In my opinion survival horror games have been on a downward spiral as I have been growing up, this may be because I am getting older and getting less scared of games or it is the truth that the real survival horror in games has gone. I have spent months trying to find an Xbox game that scares the wits out of me but have failed to do so which is disappointing.
I remember being younger and watching my brother play Resident Evil on the PS1 and having nightmares about the first zombie that you see. The series has received multiple “Game of the Year” awards and helped put survival horror on the map. When buying Resident Evil 5 this is the sort of game what I was expecting, old school survival horror, I was so wrong. This game wasn’t even remotely scary, the ‘zombies’ were in fact just chainsaw wielding maniacs who actually run at you. There are some points that are pretty interesting that they could have exploited more to make it absolutely bone chilling.
Music and sound effects, or sometimes the lack thereof, are crucial to the psychologically terrifying atmosphere in survival horror games. Often you can only hear the sound of your character’s breathing, heartbeat and footsteps, which intensifies the suspense. Other times, there is dark, intense music making you alert to the fact that there may be a monster lurking nearby, although you probably cannot see it yet. These are aspects of sound I will be including in my game.
“Resident Evil” producer Masachika Kawata recently suggested that the series might be returning to its survival horror roots. Last year, Kawata told Gamasutra that he thought the series needed to head in a more “action-oriented” direction. However, last month he told Videogamer that he was rethinking his stance. Personally I think that horror games shouldn’t be too action orientated because there are a lot of other games for action and shooting such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, survival horror games give you more of a realistic feel with weapons picked up from around your environment and being placed into the game as an everyday person. In recent years, game series like “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill” have started to feel less like survival horror and more like action/shooter games. But, there has been a transformation in the genre recently, returning players to the days of true survival horror. I am extremely happy about this and am looking forward to the new Resident Evil Revelations game because I’m hoping it will be more like the old Resident Evil games.
For my game I wanted to bring back the ‘old school’ survival game horror feel with an every day average character being into a thrown into a situation which he has no experience in. Also with weapons such and crowbars and axe’s available to pick up around the environment for close-combat with the creatures. I didn’t want to include too much shooting in my game because I didn’t want it to go down the same route as other survival horrors have gone in and turned more into shooters. I like the choice of sometimes sometimes staying in the shadows to evade attackers.