Friday, October 1, 2010

My views on horror games

There are 2 types of horror games

The first kind is where a scary monster jumps out of a closet and tells you to be afraid of it but then you say “nah, man.  I got these massive assault rifles, rocket launchers and flamethrowers that say otherwise. Plus that pile of a million of your kind that I’ve stacked behind me as I’ve gone forward doesn’t make your scaryness worth shit.” then you blow the monster into a million pieces with a grenade (i.e. Doom 3, Dead Space, Bioshock, Resident Evil). These kinds of horror games are the kinds that usually have a good (sometimes even an epic) start but suddenly turn into mainstream first person shooters with no more content than aim and shoot. And with these “horrifying” creatures speeding towards you all the time, you seldom have time for fear. Also, the main character is often somewhat of a supernatural being compared to everyone else and it makes the whole aspect of “being scared” seem obsolete. Why be scared when you’re made to feel like super man?

The second kind is where you expect the monster to jump out of a closet but it never does and you’re left to wonder where it is and you’re afraid to turn around because you just know he’s standing right behind you breathing down your neck ready to molest you the second you start to move your mouse/controller in order to turn around (i.e. Silent Hill 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra, Fatal Frame, Siren: Blood Curse). In these kinds of horror games you’re usually a scared mediocre Joe Nobody, who doesn’t own the ability to slow down time or get rid of monsters that have attached to you, with a quick time event. The tension (in Amnesia for example) is that the monsters don’t show up all that often and when they do, your only options are to either RUN or HIDE. This is good because it leaves more to the imagination. A game where you kill countless monsters, zombies and aliens like in Doom 3 won’t give you the same scaring thrill as a game where you really feel helpless. Although after playing all the horror games I have so far in my life I don’t understand why you would be afraid of the dark in a game if you’re not in real life. It feels silly. But it does have this kind of edge to it watching your main character’s sanity deteriorate as he talks to himself about losing his mind. It does appear frustrating at times if the gameplay is evolved around a gory game of hide&seek with you as the person having to hide every round, but I would say it’s better than shooting at everything that moves.
Penumbra: Black Plague
In conclusion: I like the second type more even thought often I feel not so scared in a situation where my character is simply terrified. This just means that the game didn’t do a good enough job preparing me for a scary bit and I’m often left scratching my head thinking why was my character so scared just now?

tl;dr: a good horror game is the kind that f*cks with your mind.
NOW THEN; tell me what you think. Which type of horror game do you think is better? Also, name some good horror games. I need to play some more!

40 comments:

  1. I also prefer the second type. And not just in games, but in general. I also prefer the movies Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project over the traditional monster flicks.

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  2. i would like to see a review on the new resident evil action film. i think they forgot it was a horror game tbh. WELL AT LEAST ITS IN 3D AMIRITE

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  3. Yeah, I also prefer the 2nd type. But i don't think they all can be considered horror games. To be honest I consider the first type more an fps-with-monsters game than a horror game.

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  4. I'm with J - I consider it more of an fps...not that I dont love them though!

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  5. Lol I love the blog, some of the comments are hilarious!

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  6. Well of course Doom 3 or Resident Evil aren't scary - they aren't even supposed to be. They were created as FPS with some horror themes, so you can't expect from it to be frightened or something like that. My 2 cents.

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  7. Not my cup of tea.. These horror games freak me out. Monsters popping up out of every corner. Freakin zombies and all... First "horror" game i played was half life 2, with those crab head zombies. I went into a shed and one of those bastards popped up..ARGHH!

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  8. silent hill and resident evil were the only ones that really got me spooked, then there was occasionally F.E.A.R which is one of those games where you expect something to pop out

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  10. Love the 2nd type. Silent Hill was excellent for that. Following!

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  11. frustrating at times <-- I guess that's the main reason why I don't like most of these games, I rage within 5 minutes..

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  12. Brr, Alan Awake gave me the creeps...

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  13. Couldn't of explained better my self

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  14. i pretty much agree with you here

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  15. I never really got into horror games. Do you know any good ones for me to try?

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  16. Never liked horror games myself. Now horror movies, these I love

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  17. I just cannot be scared of a video game. sorry.

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  18. to me the second type is the best one, silent hill is just great :)

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  19. my opinion alens vs predator game was to horror for me to play.

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  20. very true. i agree. i want to play some original silent hill now.

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  21. The second kind definitely. I had to stop playing Fatal Frame so many times because it freaked me out. I'm sure it would have the same effect on me today as it did before.

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  22. I agree Jumpy and scary doesn't have to mean gore gore gore... I hate that. I like scary/real type stuff.

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  23. Great post! Yeah i prefer the 2nd myself. Some of my favorite moments (not necessarily from a horro game) was playing through episodes of Metal Gear Solid. I remember as a kid being creeped out when in Sons of Liberty, the Colonel starts tripping out, telling you to turn off the console and his voice sounds all fucked up. Good stuff man.

    What your favorite type 2 game?

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  24. I agree second type is way better

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  25. @ Mr.Awesome, for a GREAT horror experience try something from Frictional Games (ie Penumbra or Amnesia)

    @ Dyaitsidyam∂, the ones I meantioned in my review. FEAR was pretty scare for me too.. but the problem was that it didnt know which one it wanted to be, action or horror. there was always a horrible "clunk" between scary bits and killing clone soldiers or w/e... got bored of that reeeeally quick

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  26. Horror games are the best to play, nice blog you have here bro!
    supporting and following~

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  27. I actually don't mind them, they are entertaining!
    Mesty =)

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  28. pfppfpfpfpfp oh sorry fartsies.. >=(

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  29. Psychological Horror's with Aliens are the only ons that get my mind a bit worried.

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  30. Silent hill is so awesome :D

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  31. Fear is pretty good at making people twitch. Otherwise I agree with your list "Silent Hill 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra, Fatal Frame". I'v seen all of these stated ones.

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  32. Agree wholesomely! I really miss scary games as well as STEALTH games! These stealth games nowadays are for CHILDREN!

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