Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm not a game reviewer, and if i ever tried to be one, I'm sure that id be fired for my grammar and writing skills before i even got hired. But I still like to talk about them. So I'm going to talk today about the Horror genre in videogames. Why you ask... Because I'm sitting outside right now, it's 2 am, and a thick fog has rolled in over my site.
I remember the first game that scared the living hell out of me. I was about 13 and by buddy Steven came over to spend the night. With him he brought Resident Evil 2.

 We stayed up all night, just trying to get to the end. We didn't that night, mostly because every time something jumped out, or some zombie finally ate our brains, we had to take an hour break to get up the nerve to play again. As the sun rose, I sat in my chair, looking out the window, and thinking to myself "I did it. A game will never scare me again."

Then, in 2005, I bought a game that I had heard nothing but good things about. Silent Hill 2.

 A game that I wanted so bad I put myself 20 more dollars into debt. I took it home. It was a hot, sunny May afternoon. My door stood open to let the cool breeze flow through, and I heard children laughing in the street. I plugged SH2 into my xbox and hit start. As the opening movie rolled I got totally immersed. I started to play. 15 minuets later I reached the first save spot, saved, and turned the game off, thoroughly shaken. I hadn't even gotten into the story line, I hadn't had an epic boss battle, I hadn't even faced a single enemy, and yet I couldn't go on.
Months later I eventually finished the game, and felt pride as the end credits ran. But what had me so shaken to begin with?

It was the one thing that most "horror" games now lack.
The subtle things that make you feel utterly alone and vulnerable. A creepy shadow here, a sound there. Little things that just get in your head and have an orgy in the fear section of your brain.
Most "horror" games now cant even give you a little spook, let alone the feeling that the shambling creature on screen will somehow for-go your player character, and reach through the screen. What happened? I hope that with the next gen games, we can get back to what once was.

 Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. People underrate the importance of mood and setting in games. Pick the right music, the right screen colors, the right graphics, and set your mood. It sounds like the people behind Silent Hill 2 got it right.

    Personally, I prefer the sillier versions. Plants vs. Zombies might be horror, but it's bright and happy. In the words of my son, 9 at the time, "Those zombies are soooo CUTE!" That works for me.