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Submitted by MattS 1068d ago | opinion piece

Why Tomb Raider is the most effective horror game of all time

Digitally Downloaded writes: "Jump scares are easy. True horror is hard.

The games industry has struggled to create true horror games. Part of the issue has been technical - genuine horror relies on players being able to relate to what’s going on, and blocky or pixelated representations of people are difficult to relate to. Another part of the issue has been the performances - genuine horror needs great performances to build the atmosphere and fear. And a third part of the issue is even simpler - jump scares are easier to pull off, but are hardly the kind of memorable fear that makes for a memorable horror experience. It takes the work of a true genius to create true horror, and the team behind the Tomb Raider game are true geniuses." (Industry, PC, PS3, Tomb Raider, Xbox 360)

DEATHxTHExKIDx  +   1068d ago
I havent played this game yet. But the last game that actually scared me was Bioshock when it first came out.
classic200  +   1068d ago
even though bioshock is my favorite game of all time, it was never scary to me. It felt more like that dream you would have with super powers and awkward world inhabited by creepy people lol.

I sort of wish more FPS games would be like bioshock, because it always feel like having a lucid dream.
joab777  +   1068d ago
I agree and maybe it was scary in the same way that tomb raider is. Because u care about the character and u r completely drawn in. This is funny because just today (spoilers) i climbed the radio tower.As i looked up, all i could think about is how frightning it would be to actually have to climb that. Unfortunately, she automatically was down when cut scene ended because my biggest fear would be getting stuck up there. I still hav no idea how she got down on those tiny spiky things. Oh well

I will say that dead space 1 was scary too in the classic sense. I moved so damn slow. But they killed it and made it an action game. But, horror does depend, even in dead space on immersion, which means that u must care about the character. I just wish RE and DS realized that they would be much better served staying in and evolving the genre they helped define. That is why sales were bad.
ajax17  +   1068d ago
The only part that really freaked me out was in the beginning in the clinic when the lights go out and the nurse splicers attack.
Kurt Russell  +   1068d ago
You must have jumped when you picked up that plasmid in the corner, turned around and were face to face with a splicer :D
ajax17  +   1067d ago
@ Kurt Russell, Yeah I forgot about that part. All of the med. clinic was pretty freaky.
OlgerO  +   1068d ago
The Last Of Us is coming!!
MEsoJD  +   1067d ago
There is nothing remotely scary about the new Tomb Raider (imo).
Feralkitsune  +   1067d ago
Not scary, just very very real towards the beginning. The game does an excellent job of affecting the player similarly to how the events are effecting Lara.

My game of the year so far, with the very similar Far Cry 3 directly behind it.
lapiopoop  +   1067d ago
@DEATHxTHExKIDx too bad the new bioshock isn't like a horror anymore, that's why I decided not to buy it
Root  +   1068d ago
This game is anything but a horror game, never did I feel alone, terrified or on the edge of my seat like what the first RE did to me or Dead Space
classic200  +   1068d ago
Well in the set piece moments I must admit it had me on the edge of my seat, might not be scary but it was intense.
Root  +   1068d ago
Not really because I knew she was going to survive them...either that or I got ready to press a button for the OTE. Just like I do in Uncharted....and thats not a horror game
Irishguy95  +   1068d ago
"Not really because I knew she was going to survive them...either that or I got ready to press a button for the OTE. Just like I do in Uncharted....and thats not a horror game" Dead Space is a horror game because you aren't sure if they enemies are going to kill you? But you are sure they won't in Uncharted?

Maybe i'm missing something here
Root  +   1068d ago
No no no

I mean those moments where she is going through a dynamic event you know she's going to survive because you have no say in the outcome unless it's part QTE where you can refuse to press the button allowing her to die

In Dead Space where enemies come out of no where, some of them aren't fixed. Your controlling the character so where you go your also controlling the if a character jumps at you on screen then thats because you've went down an optional corridor because you wanted to see if there was any spare ammo lying around or wanted to get a node.
MikeMyers  +   1068d ago
Of course Lara isn't going to die. It's a videogame. How many horror games can you name where the main character dies and you can't continue with them? Isaac Clarke doesn't die in Dead Space either. You know why? It's because it's a videogame and if you die you continue from your last save/checkpoint like most videogames. There are tense moments in Tomb Raider but I do agree, it's not a horror game.
kreate  +   1068d ago
Hale dies in resistance 2. By his subordinate. Than the game ended.

