Virtual reality is supposed to provide an escape from the real world. But what happens when you want to escape virtual reality? Some of the experiences we've had with VR this past week have been tremendous. Resident Evil 7 VR is certainly a kind of experience, but tremendous isn't quite the word we'd use. Terrifying and unsettling are more apt, and its not just because being in a VR headset can be disorienting at times. It's because the horrifying images don't disappear when you look away.
Sometimes a game isn’t always known for being the best example of gameplay or creating the most nostalgic memories among players. Sometimes, the importance of a game lies in the change of times it signaled and the way it paved for others. By today’s standards, Trilobyte and Virgin Interactive’s classic PC horror adventure game, The 7th Guest, wouldn’t be winning any beauty pageants and its archaic gameplay would require the devoted patience of a nostalgic enthusiast. Still, when it originally launched in 1993, it would become a trendsetter in its establishment of what were then revolutionary new concepts.
When it comes to the horror genre in the gaming industry, it’s become somewhat standard at this point that the biggest and best titles sell themselves in horrific gore and/or jump scares. Classic series like Resident Evil established a formula and more recent games like the widely praised Until Dawn and the Five Nights at Freddy’s series have carried the torch fueled by brutal monsters and intense in-your-face frights. Ape Law set out to buck against the trend with Albino Lullaby: a first-person experience that takes players on a psychological horror adventure without gore or jump scares. While Albino Lullaby’s first episode doesn’t quite succeed in keeping tension or fear all the time, it is nonetheless an engrossing and unique take on the horror genre.
In 1996, survival horror existed, but it wasn’t exactly widely known that way. Games like Clock Tower, Alone in the Dark, and numerous other takes on the horror genre existed, but even the best-selling games of the type enjoyed a moderate to cult following. Capcom wanted something greater. The company wanted to reinvent the wheel in a way that would appeal broadly to horror fans everywhere. Little did they know how big they were about to hit it. Originally released and known in Japan as Bio Hazard, Resident Evil would hit shelves and turn heads around the world, single-handedly becoming arguably one of the first survival horror blockbusters and creating a franchise that now spans decades.
When a game takes aim at some of the heaviest of emotional torments, it’s always a tricky scenario on whether these matters will hit or miss. Insanity, depression, obsession, and fear can take on a myriad of forms within in a game, but proper conveyance in order to draw the player in and make these tones worth exploring is another task altogether. Layers of Fear is the kind of game that opens itself just enough to make players curious to see the whole picture. It teases clues to drive the player deeper and deeper into unraveling its disturbing mystery and despite its utterly macabre feel, it does a good job of getting us to see what new and dreadful thing was behind the next door.
11 years ago, Resident Evil 4 debuted on the Nintendo GameCube, forever changing the standards of third-person action and survival horror.
Resident Evil is one of the first video games to feature zombies in a Romero-like manner. After so many sequels and spin-offs over the years, it's time we ranked the series in ascending order to see what it takes to create a successful zombie game. Capcom has started to stray from the path over the past few entries of the franchise, resulting in a larger focus on action-oriented gameplay and less of survival horror, but a good game is a good game regardless of its premise or genre, just as long as it's done correctly. So mix a few herbs together, stay away from the windows and make sure you reload when no one is around, because it's time we go to Raccoon City and beyond as we rank the Resident Evil series from worst to first.
Koei Tecmo and Nintendo may have skipped out on taking the Wii's Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse out of Japan, but the House of Mario decided to cave to fans' demands and give Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water a digital release for Western audiences. As the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series have started to stray and stumble in maintaining survival horror, Maiden of Black Water ups the frights. This new Fatal Frame purposely maintains a slow burn in order to properly build up suspense, bringing back the ghostbusting gameplay of the Camera Obscura, which now utilizes the Wii U's GamePad to exorcise the dead. In an era when survival horror has skewed into action-oriented gameplay or defenseless first-person perspectives, Maiden of Black Water is a welcome, old school-style callback to survival horror's glory days. Unfortunately, Fatal Frame 5 suffers from simple control issues pertaining to its core gameplay that should've easily been ironed out. Despite its solid attempts at spirit photography, there are some basic parts of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water that feel underdeveloped, which can ruin the overall shot.
We slipped under the floorboards to catch these forgotten scares - the 11 Greatest Horror Games You've Never Played.
Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro would've been joined by horror manga artist Junji Ito in the now-cancelled Silent Hills game. Thanks again, Konami.