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What Makes Horror Games Scary?

Halloween is on its way. It's the time of year where we'll find any excuse to wheel out horror films and scare ourselves silly, however, some of us will be turning to video games to get their fearful fix. But what makes an effective horror game? Is it the action-heavy approach of the newer Resident Evils? Perhaps it's Silent Hill's more cerebral take on the genre, or does Dear Esther's interactive ghost story hold the secret to unlocking our inner coward? Are we genuinely afraid for our safety, or is it something else?

Amnesia developers Frictional Games join the discussion, offering additional insight on how they work to instill fear within the player.

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NukaCola2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

It's not Third Person Action QTE Shooters where your feet turn to cement when you aim.

*awaits a Capcom fan to beat me up*

But seriously, I think it comes down to control When you take freedom from the player and leave them feeling it's a struggle to regain control, that is fear. When you have a missle launcher and zombies are running at you, it feels like a gorefest of retardedness and such. When you are locked in a bathroom and something is scratching at the door on the other side and you have 3 rounds left and are looking for a way out..That's scary.

I also think the 'jump out at you tactic is getting old. Dead Space did it well but in general it's getting a little stagnant. I think illusion and trickery would help. Like seeing something down a hall then turning around and it's right there. Silent Hill is kind of like that.

I just think Horror is losing out when there is too much action involved. Devs try to make games too epic, when they really can strip down all the flair and just put you in a room alone and with no hope. That is what I miss about older horror games. Other than Amnesia, it's been rare to find something that is really scary.

And this is way not a priority but I would like to play Amnesia in 3D. That would be freaky as hell

gillri2928d ago

amnesia is scary, but it was a little gimmicky. Callof cthulu and eternal darkness were a little similiar

Silent Hill 2 is the best horror game ever made

Pikajew2928d ago

No music. Only sounds are background noises. Dark with very little light. And stuff come out at you without warning.

Iroquois_Pliskin2927d ago

and little to no ammo in you gun

trainsinrdr2928d ago

When there is a naked dude in a room and you can't get out!

Jocosta2927d ago

Speak for yourself sailor!!

DigitalAnalog2927d ago (Edited 2927d ago )

No matter what particular aspects you choose it will always end up as a perk (worse, a gimmick) of the genre and not the substance itself. Take all the best horror games and you will always see they have one thing in common and that is the comment right above me.

CanadianTurtle2927d ago

Single player atmospheric, less action oriented game. With a good story ending that makes you shit bricks for weeks.

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