Film, Games, and the Silent Hill Revelation: 3D Trailer

I’m not sure the word is trailer or teaser in this case because it does contain what seems to be a continuous part of a larger scene, which is nice – rather than flashes of the cool bits. And something to look at before the trailer proper comes out soon. I have some predictions for that, but I did want to make some wider points so that post can wait until tomorrow.

In fact, let’s look at this, yeah, I’m calling it a teaser.
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That Doesn’t Really Work

A few hairy moments in, and any attempt to get back under your skin is redundant. Mostly this is because the game’s resident evil is largely incapable of harming you, and any sense of jeopardy is lost.

This is a recurring theme in horror game reviews. Is that what horror games are to be reduced to? It doesn’t kill you, so it isn’t scary and it’s very scary because it does lots of damage and you haven’t saved for an hour.

Everything That’s Wrong with Silent Hill and Video Game Horror in One Statement

“How do you make Pyramid Head scary when he’s seen from a topdown perspective? You do it by having him SHRED through your HP with every swipe.” – director of WayForward (Silent Hill: Book of Memories), Adam Tierney.

Getting killed quickly in a videogame is not scary or horror – it is inconvenient and annoying.

Otherwise Mega Man is one of the greatest horror games of all time.

We Deserved Amy

Amy was a promising new release for 2012’s promising first quarter in which we were to be treated to several horror games. It was universally panned. Did it deserve to be so? Well, probably, but lots of games are praised for the very same things that Amy was slammed for.

IGN’s Colin Moriarty starts by calling it “a supremely muddled mess of controller-throwing frustration and piss-poor game design choices”. The poor game design choices? “Want to pick up that item on the ground? You better be positioned in a pixel-perfect fashion … How many times can a gamer possibly be expected to do the same few things over and over again? … Amy’s checkpoint system wouldn’t necessarily be so unforgiving if the game was even remotely playable, but since so much of the game requires insane amounts of trial and error — and a myriad of unfair deaths due to terrible controls both in and out of combat — this might be the most frustrating aspect of the entire experience … replaying the same 20-minute segment of a chapter a dozen times as you try to figure out what you’re actually doing wrong … gave up out of sheer anger and frustration”. Continue reading

F3AR

Oh no, the FOV has changed!!! Aaaaiiiiiiiiiii!

F3AR isn’t a very scary game.

FEAR has always been about blurring the line betwixt horror and action, being both a competent shooter with smart AI, and full of delicious horror atmosphere. As well as having some interesting characterisations and characters. Those characters kind of make a come-back in F3AR. By kind of, I mean they have a character called Point Man, who has never really been seen before, and who has a beard? Who knew? Continue reading

Screw Survival Horror

There is a reason that when ‘Survival Horror’ and horror games when placed together and conflated with each other, don’t seem to fit. A game like Silent Hill 2 doesn’t really share much in common with Dead Space 2. Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison, since Silent Hill 2 is highly regarded as a classic, whereas Dead Space 2 was beloved for the first week of its release. How about a game like Siren: Blood Curse compared to say, Resident Evil 5? They don’t really go together, and I really don’t think it has anything to do with how good any of these games are. Continue reading

Dead Space 2

There are many problems with this game.

It’s a completely superfluous sequel which makes the first game’s absolutely complete story slightly poorer by redoing bits we liked (why does my girlfriend look nothing like she did in the first game? – why does the silent protagonist keep talking?). It’s far less scary due an unfortunate difficulty curve. Continue reading

Penumbra: Overture

One of my favourite games is Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, I have a soft spot for games that are actually scary, that make you cringe in fear, make you dread what happens next, yet drive you forward by using attraction combined with revulsion. It isn’t easy to do, few games, or films for that matter have managed it. Arguably, games being interactive, they have the advantage, Silent Hills 1, 2, and 4 being good examples that aren’t Dark Corners of the Earth. Oh and System Shock 2.

Wait, that’s all the games that have managed it.

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