Submitted by shodan74 671d ago | opinion piece

Survival Horror Has Entered A New Golden Age

Horror fanatic Mark Butler argues that an exciting new wave of indie chillers are revolutionizing and rejuvenating the previously decaying genre – and leading big-budget console publishers to get back on board too. (Alien: Isolation, Among The Sleep, Culture, Daylight, Outlast, PC, PS3, PS4, routine, The Evil Within, The Forest, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

pyramidshead  +   672d ago
While I do condone what indies are doing for survival horror and games like amnesia are very very good at what they do, I hope that ALL survival horrors aren't constrained into becoming these sort of hide and seek style games. They are brilliant at doing their own thing but coming from that era of having some very awesome survhorr games that did actually include combat makes me find these sorta lacking in gameplay.

I'm sorta hoping The Evil Within makes a really good impression and shames most recent Silent Hills and Resident Evils for going after a more Western action based horror game. The Japanese are way more suited for horror(see siren games)and their brand of horror I think is way more frightening and unsettling.

My suggestions would be to focus less on long ranged weapons, retool or rethink melee and make it the primary focus but also make it tough to actually kill things. I mean the last thing you want to do in a survival horror game is come face to face with what ever is the antagonist or the monsters. If guns are involved make ammo desperately scarce so much so that monsters take more hits than you have bullets to put down. Bring back inventory regulation, and make it small.

Alas, here's hoping for a rise in horror games in general!
shodan74  +   672d ago
Well said. Couldn't agree more with your hopes for Evil Within, and you're absolutely right about the dangers of 'hide-and-seek' dominance - we wouldn't want the genre to become totally homogenous in that respect.

I'm also a huge fan of the Japanese style of horror, both in movies and games. The early Silent Hills were extraordinary, and the Fatal Frame series is fantastic.
pyramidshead  +   671d ago
I feel like Japanese horror is unparalleled. The simple iconography of pale white skin, black hair and being able to twitch and jerk in unnatural ways and possessing unnatural speed in movement(couple that with the theme of children) and you've got one disturbing concept.

The silent hills were definitely something. What blew my mind was when I read up on them after playing them ages ago and finding out that the monsters weren't just amazing surreal designs but were actually a reflection of a part of the protagonist...this makes you go back and really look at the concept art and you sit there thinking..."well...I never noticed that!" I don't think any horror game has made me do that since.

Downpour was on the right track but you could still tell that it was developed by a western developer. They did a good job, but it desperately needs to be put back into the hands of the Japanese. I wish the etheral 'Team Silent' or parts of the different teams(different teams for each game remember) rebrands themselves, or maybe Kojima could have a crack at it.

Urgh fatal frame series. Dude, I wish they were available on the EU PSN because I would buy them straight up.

I really hope we see a 'next gen' Silent Hill game, next gen isn't a great leap in fidelity in comparison to last gen but this gen seems to be focused on more things you can do with lighting, and lighting is god damn key for horror games. I bet(or rather hope) some of the horror games take full advantage on new lighting techniques etc.

Really banking on The Evil Within to take where Resident Evil 4 left off.
shodan74  +   671d ago
Love your enthusiasm! Felt much the same way about Downpour, sadly. The early Silent Hills had this incredible atmosphere of dread and foreboding and - like you said - the subtext was absolutely fascinating. Love how much stuff is going on under the surface in Silent Hill 2.
PoSTedUP  +   671d ago
im banking on capcom going back to their roots (as they said). im in the midle of RE3 and the past few days gotten through a quarter of RE2 like: 'man, these blow away almost all of th recent survival horror games'. im just as entertained with them as i ever was. siren, silent hill, the suffering, parasite eve... i really hope to see a next gen version of these. condemed was great too. doom3 on the xbox was a sick horror game.
Ashunderfire86  +   671d ago

I see what your talking about, with the whole hide and seek thing, but there are so many ways developers can do that to make it so much more interesting. There can be a game where your stuck in a haunted house, with one or more ghost manipulating objects in the house to scare the hell out of you. Can you imagine the crazy amount of physics for that? That could be very interesting and scary at the same time.

