What makes this game scary?

#1 Posted by Stonyman65 (3030 posts) -

The title says it all. What makes this game scary? Is it atmosphere, jump scares, helplessness? I think I might want to play this game, but I want to know what I'm getting myself into first. I've heard nothing but good things.

#2 Posted by Anonymgeist (34 posts) -

I'd say atmosphere and the feeling of powerlessness are a big part of it. I can't speak for others, but it's the closest I've seen a game come to feeling nightmarish in the truest sense of the word. It's very unpleasant, but worth experiencing.

#3 Posted by WilltheMagicAsian (1547 posts) -

I'd say a little of all three.

#4 Posted by wemibelec90 (2110 posts) -

Atmosphere is a big part of it. The game is VERY dark in spots and it can be very unnerving, not knowing what may be lurking there. Sound design is fantastic as well; your usual creepy sound library playing constantly. The idea that you can't fight back against the monsters can be frightening too. You have to either hide or run for your life and you always have the possibility of running into more monsters.

#5 Posted by TheHumanDove (2521 posts) -

I dont even remember this game having jump scares. It's definitely the other two though.

#6 Posted by AlexW00d (6742 posts) -

Yeah the game doesn't really have jump scares, which is why I would consider it an actual horror game. The atmosphere is amazing, and like others have said it's really dark and unnerving. You should really play it, it's like a fiver at most.

#7 Posted by The_Nubster (2543 posts) -

For my money, the total feeling of powerlessness. There's nothing you can do to defend yourself, not a single thing. Hide or die. But just understand that, by the end, you may hate that game. It's certainly something that has to be played to be understood, but I wasn't having fun. That game is not fun. I do, however, recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable experience.

#8 Posted by jakob187 (22345 posts) -

I still need to pick this game up! Dammit, all of the recent talk from Patrick about it plus the constant threads popping up are going to kill my sanity! I really really really REALLY need to play this shit.

$20 spent next week...that I probably shouldn't spend...but fuck it.

#9 Posted by BioFinix (12 posts) -

I think its because of the music/sound effects and your inability to actually fight the monsters...

Also, funny video of people playing this :P


#10 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

For me it was complete uncertainty that I would survive the next few minutes. It's truly, truly terrifying.

#11 Posted by MysteriousFawx (439 posts) -

The biggest 'scary' point of this game is your own mind. The game fucks with you sure, but because you then think the game constantly going to make jump scares or try to give you a heart attack, you play differently. The game becomes terrifying as you get spooked by any random sound, even stuff thats happening in your actual house. Then they've got you in their little world, where the game takes about 5 times longer than it should to complete purely because you walk through a level with no enemies expecting there to be 20 and playing like the floor itself is broken glass, hurting you to move forward.

This game does a fantastic job of making you do all the scary work for it.

#12 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1958 posts) -

It is the subversion of usual video game mechanics. There's a certain part in the game that brings to your brain the kind of animal fear you can only feel when playing "The Floor is Lava".

Like Dead Space, it is an oppressive atmosphere that turns your own mind against itself. It also has an ethereal, surreal quality that rips the rug out from under your consciousness on several occasions. It is a truly nightmarish experience. I still haven't finished it.

#13 Posted by smallmanoncampus (122 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

I still need to pick this game up! Dammit, all of the recent talk from Patrick about it plus the constant threads popping up are going to kill my sanity! I really really really REALLY need to play this shit.

$20 spent next week...that I probably shouldn't spend...but fuck it.

It's in the Humble Bundle, so just get that instead

#14 Edited by Samael2138 (249 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

I still need to pick this game up! Dammit, all of the recent talk from Patrick about it plus the constant threads popping up are going to kill my sanity! I really really really REALLY need to play this shit.

$20 spent next week...that I probably shouldn't spend...but fuck it.

I believe the Steam summer sale begins next week. I'd be surprised if this game isn't considerably discounted. If you're patient you could pick it up for a lot less than $20....

if you're patient, lol.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (10518 posts) -

It's scary until you start dying. And then it becomes purely mechanical. Specifically mechanics that are mutually opposed and cannot co-exist, and finite resources that demand that any suboptimal play makes the game progressively more difficult. Forcing restarts that reveal the seams of the game.

And jumping puzzles.

#16 Posted by doobie (612 posts) -

make sure you play it in the dark with a good set of head phones... that noise

#17 Posted by Pezen (1769 posts) -

Just tried the demo of it and I agree that from those 30 minutes I experienced the thing that kills that game is the part where it becomes more "game" than "atmosphere". Because that's when your mind sort of ignores what makes that game supposedly scary and focuses on the task of puzzle solving (at least to me) and as soon as that happened the entire experience seemed a lot more mundane. Sure, my exposure is limited to 30 minutes so take that into account. The game probably gets into your head more the longer you sit with it. But I had the same deal happen with Dead Space which is also a game with a really nice thick atmosphere until you die and you switch on the action mentality and ignore the atmosphere. Another problem I had was that the character seemed to be a lot more scared than I was, which was a bit of a disconnect hearing him hyperventilate as soon as he began walking around.

Maybe I'll pick it up, it's not particularly expensive and maybe sitting with it longer will do more for the atmosphere.

#18 Posted by Irvandus (3074 posts) -


#19 Posted by Brodehouse (10518 posts) -
@Pezen I've said before that the reason everyone looks to Silent Hill 2 as the scariest Silent Hill is because it's also by far the easiest, in both combat and puzzle difficulty. It allows people to switch off the mechanical side of their brain and focus on all the creative scenarios that things will get worse.

Most of the monsters in the first one move faster than you and require immediate neutralization, and the puzzles are as arbitrary as it gets. The third game sends a Goddamn armada of monsters at you, and one part requires a working knowledge of Shakespeare(!). Silent Hill 2, the monsters all appear to be suffering, wailing at you as they make pathetic attempts to injure you, and most of the puzzles can be solved accidentally.
#20 Posted by Levio (1798 posts) -

Be sure to play it in the dark. Much more effective.

#21 Posted by Omnomnivore (2940 posts) -

The atmosphere. It makes everything feel hidden and dangerous. It reminds me a lot of why Paranormal Activity can still scare me while 99% of other horror movies are lame. It's that sheer terror of the unknown, and the unknown is powerful.

#22 Posted by stryker1121 (1778 posts) -

@Pezen: Where did you play the demo? Interested in trying Amnesia, just don't know if it's for me.

#23 Posted by hughesman (314 posts) -

If you want to point to one thing specifically, then yeah feeling helpless. Even the most basic combat mechanic would have made that game considerably less special.

#24 Posted by CaptainCody (1546 posts) -

That fucking teeth grinding noise. Also, the story is surprisingly well done and the ending is over the top enough to not disappoint.

#25 Posted by Sackmanjones (5206 posts) -

Personally I find the sound design to be devilish and that's what does it for me

#26 Posted by Pezen (1769 posts) -

@Brodehouse: I can certainly see that being the case. Though I never was a big fan of Silent Hill, not sure why though. Bad first experience I suppose.

@stryker1121: Steam.

#27 Posted by bybeach (5152 posts) -

I just finished the game, and yes in a few ways, it was scary. The red stuff pissed me off even, you will find out why. But there are both visceral scares, and also much other unpleasantness creating atmosphere that you will discover. The person you play... but with a good twist. Pretty good game, I'm glad I kept hearing Vinny and then I think Pat go off about it. Took me several tries to get started. A part near the end did mess me up, fortunately it lists the auto saves, at least the last 10 or so. saved my rear end. This is a game you have to pay attention to, that kind of messed me up. You have to keep in mind what it wants you to do. hard to put down and pick back up several days later.

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