Why do people have wrong idea that Survival horror = Scary

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#1 Edited by torenojohn7 (312 posts) -

I mean i have played no video game that literally "Scared" me.. survival horror games are never "scary" they're disturbing,depressing,unnerving but they're not "scary".

Amnesia,silent hill,resident evil.. they're not "Scary"... resident evil focuses more on a deep atmospheric&claustrophobic experience whereas silent hill focuses more on psychological horror and the likes of amnesia just focus on disturbing imagery and jump scares.

But none of them are really trying to be scary.. they're just providing you the most creepy,unsettling and intense gameplay possible.

Unless you're a 5 yr old.. i don't think anyone can find these games "Scary" period!

#2 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

I was genuinely afraid of Amnesia.... Although there were a few issues with that.

#3 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

I was genuinely afraid of Amnesia.... Although there were a few issues with that.

#4 Posted by torenojohn7 (312 posts) -
#5 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@torenojohn7

Twenty Two.

#6 Posted by Maddie_Larkin (6473 posts) -

that is no different then movies though, is it? Never really seen a movie that scared me.

I am quite aware however that alot of people find survival horror games quite scary, and I am also very aware that it is likely an issue with me rather then the games (which I tend to really generally like alot).

It will be interresting if VR can lift Survival Horror to a Whole new level, sounds like it may. But While I think I know what TC Means, I will not claim that survival horror is not scary for anyone.

#7 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16716 posts) -

Silent hill 3 is the closest a game has come to scaring me and thus is my scariest game ever. But you're right, games usually don't make me scared for my life. Still, I enjoy horror games for the atmosphere and stuff. Some of them can be extremely unnerving, like many moments in Condemned criminal Origins.

#8 Edited by Gamerno6666 (1041 posts) -

Amnesia was scary... well certain parts were. And the I was not afraid of the jump scares, it was more of the atmospheric setup that scared me, especially the prison part.

#9 Edited by spike6958 (4744 posts) -

The Zombie in the Freezer in Resident Evil: Zero scared the shit out of me. I think it's because you pass by that freezer two or three times before it happens, so by that point you're assuming the room is safe and then bang out pop a Zombie.

#10 Edited by uninspiredcup (8300 posts) -

Thread amounts to "i have an opinion it is the right opinion and also controversial, attention give".

You don't find games scary. Ok. What now?

#11 Edited by SovietsUnited (2280 posts) -

Amnesia and Eternal Darkness were the only legitimately scary games that I've played... but those required the right mindset and setup too

You can't play them in broad daylight or with all lights up and then say hurr not scary durr, try playing late at night, alone, with the window open and the door left unlocked; that cold night chill creeping in makes playing more unnerving, and as a result much more awesome :)

#12 Posted by Gamerno6666 (1041 posts) -

Amnesia and Eternal Darkness were the only legitimately scary games that I've played... but those required the right mindset and setup too

You can't play them in broad daylight or with all lights up and then say hurr not scary durr, try playing late at night, alone, with the window open and the door left unlocked; that cold night chill creeping in makes playing more unnerving, and as a result much more awesome :)

So you want me to crap my pants?

#13 Edited by thehig1 (1695 posts) -

@torenojohn7: your either don't get immersed enough into games to get scared, have balls of steel or play the games wrong.

There is a right way to play a game like amnesia or outlast.

Late at night, with high quality headphones and volume turned up to max. I played outlast and amnesia like this using a projector too...it was terrifying.

#14 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

Don't forget to add Co-op

#15 Posted by watchdogsrules (420 posts) -

i never bought survival horror games because i'm not really a fan of things jumping out at you when your unarmed and walk into a dark room.

#16 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@watchdogsrules

I'm just not a fan of running out of resources. In some games it was actually possible to to not have enough bullets for something that you are suppose to kill. Thats not scary thats just annoying.

#17 Posted by Ish_basic (4010 posts) -

It comes down to how well the game nails the atmosphere for me. I'm not looking to be scared; I just like the darker themes and setting. I actually like my horror games to be compelling more than scary. And jump scares are cheap. I get jump scares totally by accident playing shooters sometimes...turn that corner, thought everything was dead and there's a guy with a shotgun...so no points to the dev for that kinda thing anyway.

