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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.

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pyramidshead945d 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!

shodan74945d 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.

pyramidshead945d 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.

shodan74944d 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.

PoSTedUP944d 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.

Ashunderfire86944d ago (Edited 944d ago )

Pyramidshead

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).

pyramidshead944d ago (Edited 944d 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.

Ashunderfire86944d ago (Edited 944d ago )

#pyramidshead

"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.

starchild944d 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 944d 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

OrangePowerz944d ago

Hope this time it stays. RE, SH and DS where great horror games at the beginning and got ruined by later sequels.

pyramidshead944d ago

I approve of this post.

At this point I would almost think of buying all of them day one if they were rebooted.

Inception944d ago (Edited 944d 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.

Unlimax944d ago (Edited 944d ago )

+
New Parasite Eve
Haunting Ground 2
Clock Tower 4
Dino Crisis 4
New Rule of Rose

Inception944d ago (Edited 944d 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.

@Unlimax

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 ^^

Unlimax944d ago (Edited 944d 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 :)

Inception944d ago

I just watched the walkthrough on ytube
http://www.youtube.com/watc...

It's really interesting. Gonna check it out on PSN than. Thx for your info mate ^^

DanJenkoFMV944d 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.

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