Each day I write a post concerning what has been on my mind, could be gaming related, could be anything. I just like to vent! –TheGoblin
This is yet another thought brought on by The Last of Us doing something right, it was during one of the first encounters with the ‘Clicker’ enemy, these enemies cannot see you, but if you make the slightest sound it will chase you down and tear into your neck, killing you instantly. Now, these parts of the game are excellent for two reasons, the first is that they are brilliant at building up tension (especially since you need a certain weapon to kill them silently, otherwise you have to risk alerting others by shooting it). The second being that this is a ‘do-or-die’ situation, you either kill them successfully or you fuck up and die, being forced to try again from the start of the encounter. Only through these type of situations can you encourage the player to perfect the way they play and think about the situation.
So yeah, Clickers can be shit-your-pants scary.
But this got me thinking about other occurrences of fear in gaming, and when you think of the horror genre, you think of Resident Evil.
Back in the days of the Playstation, Resident Evil was the underpants-ruining force to be reckoned with.
It managed to become the essence of the survival-horror genre by masterfully combining a lack of resources with jump-out-of-your-seat scares. I’m sure anyone who played these games back in the 90’s with the lights off experienced the pure horror of a zombie dog bursting through a window and you realise you only have one bullet in the clip… better make it count or prepare to be undead-canine faeces. Resident Evil continued the great tradition of survival horror until Resident Evil 4 – in my opinion the greatest game in the series. To a lot of peoples chagrin this is where Resident Evil turned into an Action-Horror game. But when the game is that good, who cares? I don’t know about you but the revving of a chainsaw still makes me think of Dr. Salvador, another kill-or-be-killed enemy. I could go on to talk about Resident Evil 5 and 6, but lets not go there. They aren’t horror and have no place in this topic. Best just to forget they happened and play Revelations really.
Fast-forwarding to the present day, a lot of developers seem to have found their ground in horror games, heck, some games can build such an atmosphere that they don’t need to actually do something to keep you shaking in the seat, just the promise of things to come manages to accomplish it.
Slender is fucking brilliant at this, everyone who played that game knew what was coming – they had heard about it from friends or watched a reaction video online – yet the slow build up of tension as each page is collected is enough to drive a sane man crazy, and everyone jumped when Slenderman finally caught you. Admit it and move on.
And Bioshock Infinite? It wasn’t a horror game, but the ‘Boys of Silence’ made me want to put the game down and hide under the bed.
My point is while Capcom has decided to shit all over fan expectations, there is more to the horror genre now, we don’t need zombies when a good atmosphere can be made. Tension and desperation is the key too a good horror game, and unless Capcom remember that then the Resident Evil series will never live up to its namesake again. Our only hope is Revelations, lets hope they take fan feedback and carry on with this style of gameplay.
Now to go face more Clickers, wish me luck..