Is there a difference between Horror games and Survival Horror games? : truegaming
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Is there a difference between Horror games and Survival Horror games?

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Posted by5 years ago
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Is there a difference between Horror games and Survival Horror games?

Or is it just a simpler way of saying survival horror? If there is a difference, please site examples of each genre.

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level 1
21 points · 5 years ago · edited 5 years ago

I believe so.

Horror is a theme , and is perfectly possible to have many variations of it (seventh guest could be considered, puzzle horror, for example). Horror is a broad genre.

Survival horror is a specific sub genre where the struggle for survival is not only a main mechanic(like many non-horror games), but a key element in how the horror is delivered to the player.

level 2
4 points · 5 years ago

right on the goddamn head

for example evil within for me is SURVIVAL horror

you start with a pistol and a melee attack, (i havent gotten to far in so excuse me if im wrong) the game is VERY stingy about ammo drops and you feel the weight of using a bullet

i remembered there was a dock in one area and i thought "wow i wonder if theres a easter egg refering back to the resident evil 4 lake easter egg

and then it hit me i only had 3 bullets and didnt want to waste them shooting the goddamn lake

this was a long drawn out way of saying the difference for me is in horror your thinking about whats coming up next but in survival horror the game makes you focus on whats going on right then in the moment

level 1
7 points · 5 years ago · edited 5 years ago

"Survival" as a genre sub-type means that players have to work with limited resources to achieve their goals. Not being able to "survive" is a possibility, which means player might have to retry the level and waste less ammo and spend less medkits in the process (or something along these lines).

Edit: Of course, it can be argued that many different types of games feature situations where player (or his intergalactic civilization) is poor and miserable, but survival games epitomize it and become "scrooge simulator" (and not the rich duck kind).

level 1
3 points · 5 years ago

I think the difference is where the horror stems from. In a horror game your helpless against the creature or environment so naturally the horror stems from these things. In survival horror the horror stems from your need for necessities, what am I going to do once I'm out of bullets or what am I going to do once the batteries in my flash light die.

level 1
5 points · 5 years ago

The way I see it, the main difference between Horror and Survival Horror is your ability to fight back. In a Horror game, like Amnesia, you're expected to avoid any and all conflict with the spooks out trying to get you. In a Survival Horror game, like Silent Hill, you're given the tools to combat whatever evil they toss at you, but it's still meant to be spooky.

level 2
8 points · 5 years ago

I think its important to mention that those tools are usually very limited. Instead of being helpless right from the start like Amnesia, I think survival horror thrives on the feeling of being prepared one moment, but having one mistake take all of your safety nets away from you.

level 2
1 point · 5 years ago

Amnesia is a survival horror game, but it can be said that all survival horror games are horror games, but not all horror games are survival horror. Horror just means the game has scary themes, for example bioshock.

level 2
Comment deleted by user5 years ago
level 1
6 points · 5 years ago

I consider "Survival Horror" a classification for games where player-agency is de-emphasized, like Amnesia, Slender, and a lot of other indies. These are games where you are trying to survive, not fight back. "Horror" games are action/FPS with horror as the style and mood, like newer Res Evils/Silent Hills, L4D, etc. While games don't necessarily classify themselves along those lines, that interpretation seems better rooted in the history, and more intuitive in speech.

level 2
2 points · 5 years ago

Agreed! This is how I differentiate survival horror and horror games. And there is a difference because I can play horror games, but am terrified of survival horror games :)

level 2
2 points · 5 years ago

I see it as the opposite.

Survival Horror is a genre where the fate of the player depends on himself instead of the game magically protecting him/her around, keeping enemies away, keeping their resources always plenty, etc. Instead, everything that affects the player's success is given to the player to take care of, hence Survival. There are other Survival games that aren't Horror though.

Also, Amnesia and Slender are not Survival Horror, they're just Horror.

level 1
1 point · 5 years ago

Horror has scary monsters and a theme that may or may not make you feel uneasy. Survival gives you a gun and a bullet where you have to survive with just that.

level 1
1 point · 5 years ago

survival horror is an engrish term japanese marketers came up with for resident evil.

horror is a theme and there are horror games of all genres - third-person action games like resident evil and evil within, adventure games like sanitarium, etc.

level 2
1 point · 5 years ago

to further clarify - the vast majority of games are survival games. because if you don't survive you can't win. survival is a meaningless modifier - imagine "survival FPS" or "survival fighting". the only reason to use the term "survival horror" - out of habit, because you like how it sounds, out of respect for the OG of horror games (yes I know resident evil wasn't the first horror game, but it was the one that launched the theme into popularity)

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