


The horror is slapped on as a side thing
The final reason why horror games suck sort of tie in to all of the above. For some reason it almost always seems like the horror is an afterthought in games. First the game main gameplay design is made (third person shooting, Myst-like puzzle adventure, etc) and then some kind of horror theme is slapped on top. Surely this is not the way horror games are designed, but to design the gameplay mechanics without considering the horror aspect seem fairly common. FEAR is the dictionary example of this where the horror elements are clearly separated from the main gameplay in a very obvious way. The player goes through a section of John-Woo-like shootouts and then after that is a horror section where a scary girl shows up or similar. It soon obvious that these scary sections never pose any threat to the player and the horror factor is greatly decreased. The combat also does nothing to increase the horror, instead it just lessen it by making the player feel everything but vulnerable as wave after wave of enemies are mowed down.
This divide in design is present in pretty much all games though and a lot of the gameplay is designed in isolation from the horror elements (as mentioned above, the most common thing is the entire combat system). I think this problem is fairly common in other games genres too. Instead of trying to combine the gameplay with the story told and feeling that are to be evoked, they are designed separately and then forced together. If games are to reach new heights in terms of telling stories and being emotional than this needs to be improved upon. One can not see the game as a story part and a gameplay part, but have to realize that they both need to support each other.

Until this happens in horror games (and other genres too) they will continue to suck*.

*or at least not be as good as they could :)


35 comments:

  1. Have you played the new Wolfenstein? There is this invisible enemy, which was the only enemy I ever scared in the game. I guess that pretty much summarizes the fact you claimed in this post about revealing high poly enemies.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not played so did not know. But might have to now :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting post. I agree with the first point the most, having the player keep control is probably THE most important way of scaring him/her. For some reason I just thought of the first moment in Condemned: Criminal Origins, where you watch a lengthy cutscene, and just as it ends (with the first enemy of the game running by a doorway in front of you), you are thrust into control for the first time in the game. (The first time with an actual weapon, at least.) Makes it scary because you're not only unsure of your enemy, but of the controls as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No need Thomas if you played Fear them is the same as the assassin enemy in it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting point.
    I really liked the Resident evil 1 controls: slow rotation of the main caracter (180° turn back did not exist at the time) and low fire rate. You had to be carefull when running near zombies because you don't have enough bullets to kill them (when playing Chris).
    I think that this slow control scheme can really put the pressure on you in a lot of situations!

    ReplyDelete
  6. System Shock II is definitively the scariest game to me.
    It had that cool element which put me in a situation where I had no ammo and I had to run with my back to the enemy.

    Also lets keep in mind that some currently popular games hit themselves in the foot by introducing achievements and rewards for certain encounters, making you want to kill more enemies for accumulation of XP, or whatever skills. RPG elements should be away from horror games.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Funnily enough, I played FEAR for the first time last night and it actually made me quite angry at one point, when I had to watch yet another cut-scene (second mission when you've opened the gates and come back to find the troops turned to mush - you then get a scene of the scary girl doing whatever she did to them). It was utterly pointless, and being showed what had happened was far less immersive and scary than just finding the guys who were meant to be protecting you killed in a gruesome fashion would have been. There must have been about 5 minutes actual game play in the first half hour of the game. Utter nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Totaly agree with you. Look like all dev think action + combats are the only thing to do in games. But that is not really compatible with true horror. I miss the first Alone in the Dark. As far I remember, there was more exploration and puzzle solving than combat, and all rooms/situations where near uniques making things unpredicables.
    Thief and system shock 2 were good "fear" game too. In these games even if you can combat you want avoid it for progress.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I found FEAR quite scary with the great use of lighting, strange sound effects and visual anomalies. Also it took a good deal of time to actually meet your first enemy which helped build up the suspense.

    Another game that scared several shades of whatnot out of me was the first resident evil - when you first meet a zombie and you see the cut-scene of him slowing turning towards you with those horrific eyes. Was doubly horrible afterwards when he was slowly shuffling towards you and you had to work out how to shoot him when you had yet to shoot anything in the game and had just been scared witless!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, you know, I think that putting a player in an unwinable fight takes away some immersiveness. Modern Warfare 2 had some great methods for immersive non-player camera control. I completely agree with you on the aspect of horror as an afterthought. Very interesting, I just love game design study.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I brought it up a while ago and now that Anonymous guy up there does it again: I find it pretty weird that you never mention Comdemned: Criminal Origins in these posts.

