survival-horror / action-horror / whatever you want to call it-horror
What elements do you think make for the best in horror gaming? Does it currently feel like the genre is on a good trajectory? Any up-and-coming games that youíre looking forward to? Share thoughts here.
The older survival horror games really pull me in. They had a great formula of creepy backdrops, disturbing creatures, thought provoking puzzle-solving, limited inventory management, great soundtracks, and survival. Primarily referring here to the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series of the Playstation-Playstation2 years.
Resident Evil felt like it played on a more primal fear of fight or flight. The science fiction narrative of a viral outbreak being a more external threat to the player, with a clear goal of survival and escape. Silent Hill on the other hand created a disturbing atmosphere of supernatural powers, and told depressing stories of broken people who created and projected their own monsters and who ultimately might be better off not surviving the journey. Both formulas worked really well respectively.
After the success of RE4 (which was a great game) it seems like most franchises followed the more action packed formula. Dead Space is one of the few more action oriented modern shoot Ďem up style horror games that blew me away. Horrific monster designs and an absolutely haunting atmosphere, a modern classic.
Never got to play games like Clock Tower, Fatal Frame, Rule of Rose, Alone in the Dark, or Haunting Ground. Some of these are rare and quite expensive these days. A lot of the newer games I simply donít have the hardware to run, but some look quite good.
I'm playing Silent Hill 1 on the PSX emulator. It's still amazing, even despite its blocky graphics and mediocre controls. Team Silent took advantage of every last ounce of the PSX's powers to craft those beautifully grotesque worlds; in real-time 3D, no less. While I deeply respect Resident Evil and its great pre-rendered backgrounds, Team Silent went all the way. I think its effectiveness has to do with the protagonist: you're a regular Joe (instead of a standard fearless superhero fighter), alone and outnumbered, with limited ammo and fighting skills, against a horde of monsters in a foggy, abandoned city in the middle of nowhere, looking for your daughter, and things get uglier and uglier as you progress.
This kind of survival horror taps into your deepest nightmares; absolutely no one would want to be in a situation like this. And the game tells you, "well, I'll put you, the player, in this situation. How are you going to deal with it?" Unlike horror movies, you have the option to fight your fears (or run away from them, in weapon-less games like Amnesia).
I'm glad that RE7 went back to the survival horror style and has garnered universal acclaim, after the Michael Bay bullshit that 5 and 6 were. I still love 4, but I would have loved to play the original scrapped version. We already have Eternal Darkness, though, which I consider one of the best of its kind, and one of the best games ever made.
back in the day Phantsmagoria really freaked me out... that game is still really over the top disturbing in parts. Alien Isolation actually freaked me out in some parts, and Resident Evil 7 with VR is nerve-shattering. I hear Soma is good. Amnesia is cool. Outlast seemed neat but I didn't dive in deep enough to really give my two cents. I didn't get to finish Alan Wake but what I played was really cool. People keep telling me The Evil Within is really underrated, but I had a hard time getting into it. Fatal Frame games are good but overrated. Siren is a cool under-the-radar J-horror game. I consider the Bioshock games to be horror... at least as much as Resident Evil 4 and 5 were.
There's also campy horror comedy games, like Dead Rising, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Shadows of the Damned.
Also check out Until Dawn if you have PS4.
The one I'm really interested in (and hoping it turns out right) is We Happy Few... a game where you live in a dystopian land where everyone is on super-happy pills, and you're trying to unbrainwash yourself or something, but if you slip up and the other citizens find you looking down in the dumps they turn on you and gleefully kill you or something? Sounds super interesting... Too bad it's going to be a timed Xbox exclusive, so who knows, maybe it'll be like Tomb Raider and we have to wait a year to get it, and by the time it releases (like Tomb Raider) I'm over it.
Anyone picking up Friday The 13th when is drops soon? Ill be on PC.
Uuuggghhh Shadows of the Damned. THAT'S a fucking video game. What a great over-the-top action/horror/comedy.
Speaking of console exclusives! I just got myself an Xbox One. Does anybody recommend/know of any Xbox-exclusive horror games worth playing? I already downloaded Layers of Fear as one of the Live Gold giveaways this month - LOVED that game on PS4, definitely no problem playing it again.
i *love* horror games. i was 9 when playing maniac mansion home alone freaked me out (seriously -- edna in the kitchen!).
most recently i've loved these guys lo-fi projects: http://puppetcombo.com
power drill massacre is *so* good.
i also like silent hill, parts one and two. been itching for a good one on a handheld besides revelations.
