In the latest episode Odion discusses what is wrong with the horror game genre and how he feels it could be fixed with a little more creativity and focus.
Wow a decent article on N4G that actually has good points.Whodathunk? The horror genre is currently becoming repressed by both Japanese and American publishers.They don't see horror games as profitable compared to shooters like Halo or Modern Warfare so they try to sell it differently. As for being alone,it sometimes has to be like that in order for horror games to work out correctly.For example,look at what co-op did to Resident Evil :/ And having like-able characters in a horror game is asking for trouble since most gamers will figure out that this interesting character will certainly be killed. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor...
Take some notes yourself and stop writing flamebait crap.
Raztad, if you look in the dictionary under the word "facetious" you will find one of Steven's comments. I.E., not serious.
Fatal Frame IV should have been made for the PS3/360 and released worldwide. It's a damn shame for me personally because I really love horror games and we needed something that makes you poop your pants. I really want Resident Evil, one of my favorites game series, to go back to it's roots like Resident Evil Zero, that game was scary good as well as it's older counterparts like Resident Evil 2.
He makes some valid points, especially the split-up parts in games which tend to annoy the hell out of me. It's in almost every scary/horror game/movie. What about the gory death scenes? Once you see the death of one character in the story, you have seen them all. The same pattern shows itself again and again only with different monsters/ghosts killing a different character. Also, the Heavy Rain example is quite valid and is important not only for horror games, but for all story-based games as well. It's a human psychology thing really; you tend to care about the tragedy of one person more than a mass tragedy of 100,000 provided you know something about that person and hear his story. You get attached to that person and start to care and even may, unconsciously, put yourself in his shoes. This will make a story more immersive and a scary theme more effective. There are lots of ways to improve horror games other than creating some naked, deformed creatures that dismember living beings just for the heck of it; it just needs some visionaries to implement them.
Even horror films are suffering these days oh the good old days when not everything had been done already :(
There are lots of ideas that are yet to be put into horror games and flicks.
Dont worry I know / agree But in a world where things are happening much quicker, people are getting lazier, and while there are a select few that have the passion and the commitment and creativity etc.. the majority are following suit of what has already been done. The article brings out some great points, I'd love to see this genre take a big step in the right direction. When developers say "the sequal to this game will be more action oriented" I always feel let down lol. I really enjoyed the oldschool resident evil games where you were forced to think and solve puzzles and the sense of fear became natural hm
Horror games just haven't been the same compared to ones of past generations, and I do place full blame on the fact that run-and-gun gameplay is always the primary focus for most of the big-budget games of today. I still remember my experiences with the original Silent Hill. I remember rented SH immediately after beating Resident Evil 2, and God Damn SH blew away Resident Evil in scariness, atmostphere, tension, storyline, everything! Silent Hill was probably the last horror game where I was uniquely enthralled and intimidated, yet couldn't put the controller down.
Agree. I think a big part of the problem is the audience; people's unwillingness to support new ideas. How many World War II games did we have? People were buying the games and the publishers kept milking the genre. After the success of Modern Warfare, it's all about "modern" shooters nowadays despite Activision's reluctance to allow IW to create a modern shooter rather than a WWII-themed one in the beginning. All the industry needs is one company the delivers a new, albeit risky, experience. If it succeeds, expect a horde of clones to hit the market.
Like many genres in every medium, some suffer due to differences in generations... Horror is suffering at least in movies and video games, but books and novels are still strong. Also, genres transcend mechanics and styles in time so they can find a place among the changes of our appeals and ways of thinking. I was one that loved horror movies and games, now I just can't get much fun from them... My strong appeal for them just went out the window without a notice. My point is that IMO, horror games haven't evolved that much and maybe that's why they are disappearing into the background. I don't know what can developers actually do to make them more diverse other than a very engrossing and creative story. The game tone will be mostly the same... Dark, mysterious, lonely, etc.
Made for an interesting read
There's still a lot of stuff you can do with the genre, if you're willing to think beyond walked paths. It's up to the publishers to just grab their balls and take some risks. I'm eager to see how Move and Natal will affect the game overall, there is a lot of untapped potential.
pfft how about doing something more constructive and give me my bubbles back, mhmmm And like I said before your opinion is flawed like many so called "journalist" the lack of your console choices corrupts your views.