    Me, I think Comdemned (the first one) should be a mandatory reference for anyone close to horror games, especially people involved in making them. It's a true masterpiece on how to build a horror atmosphere based in a fantastic use of the soundscape, and it tackles several issues you bring up repeatedly in this blog in a most clever way.

    Off the top of my head, it might just be the one horror game that manages to make combat fun and scary at the same time, and oddly enough it doesn't do it by making resources scarce (which is a pretty lazy solution if you ask me) but by making it visceral and dangerous.

    Also, you could say that in a pure strict sense it doesn't even use monsters (not as we are used to know them, anyway), which is quite a feat for a horror game too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a big horror fan and played a lot of horror games. I'd have to agree with you - aside from a few gems (System Shock 2 and Silent Hill), most attempts at horror are terrible.

    I have to say the scariest game i've played is that indie Japanese game called Yume Nikki. The mix of fun exploring a strange ambient environment and the unique alienating atmosphere really draws you in. It goes from curious to strange to terrifying... but it isn't to everyone's taste. Also the "big iconic scare" (Uboa in this case) has been over-exposed, thus making it no longer as scary.

    To add something of my own to your list:
    Originality and over-exposure
    Some creature designs and techniques have been over-exposed and parodied too much in popular culture (be it movies or games) that they become no longer scary.

    Something truly terrifying is something people can't attach a label too. And yet at the same time it is something eerily familiar...

    This rules out spooky little girls with knifes, long haired japanese ghosts, masked serial killers and tentacled monstrousities. EVERYONE knows what to do when encountered with these.

    Regardless, please keep up your efforts to terrify people!
    I hope you manage to conceive of something that makes many people loose sleep and think about for a long time after they experience it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. The new Silent Hill on the Wii removes fighting entirely and the game changes depending on what actions you take. I think it's called Shattered Memories. It looks pretty good. I agree with you on pretty much every front.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your talk about an "unseen enemy" reminded me of the pair of eyes you encounter in "Who Turned Out the Lights" secret level of Earthworm Jim.
    ( See it on YouTube at http://tinyurl.com/darkroomewj ; shows up around 1:48 )

    It's used for comic effect in that game, but when you first see it, it REALLY startles you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. To this day the scariest game for me was Abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  18. therealnoz:
    What I mean was that it is better to put the player in an unwinnable state (where death is unavoidable) if he/she does something stupid rather than using a cut-scene. I agree that every situation where the player feels they are out of control, takes a away some of the immersion.

    æclipse µattaru:
    I have only played the Condemned demo and since it seemed to have a large focus on bashing people I was not interested in playing more (did not find the combat frightening either). I have heard other good things about it later on, like a part where u have to follow a track of blood to find a killer and so on. So am a little more interested in playing now :)

    On new Silent Hill:
    I think it will be very interesting to see how the game turns out. It seems that combat is been exchanged for tons of chase sequences which I am very unsure will work, written a post explaining why:
    http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/2009/07/history-of-violence-part-3.html

    Danielle:
    Talk about music ruining the mood :) That is exactly in the direction I am talking about though. It is really interesting how ones immediately starts to imagining what kinda creature the eyes belong to.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am surprised STALKER: SoC wasn't mentioned.

    Very effective horror, never a loss of control.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You should try vampire the masquerade bloodlines.
    A very good game and generally not a horror game but the infamous haunted hotel level is one of the scariest things I've ever played. It has a largely unseen enemy,you sometimes catch fleeting glimpses of him- I missed most of these, some of them are in very obscure places which most players wouldn't find- but it does scare the crap out of you. There are no actual enemies in the level but nonetheless the constant spooky noises and lights popping out just as you approach them and occasional sightings of ghostly things keep you on the edge of your seat prepared for combat and the result...very scary.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The best horror game, or should I say, horror level in a game has to be the Shalebridge Cradle level in Thief : Deadly Shadows. It pretty much ticks most of Thomas' boxes above and the ones it doesn't has pretty good reasons for not doing so.

