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Something I can’t do have never been able to do in terms of what I do for a living is enjoy horror games.
That’s why I’ve decided to talk the matter over with Adam, one of the RPS resident horror fans and the chap whose own most recent supporter post dealt with Five Nights At Freddy’s; a nasty, brutish horror game but one not without merit or skill.
It was not so long ago that our own Adam “Murder Maestro” Smith lamented the lack of imagination in horror stories. Implausibly trap-laden asylums, spoooooky forests, and hastily cobbled-together castles dominate, while more interesting locales and subject matters are few and far-between. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that horror’s stuck in a full-blown rut, it could certainly end up there if it keeps wandering down the same predictable trail. I’ve been thinking about it, though (largely while replaying Amnesia: The Dark Descent as Halloween nightmare fuel), and I’ve come to realize that there are some amazing avenues ahead for stomach-lurching scares in gaming. Problem is, there are a few major, perhaps even primeval forces that could slip a dangling noose around possibility’s all-too-exposed neck.>
As you didn’t notice, I’ve been away for the last three months, to focus on helping raise the child which will one day destroy the universe. In between prising the crushed, partially-chewed remains of smaller star systems from her tiny, iron grip, I managed to play a few videogames. Some for a while, but most only for a couple of hours. Despite myself, it was difficult not to have opinions about them, and to want to write those opinions on some manner of ‘web’ ‘site.’ I bided my time. I waited. And now here I am, able to force you to listen to my single-sentence opinions on 13 recent videogames – the likes of Saints Row IV, Gone Home, The Bureau, Papers Please and even that car-stealing thing on console. For the first time on RPS, I have even included a rating for each game. > (more…)
Looking through the recent releases on Steam, a casual observer might believe that there’s a horror game renaissance underway. In the last few weeks, several games have appeared, with titles like Paranormal and The Orphanage. I’ve installed a few of them, heard them go bump in the night, and then moved on. Despite some quality releases, horror is in a rut. And it’s an unpleasant one>.
I’ve spent most of the week thinking about Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. I finished the story at the weekend and spent the last five minutes of the game with a huge grin plastered across my face. Not the reaction that a horror game might hope to elicit but thechineseroom’s cleverly concealed secret, hidden behind the dark curtain of that title, is that in some ways they haven’t really constructed a horror game at all. Thankfully, they’ve made something far more interesting instead.>