Glad you guys enjoyed this one! Put a big smile on my face
Awesome article and great topic. It's something I think about alot. The Half-Life 1 example was really striking. Most devs... no, publishers, don't understand that many gamers love doing mundane, ordinary tasks. I'd love playing an fps game that starts with you waking up, having breakfast, taking your car to work and so on. Including all the little things such as turning on the coffee brewer, fastening your seatbelt etc. They also miss that the touches need to be subtle to be really creepy. Like if in the above mentioned breakfast scene, everyone in the family sits and chats around the dinner table but there's one voice too many, say 4 people around the table but you hear a 5th voice talking as well. With no explanation. I don't know, bad example perhaps. I'm tired lol! Would be cool also if they added parts of a horror game where everything suddenly returns to normal at some point of the game. Fooling the player into believing everything is calm and ok. The 2 biggest faults in horror game design as I see it is that they always overpower the main character and make him/her a killer, and also portray the enemies as monsters. It would be much more scary to be underpowered, having to escape from completely normal people. Not normal in a mental sense but yeah, you know what I mean.
Just have pop in and say I agree with all you just said Soda. Even in other genres doing mundane things can greatly add to the experience if done correctly.
Great article. The last game I played that scared me was Clive Barker's Undying
Indeed , true horror isnt about escaping some random tentacule monsters but about facing the most disturbing traits and true evil lurking inside seemingly normal people . Using "The Mist" as an example , the most shocking scenes werent those monster grabbing people outside the supermarket . But seeing them sacrifice and shun whomever looked different and suspicious , or simply seeking a scapegoat .
Damn nice article there man! Avp 2 was pee your pants intense because you were isolated bur had your squad indirectly behind you giving you a commentary that gave the game scariness
its a shame people slated heavy rain for starting out with you doing mundane things like you said. but i agree starting off with a normal situation then slowly cranking up the scares and such would be excellent. like in the article the guy says about playing the comic story of dead space, being a security gaurd doing normal stuff investigating strange occurances and building up the tension that would have been excellent and got you into the character a bit more. altho i love dead space that would of been excellent. i just hope they make more games like heavy rain and use different situations that game engine was well made for story telling and a horror game using that would be cool.
Do i need to say more? Ever Play Siren? I bet not. If you did you'd probably want devs to tone down the horror.
Now odion, if only you could write a lot more articles to replace the mundane crap ( top 5 reasons/mgs4, ME2 to hit the other systemz ) we get from other articles thats nothing but flamebait, this would be a much better place in terms of fanboy wars. Great read Edit Below: Awesome, will look forward to it. I do agree that the buildup is lacking in horror games.
Well I come out with one of these every 2 weeks!
Good article, i havent played a good horror game since PS1. Dead Space wasnt bad but finding what happened with records was lame, so is the mute Isaac
Siren was pretty good. Maybe you should give it a try if you haven't already.
Dead Space was probably one of the scarier games i've played this gen, but it wasn't as scary as some made it seem, at least to me. It was a lot of fun to me though. Still haven't checked out Siren yet cuz i didn't have my credit card attached to my ps3 account, but may do so now. It would be nice if Alan Wake turned out to be a good scary game since it seems to have that atmosphere going for it
A silent hill with heavy rain twist to the gameplay and multi-character development would be nice. I want to feel powerless/human( even with a group) , give me the weapon only in rare short scripted event( don't make them too overpowering) . I'm tired of shooting, slashing and whacking my way to the end. It be nice cus it will keep you reminded that you are just a human and not superman. Anyway nice read man.
Horror films and games tend to fall on the easy side of cheap jump tactics and things that go bump in the night. I don't consider that horror. How many times has the tension been ratcheted up only to have a cat jump out and screech. Do you consider that horror? No, that is just an adrenaline jump. That's a cheap and easy way to create a scream, but were you scared? Now think about the movie the Shining. One of my favorite horror movies of all time. Did things jump out and scare you? It was all a psychological mind f*. The setting, the slow buildup of Jack Torrance slipping into insanity, the creepy writing on the wall. That's how you create horror. How would you transition that into a game? I really don't know, but something like Heavy Rain is on the right track. You don't have to be killing things non stop to make a horror game. Let the story come to you as you participate doing interesting things and then give them a payoff.
I can't say I can agree more. The problem is both critical and commercial reception of such a project. Most people like to complain about shooters and hack and slash and yet buy those games and prefer them to deep and mature games like Heavy Rain. Well-polished games can't be long and this too can negatively affect how a game performs commercially. Simple 2D cart racers and platformers get both higher ratings and sales. This is a good reason to discourage developers from taking risks.
I think its honestly my generation. Im 21 and I know alot of gamers my age (mostly friends) wont buy non multiplayer games. Hell, I havent bought GOW3 yet for the same reason. I spent my 60$ on MLB the Show instead because it had many more game play options. I can rent GOW or buy it for a cheaper price down the road. I would enjoy a good FPS horror game, any recommendations?
metro 2033 as that survival horror feeling.
or dead space if you haven't played it yet, really good and pretty cheap to pick up right about now
Odion took away your bubbles....it was a couple of days ago that SOCOMER had about 6...now he's down to two. Some people are plain clods.
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