    The rest of this post will spoil the experience so don't read if you wish to experience it for yourself.

    First of all, it's a surprise horror level. You enter the old orphange blind to its true nature, you may have picked up a bit of lore along the way that hints at it but there is no lampshading. It must have been hard for the developers to hold so much back as hidden within the Cradle are many stories to be told and an entire sub-plot of the main arc to be uncovered. It also makes the next decision the developers made to be even braver than that, but with an astounding impact on the player's psyche.

    In the first half of the level, you encounter no hostile NPCs. Imagine it, you've entered this decrepit ruin blind, there have been hints of a malevolence within. You don't know what is present here, so you're creeping around in the dark as the game has taught you to do, each corner and room containing a potential unknown threat. It's never realized and as such the tension grows and grows, further amplified by the soundmeister Eric Brosius' under-played yet dischordant soundtrack. Finally, after clearing the lower floors you'll make your way to the attic stairs and just before you reach the door at the top, after all that creeping and near-silence. You are greeted by what in contrast seems like the loudest, earth-thundering banging. And I tell you, what I did right then was turn on my heels and ran back down those stairs. That was the biggest real scare I've ever had from a game, it took me a fair while to muster courage to enter that room and the genius of the level design, making it the only place in the first half to have anything of interest let me know I had to go there. A huge part of me really didn't want to open that door.

    From there on the level slips back into the usual sneaking around NPCs stuff but there is a twist to that. The real genius for me though was that first section. The only danger in it was what I perceived and it's when a horror game manages to do that, that horror games are at their best.

    For a full autopsy of the level you should read Kieron Gillens PCGUK piece on it http://gillen.cream.org/thecradle.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nice article, though you seem to be wrong in the first part about control and cutscenes. The developers' motivation to insert cutscenes (not remove player control, that's just a side-effect) goes from the industry-wide desire for games to be "like in the movies", more cinematic-like. And this one stems from the perceived dramatic quality of scenes in top movies. When director is in control of the scene and not player, it's much easier to build a controlled dramatic scene with same output each time. The whole point lies within the camera - dramatic camera angles showing dramatic character faces, their dramatic encounters with forces of darkness etc. If the encounter is not fully controlled and consists of reused animation, sound etc and most of all player swings camera wildly with his mouse, most of the dramatic impact is lost. Same with horror - scary scenes are much easier to make having full control.

    Resident Evil 4, for example, tried to make a somewhat interactive cutscenes - you could push buttons in a silly minigame to change the outcome.

    I recommend playing or watching japanese horror. The japanese people imho seem to better understand what the horror is all about. For example, the Forbidden Siren series are great exactly because there aren't that many cutscenes, the characters are all intentionally common people, so they're slow and clumsy. The monsters are also mostly people, controlled by dark spirits and there are rarely more than 3-5 of them in any given level. They can't be destroyed completely, only disabled for some period of time. And there are only a few cheap scares in the whole game, it's mostly the doomed atmosphere that gets to you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous:
    I think that by trying to imitate cinema, game designers are kicking interactivity, the core of game medium, in the teeth. Much of the horror in game comes from the players having control and knowing that what happens is up to them. Sure, cut-scenes can be used in games, but using it during a tense scenes is very wrong.

    Camera angles can still be used to create drama though. In the first silent hill there is an excellent example of this where the camera has very creepy angles when running in to an alley. So while the scene use cinematic tricks, the player is still in control the whole time.

    Have to agree that Siren is a very good horror game in terms of atmosphere. However, it uses a trial-and-error type of gameplay which I thinks really kills the immersion. When I first start playing a map in the game, it is all super-tense and immersive, but after the third, forth, etc "cheap" death, all immersion is gone. Still, Siren is extremely interesting in terms of horror design.

    ReplyDelete
  24. There's also another reason for cutscenes. If the player can interact during the scene, he can fail it in some way, for example killing one of the characters, which raises almost infinite possibilities for resolution and almost infinite problems. That's why in Half-Life 2 all npcs during cutscenes are completely locked - you can't shoot them, you can't put anything in their way etc. They just move you if you're on their way - which is stupid and breaks immersion easily. On the other hand, HL1 solves this problem by either making characters non-interactive like at the start or making the scene completely optional and participants completely generic (scientist, soldier, monster etc). And the result is that HL1 does not really have that much of a dramatic plot while HL2 does.

