Arguably the most important factor in a video game is the setting that the scares are taking place in. For that reason, the most important element isn’t how the player can interact with the world, but how the world portrays itself to the player.
I’d like to add condemned criminal origins. The setting wasn’t anything crazy, it was just subways and such but seeing psychotic bums peaking around corners and shuffling in the darkness was intense. Easily one of my favorites.
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