While your stuck in the house, it is logical to hide from something life threatening that could be invincible to you. This hide and seek idea has been done in horror films like, Jason, Halloween H20, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Candyman, and many others. It is apart of the survival horror concept. The idea is to not make the threat or many threats, seem like canon fodder(the aliens in Colonial Marines were just to easy to kill).
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pyramidshead  +   671d ago
Oh yeah don't get me wrong, you could definitely do the hide and seek games in interesting ways. Just take the new alien game. It looks awesome, but the more these games keep cropping up the more I feel a trend may set in and not just for its own sub-genre's sake but for the entire survival horror sect.

Fighting something invincible is always frantic and terrifying, you even had that in say Dead Space 1,2 the regenerator which you couldn't kill and that was more of a combat based survival horror. It's difficult to want this type of horror back because every dev has followed the golden goose down to call of duty land, let's hope that devs adapt and realise you need actual horror for a horror game :p.

I don't think colonial marines is a good example, because let's face it that turned out to be nothing like anyone expect(or what they showed).

Hell I'd even go far as to suggest not being able to kill anything but at least being able to stun and knock down instead of literally running and hiding as the only port of survival. Let's hope the East come up with some decent horror concepts as the gen progresses.
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Ashunderfire86  +   671d ago

"Hell I'd even go far as to suggest not being able to kill anything but at least being able to stun and knock down instead of literally running and hiding as the only port of survival. Let's hope the East come up with some decent horror concepts as the gen progresses."

Great point, and as a matter of fact, The Last of Us to some degree had that mechanic. There were times in that game where you can't face a group of guards searching for you, or else you will die. Even a life threatening Clicker that could possibly be avoidable, but optional to kill.

Another great example is the Condemned series(My favorite 360 launch title). Those games where you face enemies with mostly melee weapons, and sometimes firearms. I can see a Condemned 3 game happening with next gen, especially after seeing the trailer for The Forest game! Man the endless possibilities. I love this article good read.

There are so many ideas for a horror game now it's just incredible no matter which idea these game follows, as long as its scary.
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starchild  +   671d ago
There's room for different kinds of survival horror games. Recently I played Outlast and that was an amazing experience. I am also really looking forward to Alien Isolation. Good times.
Jovanian  +   671d ago
indies are putting out some of the best stuff. Routine, The Forest, and The Long Dark are all survival horror games (Long Dark maybe not horror, but surviving can be scary). I can't wait until these come out. Especially Routine. I've been dying for a true space survival horror ever since dead space started taking a more actiony approach
OrangePowerz  +   671d ago
Hope this time it stays. RE, SH and DS where great horror games at the beginning and got ruined by later sequels.
pyramidshead  +   671d ago
I approve of this post.

At this point I would almost think of buying all of them day one if they were rebooted.
Inception  +   671d ago
I need Fatal Frame V, new Siren, Silent Hill made by Silent team, Doom 4, and RE 7 back to it's root.

But so far Evil Within, Daylight, Dying Light, Forgotten Memories, and Outlast are enough to satisfy my survival horror appetite. Alien Isolation also looks good, but i don't want to get caught by the hype like Colonial Marines.
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Unlimax  +   671d ago
New Parasite Eve
Haunting Ground 2
Clock Tower 4
Dino Crisis 4
New Rule of Rose
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Inception  +   671d ago
Lol at the disagrees. So they don't want new Fatal Frame, Silent Hill made by the original team, Doom 4, RE 7 back to classic RE, Haunting Ground 2, or Dino Crisis 4? Ok than.


Hot damn! i forgot PE, Haunting Ground, Clock Tower, and Dino Crisis. But i never play Rule of Rose. Is it good?