Need more epic deaths in video games like that.

Hopefully one day, Lara dies.
m3ds334  +   1068d ago
Yeah, I kinda felt like this article didn't really take into account the interactivity of the video game medium. I do agree with a lot of his points, but your such an infallible killing machine in the game, that being afraid or even anxious of what's coming up never comes into effect.

And you're completely right about the cutscene stuff. You know that the developers aren't going to kill her in a cutscene and (where I'm at) the things that happen in the cutscenes don't even effect you in game. At the start she gets pierced through her abdomen, and though she puts her hand over the wound for a little while, it's basically forgotten about after a few minutes. Basically, in order to achieve a level of trepidation you need to make sure there is danger or something at stake, which is why this doesn't work as a horror game for me.
rocky047586  +   1068d ago
Infallible? Hardly? Killing machine? Yeah, she has to be otherwise what's the point? Lara Croft is a killing machine afterall, it's what she does best besides, of course, Tomb Raiding. But infallible in this game, she is not. She goes through so much and she is shown to have her moments of weakness; she gets battered and bruised in which "infallible" heroes hardly bleed or get scratched let alone all of the shit that happened to Lara in this game.

And why do people think that "horror" must mean "scary"? It certainly doesn't. Horror means being extremely dreadful or to be revolting, and even though I can agree that the game wasn't a "horror" game it had horror elements in it for sure. Lara goes through some extremely dreadful moments in the game and there are a few genuinely frightening moments for Lara as well that work well in making the player feel for Lara.

Not everyone is going to experience those emotions though since some people don't "feel" anything for game characters, but some people do and to them it may come off as a "horror" game so I can see how the author would say this. He certainly isn't the first person to say it about this game that's for sure, I've read it in both user and pro reviews on metacritic.
#2.2.1 (Edited 1068d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
MysticStrummer  +   1068d ago
Why Horror Is Dying: People Think Tomb Raider Is Horror *screams and wets pants*
Blacklash93  +   1068d ago
I'd attribute it more to the mainstream industry deliberately abandoning the horror genre, but that's just me.
SilentNegotiator  +   1067d ago
Publishers think real horror games that they can't microtransaction will make them bankrupt and gamers have completely forgotten what a horror (or Stealth) game is.
wallis  +   1068d ago
Completely agree. Play amnesia for a true horror game - until then you can't just piss away decades of genre and tradition building in games like silent hill 2 or resident evil just because Dead *KABOOOOOM* Space is the closest thing we have to a horror game today. Tomb Raider is NOT a horror game - it is scary in the same way it's scary when I'm running to a toilet and I'm not a 100% there's toilet roll waiting and even then I don't have a restart option for my underwear like I do with Lara. I appreciate that it's tense but scary? Seriously?