Played Betrayer recently. Wasn't "scary," but really cool setting...basically just imagine coming across an abandoned colonial settlement like Roanoke and mix in a little Silent Hill...worked for me.

#18 Posted by Treflis (11520 posts) -

Everybody's tolerance for things that are scary are different. While you may not find those games scary, others might.

#19 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@Treflis

Makes one question the Validity of the Genre.

#20 Edited by bussinrounds (2123 posts) -

Don't forget to add Co-op

You're supposed to play horror games alone. At night... in a dimly lit room.

#21 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@bussinrounds

Thats not true....

#22 Posted by Ish_basic (4010 posts) -

@bussinrounds

Thats not true....

yeah, i've had a lot of fun in the past playing horror games with my gf or my friend and his dad, all three of us gathered around the computer playing 7th Guest. And then there's RE5 co-op. That was good times, too, although I was technically alone, playing online with friends.

#23 Posted by bussinrounds (2123 posts) -

Not saying it can't be fun, but it does lack that certain feel, when you buddy is there to hold your hand, as opposed to being all alone. It def takes the edge off.

#24 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18404 posts) -

The problem with "horror" games (and recently, movies) is that they have become over-reliant on the cheapest scare tactic available: the jumpscare, which are not scary, they are startling.

A dog crashing through a window with an orchestra sting is not horror, it's a loud noise in your ear. Leaving a room and finding that the hospital corridor you saw just seconds before has now become a dark, filthy, rusted hallway with the sound of someone crying in the distance is horror.

#25 Posted by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

I'm not sure what your distinction is for what qualifies as "scary". I have played several games that I would consider scary though.

#26 Posted by Shmiity (5100 posts) -

Survival horror is kind of a fucked up sort of video game to "enjoy" you know? How do you enjoy being stressed out as fuck, being constantly on edge, and being taxed mentally for 10-12 hours? It's a weird sort of "fun" definitely. I honestly compare horror movies/games to thrill rides at amusement parks. That shit is not safe. Lets go fly around in a metal box at 100 MPH at 20 feet in the air-How fun. But we pay money to do this shit. It's a weird sort of thrill-entertainment. I love horror games. I don't know why. Resource management and stress are not inherently fun things.

On topic... horror games are scary, and im glad you are so manly that they have no effect on you. #soproud

#27 Posted by Shmiity (5100 posts) -

Don't forget to add Co-op


I used to get pissed off when you said this, now I just enjoy the humor.

#28 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@Ish_basic

I loved Lost in Nightmares (President Evil 5 DLC) I remember waiting several months to play with my "Bro Dude" because He wasn't available when I 1st got it and I didn't want to break it in alone.

@Shmiity

You know what the next step is.... right ? ;)

#29 Posted by Planeforger (15635 posts) -

The problem with "horror" games (and recently, movies) is that they have become over-reliant on the cheapest scare tactic available: the jumpscare, which are not scary, they are startling.

A dog crashing through a window with an orchestra sting is not horror, it's a loud noise in your ear.

That's an interesting example to bring up, since you could argue that the entire survival horror genre was hinged on that very moment.

What's the very first horror-related event in Alone in the Dark, the father of all modern survival horror games? A dog-thing jumps through the window.

Also, what's the single most memorable scene of Resident Evil, the one thing that everyone apparently has a "crapped my pants" story to tell about? A dog jumps through the window.

That specific sort of jump scare is foundational to the entire genre. I don't doubt that modern horror games use way too many jump-scares nowadays, but...well, it'd be interesting to look back at the classics, and see how many jump scares they actually used.

#30 Edited by bussinrounds (2123 posts) -

Jump scares aren't bad when used here and there, in moderation. But to be a good horror game there must be a true sense of atmospheric horror going on. NOT just having to rely on one jump scare after another.

#31 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18404 posts) -

@Planeforger said:

That's an interesting example to bring up, since you could argue that the entire survival horror genre was hinged on that very moment.

What's the very first horror-related event in Alone in the Dark, the father of all modern survival horror games? A dog-thing jumps through the window.

Also, what's the single most memorable scene of Resident Evil, the one thing that everyone apparently has a "crapped my pants" story to tell about? A dog jumps through the window.

That specific sort of jump scare is foundational to the entire genre. I don't doubt that modern horror games use way too many jump-scares nowadays, but...well, it'd be interesting to look back at the classics, and see how many jump scares they actually used.

