Kids and Survival Horror

Most of us on this site including myself could remember the first time we have played a survival horror game when we were young. For me it was the third Resident Evil game in which you play as Jill Valentine and try to escape the zombie infested Racoon City. Only there is someone or something that is following you the entire game. That "something" turns out to be the now infamous Nemesis whose famous line is "STARS". The scary part is not how to deal with him, but WHEN to deal with him. The scary part was not knowing when Nemesis would show up leaving that horrible "i'm going to die because I don't know where or when he'll show up" feeling. He gave me nightmares for weeks. Now what kids think is horror is Resident Evil 5 and just mowing down people with high caliber weapons and saving that whore, excuse me, Sheva, everytime she gets a scratch on her.

I recently played the third Silent Hill game last week because I have not played it in about 4 years and was excited to play it when my cousins came over. My cousin who has played RE5 for so long thought the game was going to be easy. When he saw me play it for the first time, he actually fainted when he saw the first creatures you fight. (He is only 10 years old) Since then he has never came to watch me play another horror game since.

So that brings up another question for a debate. Have horror games become less scary and less atmospheric over the years for the sake of making a profit? Have they forgot the sole purpose of making a horror game which was to scare the player and instead make them a one man army killing all that stand in their path? But most importantly, have they forgot what horror is anymore?

Jenne's picture

For the most part, it seems like there aren't many true survival horror games left. The only current gen exceptions I can think of (that are actually good) are Siren: New Translation and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

There would have been Fatal Frame 4, if Nintendo (or Tecmo) hadn't abandoned their fanbase over here. Fatal Frame is my favorite survival horror series and it was the only reason I bothered to buy a Wii. Imagine my disappointment when the game never made it over here.

The Wii has some other games, such as Calling...But that game is probably the worst one I've ever played so it's not even worth considering. And then there are the old series that have changed direction drastically with their latest installments. Resident Evil 4 and 5 and Silent Hill: Homecoming are hardly what I'd consider "survival" horror. If I can kill everything in the game without worrying about running out of ammo, it takes something away from the experience.

Capcom clearly threw away everything that Resident Evil started out as once they saw how successful Resident Evil 4 was. I suppose from their viewpoint, it makes sense, they want to make money. But as a fan of the older RE games, I just feel screwed over.

Jevrio's picture

Most games, yes. But some indie-games, still got it. Just look at Amnesia the Dard descent. That shit's creepy.

Jenne's picture

Ah, yeah. That's true. :) Forgot about Amnesia. Probably because that game doesn't like to run properly on my supposed "gaming" laptop.

MarioDragon's picture

Amnesia has no real combat, which ruins it being scary since all you have to do is run or hide from the enemy. Sure it has a creepy story but Penumbra was 10x scarier than Amnesia...

live2rock13's picture

How does not having combat and being forced to run because the monster can't die not scary?

Jevrio's picture

Combat is what makes a game NOT scary. Being unable to defend yourself is worse. Why the guy freaks out when you look at the monsters, I don't know (I would probably not like them irl either tho), but just knowing some ... thing is walking around with no destination, and will kill you if it notices you, is in my opinion scary as shit. The atmosphere too. I HATE the pool-thing in one of the rooms. Gah.

Yeye, F.E.A.R. has combat, and it a bit scary, but that's more BOOOOH! scary.

MarioDragon's picture

Penumbra had either hide or attack, and the enemies were weird alien things like in Amnesia you couldn't really kill or dogs with their ribs sticking out.

In Amnesia, the only thing that happens is the wall falling in, that mucky stuff following you around, hearing voices, and randomly having to run from an enemy, which is easily avoidable by leaving the area and coming back or just waiting in a corner. Amnesia was just dark and had a disturbing story, it wasn't scary.

FEAR wasn't that bad, it was way bloody though.. I think the scariest game I've ever played was any of the Fatal Frames. Arm yourself with a camera!... or die.

Goldteddy's picture

Hmm if wir talking about games like Resident evil 3 where something would fellow you beyond the exit point of the screen then i would Dead space 1 had something very close with the regenerator + if you played with Surround sound or headphones the sounds alone could creep you out sometimes, but it wasn't nearly on the same scary as RE was back in the days....Seeing a zombie bang on the windows only to break it the moment you turn away or the very first time you met the zombie that slowly turned his head.....(That's a Signature gaming history move) Or Meeting Lisa Trevor down in the catacombs.

As for Silent hill games...i find the monster more distubing than scary nothing else.

But yeah your right in the Fatal Frames had some creepy moments and knowing that you just had a camera didn't help you feel secure....

Jevrio's picture

When we're talking about scary games... Splinter Cell. It's fucking intense. Seeing an enemy that almost touches you walk buy, and suddenly notices you and shoot you to pieces. Fuck F.E.A.R./ penumbra/amnesia, the AI in Splinter Cell is creepy. But the game is great.

live2rock13's picture

Oh yeah Jevrio, knowing that an enemy with an IQ of 5 can spot me by touching me and the fact that I am loaded with special gadgets and weapons that will easily take them out in a matter of seconds is defiantly more scary than facing an enemy that can't be killed and having no weapons and the only choice is to run or hide is just inferior. 

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