Five major horror games that fail to horrify

Much the same principle that separates real stand-up comics from despairing, clutching attention-seekers applies to the difference between good and bad survival horror games. You can have all the right lines, but if you don't lead the crowd and pick your moments you'll be deafened by silence. Case in point: Xbox Live Arcade release Amy, a cavalcade of poorly paced homages to older peers, contriving to deliver a vaguely foreboding atmosphere which never ignites into terror.

dirigiblebill4141d ago

Roll on Condemned 3. Can't believe they've left that hanging so long.

FunkMacNasty4141d ago

YES YES YES!!!!! Condemned: Criminal Origins was fantastic, but Condemned 2 blew it out of the water! Definitley some truly scary jump-out-of-your-seat moments in there all presented in that overall dark and hopeless vibe.

I actually pulled Condemned 2 off my shelf a few weeks back to revisit it. It's still fun as hell (smashing someones face with a bowling ball never gets old), and the one thing that I feel like this game never got its dues for was its graphics. For a game that came out in early '08 the textures, lighting, and frame rate look amazing.

I remember condemned 2 getting decent review scores, but when I talk to most gamers, it just seems like nobody's played it. It's a shame because I think it ticks off all the boxes of what to look for in a game: great gameplay, graphics, characters, and an intriguing story

saladthieves4141d ago

Couldn't agree more with you FunkMacNasty. I know of very few people who've actually played Condemned 1 and 2. Not to say much, these are brilliant games, and they do offer up the challenge too.

I had actually started to replay them a couple of months ago, but I think I should continue them. Fantastic games, I would say.

Kurt Russell4140d ago

I loved the 1st one but couldn't stand the 2nd one at all. I much preferred clubbing the gritty druggies in the face than the slime monsters of condemned 2. I don't think I saw the 2nd to the end. which is a very rare thing for me.

wolfofashes4140d ago (Edited 4140d ago )

Manhunt was awesome! But everyone should checkI both Nanashi No Game series for the DS and Ikenie no Yoru for the Wii,those games made me feel totally helpless and terrified.Dementium is awesome too btw.

Baka-akaB4141d ago

The inclusion of Dead Space in the list seems rather arbitrary , instead of truly having an argument behind it .

And please you're doing a general segment about horror games yet pretty much forget some titles and instead include fps games ? Remember fatal frame on wii ? Siren on psn ?

Zashule4141d ago

<b>Xbox360</b> Feature: Five major horror games that fail to horrify
but <b>Xbox 360's</b> recent crop of so-called chillers leave much to be desired.

Not quite a general segment, but rather a segment on 360 horror games.

saladthieves4141d ago

I've never found Dead Space scary, especially the first one. There's something important in horror games that Visceral Games got wrong - the element of surprise.

A necromorph would appear say in a wall 10-20 feet ahead of you. The music plays at the same time but you have enough time to shoot the damn guy down. Most of the game is almost like that, except for the very last nasty moment where Nicole surprises you in the space ship.

Some games have scary elements, things just completely unanticipated to the player. There's a section in BioShock 1 where you go down to a table in a corner (the room is flooded) to collect a power tonic.

The moment you collect it, you turn around and out of nowhere, literally an inch behind you a splicer is standing there staring at you, and your first reaction is HOLY SH*T followed by you killing him.

InLaLaLand4141d ago

Dead Space just makes you jump, the monsters were pretty ugly and sick, which the game does a good job of doing. It wasn't psychologically scary as many make it out to be.

Bimkoblerutso4140d ago

^ Yeah, people have come to associate the horror genre almost exclusively with scares, which I think is pretty much beside the point.

Dead Space doesn't really provide any kind of psychological horror, but it DOES conjure up some incredibly gruesome and horrific imagery.

LightofDarkness4141d ago (Edited 4141d ago )

I'm going to to have to say that I've never played a "scary" game. I've played the first 3 Resident Evil games (and C:V) as well as the 2 Dead Space games. But they aren't scary. They have suspense and they can make you jump every now and then, but that's not horror. That's tension/suspense.

Horror needs that "OMG that is so awful" feeling, a constant dread and foreboding. Compare a true horror classic, The Exorcist, to something like Resident Evil/Dead Space. The Exorcist doesn't even have any big "jump" scares, but it is a pretty damn scary movie. It has a constant feeling of dread, it horrifies you at every given opportunity and the film is just dark and nasty. Even by today's standards it mops the floor with the supposed "horror" we are given by Hollywood.

That kind of horror is difficult to achieve in a game, because you have to make the situation very human. What makes something like Th Exorcist so horrifying is the defiling and perversion of the most innocent of us into a ghoulish, hate-filled creature with supernatural origins. There's a feeling of forces you can't quite comprehend just f***ing with people just because they hate everything. It's the human element that makes it scary, but games have a hard time making us believe their characters are real.

Before we can have genuine horror, we need genuine characters that we can relate to. Then we need to do horrifying things to them or put them in horrifying situations. Then we can be scared ;)

Saladfax4141d ago

There's also a pretty strong reliance on elements of the grotesque to shock the audience; extreme violence, dismemberment, that sort of thing.

It's funny, because it's actually a pretty similar thing to startling people with a jump sequence.

STONEY44141d ago (Edited 4141d ago )

I agree on Dead Space and Resident Evil not being scary. Try the first four Silent Hill games (especially 2 and 3). They're extremely disturbing, no matter how many times you've played them.

Silent Hill particularly never relies on jump scares, and the static makes it very clear that a monster is nearby. But, the atmosphere is extremely strong, and the monster designs are probably the most disgusting things you'll ever see. It's horror comes from the demented and twisted environments, not from cheap jump
scares or fast enemies.

Siren is also very similar to Silent Hill (developers from Team Silent worked on Siren).

Fylus4140d ago

LightofDarkness, you need to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent ;)

Now THAT'S a scary game.

Pikajew4141d ago

Games are never scary because when a thing pops out at you, you expect it and you can defend yourself. But games like Amnesia: The Dark Decent are scary because there is no way to defend your self.

kramun4141d ago

You make a good point. Call of Cthulhu was another game that was scary because most of the time all you could do was run or hide, although you did get firepower a lot more towards the end. There's a lot of scares to be had when you're defenseless.

The Siren games benefited from restricting the player from just being able to kill everything.

Game developers should learn a few lessons from those games. Less is more sometimes.

_LarZen_4140d ago

Wel Dead Space scared the hell out of me....

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