    So you either have to make some hacks for appropriately dramatic scenes or make scenes with generic units like they do in strategy games.
    Actually I liked that scene in Penumbra when you kill the monster in some way and then find out it was the woman that you wanted to get to. Very nice hack, thank you :) I always wanted to ask, where did inspiration for that scene come from? The moment was so Silent Hill-ish in nature.

    Yeah, I remember that camera in the alley - loved that moment. There are some problems with changing camera angles during gameplay (Resident Evil 1-3 for ex) however. First, it's disorienting for the player and second, sometimes the threat is off-camera making the encounter more annoying than scary or anything else.

    Admittedly, I haven't played Siren for very long, so you're probably right. I watched the video playthrough which left out most of the retries.

    ReplyDelete
  25. sorry for double post.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree that cut-scenes work quite well for dialogs. I also like when cut-scenes are added as a reward at the end of a level or similar, as in Warcraft 3. However, I do not like when cut-scenes does "fun" stuff for the player, that totally ruins the experience (as described in the post).

    As for the zombie-turns-to-girl scene: it was first suggested by Tom (our writer) and then tweaked quite (while keeping the essence) a bit to fit the game. Glad you liked it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I guess in that case you'll have to program more of the "fun stuff" so that player can actually do it himself instead of watching :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Theres only one thing that bothered me during the bit where you kill the girl is that after you made pancake of her the doors that she "busted down" (for me anyways, I took refuge in the rooms and she just destroyed the door ) were destroyed. Would be alot creepier if the doors would be restored to normal to just show how mad Philip has become. implying that instead of moving down the door she just opened them. Psychological warfare on the player.

    It is a minor thing I know but those things count.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know this post is old, but I just had to comment. There's an obscure Russian game called Pathologic that was translated into english around 2007. It's roughly the same genre as Penumbra, I'd say- it's a first person game, and you get weapons, but neither of these are important qualifiers of how it's played. In Pathologic you're a doctor trying to cure a extremely deadly plague in a small, isolated Russian city, in the early 1900's. The infected aren't zombies and they don't mutate into monsters that try to kill you. They just die, very very quickly. Your only enemies are plague rats, muggers, and catching the disease yourself. You're on a time limit as each day ticks down, and if you don't accomplish your goals in that day one of the main characters dies. It's a very interesting use of foreboding and atmosphere with very little actual physical danger to the PC, and I personally found it extremely effective.

    A taste of the great horrific moments the game has- your ingame map has a back to it you can check by zooming all the way out. Hitting the zoom out button again will flip it. Around day eight or so, this image changes without warning, or notice. Originally it was a side-view of the town, and then it becomes a side-view of the anatomy of a bull. You just accidentally find it like that at random while checking your map. It changes again twice before the end of the game to further link the connection between the single town and the internal ecosystem of an animal.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh, and the developers of Pathologic (Ice-pick studios) just recently released another game that might be more familiar because it's recent: The Void.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Let's revive this post once again :)
    I disagree with some things mentioned in the unfun combat part. First, the limited resources approach - in all games I played that had it, it caused nothing but frustration. With each spent bullet/durability point, I was feeling more like "Goddamn... a few more and I'll have to reaload from a savegame long ago and only use melee weapons.". Also, without the looming shadow of limited resources I would blast an unfamiliar enemy with my strongest weapon, to prevent it from showing me what it can do. Ratioting on the other hand encourages getting close and personal; learning the attack patterns so you can despatch the enemy with your worst weapon later. This takes away from the atmosphere.

