I think it’s fair to say that horror games are in a slump, although that suggests the existence of a golden age of trouser-troubling titles at some point in the past. I’m not sure that’s the case, but when 99% of the entire genre involves walking through forests or factories, waiting for slenderman to appear and then shrugging, the frighteners have certainly become frightfully dull. At least A Machine For Pigs and Among The Sleep are waiting in the wings, and perhaps Daylight will offer a ray of hope as well. It’s “a procedurally generated psychological thriller” and the trailer doesn’t have any guns or slendermen in it.
It’s possible that the experience of a ‘procedurally generated psychological thriller’ is very much a case of walking forwards, opening a door and hearing a random sound effect or seeing a random glowing object. Sometimes the sound effects will be quite loud and the glowing objects will hover even though they are not helicopters or hovercrafts. Spooky.
Each time the player begins a new game, they experience a new world with new content and encounters; from the layout of the building and the things they seek to the events they encounter, it is never the same experience twice.
One of the things that will never change is the setting. It’s an abandoned hospital, of course, because that is where horror tends to live. Still, I’m keen to learn more.
If you haven’t visited the Machine For Pigs website recently, do take a look. There’s a horrid little story on the front page that contains the word ‘tussie-mussie’ and goes on to suggest orphan cannibalism.