P.T. . Clock Tower always gave me a chuckle when I was younger. Off the top of my head, Silent Hill 2 was very unnerving, Resident Evil 2 (I'm looking at you hound that breaks through the two way mirror), Amnesia Series, Outlast is fantastic but could be so much more (Hopefully 2 fixes that), Dead Space, System Shock (Classic), Parasite Eve had it's moments, The Evil Within is great but not that scary to me. Dam, I can keep going .
Layers of Fear had a cool concept, but it's just dumb... Until Dawn is good, but hilariously and unintentionally funny; had a ton of fun with that game.
Outlast's third act was just so silly and felt so hard to take seriously. In general that game felt like a less psychologically-driven Amnesia with a far-less engaging story and atmosphere. Where Amnesia was about isolation and mood Outlast was about chase sequences and gore and it functionally made no sense to me that you couldn't fight back whatsoever. Not fighting supernatural horrors is one thing, but not being able to smack a regular human back is forced.
That's actually something I loved about Alien: Isolation -- you can take on what humans there are, though it's always a challenge, and you can maybe kill an android, but it's gonna be a massive struggle. When the xenomorph is on the map, though, all bets are off and you're at best going to stun it and piss it off over time. It made being powerless to the alien that much more terrifying and it provided a great sense of balance and inner logic -- of course you can kill another human. The fact that doing so might lure out a massive and armored alien that won't give a shit what you throw at it became an incentive to avoid doing it.
Outlast didn't really sell me on an explanation for that -- make combat harder, find ways to discourage it, come up with reasons it won't work situation to situation, but don't just tell me my character can't pick up a book or a lamp and bonk a dude on the head with it. Hell, make it to where engaging in violence fucks with your sanity and makes the player more erratic in movement and difficult to control, make them hallucinate, whatever -- but give me a reason. Powerlessness for powerlessness's sake is more frustrating than terrifying and doesn't feel earned.
I've got my eye on this game Agony, i mean on the surface it looks amazing but i just hope the gameplay is good.
Oh and another one called Perception that I've been following for a while seems very promising.
Last edited by thelastdisciple; 03-09-2017 at 08:26 AM.
That emulator is great. My plan is to eventually get into Alone In The Dark - The New Nightmare on the psx emulator.
Originally Posted by wizfan
Seems like general consensus is that 6 was a fumble for the series. Iíve recently started playing RE6 for the first time. Only a little ways in the Leon campaign, so itís early yet to form a strong opinion. But so far the set pieces have been pretty creative and enjoyable. I would assume the gameplay will continue in the progression of the RE4-RE5 style. An important element for me is immersion, how well the game pulls you into its world and holds you there. The onscreen button prompts really break that immersion in this kind of game, for me at least. They give it almost an arcade type of feel. Otherwise, early on Iím having fun with this game for what it is.
Originally Posted by wizfan
A friend of mine was the dialogue writer for that game... I promise, the unintentional humor and campiness is totally intentional.
Originally Posted by Self.Destructive.Pattern
I didn't play Layers of Fear, but I saw the trailer and it looked interesting. 2Dark just came out, but I have no idea what the deal is with this... it looks stylistically cool though? I still want to play Eternal Darkness some day. I wonder if people would consider The Last of Us to be a horror game?
, yeah, Shadows of the Damned was so overlooked. It was amazing, and so unique in its personality.
Also, I don't have an Xbox One, but if it's backwards compatible with Alan Wake, get that. It was super cheap the last time I checked.
A couple other quick pseudo-horror games from the same company, PlayDead, spring to mind.... If you haven't played Limbo or Insides, check those out!
I gotta repeat it though, if you've got a Windows PC, download Phantasmagoria off Steam!!!! This game is FUCKED UP. I wondered for a while if it was just that I was relatively young and impressionable when I first played it, but some of the cut scenes in that were genuinely disturbing. I went back and watched some of the more brutal ones again, and nope... it's actually that fucked up. Almost no horror game I've seen ventures into that true grind house horror mode, and the fact that it uses real FMV acting makes it even more visceral. Aspects haven't aged that well, some of the acting is ludicrously over the top, it can be super cheesy in parts, and if you don't like point/click adventures, this might not be your thing, but wow was this a bold game.
