Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Seeping Asylum: Daylight

By Adam Smith on January 7th, 2014.

Scary hospitals filled with things that bump unkind in the night? We’ve all been there. Daylight looks like a sequel to Outlast, a game which initially scared the socks off me and then became so cosily familiar and repetitive that it fit me like a pair of slippers. Daylight mixes up the institutional walkthrough horror by introducing randomisation – the corridors and creeps are different on every playthrough. At first watch, I found the new trailer ridiculous. Who holds a camera phone up in their face at all times? And then I remembered that I often stumble into traffic while checking my tweets or looking for the nearest speakeasy on Google Maps.

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Why Horror’s Future Is Bright (Or It’s Totally Doomed)

By Nathan Grayson on November 2nd, 2013.

It was not so long ago that our own Adam “Murder Maestro” Smith lamented the lack of imagination in horror stories. Implausibly trap-laden asylums, spoooooky forests, and hastily cobbled-together castles dominate, while more interesting locales and subject matters are few and far-between. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that horror’s stuck in a full-blown rut, it could certainly end up there if it keeps wandering down the same predictable trail. I’ve been thinking about it, though (largely while replaying Amnesia: The Dark Descent as Halloween nightmare fuel), and I’ve come to realize that there are some amazing avenues ahead for stomach-lurching scares in gaming. Problem is, there are a few major, perhaps even primeval forces that could slip a dangling noose around possibility’s all-too-exposed neck.

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RPS Plays… The Scariest Games Of All Time

By Nathan Grayson on November 1st, 2013.

Halloween weekend is upon is, and that can only mean one thing: it is time for unrelenting spookiness. No matter where you go, you can’t escape it. Bats will shriek, pumpkins will leer, and the sky will basically be made of lightning. Also, everyone you know will try to kill you. By giving you too much candy, which will ultimately result in diabetes if you give in to peer pressure and partake of hedonistic holiday sugar consumption. So naturally, as a public service (of sorts), RPS must do its part. Thus, I have elected to play three of the scariest games of all time in rapid succession, testing the limits of my psyche and intestinal fortitude for your amusement. What lies ahead? Push on the implausibly creaky door and go below for a video of gaming’s darkest, dankest, murderer-iest basements.

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Brain Drain: First SOMA Footage

By Adam Smith on October 11th, 2013.

After two live action teasers, Frictional have released the first in-engine footage of SOMA. It’s first-person sci-fi horror, as expected, although there’s a Giger-esque quality to the dripping carapace walls and biomechanical brain-teasing tentacles that the previous media hadn’t hinted at. Story-wise, there’s something unpleasant and experimental happening and it seems to involve some manner of personality transference or sharing. Gray matter has been teased from skulls and yet thinks on. I could do without the main character’s exclamations of the obvious but otherwise, it all looks jolly good. The greatest fear of all is pushed to one side at the end of the trailer, when a logo dismisses the mooted PS4 exclusivity.

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Horror Stories: A Maddening Lack Of Imagination

By Adam Smith on September 27th, 2013.

I didn't have to mock this image up to illustrate the article

Looking through the recent releases on Steam, a casual observer might believe that there’s a horror game renaissance underway. In the last few weeks, several games have appeared, with titles like Paranormal and The Orphanage. I’ve installed a few of them, heard them go bump in the night, and then moved on. Despite some quality releases, horror is in a rut. And it’s an unpleasant one.

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Fin De Siècle: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs

By Adam Smith on September 20th, 2013.

I’ve spent most of the week thinking about Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. I finished the story at the weekend and spent the last five minutes of the game with a huge grin plastered across my face. Not the reaction that a horror game might hope to elicit but thechineseroom’s cleverly concealed secret, hidden behind the dark curtain of that title, is that in some ways they haven’t really constructed a horror game at all. Thankfully, they’ve made something far more interesting instead.

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Guests And Goblins: Knock Knock

By Adam Smith on September 19th, 2013.

A: Knock Knock.
B: Who’s there?
A: Hello! It’s Icepick Lodge here. We’re just scratching and clawing at the door in the manner that a deranged and hungry ghost might if it found itself outside an isolated house in the middle of some shadow-splintered woods. You may know us as the developers of Pathologic and other games. Following a successful Kickstarter, we’ve been working on a new experience about trying to survive the long nights in a home that is haunted by more than memories. It’s terrifying, as you can see in the video below.
B: Your response is too long. You’ve ruined the joke.
A: No matter. As you have probably noticed, we’ve now passed through the kitchen window and are currently chewing on your leg with our razor-like teeth.

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Dream A Little Dream: Lucid – The Awakening

By Adam Smith on September 9th, 2013.

I wrote about first-person frightener Lucid: The Awakening last week, right before the game’s Kickstarter began. With only a fortnight-long funding period, the project has just over a week left to raise half of its required funding. That may sound difficult but the overall goal was only $2,000, which would apparently be enough to pay the core team a wage, allowing them to work full-time creating a beta version by mid-October. Whether they’d need more money to continue working on the rest of the game full-time after that isn’t clear, but the stretch goals suggest that is the case. Given the close proximity of the beta, it’d be encouraging to see a fully in-game video rather than the same trailer released before the campaign began. Here it is, in case you missed it.

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The Whimpering World: Catachresis

By Adam Smith on September 5th, 2013.

Catachresis is a free horror game and you should play it as soon as you have access to a quiet, lonely room. You’ll know within five or ten minutes whether you want to stick with the story, and the whole thing takes less than an hour to complete. Terrible things are happening but, instead of jumping in your face and going ‘BOO’, the horrors reside in words and the gaps between them. It’s a side-scrolling adventure rather than a purely textual game, but most of the action takes place off-screen. This allows designer Cameron Kunzelman to suggest terrors both local and cosmic, and to toy with expectations. The writing reminds me of excellent British indie film Skeletons and the work of Charles Stross, a blend of humour, horror, paranormal investigation and bumptious bureaucracy.

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Nightmares In Slumberland: Lucid – The Awakening

By Adam Smith on September 3rd, 2013.

I’ve received a smattering of emails about horror games today. A smattering is more than the usual single dollop of horror that waits for me, lurking with intent and denigrating the size of my various parts. Lucid: The Awakening caught my eye because, despite the very real possibility of fictional dreams being no more than an excuse for the worst kind of bewildering nonsense, as a close acquaintance of Mr Sleep Paralysis, I find dysfunctional sleep processes fascinating and terrifying. Here’s how this particular Little Nemo’s quandary begins.

At The Cortex, patients are uploaded to different Nightmares to test the concept of Lucid dreaming…while in each nightmare, a corresponding villain will be within, trying to stop you from completing the objective. Once all objectives are completed, the player enters an elevator to proceed to the next level or nightmare.

Villains! You can catch a glimpse of one of them in the concept trailer below.

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Welcome To The Dollhouse: Daylight

By Adam Smith on June 17th, 2013.

hello. I have no eyes but I will stare at you from the top of the page for the next hour anyway. Hope you don't mind!

When Billy Shakespeare and Alanis Morissette put their heads together at a student poetry workshop and invited irony, I think they had higher purposes in mind than horror game titles that are almost certainly entirely misleading. Daylight will be a very dark game and most of the interiors will be illuminated by little more than the flickering screen of a cleverphone. Perhaps levitating spectral dolls are suitable light sources as well but I wouldn’t want to use one as a bedside lamp. The E3 trailer for the procedully generated frightener does contain a scary doll but, as you can verify below, it doesn’t contain any daylight.

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