Since Dead Space released just over 4 years ago, some gamers haven't shied away from letting others know that they wear big kid pants, they'll say the games weren't the least bit scary, and I've often asked myself how is it these people could feel no sense of terror when playing these games. Sure, maybe some people genuinely don't feel fright, but I wonder if it's something more than that, not necessarily a comment on their character, but how they immerse themselves in the experience that's supposed to be scary, and how does that effect their experience. I remember back to a night many years back where my friends and I were supposed to have a scary movie night. I paid attention to the movie and was feeling scared and engaged while they just talked the whole time and kept going outside to smoke cigarettes and get drinks in the kitchen and basically they weren't paying any attention, and toward the end of the movie they weren't watching they decided to comment on how terrible and not scary that the film was. Same thing happened another time when I went to watch a scary movie with another friend, and she was genuinely frightened up until half way through, but then halfway through she got a text message on her phone and she texted back and forward with that friend until the movie was over, afterwards stating the movie sucked and wasn't scary. I told her that of course the movie stopped being scary to her the moment she started texting, she wasn't paying attention. She claimed she was still playing attention, she was just texting a friend. I told her by doing that she might have been aware what was happening but she wasn't immersed in the narrative, she was distracted, all her attention was elsewhere. I feel that the same things that can ruin a movie can ruin a survival horror video game, mainly lack of immersion, and an abundance of potential distractions. Some of the things that might ruin the survival horror gaming experience for gamers can be: playing in the company of others, talking on Xbox Live party chat with other friends, playing with the sound turned down, listening to music while playing the game, watching Netflix movies on a laptop while playing, playing sporadically and in short intervals, playing other games while one still hasn't finished the survival horror game they set out to play... any of these things can significantly hurt the survival horror experience by taking away from those thrilling moments of terror. My recommendations to enjoy a survival horror experience are as follows: (1) play the games late at night, in the dark (2) sit up close to the television set, not far back (3) crank up the surround sound or use high quality headphones, I find headphones make the game scarier, and the louder the better (4) play alone, out of the company of others, and that includes not talking to people on your Xbox Live headsets (5) no other distracting media, no listening to your favorite music in the background, no watching movies on a separate TV or on a laptop (6) try knocking the game out in as few sittings as possible, back-to-back all-nighters over the weekend make an opportune time, just don't dabble in a game from time to time as you can lose your place in the game, lose your engaged connection with the story A company like Visceral can make a good survival horror game like each of the Dead Space games, but once the game is in the hands of gamers it's up to those gamers to make the most of the end product, and how they choose to immerse themselves is going to make a world of difference in how they perceive the gaming experience. Having played Dead Space 3 the proper way I can say with certainty it's still a thrilling horror game, when playing with my loud stereo headphones every sound in the environment makes me uneasy, and I shriek with terror when a necromorphs pops out of a vent screaming... this series still has life in it, but many people aren't seeing this, and I assume it's simply because they don't know how to enjoy a survival horror game.
Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" comes out in a little less than two weeks and I'm feeling like laying down some of my specific predictions about the film based off what's been made available via trailers and interviews and a little of my gut feeling, and I predict... Humans were designed by the Space Jockey race or "Engineers" and seeded on Earth because the alien race saw their demise or potential demise and tried to attempt a sort of species immortality, hence the line at the beginning of Prometheus Trailer 2 of "a king has his reign, and then he dies", and in that same shot as the line mentioned you see an infected and seemingly mutating human with something dark coursing through his veins. I believe the Space Jockey we see in the trailer is actually a genetically mutated human of the Prometheus crew that gets infected. The cave drawing star maps that leads the Prometheus crew to the Engineers is actually part of a trap meant to take place when the human population has flourished and technologically advanced to travel to the star map location. Upon arriving they're supposed to get infected, infected by a genetic mutation that turns a human into the Space Jockey who then triggers the alien ship to fly to Earth to infect the rest of the population, thus repopulating the Engineers from extinction. Well, that's my guess in a nutshell, but I still have questions, for instance if the planet the Prometheus ship travels to is LB 426 then something catastrophic happens to the planets environment, after all the world in Prometheus looks beautiful, has running waterfalls and thick and beautiful white clouds, and in Alien and Aliens LB 426 is dark, stormy, volcanic. And most importantly, I'm still scratching my head to how the parasitic acid-for-blood aliens come into the picture. My only guess that ties everything together is that humans were created as cattle for the Engineers to breed the parasitic alien race, maybe as a bio-weapon... I hope that's not the case though, that'd just be too convenient of an explanation. Still, it's good to not know everything, I hope to be pleasantly surprised.