Yeah but that's nostalgia more than intrinsic effectiveness. Yes, the dog made us jump because we weren't used to see that in videogames, but 20 years later the genre has hardly evolved at all. Anyone who knows anything about game design can enter a room and immediately spot where the jumpscare will come from. It's lazy, it's predictable, it's annoying. It only makes you jump because it's a loud noise in your ear and it only makes you tense because you are bracing for the next loud noise. It's not horror. If that is horror, then me sneaking up on you wearing a halloween mask and popping a balloon with a pin is horror.

Silent Hill took the horror genre in a whole different direction, putting all the eggs in the atmosphere basket, taking the high and difficult road when it comes to creating tension, using subtle and unobtrusive sound design and making use of technical limitations as a device to convey emotion. It aimed to unsettle rather than startle, frighten rather than scare. Was it perfect? Hell no, the controls sucked and still suck in the sequels to this day, but that game did something new when it could have settled for the cheap tricks. Today I would be hard pressed to name a few games that follow the same path. The Condemned series, despite its high and lows, Siren Blood Curse, the Penumbra/Amnesia series in part, and really not much else.

#32 Posted by Byshop (11325 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00 said:

The problem with "horror" games (and recently, movies) is that they have become over-reliant on the cheapest scare tactic available: the jumpscare, which are not scary, they are startling.

A dog crashing through a window with an orchestra sting is not horror, it's a loud noise in your ear.

That's an interesting example to bring up, since you could argue that the entire survival horror genre was hinged on that very moment.

What's the very first horror-related event in Alone in the Dark, the father of all modern survival horror games? A dog-thing jumps through the window.

Also, what's the single most memorable scene of Resident Evil, the one thing that everyone apparently has a "crapped my pants" story to tell about? A dog jumps through the window.

That specific sort of jump scare is foundational to the entire genre. I don't doubt that modern horror games use way too many jump-scares nowadays, but...well, it'd be interesting to look back at the classics, and see how many jump scares they actually used.

Yeah, but the moderation is the key. When the licker jumps through the window in the outer hall of the police station it's an effective moment -because- the game keeps you edge waiting for it to happen. The jump scares you mention in particular -are- memorable because the gag isn't overused. Some of the best horror games/movies are ones in which few actual scares actually happen. It's more about the possibilities in your imagination that makes it so effective.

@torenojohn7: Not being scared by a scary game or movie isn't really much of an accomplishment because it's up to you to try to meet it halfway. Logically, there is no legitimate danger so there's no real fear of course but that doesn't mean it can't be scary if you let it. A legit scary game is one of my favorite things, but they are few and far between.

-Byshop

#33 Posted by intotheminx (598 posts) -

I think some games are good enough to make us all a little un-nerved from thinking about the next jump scare......but isn't that being scared?.....so technically that's scary right?

#34 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@intotheminx

Some would use the word Shocked or Surprized or Frightened but yeah I actually agree with you....

Might aswell embrace it and face those in your face jump scares with Dignity ! :)

#35 Posted by wiouds (5121 posts) -

The main problem is what makes good horror also makes poor games and what what makes good games also makes poor horror.

#36 Edited by mastermetal777 (1244 posts) -

I've heard that there are 3 types of horror games, as quoted by Yahtzee Croshaw. "The first is where you're in a dark room and a guy in a spooky mask jumps out of a cupboard and yells abloogy-woogy-woo (that would be your Doom 3). Then there's the kind where the guy isn't in the cupboard but standing right behind you, and you just know he's going to go abloogy-woogy-woo at some point, but he doesn't, and you're getting more and more tense but you don't wanna turn around because he might stick his cock in your eye (that would be your Silent Hill 2). And then there are the horror games where the guy in the spooky mask goes abloogy-woogy-woo while standing on the far side of a brightly lit room before walking slowly over to you, plucking a violin, and then slapping you in the face with a T-bone steak (that would be your Dead Space). You see, the second one is best because your imagination is doing all the work for you. All a good horror game needs to do is give you a piece of sand paper and shout encouragement whilst you vigorously massage your own undercarriage."

What he's trying to say is that survival horror games rely on a tense atmosphere and psyching you out before unleashing the terrible unstoppable beast on you, have you run away, and then spend the rest of the game thinking you're not safe even while you're next to a save point.