Was Dead Space 3 THAT shit that it genuinely just rewrote people's memories of games like Amnesia and Silent hill?
krontaar  +   1068d ago
smashcrashbash  +   1068d ago
I don't think this is classified as horror. Suspense maybe but horror? No.
Canary  +   1068d ago
Most people don't understand what horror is.
Americans in general, thanks to what laughably passes for "horror" in Hollywood.
gamernova  +   1068d ago
This game is a thriller but definitely not horror. I love this game but definitely not horror.
Anomander  +   1068d ago
Thriller is spot on way to describe it. Feels like a episode of Lost at times :)
Walker  +   1068d ago
Horror ?!! nope, it was just fun !
FarCryLover182  +   1068d ago
It would certainly be a horror title if you were actually Lara Croft in real life. That'd be the worst horror ever in real life.
Rockefellow  +   1068d ago
Give me a break. It has some thrilling moments and psychological play, but considering it a horror game in any aspect is ignorance.
aquamala  +   1068d ago
Horror and games with generous checkpoints are not compatible
OneAboveAll  +   1068d ago
Lol what? No it's not. Dead Space 1 is.
Xer0_SiN  +   1068d ago
the looped screaming and moaning from her every other minute was true survival horror.
#11 (Edited 1068d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Blacklash93  +   1068d ago
Did you play the game? Only in the beginning and very stressful parts she does she do that, where everyone would realistically be like that. Nor is it looped.
#11.1 (Edited 1068d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Xer0_SiN  +   1068d ago
i played it. it was alright at best. it was the best out of them whole franchise though, ill give them that. if those screams and moans wasnt looped, it sure as hell sounded like it, when she was performing "super hero" feats every other minute 9_9. this was definately not the most effective horror game of all time, i hope we can atleast agree on that. amnesia and scp-087 are on an entirely different echelon.
Ragthorn  +   1068d ago
Even though I haven't played the game, I can tell this game isn't a horror title. More like a survival, and like a thriller at some points. I might be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.
Kevlar009  +   1068d ago
I'm pretty sure Amnesia, the Dark Descent is one of the most effective. I haven't even played it yet I'm too scared to try it (saw one scene, just too creepy for my current tastes).
Blacklash93  +   1068d ago
Tomb Raider has a lot of intense moments, but that doesn't make horror. An atmospheric action thriller is a more accurate description.
#14 (Edited 1068d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
TheDivine  +   1068d ago
Want a real horror game play Fire Emblem on Lunatic. The fear and panick happens every enemy turn or when a sure hit misses leaving your favorite character open to death. Game will give you high blood pressure.

Some games have seriously frightened me but its more the atmosphere and lack of enemies. Tense environments get to me. Dead Space 2 on the Ishimura, Fear when Alma appears, and parts of RE have gotten in my head pretty good. I was freaked out at opening the door in Revelations, the mayday part. Oh yea I was scared il admit it. Jump scares might get my heart pumping but its def the mental stuff where your imagination runs wild that makes me turn on the lights and turn off the game.
#15 (Edited 1068d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
WolfLeBlack  +   1068d ago
I certainly wouldn't say it invoked any horror in me, but I do admit that I does atmosphere and tension better than most horror films these days do, because they tend to forget that it's the atmosphere and tension that really makes a good horror film.

There were a couple of moments creeping through tunnels and the like that had me feeling tense. Twas good :D
leahcim  +   1068d ago
this games is awesome... but horror?

have you ever played Silent Hill 1, 2? , Fatal Frame?....
OmniSlashPT  +   1067d ago
Why are people making such a big deal out of Tomb Raider? Such its a good game, but over the past few days it was been said to be the holy grail of storytelling, action/adventure, graphics and now horror. In E3 no one will even remember Tomb Raider anymore, not to mention what is coming next gen.
OmniSlashPT  +   1067d ago
Why are people making such a big deal out of Tomb Raider? Sure its a great game, but over the past few days it was been said to be the holy grail of storytelling, action/adventure, graphics and now horror. In E3 no one will even remember Tomb Raider anymore, not to mention what is coming next gen.
Number-Nine  +   1067d ago
The game does have a sense of horror to it. You are not in a situation where you are fighting off the undead or some sort of foreign creature, or conserving ammunition,but, you are fighting for your survival against a cultist group who will kill you.

At it's core, it's a suspenseful, action/adventure game but it also has slight survival-horror elements to it.
e-p-ayeaH  +   1067d ago
Even MGS4 gekkos are scarier than everything that is in this game.
#21 (Edited 1067d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Surt  +   1067d ago
Tomb Raider is NOT horror. I'm actually damn offended. If your not getting paranoid as you play. If the memory of the game doesn't haunt long after you turned off the system, Then its not a horror. Horror is the invocation of fear. If it doesn't succeed to unnerve you in the way a great horror movie can, then its not horror. Fatal frame is horror. resident evil 2. Siren. You should NOT feel at "ease" playing a horror. otherwise your just playing a tense game.
#22 (Edited 1067d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
chukamachine  +   1066d ago
Nothing scary in the game at all.

A.i is poor as well.

Last game that had any jumpy parts was DS1

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