Viewer Homework (8/25/08) - Horror Game Extremes
  • I think the some of the scariest things in games is not being able to see the enemy until the last second, being alone, and waiting for the enemy that scared me to death waiting for the fast head crab zombies coming up the pipes in ravenholm and in half-life 2
  • pocketmego said:
    That is pretty freakin' disturbing. What system was this game on?

    I think it's only for PC, it was made in 1999 so the graphics are not very smooth.

    [spoiler:bf7d50edb1]image[/spoiler:bf7d50edb1]
    yuzo said:
    What's funny is that the same folks who did that also did Too Human. I'm not sure what happened :)

    "Too Human has so far received near mediocre reviews, scoring an average press review of 69% at GameRankings, 7.0 at GameStats and 6.9 at Metacritic." - Wikipedia

    And it's planned to be a trilogy... :roll:
  • I am not a fan of the Horror movie genre. I think most of the movies are cheap and not scary at all. Then again since I am not a fan of the genre I havent seen that many horror movies. However, it is obvious that making something scary is not an easy task.
    I also have to say I have missed most of the console horror games, so the ones I know are mostly PC games.

    In games you need to find the right balance, between shock moments and a general feel of anxiety, whilst also providing a challenge, some fun and action (thats to make it game that you actually want to play). Another problem is that we learn to predict some of the shock moments and get accustomed with the atmosphere. For a game designer that is an incredibly hard thing to overcome. Making the challenge to hard may also shift the feeling you get from anxiety to simply being annoyed (addressing the point of not giving the player too much).
    Doom 3 and FEAR are good examples where it works at the beginning, but fails to sustain that. They have an excellent sound system (5.1 speakers!) and create a good atmosphere using shadows and stuff, but Doom 3 becomes very repetitive and predictable. At some point you simply know when and from where the monsters will be coming when you enter a room.
    One of the scariest moments for me in Doom 3 is at the beginning (before all hell breaks loose). You come down some stairs and a scientist is kinda hiding beneath it, suddenly he approaches you from behind and starts talking to you. With some good speakers that really has an impact. You turn around and see that scary pale face of him and are even more scared. You are not even in danger.
    FEAR does have some very scary moments as well. For instance, when you climb down that ladder and us you turn around to climb down the girl just appears in front of you. WOW. Scary.
    FEAR obviously becomes less and less scary the further you progress, but I can forgive that because it is also an excellent action game. I think it is quite a good mix. Doom 3, on the other hand, does not provide as entertaining action as FEAR does, this becomes very dull.

    I didnt find RE4 scary at all. Not a single bit, which is why I didnt like it. I have played RE1 & 3 and those were really scary at the time. In my opinion, RE3 is one of the best games out there. All the ingredients to make a good horror are there. For instance, the game never gave you too much of something. Nemesis was always a challenge, especially at the beginning where you actually had to run away from him to survive.

    Another good way to make a game scary is using the story and storytelling. I am thinking about System Shock 2, which remains as one scary game in my memory. The way Polito, Shodan and the Many talk to you; the way you listen to the audio logs and get an insight into what happened, just makes the game a very intense experience. Lets not forget the brilliant monsters. Just the things some of the monsters say. My god, the first time I heard a cyborg midwife. I did nots see it yet, but I started hearing it talk to the eggs and hell that was scary. The mad hybrids are also quite scary, when they charge on you screaming and shouting mad stuff.

    The most recent horror is STALKER (with the oblivion lost mod). God that game can be scary at times. Not so much during the day, but at night and those underground facilities. Just been to lab X-18. There is some psychic mutant in there, who constantly throws objects at you using telekinesis, but you cant defend yourself against it because he is 2 levels below you. Then there is the darkness. The cone of light from your flashlight does not fill the entire screen, so you are constantly looking in all directions. Ammunition is getting scarce down there. Scary monsters, like bloodsuckers attack you ( ahhhh those glowing eyes!). Again the sound system is good. There are scary sounds coming from everywhere, like the crackling of the deteriorating concrete (very crisp sound), moaning creatures etc.
    If you have a PC to run it, then you should definitely try it (no matter what Tobin says).