#37 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@wiouds

I have a simular theory, except with Role Playing instead of Survival Horror.

#38 Posted by loafofgame (523 posts) -

"And then there are the horror games where the guy in the spooky mask goes abloogy-woogy-woo while standing on the far side of a brightly lit room before walking slowly over to you, plucking a violin, and then slapping you in the face with a T-bone steak (that would be your Dead Space)."

Ah, man, why did he have to say it like that? I quite enjoyed Dead Space and I thought the atmosphere in that game was pretty amazing. That world was bleak, hopeless and lonely. Sure, there were lots of jumpscares, but still... I found it deeply unsettling without them.

Played Betrayer recently. Wasn't "scary," but really cool setting...basically just imagine coming across an abandoned colonial settlement like Roanoke and mix in a little Silent Hill...worked for me.

I've been interested in that game for quite a while, especially because of its atmosphere, but from what I've seen it just seems that the gameplay becomes repetitive very quickly. Would you say that's true?

#39 Posted by bussinrounds (2123 posts) -
@Byshop said:

Not being scared by a scary game or movie isn't really much of an accomplishment because it's up to you to try to meet it halfway. Logically, there is no legitimate danger so there's no real fear of course but that doesn't mean it can't be scary if you let it. A legit scary game is one of my favorite things, but they are few and far between.

-Byshop

Yea, a lot of ppl are afraid of opening their minds up to things, in fear of actually getting possibly spooked out, I think.

The same type of ppl that say..." oh, that would never happen" when watching a movie, say. It's like they're afraid to use their imagination or something. Either that, or they really don't have much of one at all.

#40 Edited by Ish_basic (4010 posts) -

@loafofgame said:
@mastermetal777 said:

"And then there are the horror games where the guy in the spooky mask goes abloogy-woogy-woo while standing on the far side of a brightly lit room before walking slowly over to you, plucking a violin, and then slapping you in the face with a T-bone steak (that would be your Dead Space)."

Ah, man, why did he have to say it like that? I quite enjoyed Dead Space and I thought the atmosphere in that game was pretty amazing. That world was bleak, hopeless and lonely. Sure, there were lots of jumpscares, but still... I found it deeply unsettling without them.

@Ish_basic said:

Played Betrayer recently. Wasn't "scary," but really cool setting...basically just imagine coming across an abandoned colonial settlement like Roanoke and mix in a little Silent Hill...worked for me.

I've been interested in that game for quite a while, especially because of its atmosphere, but from what I've seen it just seems that the gameplay becomes repetitive very quickly. Would you say that's true?

I always thought Deadspace could have been improved by looking at concept designs for vessels intended for long voyages, including air craft carriers. You don't need monsters; if you have to look at a metal walls and ducting for years at a time while mining in deep space, you'll go crazy on that alone.

This sort of research could have improved their level design, the repetitiveness of which really seemed to desensitize you to DS's brand of horror over time. I always imagined more open recreational/residential areas that looked just like home combined with hatches that led in and out of more cramped engineering spaces that crisscrossed the station. I think the juxtaposition could have allowed for a more varied experience, with enemies and scenes designed to take advantage of the different environments. Imagine walking through a suburban style residential area with faux grass and a filtering screen that scatters the ambient starlight, creating a blue sky...then you lift up a thatch of grass and hop in a crawlspace that is too small to even crouch in. Like that scene in aliens where Bishop has to crawl all the way to the dish...yeah, I would never have been able to do that.

The importance of juxtaposition is the allowance of refuge. If every place looks the same, you just get used to it. But if you're allowed the comfort of occasionally not being in a certain kind of area, your return to such an area is all the more intimidating. This is the beauty of Silent Hill's light and dark world. They were even smart enough to use sirens to signify the transition, creating an auditory cue that instantly changes your mental state. That's psychological horror. Dead Space never really elevates itself above Rob Zombie status.

___

To Betrayer. I bought it for $3, so I base my judgments on what I got for $3. I really enjoyed it. It's hard to judge. It clearly isn't a big budget title, but at the same time can be just as satisfying depending on why you play it. If you're looking for a shooter or action-horror, don't bother. If you want a moody, atmosphere driven story experience that forces you to play detective to put everything together, it's a lot of fun. I finished it in 2 sittings, totaling 10 hours or so. I was just hooked on the mood and I wanted to figure out what happened. Then I spent a few hours after piecing the story together, rereading notes and investigations and perusing online forums.

