#1 Posted by kaos_cracker (710 posts) -

For a few years now, one of my favorite genres have been horror games and games that tend to have a good setting for a thriller. Ever since Patrick has been talking about horror games in his articles and what not, I have been trying to play as many as I could. So far, Amnesia has been the only game to actually freak me out to the point where I stopped playing for a few days or so, but I did end up beating it. Today I got a bunch of custom stories for Amnesia as finding horror games like this seem to be rather hard.

So I was just wondering, how many people actually enjoy this genre? I understand Dead Space and games similar to that, but actual games that are just meant to be scary, like Amnesia, Slender, and others that will be released soon (I'm really looking forward to Daylight, which is now coming out for PS4)

#2 Edited by ShaggE (6701 posts) -

Horror games are in an interesting place right now. We've had a flood of great indie horror ever since Amnesia, but it seems to be tapering off again (business as usual for the genre), which means we're due for another big innovation. As well as a few good last hurrahs from this wave, including the Amnesia sequel, fittingly enough.

This goes for film as well, since found footage is falling out of favor again, as are zombies.

#3 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2404 posts) -

I played Amnesia with some friends of mine (hooked up a computer to a TV so they could watch) and yeah I'm not a horror person at all.

#4 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

i probably haven't checked out as many indie horror games as i could. i think i'd be content just replaying the silent hills over and over again. 1 and 2 are still the genre's high point for me. any good recommendations? i've heard some good things about SCP containment breach, which is free.

#5 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

I love horror games. I was introduced to the genre through survival horror games like Resident Evil and Dead Space, but I eventually found this flood of horror games that don't necessarily give the player a mechanism to fight back. Games like Amnesia are very effective because of it's ability to make the player feel completely helpless as all you can do is run away from the monsters in the game.

I think now if any is the best time to get into the genre as a bunch of independent developers/teams with good ideas for the genre are coming forward to make some incredible horror games.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

I've realized that I don't necessarily like being scared, and I fucking hate being stressed (there's a difference), but I really like the settings and themes of horror games. I suppose I like it from an academic standpoint rather than a visceral one?

It's why I didn't like Amnesia. Amnesia was occasionally creepy, and I enjoyed that, but the stress factor made me actively dislike the game and broke the narrative reality. Instead of being worried if something would come from around a corner and rip my heart out, I was worried about resource collection and conserving oil and would I have enough tinderboxes to actually finish the game and what happens if I mess up? Hold up the lantern and I waste all my oil, keep it down and it drains my sanity and it's game over either way. There's ways of making a creepy, effective horror setting without resorting to mechanics that make you doubt if you can finish the game. I don't want to get 60% through and find out I wasted too much oil and I've made the game nearly impossible to finish.

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#7 Posted by Marcsman (3286 posts) -

Dead Space was the last good one?

#8 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2295 posts) -

Not pure horror where your only defense is running away, I would at least like the chance to defend myself even if weapons aren't plentiful.

#9 Edited by Glottery (1391 posts) -

I enjoy them, but not in the same way as Patrick, which is something I sometimes envy. As with physiological horror movies, I just can't get into them that deeply. That's why I feel like I'm missing half of the "fun" with games like Silent Hill, though the third game *did* manage to feel pretty creepy with it's intro at least. My horror only consists of jump scares, though those are at times more than enough for me too. Fuck any fast-moving inhuman enemies in first person shooters...

#10 Edited by Pie (7111 posts) -

I can't wait for the oculus rift and horror games to meet.

#11 Edited by Zeik (2758 posts) -

I've never been particularly into the horror genre in any medium, but I've become more receptive to horror elements over the years. I'll probably never play through Amnesia, but hearing that The Last of Us has horror elements sounds okay with me, when that might not have been true some years ago.

#12 Posted by kaos_cracker (710 posts) -

To me, games that have practically no to little combat usage makes the horror genre work. If there is combat in the game, then the mood and setting have to be done very well, that's why I feel Dead Space and maybe a few other games with combat actually work. I even got scared a few times playing the Metro series.

#13 Edited by Kovie (206 posts) -

I've realized that I don't necessarily like being scared, and I fucking hate being stressed (there's a difference), but I really like the settings and themes of horror games. I suppose I like it from an academic standpoint rather than a visceral one?

