IGN - Primal fear is basic.
Fear is fed on the simplest, sparest diet and grows fat in the brain fast, making you sweat and go weak in the knees. This is why the horror video game's toolbox is also simple. From modern chillers like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, to classics like Silent Hill, and all the way back to primordial horror games like the Atari 2600's Haunted House, the horror game designer frightens you with the same trade tricks: darkness, discordant noise, dysmorphic imagery, and ignorance. Great horror games are scary because they take away your senses and leave you unsure of anything. Killer graphics, art direction, and gripping combat aren't the most powerful tools at the horror designer's disposal; your body is.