I would say all games could be classified as repetitive (except maybe adventure games and stuff like Heavy Rain) in that you're always doing one of a handful of activities that the game allows. Betrayer is not different, but it never stopped me from wanting to push forward or anything like that.

#41 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@bussinrounds

So then... Is it at all possible to render a game like Dead Space or President Evil 5 Scary despite the plentifull amunition and the power of the character/s ? If the idea is key then can survival horror still be scary and have good gamemechanics and balance ? can you still be afraid of a Mutant if you got a fully loaded shotgun or a co-op partner at the ready ?

Most say no....

#42 Posted by Byshop (11325 posts) -

I always thought Deadspace could have been improved by looking at concept designs for vessels intended for long voyages, including air craft carriers. You don't need monsters; if you have to look at a metal walls and ducting for years at a time while mining in deep space, you'll go crazy on that alone.

This sort of research could have improved their level design, the repetitiveness of which really seemed to desensitize you to DS's brand of horror over time. I always imagined more open recreational/residential areas that looked just like home combined with hatches that led in and out of more cramped engineering spaces that crisscrossed the station. I think the juxtaposition could have allowed for a more varied experience, with enemies and scenes designed to take advantage of the different environments. Imagine walking through a suburban style residential area with faux grass and a filtering screen that scatters the ambient starlight, creating a blue sky...then you lift up a thatch of grass and hop in a crawlspace that is too small to even crouch in. Like that scene in aliens where Bishop has to crawl all the way to the dish...yeah, I would never have been able to do that.

The importance of juxtaposition is the allowance of refuge. If every place looks the same, you just get used to it. But if you're allowed the comfort of occasionally not being in a certain kind of area, your return to such an area is all the more intimidating. This is the beauty of Silent Hill's light and dark world. They were even smart enough to use sirens to signify the transition, creating an auditory cue that instantly changes your mental state. That's psychological horror. Dead Space never really elevates itself above Rob Zombie status.

___

To Betrayer. I bought it for $3, so I base my judgments on what I got for $3. I really enjoyed it. It's hard to judge. It clearly isn't a big budget title, but at the same time can be just as satisfying depending on why you play it. If you're looking for a shooter or action-horror, don't bother. If you want a moody, atmosphere driven story experience that forces you to play detective to put everything together, it's a lot of fun. I finished it in 2 sittings, totaling 10 hours or so. I was just hooked on the mood and I wanted to figure out what happened. Then I spent a few hours after piecing the story together, rereading notes and investigations and perusing online forums.

I would say all games could be classified as repetitive (except maybe adventure games and stuff like Heavy Rain) in that you're always doing one of a handful of activities that the game allows. Betrayer is not different, but it never stopped me from wanting to push forward or anything like that.

Yes, thank you. I've been saying for years that one of the things that makes horror effective is the transition from the mundane to the fantastic. How the game/movie/book/whatever lulls you back into "normal" only to pull the rug out from underneath you again. Silent Hill did this to great effect as well as creating sort of an "uncanny valley" effect with even the "normal" world because in many cases it was close to but not quite how it should be.

Games like Dead Space, by comparison, start out with a space ship but quickly devolve into a parade of hellbeasts that lasts until you beat the game. Sure, it can be tense, but so can a good online match of Call of Duty. That's not horror, it's action with a horror-colored coat of paint.

-Byshop

#43 Posted by platinumking320 (666 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu:

Forgive me for bringing back those olden days nostalgia of dealing with limited resources, but I remember over time, limited resources turned from being frustrating into inspiration for creative gameplay tactics. The tension behind making premptive chess decisions in RPGs, you end up doing in realtime action games during moments when youre not being attacked. Its like when you plan ops in rainbow six, sit back and hope it works. Back in the days...man we used to say, "okay low on health, low on ammo, bunch of tools I don't even need yet..... Y'know this situation is not all that bad, theres gotta be an exploit in the environment...something I can leverage to get out of this shit."

Its good suspense when the game makes us think and feel like were walking on eggshells. Thats suspense that's going into the game, rather than tacked on story.