It's why I didn't like Amnesia. Amnesia was occasionally creepy, and I enjoyed that, but the stress factor made me actively dislike the game and broke the narrative reality. Instead of being worried if something would come from around a corner and rip my heart out, I was worried about resource collection and conserving oil and would I have enough tinderboxes to actually finish the game and what happens if I mess up? Hold up the lantern and I waste all my oil, keep it down and it drains my sanity and it's game over either way. There's ways of making a creepy, effective horror setting without resorting to mechanics that make you doubt if you can finish the game. I don't want to get 60% through and find out I wasted too much oil and I've made the game nearly impossible to finish.

Somewhat humorous in contrast, I consistently end up over-prepared in horror games - it's disappointing when you find yourself dramatically ahead of the game in terms of resource collection and management. While there are horror games that will more-or-less become unrealistically difficult to continue once you pass a boundary while ill-equipped, Amnesia actually isn't one of them. I don't mean to break it down too mechanically, but not only is dying not a major setback, you also have those fairly common oil canisters in the environment which give you amounts of oil dependent on how much or little you have used. Rubber-banding resource availability helps keep a stable sense of tension. I also don't think low sanity will actually end the game, either. But maybe I'm wrong, I don't think I've seen it happen.

Horror game settings are awesome. It's pretty much the one genre where simply exploring an otherwise small-scale and detailed world can be completely captivating.

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

@kovie said:
@brodehouse said:

I've realized that I don't necessarily like being scared, and I fucking hate being stressed (there's a difference), but I really like the settings and themes of horror games. I suppose I like it from an academic standpoint rather than a visceral one?

It's why I didn't like Amnesia. Amnesia was occasionally creepy, and I enjoyed that, but the stress factor made me actively dislike the game and broke the narrative reality. Instead of being worried if something would come from around a corner and rip my heart out, I was worried about resource collection and conserving oil and would I have enough tinderboxes to actually finish the game and what happens if I mess up? Hold up the lantern and I waste all my oil, keep it down and it drains my sanity and it's game over either way. There's ways of making a creepy, effective horror setting without resorting to mechanics that make you doubt if you can finish the game. I don't want to get 60% through and find out I wasted too much oil and I've made the game nearly impossible to finish.

Somewhat humorous in contrast, I consistently end up over-prepared in horror games - it's disappointing when you find yourself dramatically ahead of the game in terms of resource collection and management. While there are horror games that will more-or-less become unrealistically difficult to continue once you pass a boundary while ill-equipped, Amnesia actually isn't one of them. I don't mean to break it down too mechanically, but not only is dying not a major setback, you also have those fairly common oil canisters in the environment which give you amounts of oil dependent on how much or little you have used. Rubber-banding resource availability helps keep a stable sense of tension. I also don't think low sanity will actually end the game, either. But maybe I'm wrong, I don't think I've seen it happen.

Horror game settings are awesome. It's pretty much the one genre where simply exploring an otherwise small-scale and detailed world can be completely captivating.

Yeah, I wind up in the same situation. I get to the last third of Silent Hill with more bullets than I could ever use on enemies because I've suffered the first 4 hours using nothing but the pipe, because I spend the first 4 hours too worried that I won't have bullets later. I should be feeling anxious about the environment and the things within it, not about resource collection or core game mechanics. When I play Amnesia, it feels less like I'm in a hostile environment and more like I need to manage two antagonistic resources between the oil and my sanity. It ceases to be narrative and simply becomes math. Hearing that the oil pickups are reactionary is something of a relief.

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#15 Posted by Commander_Crichton (157 posts) -

I love the Silent Hills, the Resident Evils, Amnesia, Penumbra (I don't really consider the first Dead Space much of a horror game; it was a little too reliant on jump scares, which got old after the third or fourth time), even though it takes me forever to play through any of these games. The sense of unease I get from a game like Silent Hill 2 forces to me play it only in 30 minute chunks or so, and I'm normally a guy who just plows through most games in a day or two.

#16 Edited by Karmosin (219 posts) -

Been playing Siren blood curse the last few days and it gets pretty damn creepy sometimes, but I wish they'd have dropped the whole episode thing as it takes you out of the experience every time it changes episode or characters. As it is I think silent hill is my favorite among horror-games. Can't find the amount of uneasiness i get from playing those titles (have played 1-3) anywhere else. Even the first game is scary as all hell thanks to effective use of the visuals (it's probably the only polygonbased ps1-game that I think kinda stands up somewhat today) and brilliant sound design. Amnesia maybe, but I just didn't enjoy that title as much.

