Are We Seeing A New Horror Game Renaissance?
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The horror genre has been lacking in punch recently. Big franchises like Silent Hill crank our kind of mediocre titles like Silent Hill: Downpour. Resident Evil, one of the biggest horror franchises out there, has become nothing more than a Michael Bay movie with Resident Evil 6. Zombie game after zombie game comes out with not a shred of horror attached to it, making them little more than undead targets in a shooting gallery. Where is the horror? Where is the suspense? Where is that everlasting sense of dread that makes you feel like you could die at any given point and time?

Well, I have a theory. As we get further and further along in our console generations, we become harder and harder to scare. We become used to the technology, the graphics, the way games look. Everyone keeps trying to push the boundaries of that technology, but those boundaries only go so far. Our creativity wanes as the boundaries become more hard and fast. Instead of thinking of a way to produce a more oppressive and terrifying environment, we just try to force one more explosion or zombie on screen.

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But now we are entering a new generation and things are changing. A world of possibility is before us and it doesn’t feel like we are constrained anymore. So instead of just forcing one more zombie on screen, developers have room to experiment.

Think about it. Our greatest horror games tended to come out in the beginning and middle of a console’s lifespan. Silent Hill 2 was far scarier than the more technologically advanced Silent Hill 4, for example.

Which brings us to Silent Hills, the latest horror game to be revealed. Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro are working on this game together, and if that didn’t make you proverbially shit your pants, then I don’t know what will. They recently unveiled a playable teaser trailer for the PS4 and it is, in a word, terrifying. All it is, is a character walking around a house that seems to loop infinitely as it gets more and more screwed up. Did you find the gross fetus in the sink? Did a ghost possess you? Did you ever manage to find a way out?

This is an example of what freedom of technology can do for the horror genre, and there are more great horror titles on the way as well. We can look forward to The Evil Within, whatever BioWare’s new project is, and a ton of new horror indie games.

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Hideo Kojima thinks that the new Silent Hills is going to make you “shit your pants.” No… no really, Hideo Kojima said that.

So what do you think? Will you be partaking in some pants shitting? Are we going to see an increase in quality from our horror games? Let us know in the comments.

Angelo M. D'Argenio
Angelo M. D'Argenio

Senior Contributing Writer
Date: 08/18/2014

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