A brief analysis of what made the original Resident Evil games scary as hell and why modern interpretations miss the mark.
To be fair, the older survival-horror games benefited greatly from technical limitations. Fixed camera angles created that tension modern titles can't compete with. But this shouldn't be the case. Dead Space's camera was free most of the time, and yet it was a great, modern survival-horror game. The article was spot on when he mentioned vulnerability as one key factor to eliciting fear. In RE6, vulnerability is hardly present. You can round house kick your way through zombies and still be okay at the end of the day. The problem with this is it defies logic. Why would a survivor, most especially a learned survivor in the form of Chris and Leon, trouble himself to be drenched in zombie blood when he knows that blood could trickle down an open wound and even spatter to his mouth and become a zombie? In the original games, you made sure you never come into contact with zombies. In RE6, you are expected to finish an enemy with a melee attack more often than not. RE4 introduced these melee attacks, but in that game it was implemented sparingly. I wish Capcom reboots this franchise. Let's just hope they still do the remake and not pass the torch to an outside dev. I'm looking at you DmC!
I dont know why the TPS camera has to translate into a Rambo esque gameplay. What made RE scary was that you had to store ammo and health and be careful,vwhile now if you are low on health and ammo you can buy them. And AI partners kill the overall tension. RE OUTBREAK is a fine example on adding coop witouth compromising the tension of the series.
Though Dead Space's camera was free, I feel like the game relied on monster closets too heavily and after the initial shock of seeing an enemy, the terror is gone. Once a enemy is in your sites, Dead Space becomes about the various ways of killing the enemy. Don't get me wrong. Monster closets surely existed in early Resident Evil games, but item management kept tension even after the initial encounter. Deciding how much of what weapon you should waste to take out a zombie was vital. Thanks for the kind words on the article. I'm glad to read you agree with the idea of vulnerability.
Remember the head-decapitation move used by the Hunters? THAT made me feel vulnerable and hate them.
Dude! Those things scared the piss outta me! They could do you in so easily. The cinematic that introduced them from their prospective scared me too. It showed them sprinting right to your location, then it went right back to gameplay and you're like....oh....shit.
another element that made the original resi and at some point the other 4 titles of the old type(2,3,0,cv) scary, was that of the some realism...they hadnt lost the touch with the reality ..the danger of biological weapons is present in our times although not exactly in the form that is represented in resi games but that realism was that keep the tense and put you in the mood...after movies and resi4 that element is lost the series estrange the player completely
Nothing was scarier than that Licker busting through the mirror at the Police Station on Resident Evil 2.
Nicely written! RE1 was amazing and brought survival horror to the masses. And this was before the widespread popularity of zombie based games or movies. I still remember walking through that first long hallway where the zombie doberman jumps through the window and you fire at nearly everything but it out of sheer panic. The first hunter encounter and definitely the snake coming out the chimney are moments you'll never forget from the original RE. This is one for the gaming hall of fame.
Thanks a lot! I'll always remember that doberman. One of the single scariest moments in games. Totally flipped my idea of what a game could do to scare me, at the time.
The entire game was way ahead of its time in regards to the overall presentation and its ability to freak you out at any moment=)
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