    In addition, anyone who has Half-Life 2 should try Hidden: Source, which is a mod. You are a team of up to nine players who fight the Hidden. The Hidden is a super powerful and near-invisible mutant ( and is also being played by a player).

    EDIT: Noobie for aarond
  • Plankton said:
    I am not a fan of the Horror movie genre. I think most of the movies are cheap and not scary at all. Then again since I am not a fan of the genre I havent seen that many horror movies. However, it is obvious that making something scary is not an easy task.
    I also have to say I have missed most of the console horror games, so the ones I know are mostly PC games.

    In games you need to find the right balance, between shock moments and a general feel of anxiety, whilst also providing a challenge, some fun and action (thats to make it game that you actually want to play). Another problem is that we learn to predict some of the shock moments and get accustomed with the atmosphere. For a game designer that is an incredibly hard thing to overcome. Making the challenge to hard may also shift the feeling you get from anxiety to simply being annoyed (addressing the point of not giving the player too much).
    Doom 3 and FEAR are good examples where it works at the beginning, but fails to sustain that. They have an excellent sound system (5.1 speakers!) and create a good atmosphere using shadows and stuff, but Doom 3 becomes very repetitive and predictable. At some point you simply know when and from where the monsters will be coming when you enter a room.
    One of the scariest moments for me in Doom 3 is at the beginning (before all hell breaks loose). You come down some stairs and a scientist is kinda hiding beneath it, suddenly he approaches you from behind and starts talking to you. With some good speakers that really has an impact. You turn around and see that scary pale face of him and are even more scared. You are not even in danger.
    FEAR does have some very scary moments as well. For instance, when you climb down that ladder and us you turn around to climb down the girl just appears in front of you. WOW. Scary.
    FEAR obviously becomes less and less scary the further you progress, but I can forgive that because it is also an excellent action game. I think it is quite a good mix. Doom 3, on the other hand, does not provide as entertaining action as FEAR does, this becomes very dull.

    I didnt find RE4 scary at all. Not a single bit, which is why I didnt like it. I have played RE1 & 3 and those were really scary at the time. In my opinion, RE3 is one of the best games out there. All the ingredients to make a good horror are there. For instance, the game never gave you too much of something. Nemesis was always a challenge, especially at the beginning where you actually had to run away from him to survive.

    Another good way to make a game scary is using the story and storytelling. I am thinking about System Shock 2, which remains as one scary game in my memory. The way Polito, Shodan and the Many talk to you; the way you listen to the audio logs and get an insight into what happened, just makes the game a very intense experience. Lets not forget the brilliant monsters. Just the things some of the monsters say. My god, the first time I heard a cyborg midwife. I did nots see it yet, but I started hearing it talk to the eggs and hell that was scary. The mad hybrids are also quite scary, when they charge on you screaming and shouting mad stuff.

    The most recent horror is STALKER (with the oblivion lost mod). God that game can be scary at times. Not so much during the day, but at night and those underground facilities. Just been to lab X-18. There is some psychic mutant in there, who constantly throws objects at you using telekinesis, but you cant defend yourself against it because he is 2 levels below you. Then there is the darkness. The cone of light from your flashlight does not fill the entire screen, so you are constantly looking in all directions. Ammunition is getting scarce down there. Scary monsters, like bloodsuckers attack you ( ahhhh those glowing eyes!). Again the sound system is good. There are scary sounds coming from everywhere, like the crackling of the deteriorating concrete (very crisp sound), moaning creatures etc.
    If you have a PC to run it, then you should definitely try it (no matter what Tobin says).

    In addition, anyone who has Half-Life 2 should try Hidden: Source, which is a mod. You are a team of up to nine players who fight the Hidden. The Hidden is a super powerful and near-invisible mutant ( and is also being played by a player).

