Danger Blog II: Is anyone out there?

Hello Gamepedia-goers, and welcome to the second installment of the Danger Blog… where gaming is discussed in a casual and totally subjective way! Recently I've been watching some videos on scary games so I figured why wait for Halloween? This weeks featured subject is HORROR GAMES…

Horror survival games are a rising genre, and the indie community represents a healthy amount of popular games. But what makes these new games so pants-crappingly fantastic is the creative and skilled next generation of developers who know exactly what it takes to make something truly horrifying.

My first example is the upcoming title Alien: Isolation, which is being produced by SEGA and will be made available on October 7th of this year. Alien: Isolation is meant to be a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 Sci-Fi horror flick Alien. As you navigate an eerie and derelict spacecraft you are met at every turn with shifting shadow and foreboding sounds. The focus of Alien: Isolation isn't to fight the xenomorph or to kill it, it’s to escape and avoid it at all costs. By making the player feel underpowered and helpless in the event they are caught, the suspense increases.

In addition to the staggering difference in power between the alien and the player, the developers have done extensive research into the original soundtracks used in the movie and scripted certain engagements and alien behavior to be truly terrifying. By watching the trailer we can conclude that even something as simple as walking down a dimly-lit hallway will inspire cringed faces and cold sweats as you turn the next corner.

Indie devs have made some simple yet effective horror pieces as well. The key to interactive horror is atmosphere, letting the player feel that in the event they make any wrong turn they could wind up dead or worse, dismembered and dead! When realistic graphics and fancy soundboards aren't available you have to work smarter to create tension in the games' environment, which is exactly what Paulina Pabis and 7th Density Games have delivered with their psychological horror thriller Eyes.

The mission in Eyes is simple, enter an old, spooky house and retrieve twenty (20) bags of cash scattered around in random places. The catch? A super freaky ghost head is floating around trying to find you… In addition to tons of ambient effects to encourage minor freakouts the game pings you when she’s getting closer… and in the unfortunate event you get caught the game cuts you off and lets loose a shriek signifying one of your no doubt many failed attempts at looting the establishment.

There are many more amazing titles to grace the terror scene in the past year, including but not limited to games like Amnesia, its sequel A Machine For Pigs, and Red Barrels' suspense thriller Outlast. These games are testing the minds and courage of an increasing number of gamers, with more intense titles to come in the foreseeable future… someone hold me...

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