Nowadays we have RPG upgrade systems that are kind of useless for realtime, partially qte combat, and theres not enough of a threat in the game to merit such elaborate tweaking and loadout, it just disrupts the flow of the game.

I know from your experiences you feel its cheap to not give solid avatar strength, but the game isn't really testing our minds if its not giving us sticky situations and telling us we have to reach that max avatar strength state ourselves. There's more pride in the character when we struggle to get them to max ourselves rather than an easy loadout and bowling pin enemies. I don't mind getting a lot of assets but it feels better when I've earned every single one of them through discovery and conflict, and the REAL emphasis goes into the level design more so than just egostroking the avatar. Showing and proving in the game, thats OUR job, not the CPUs. Right? Heh heh

#44 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@platinumking320

I've got no problem with Limited Resources plus an alernate way to deal with an encounter.... I have a problem with limited resources and Nothing to do about it (besides start over and use less resources). I welcome the idea of clever ways to deal with enemies but most Survival Horror games aren't like that.... Your resources are limited and theres nothing you can do about it. This can often lead to an Optimal Strategy.....

I use to do it all the time. Say a game only lets you hold on to 5 medipacks and geting more are rare.... You know what I do ? I never use those medipacks unless I find another to keep my inventory at maximum capacity, I'd rather die and restart the level than to use those medipacks because "I MIGHT NEED THEM FOR LATER". So much so that I've finnshed games with fully stocked inventory featuring stuff that I've never even used. Which brings up alot of "what if" scenarios that leave me dissapointed and unsatisfied. What do I get in return for NOT using these Items... how much fun is it to save something for later ?

Basicly its bad design. And results in frustrating experiences.

#45 Posted by platinumking320 (666 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: I wouldnt say its bad design. Most games have a balance of give and take, otherwise how would've all these older gamers lived to tell the tale of beating them. When you look at the LPs for resident evil mercenary modes, that get off entirely on knife kills, you realize that those challenging levels pit against a limited character have many exploits for defense or movement. They're just not surface level obvious as conveniently placed explosive barrels and turrets. Those games were still beatable, everyone remembers which games were REALLY nigh unbeatable in the past.

Saving health in resi evil made me value what I got. Even outside of survival horror Those berserker grenade cocktails that Rikku cooked up in FFX, that made you shielded, dbl dmg, and super fast etc. I hung onto those darlings and all the ingredients for as long as I could. Usually with JRPGs and JP Survival horror they treat sticky situations like chinese handcuffs, there are usually narrow windows to get out of situations, they just want to put an emphasis on deciding what to stock up on and discard.

#46 Posted by zeroyaoi (1931 posts) -
#47 Posted by bussinrounds (2123 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: The very idea that a game can create this kind of tension, apprehension and fear out of purely an artificial situation is a real testament to that style of game. If you're the kind of person who can't get immersed into the game, then it is entirely your loss.

A game can't simulate the real threat of life because they can't threaten your life. They simply encourage you into that mindset of vulnerability by taking away the effectiveness things that your mind would want to use to solve a problem Things that would normally give you the sense of security that the designers do not want you to have in a game of this type.

At the same time, I personally don't like it when games offer you no ability to fight back against enemies, and think there should generally always be some option available (something underpowered enough in normal situations as to never be considered a solution in itself) to fight back when that is the only remaining option. The key is to have players see fighting back as an absolute last resort in a desperate situation and used with the expectation that it may not work, but try desperately anyway. It is the resulting success against seemingly impossible odds that gives the experience the most weight, and this is how weapons should ideally be implemented in stealth and horror games. Prohibiting weapons completely is generally just a cheap way of dealing with the problem of having to balance them perfectly so that they aren't a go-to solution for the player.

#48 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11567 posts) -

@bussinrounds

Nobody has the same immersion threshold so how do we determine when its too much ?

I'd rather they do away with combat completely, after they're done they can trickle the combat back in, this insures theres no fuck ups.

#49 Posted by loafofgame (523 posts) -

I always thought Deadspace could have been improved by looking at concept designs for vessels intended for long voyages, including air craft carriers. You don't need monsters; if you have to look at a metal walls and ducting for years at a time while mining in deep space, you'll go crazy on that alone.