    EDIT: Noobie for aarond



    Awesome post Plankton.

    Half Life 2 and it's etc. Did have some good creepy moments. I was never scared of it though. After a while the creepiness of the head crabs became just an annoyance of "Flood" perportions.

    -Ray
  • pocketmego said:
    [quote=Plankton]I am not a fan of the Horror movie genre. I think most of the movies are cheap and not scary at all. Then again since I am not a fan of the genre I havent seen that many horror movies. However, it is obvious that making something scary is not an easy task.
    I also have to say I have missed most of the console horror games, so the ones I know are mostly PC games.




    Awesome post Plankton.

    Half Life 2 and it's etc. Did have some good creepy moments. I was never scared of it though. After a while the creepiness of the head crabs became just an annoyance of "Flood" perportions.

    -Ray[/quote]
  • Horror games/ movies are one of my favorite genres in video entertainment. The most successful asset in a horror game remains the atmosphere. Jack In The Box works for a limited time - the perfect example is Doom3, people are more scared of something imminent that's about to happen without knowing what it is - perfect example is beginning of Sillent Hill, Fatal Frame, Resident Evil 1.

    I would say that the most scary part in a good horror game/movie is the introduction. The moments while you wait for the UNKNOWN to finally appear are the most intense and adrenaline filled parts, the more prolonged this parts are - the more scary the experience becomes. The better the presentation at the beginning - the more forgiving becomes the expectation for the next moments - usually less scary.

    The atmosphere is a sum of things like - presentation, storytelling, camera play, music etc. This combo can keep you on your toes for the whole game length.

    I think that music is the strongest element in defining the atmosphere. When i was a younger one day i listened a scary novel on the radio, i got chills while listening to it, after some time (recently to be more precise) i decided to listen to another radio novel, to say the least - i was impressed, i got chills again. I have to agree that a big part in creating the scary atmosphere in the games is - graphics (the art style to be more precisely), lack of weapons, dispersed save points etc. But the music, ambience sound - breaths life into horror games, you start to feel the oppressing atmosphere - perfect example of course Silent Hill - you become more scared not of the monsters but of their absence, and the silence that is often interrupted by silent scratches and mumbles - you don't know what to expect next.

    Moving pictures on the screen are nothing without sound, pictures are not scary while the sound is off, while the sound alone - IS scary. Graphics, camera of course increase the overall experience undoubtedly.

    So i think that in the end graphics and everything else are like gears while the music is like the engine that moves them.

    Thak you for the attention.
  • I don't think there can be a limit of horror games extremes, however if not handled right if there is to must it is not scary extremes some times make it desensitizing and it the difficulty is not up there running through a hoard of zombies can be boring, like dead rising (Nice idea for save points though). I can't really think of a game that scared me but the creepiest game i played was fatal frame as the environment was like a character on its own and all you had to fight of the ghosts was a camera. Where as games like doom ect where you have an entire array of weapons is like a safety blankey.

    In addition most of the scariest horror films rely on one major area, music. Would Halloween (if you haven't seen it, watch it) been as scary without its eerie theme? Build up suspense then deliver later when it is unexpected.

    The reason why games like RE 4 and FEAR were not as scary as they could have been is the fact that creates did not want to just target horror fans and in fear of losing potential buyers they dulled it down. But for me i want game someone to create a scary game, the best solo experience. But being honest while there making mega bucks they will not risk it and we will be stuck with high quality unscary games.
  • Well as we near then end of this weeks Viewer Nail topic (ending Monday), I wanted to post this little diddy, I found...



    (Warning High Douche Bag Contingent in this Video) :D

    I wanted some opinions on what you guys think of Dead Space?

    Will it be scary? Intense? Creepy?

    Will it be a decent horror game, or just some b-grade space shooter like that one guy thought?

    -Ray

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