    Also, combat doesn't have to be fair to be good. If the fighting is brutal, the player will become afraid of the monsters themselves. This is why I fondly remember the first part of Undying (let's forget the part where you acquired enough spells to shine in the night, and the game became more like Alien versus Predator... with you as the alien). The Howlers were terrifying for me not because of the sound effects, not because of their appearance, and not because they used to appear out of nowhere: it's that they combat with the them felt on the edge at all times. Most of the time I felt I was in control, evading them and keeping them at arms length, but in one brutal jump that wasn't dodged they could take away half my life total. It created amazing tension. I don't know how many times I've been through a scenario like this: "Now, be calm, keep it steady... two headshots will do... Goddamn! Okey, now you just need to react to the dodge, keep cool, everything is gonna be all right... Fuck. Where the quickload button again?". I won't say this combat was "fun", but it was immensely satisfying when I managed to win.

    Of course, this hit a particular sweet spot for me - I was immersed enough I didn't mind the realoading (and I did that a lot), and the difficulty level fit like a glove. Aiming for that kind of balance with many players of different levels doesn't sound viable at all, but I wanted to bring this as an example that combat can enhance a horror game. It's also an example where fear of the known, repeated enemy can be as strong as fear of the unknown.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I agree completely and would add based on my feelings of how horror games are sucking. Other than the truthfulness of Unseen and vague enemies that Need your imagination to truly make it a horrifying experience. Same can be said of not just people making their creatures VISIBLE completely to the naked eye, but in terms of graphical power, it's a problem. Creatures back in say, PS1 or PS2 days, last-last console generation, creatures were very low in polygons, their faces were warped and it was hard to distinguish sometimes what the monster was as well, so even if it was visible to the naked eye if you look at situations like in say for example: CLOCK TOWER or even System Shock as well can be added.

    Graphics that made the creature, seen or unseen, made it still hard for our minds to really 'Know' or identify what it is we were dealing with or seeing, so our mind even then could give us a scare by our imaginations, wondering "What happened to this person/thing to make it what they are, why do they want to kill me, can it die, will it die, what's it made of?" as well as the greatness of intentional and Unrealistic animations. If something is unexplainable and unrealistic in a Non-cheesy way, it is scary on the basis that it is not humanly possible, it is NOT explainable so your mind will adapt to the story and universe of the horror game and you will grasp that it is not to be compared to the real world which is not as terrifying as the game world.

    Flawed graphics and animations, gameplay/controls and even sounds can help boost a games' horror, I strongly believe that and know many old horror games were scary for that reason too other than as you even said, Silent Hills' clunky gun mechanics added to the fear because you know it wasn't dependable and left you with melee weapons, meaning you'd have to get close and personal or run away, running away being the wisest of choices if the creatures weren't weak as a cardboard cut-out.

    A game I would love to prescribe that to me? Truly set a great bar in Horror when I was younger and I have yet to play and beat, was a game from the Alone in the Dark series, which they as well haven't aged well with time. However, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, TO ME, is one of the scariest games I've played(The voice acting sucks ass though, lol). The game was hard, had lots of darkness, atmosphere, horror, creatures that would keep coming back and VERY....Very small amounts of ammo, that created such a feeling of dread and horror because yes, you may find a good amount of weapons here and there, but who says you'd find the ammo for it?.... I was running out of ammo so much! To the point where I had tried killing everything so it'd be out of the way and I'd not run into it again, but they'd come back after an Event happened! Light sources were scarce as well and everything seemed to just not give me any advantages.

    I recommend that game and to be played properly in the dark, definitely. Hope people read my comment! I still have yet to finish Amnesia though, I was waiting for me and a friend to play it together for a great and fun experience of cooperatively playing it over Voice in the dark xP it's so fun and doesn't ruin the experience cause we're both scared and dare eachother to go into the next room and such at the same time or someone to take a leap of faith while the other hides like a coward xD

    - Mounce - fuzzymoto2002@hotmail.com -

    ReplyDelete
  33. I can't agree, because I believe the player should have the option to choose whether he wants to fight back or to rum. I grew up with Resident Evil and Silent Hill and the weapons which I found´in both games gave me no sign of courage at all. Over the time I played the games, I had to force myself to venture more and more into the game with the fear to run out of ammunition and defense. You see, weapons does not make a horror game bad, it is the game itself that makes it bad if you can't do anything to defend yourself. In real life, people would use any object to keep the danger of them, that is simply survival instinct; use your environment to escape, but I guess it is cooler to run away like a coward that to do something against the thread.

    ReplyDelete

SiteMeter