Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Paperwork And Peril: One Late Night – Deadline

By Adam Smith on April 1st, 2014.

The original One Late Night mixed the mundane with the macabre in a way that I very much enjoyed. Using the setting of an after-hours office, with quietly humming computer paraphernalia and lonely trips to the coffee machine, it brought back memories of my previous life as Dilbert, the wacky wageslave. I found it to be a tidy and terrifying experience, unlike most free Slender horror games, but all the people in the comments who disagreed may be pleased to see me eat my hat, which is perched upon an appetiser of humble pie. The sequel, One Late Night: Deadline, doesn’t look very appealing. See for yourself.

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Dogged Destruction: Ashen Rift

By Adam Smith on March 28th, 2014.

With nine days left on the clock, Ashen Rift hasn’t quite gathered half of its target funds. Seeking C$45,000, the first-person shooter/survival horror hybrid has raised just under C$20,000 at the time of writing. When I check back at the end of the day, I expect that number to have risen significantly. The game was already on my radar, simply because it reminds me of STALKER and contains a friendly canine companion, but the latest video shows destructible terrain, collapsing rock formations and sneaky traps. It may have a daft name that keeps slipping out of my memory, but Ashen Rift looks like it may deliver the sort of emergent happenings that I crave.

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Gravity Thralls: Lethe

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2014.

Lethe is currently seeking votes on Greenlight and two teaser trailers have been released in an attempt to win over the public. I’m entirely comfortable describing the contents as ‘Psi-Ops meets Amnesia’. The player character can levitate objects using a magical scab on his hand, throwing them across the room in a fit of rage or using them to activate distant pressure plates and the like. Story-wise, it’s a creepy island investigation sort of vibe, starring handsomely-named journalist Robert Dawn. He is “searching for clues about a disaster on an isolated island. After coming in contact with an unknown substance, Robert mysteriously develops psychokinetic abilities, but not without a cost.” It won’t surprise you to learn that he is not alone.

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Fear In A Handful Of Rust: SOMA

By Adam Smith on March 5th, 2014.

Frictional have updated the SOMA blog with some information regarding the progress they’re making on the sci-fi horror game. There’s a short trailer as well, with voice acting that dismisses some of the doubts about the quality in the first in-game video, but the text contains the bulk of the information. As they say, ‘words paint a thousand pictures’. There are a few paragraphs copied below, including more on world-building:

When creating Amnesia our setting was basically just “Old castle where supernatural stuff happens”. This allowed us to get away with just about anything and explain it with “because, magic”. But in SOMA we are building a world that is supposed to be tied into the real world and to make sense.

Because, science?

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Another Nail In The Coffee: Caffeine

By Adam Smith on February 25th, 2014.

Spielberg made me afraid to go into the water, Hitchcock made me afraid to stand underneath the water and now I’m worried that Caffeine is going to make me afraid to add delicious coffee to the water. It’s a terrible state of affairs when a man can’t swim, wash or stay awake and focused for more than ten minutes, but that is the future I face. Caffeine has an odd plot: “You awaken aboard a caffeine mining space station to find yourself, a young boy seemingly all alone. The only thing you know for sure? Something bad has transpired here…” I’ve been to many abandoned space stations and it’s inevitable that bad things have either happened or are about to happen. But a caffeine mining station? That’s new. The trailer is a masterclass of audio design and reminds me of Moon’s environmental excellence.

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Open For Business: The Last Door Season One Ends

By Adam Smith on February 19th, 2014.

I’ve got some good news and some great news. If you want the great news first, read the rest of this paragraph right now. If you’d like the good news first, skip to the next paragraph but don’t forget to come back. OK, so the great news is that with the release of the fourth episode of point and click Edgar Allan Poe simulator, The Last Door, all of the previous chapters are now available for free. I’ve only played the first but I intend to experience the whole thing now that the season is complete.

The good news is that the pixelated peril has been successful enough to convince the creators to work on a second season, which should debut in Summer once design processes have been overhauled and funding has been raised. Hurrah.

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Biofeedback Form: Nevermind Wants To Scare You Better

By John Walker on February 6th, 2014.

As someone who suffers from anxiety disorder, the idea of a horror game designed to get more challenging the more scared you get, “honing your ability to manage anxiety”, sounds like the last thing I’d ever want to play. Which makes my desire to play it a little confusing. Nevermind, a game title that will only further my habit of accidentally writing those two words as one, is Kickstartering itself for the not inconsiderable sum of $250,000, to develop a “biofeedback horror adventure”. Cripes.

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White Heat: White Night Is Beautifully Unnerving

By Adam Smith on January 15th, 2014.

White Night is a ‘narrative survival horror’ game that I first learned about earlier today. Two minutes later, I was as excited for its release as I am for just about any other game coming out this year. Not coincidentally, two minutes is the length of the most seductive trailers I’ve seen for a long time. We missed the video’s debut in October but now that the light of our lanterns has fallen upon it, I urge you to watch it without further ado. Think Alone in the Shadows and Fog of German Expressionism.

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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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