Btw, bubs+ for remind me of PE, Haunting Ground, etc ^^
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Unlimax  +   671d ago
Thank you Inception and your welcome ^_^

About Rule of Rose , its a Survival horror game takes a part in the Orphanage and plays kinda like Haunting ground ( i'm not gonna spoil the events because its really really worth trying ) , The gameplay was the weakest thing this game lack for .. very clunky and hard , But the Story / the plot and the events itself makes this game one of the best emotional stories you will ever see in any horror game it will even Shed a tear from your eye of how Epic this story is and how it deserve a Sequel / Prequel from ATLUS :')

You can get the game on PSN if you want :)
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Inception  +   671d ago
I just watched the walkthrough on ytube

It's really interesting. Gonna check it out on PSN than. Thx for your info mate ^^
DanJenkoFMV  +   671d ago
I certainly agree the emergence of indie games as such a big part of the industry has helped survival horror. The success of Amnesia and other indie horror titles has shown big publishers the genre has financial viability.
JohnnyTower  +   671d ago
I think it is a little early for Aliens Isolation to be included in the Golden Age of survival horror. I will wait for more gameplay vids before hailing Isolation.
Im glad these games have come around again. I miss the old days of RE 1 and 2, and I would love an experience to bring that back.
s45gr32  +   671d ago
Dead Space 1 maybe or Alan Wake. Have you played it is like Dante 's Peak really creepy and being in the light really felt like heaven.......
GentlemenRUs  +   671d ago
Yet the 90's will always be the best for horror games.
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s45gr32  +   671d ago
After playing Amnesia dark descent, Lone Survivor, and Alan Wake. I personally say no the best is yet to come once Dread Out and Among The Sleep arrive along with the forest . Sadly Lucius and Doorways were personal letdowns in the sense they were not really scary games.
SilentNegotiator  +   671d ago
Now if only 3D platformers and true Stealth could see the same resurrection.
starchild  +   671d ago
Totally agree. The stealth genre has so much potential, yet there aren't really that many true stealth games any more. I will say, however, that I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Splinter Cell Blacklist.
s45gr32  +   671d ago
Try Outlast
s45gr32  +   671d ago
I guess 3D platformers were not that popular. Sadly stealth has become a choice or option gameplay mechanic meaning like dishonored you can go Rambo like or Solid Snake style. The upcoming thief game will have stealth as an option. Which sucks for both of us hopefully stealth games return not just as an option but a full stealth game.
Ashunderfire86  +   671d ago
I like this new type of horror that's more in line with actual horror movies, instead of a game where the main character kills legions of the same monsters like cannon fodder. Those type of games can be scary intense if done in the right way, but the hide and seek mechanic with the vulnerability prevails. It is now possible to make a Scream type of game as the serial killer, where you can play as a number of potential victims trying to survive against a serial killer. We all seen Scream and I know What You Did Last Summer, so this can happen in a game now. Developers can choose to make it multiplayer where one player play as the serial killer, and the other players play as the potential victims like it is in a slasher movie. Set piece and unpredictability will make this slasher concept work.

Welcome to a new age of horror guys! And it is here to stay like Hollywood's obsession with ghost type movies.
s45gr32  +   671d ago
Alien Isolation may as it may not 100 percent certain just fifty fifty end up like colonial marines. The Evil Within is the one that may bring back survival horror to consoles . Survival Horror has become an exclusive genre for PC gaming. Here are the survival horror games coming exclusively to PC :

Among the Sleep
The Forest
Dream House
Dead State
Dread Out

Just a small taste of the upcoming exclusive survival horror games for PC. Second Outlast is still exclusive to PC. You want to pee in your pants, be scared, or petrified with gaming get a PC.
windblowsagain  +   671d ago
Nothing is exclusive these days unless it's owned by a major corp.

Love the film Constantine though. Hopefully they'll be another.
Max-Zorin  +   671d ago
Give me a Nightmare Creatures reboot and I'm a happy man.
shodan74  +   671d ago
Now there's a blast from the past! Loved the atmosphere of the mist-covered Victorian London streets in that game. The execution was a bit clunky perhaps - but I'd also like to see a reboot.

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