#17 Edited by Apparatus_Unearth (3245 posts) -

Horror games are dope, I love a lot of the older stuff like Resident Evil and the new stuff like Amnesia.

#18 Edited by BeachThunder (12416 posts) -

I love horror games ^__^ however, only a handful are truly nightmare-inducing. I can't wait for A Machine for Pigs to finally be released.

#19 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2612 posts) -

I like em. Seems like the genre is making a comeback for some reason.

#20 Posted by jimmyfenix (3753 posts) -

Resident evil 2 was my first horror game. The game is still freaky

#21 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

A lot of them get it very wrong.

#22 Posted by Leafhopper (229 posts) -

I wish developers would stop getting "Action game with disgusting creatures or just zombies" and "Horror" mixed up.

There is also the whole, is this game a true Survival horror game as well.

#23 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5992 posts) -

I really like horror games, but I hardly ever play them. For some reason they make me scared.

#24 Posted by tonyp2121 (169 posts) -

I don't enjoy playing horror games unless I'm with friends who are just as terrified as I am, same goes for horror films.

#25 Posted by Sanity (1950 posts) -

I'v tried to get into them, but there not my thing as i already have a high pulse.

#26 Edited by Twinsunian (34 posts) -

I do, but it depends on the game.

I am incredibly sick of Slender-clone "WHAT IF IT APPEARS RIGHT NOW" shit. I'm also sick of "Oh, I picked up an item, better get ready to run" garbage.

My favorite horror games are ones where you can fight back, but have to manage resources to do so effectively. Like System Shock 2 and STALKER.

I also enjoy free-roam horror games like .flow.

The less puzzles a horror game has, the more likely I am to enjoy it.

#27 Posted by Kovie (206 posts) -

Yeah, I wind up in the same situation. I get to the last third of Silent Hill with more bullets than I could ever use on enemies because I've suffered the first 4 hours using nothing but the pipe, because I spend the first 4 hours too worried that I won't have bullets later. I should be feeling anxious about the environment and the things within it, not about resource collection or core game mechanics. When I play Amnesia, it feels less like I'm in a hostile environment and more like I need to manage two antagonistic resources between the oil and my sanity. It ceases to be narrative and simply becomes math. Hearing that the oil pickups are reactionary is something of a relief.

At the same time, resource collection gives you a lot to do, and a reason to scour through environments. I appreciate the down-time that can offer.

I don't think the typical survival horror structure that uses that back-and-forth dynamic with player resources to create tension is inherently flawed. Horror gameplay, particularly the survival type (or I suppose more so what it was originally) is keen on conditioning an overly conservative nature, and as a result you're more likely to enjoy something if you aren't hording and cataloging resources just because they are limited. I suppose it's a slippery slope between having too much to feel threatened and too little to do anything, but ideally the game should try to avoid letting you dig your own grave by being in the latter position. Even Resident Evil and Silent Hill would let you avoid a lot of confrontation, which is satisfying if not at least practical, and Amnesia is perhaps several steps above that, as you're not being thrown irreversibly into danger.

#28 Edited by Sursh (243 posts) -

i can't say that i've played a horror game that i've liked. my friend told me to play slender late at night last year, describing to me how badly i would tremble in fear and how it was the SCARIEST game of all time... what a jip. i got jump scared, sure, but the game completely lacked any sort of atmosphere. other than that, i've never really looked into it but this thread is changing my mind, what's amnesia like?

#29 Edited by Jeust (10858 posts) -

Last week I finished Nanashi no Game and loved it.

Although there have been fewer horror games this generation, some are among the best ever. Games like:

  • Dead Space
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Alan Wake
  • Silent Hill: Downpour
  • Lone Survivor
  • Amnesia: Dark Descent
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
  • Bioshock
  • Nanashi no Game
  • Dementium: The Ward
  • Siren: Blood Curse
  • Alone in the Dark
  • Deadly Premonition

I'll remember fondly from this generation.

#30 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

Bioshock is a horror game!?