But if point/click adventure horror is your bag, also check out the first two Gabriel Knight games! Also, did anyone play the Clive Barker game Undying, or I Have No Mouth and Must Scream?
Oh yeah PT! So sad that was canceled, but so glad I have the demo on my PS4 still.
AH, also, everyone who didn't pick up Day of the Tentacle remastered last month when it was free on PS+, you screwed up if you like comic horror adventure games... You should fix this by buying it!
Has anyone played all of these Slender games? I always found the concept to be kind of creepy and interesting, and one of them is on sale on PSN now for less than 5 bucks.
I also liked the House of the Dead games, especially the grindhouse feel in Overkill, and I liked the Splatterhouse games (and the underrated reboot). Also, since it came out on the family-friendly Wii, MadWorld (despite getting good reviews) was sadly overlooked...
INSIDE IS FUCKING SO GOOD. I haven't played Limbo yet, but I need to. Alan awake MAY be conpatible, I'd have to double check, but that one's definitely on the list.
Is there absolutely any way to get PT on your system now? Like is paying money for it in some form a thing? Because I will. Zero fucks given.
I think you need a system backup from someone who has it
Originally Posted by Alrea
It is so lame that they didn't just keep the demo live... it's amazing
Do it, man. It's one of the most rewarding horror game experiences ever. Not only because it's scary and it messes with you, but also because it plays so well. The controls and camera movement are virtually flawless. If only more horror games took note of that.
Originally Posted by Jinsai
I need to play Phantasmagoria. I've heard so many good things. Have you ever played the sequel,
? "I heard that, Curtis!"
no... the sequel looked really bad, especially in hindsight youtube review.
Gabriel Knight 2 - The Beast Within is a totally bizarre and awesome time-capsule of a certain kind of dated horror game that will never really happen again though. It was around the same time as Phantasmagoria, and the look of the FMV sequences has that same weird shit going on with it... words fail.
I dig this sort of strange aesthetic though, even though it never really caught on at all.
Ahh, I am so glad that is what they were going for in that game. I wanted to research that myself but just never got around to it. I actually enjoyed the slapstick parts in the game a lot... man, me and my girl were in tears at some parts.
Originally Posted by Jinsai
Layers of Fear is interesting, but is about it... it is just that. I has some cool visuals and story, but all in all, it comes through as mediocre and not scary. As for The Last of Us... I would say it falls in somewhere between action and horror. I have tried both Limbo and Inside and I love them both.
Phantasmagoria I have been wanting to play for years. I remember when it came out and my family at the time had a Packard Bell (Man, I loved that computer) and we always had a problem getting it to play on the dam thing... stupid MS-DOS. I will definitely give it a shot now that I know it is on Steam! The visuals I remember was the reason it still lives in infamy to this day along with the disturbing ones. Reminds me of a really bad Sega-CD game.
The Slender games are ok for the most part. I tried out the one that is on PSN, and it's ok... nothing groundbreaking. The Splatterhouse games can be freaking hard at times, but I always enjoyed the one on the TurboGrafx-16.
Anyone ever play or remember Nightmare Creatures? There were 2 games that I know of and I've only played the first one for N64.
Watching this comparison vid makes it obvious that the PS1 version was way better. Might see if i can emulate it.
It was a pretty simple and straight forward action horror but it was fun and gothic as hell.
There's one incredibly gory sequence towards the end that I ended up watching about thirty times in a row because I couldn't figure out the puzzle solution... It is still super disturbing, and the gore is incredibly realistic...
Originally Posted by Self.Destructive.Pattern
EDIT: Spoiler Warning, but this is the scene I was talking about.
Last edited by Jinsai; 03-15-2017 at 06:16 PM.
If you don't find slender man games scary, may I suggest taking acid and playing the original eight pages game. I couldn't even turn around
I need to get back to playing the original Pathologic. Been kind of distracted by other things. Pretty unnerving, weird, creative survival horror game. I would be excited for the remake, but my pc is a potato.
I also need to get around to those Kitty Horror show games I bought a month back. Her games seem very interesting.
Also, if you like point and click games, I recommend The Cat Lady and Downfall (play the original as well. I like the art style better on the original, plus it's free).