This sort of research could have improved their level design, the repetitiveness of which really seemed to desensitize you to DS's brand of horror over time. I always imagined more open recreational/residential areas that looked just like home combined with hatches that led in and out of more cramped engineering spaces that crisscrossed the station. I think the juxtaposition could have allowed for a more varied experience, with enemies and scenes designed to take advantage of the different environments. Imagine walking through a suburban style residential area with faux grass and a filtering screen that scatters the ambient starlight, creating a blue sky...then you lift up a thatch of grass and hop in a crawlspace that is too small to even crouch in. Like that scene in aliens where Bishop has to crawl all the way to the dish...yeah, I would never have been able to do that.

The importance of juxtaposition is the allowance of refuge. If every place looks the same, you just get used to it. But if you're allowed the comfort of occasionally not being in a certain kind of area, your return to such an area is all the more intimidating. This is the beauty of Silent Hill's light and dark world. They were even smart enough to use sirens to signify the transition, creating an auditory cue that instantly changes your mental state. That's psychological horror. Dead Space never really elevates itself above Rob Zombie status.

@Byshop said:

Yes, thank you. I've been saying for years that one of the things that makes horror effective is the transition from the mundane to the fantastic. How the game/movie/book/whatever lulls you back into "normal" only to pull the rug out from underneath you again. Silent Hill did this to great effect as well as creating sort of an "uncanny valley" effect with even the "normal" world because in many cases it was close to but not quite how it should be.

Games like Dead Space, by comparison, start out with a space ship but quickly devolve into a parade of hellbeasts that lasts until you beat the game. Sure, it can be tense, but so can a good online match of Call of Duty. That's not horror, it's action with a horror-colored coat of paint.

I can agree with this. I still like Dead Space though. ;-P I can't deny my own feelings when I played that game. It was a sense of dread and loneliness that was very unsettling (a sincere feeling of 'I don't actually want to be here'). I understand the game might have gone horde mode and jump scare on the player a little too often (and I can wholeheartedly agree with the juxtaposition argument), but I felt the atmosphere was still very well done. And the fact that those necromorphs were still (sort of) people added to that feeling of despair. I might have had guns to kill them, but I often felt I was somehow fighting an invincible power, especially since all the misery started and continued with human judgement. Sure, I killed huge monsters, but those things were the result of something way scarier: people. People sacrifying others for their own interest, people blindly following convictions no matter the cost, people unwilling or incapable of seeing the threat. Those necromorphs were just a vessel for everything that makes humans scary. To be fair, human flaws are regularly at the core of events in horror, but the way it was depicted in DS appealed to me. Granted, I don't play too many horror games, so there might be some ignorance and lack of experience here. Also, I had no expectations and little prior knowledge going in.

To Betrayer. I bought it for $3, so I base my judgments on what I got for $3. I really enjoyed it. It's hard to judge. It clearly isn't a big budget title, but at the same time can be just as satisfying depending on why you play it. If you're looking for a shooter or action-horror, don't bother. If you want a moody, atmosphere driven story experience that forces you to play detective to put everything together, it's a lot of fun. I finished it in 2 sittings, totaling 10 hours or so. I was just hooked on the mood and I wanted to figure out what happened. Then I spent a few hours after piecing the story together, rereading notes and investigations and perusing online forums.

I would say all games could be classified as repetitive (except maybe adventure games and stuff like Heavy Rain) in that you're always doing one of a handful of activities that the game allows. Betrayer is not different, but it never stopped me from wanting to push forward or anything like that.

Of course all games are repetitive; it's pretty much in their nature, but well, sometimes things get tedious, and with this game it just seemed to get tedious quickly. Also, as you said about to Dead Space, certain repetitiveness can desensitize you. Anyway, I'm not looking for (or expecting) a shooter or action-horror game (I've seen enough to know Betrayer is not that), despite my appreciation for Dead Space. ;-) I'll wait for a nice price drop then.

#50 Posted by wiouds (5121 posts) -

Jump scares aren't bad when used here and there, in moderation. But to be a good horror game there must be a true sense of atmospheric horror going on. NOT just having to rely on one jump scare after another.

The problem is most if not all horror games pause the game play to build up the horror atmosphere. he is the large problem. Good game play is all about problem solving and critical thinking while horror is about thinking with emotion and creative thinking. They pull in different direction and hurts the other.