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malevictim#4

Can Horror Game Be Scary With No Threat?

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Just finished Layers of Fear.  Highly stylistic -- but to me, boring.

 

I don't get the walking simulator/psychological horror games like this and Among the Sleep etc...

 

Fans will say it's "terrifying" because the story and atmosphere are disturbing.  But I don't think that's enough if there is absolutely no way the player can lose/die and there's no real threat to the Avatar.

 

Soma was a milder example.  You could, in theory, die in Soma -- but the threats were few and far between.

 

Am I off target?  I read once that horror requires terrible things happening to characters you can empathize with.  It's not the whole thing, obviously.  But the point is, there has to be a real and tangible threat to someone you identify with.  And in video games, you should (most of the time) empathize with whomever you're controlling as that's YOU in that environment.  If nothing can happen to you, then a gloomy house is just a gloomy house.

 

To me, Alien Isolation was a horror game done right.  Amnesia.  Outlast.  The first REs.

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There are multiple things that tie into horror. Horror is a psychological thing which evokes emotions of fear from your subconscious. It's a combination of this that creates horror.

 

You should instill a sense of hopelessness and an impossible situation that you can not control no matter how you try.

 

Blue the line between paranormal and reality so you question what is real.

 

A big thing in horror is ambiance. Such as sounds or music.

 

If you slashed the music or sound effects out of any great horror film you will find it is not unsettling. They are tools used to make you unnerved. It's kind of a science really.

 

Jump scares are nothing without sound effects they don't jar you.

 

In closing I do not think ita necessarily the existence of a threat but a culmination of above mentioned items that will tap into your subconscious and make you scared.

 

If it is done well you have a great horror movie if it is done terribly or not at all you just have someone walking around in a mask and knife, a ghost floating around hallways and ect.

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Hi there! I will totally agree with you here! The challenge is just not enough in existing horror games and this is a shame. This particular genre has a lot of potential, but developers seem to be hesitant. I actually cannot wait to find a full-fledged title on mobile. It will be much more entertaining to play on the go!

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I love psychological horror and slow build-up. More than the blood n guts approach.

 

But at some point, I do think you have to deliver on the threat and in a memorable way. If there's no steak at the end of it, it doesn't matter how good the sizzle is.

 

Gotta have that payoff.

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There are several factors in trying to invoke fear.  Simply focusing on one of these can lead to a generic horror game.

 

Let's look at Subnautica for example.  Yes, I consider it horror.

 

Subnautica does it's horror right.  It doesn't outright state that it's horror, which few can get away with.  That is the ultimate way to lower your player's guard, and that can lead to some great things.  You can also do the same vice versa: always have the player's guard up but keep teasing them with potential threats and hit them just when it's right.  Amnesia: The Dark Descent did the same thing.  Subnautica wears the mask of a pretty game with lots of cute little fish, but when you dig deeper you discover that you're almost never safe.

 

Subnautica also plays on a natural fear humans have: of the ocean and of the unknown.  Both go hand in hand and play off each other well.  You never know when you're swimming toward a drop off and a giant Leviathan creeps out from the darkness to try and eat you.  It also allows for danger in almost any direction: up, down, left, right... and that plays a huge role in panic scenarios.

 

 

For story based horror, it can be hit or miss.  It is really dependent on how much you think about the story you're given.

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I think jump scares need to be in a horror game to actually make it scary! I know they are insulting and cheesey way to be in "Films" but a cartoony video game might need a few!

 

That and what ^Jpops said!

 

I just hope F13 game can be scary with no jump scares!?

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First of all Among the Sleep does have amonster to avoid and secondly; Hell yeah games can be scary with no real threat since for the majority of Firewatch (<Great game btw I highly recommend) I was genuinely creeped out by SPOILERS The fact that someone might be listening in on everything I say and might be watching me, ugh, creepy.

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This is as simple as saying that you need to threat in a video game, just creepy ambiance.

 

Most horror games with monsters just turn into cheesy action flicks as if they had come out in the 90s or something.

 

 

Just finished Layers of Fear.  Highly stylistic -- but to me, boring.

 

I don't get the walking simulator/psychological horror games like this and Among the Sleep etc...

 

First of all, the thing with Layers of Fear is its atmosphere and story. If that's not your forté, too bad, there are plenty of other games out there made just for you.

 

 

 

Fans will say it's "terrifying" because the story and atmosphere are disturbing.  But I don't think that's enough if there is absolutely no way the player can lose/die and there's no real threat to the Avatar.

 

That's very subjective.

 

 

 

Soma was a milder example.  You could, in theory, die in Soma -- but the threats were few and far between.

 

Seriously? You criticize SOMA yet praise Amnesia, in regards of monster attacks? There are hardly any in Amnesia compared to the out-of-nowhere disturbing and random freaks of nature from SOMA.

 

 

 

Am I off target?  I read once that horror requires terrible things happening to characters you can empathize with.

 

You're definetely off target because none of that is true.

 

Especially when it comes to games like Layers of Fear who don't need a Mother Brain or a Regenerator, or any generic monster minion for that matter.

 

 

 

But the point is, there has to be a real and tangible threat to someone you identify with.  And in video games, you should (most of the time) empathize with whomever you're controlling as that's YOU in that environment.  If nothing can happen to you, then a gloomy house is just a gloomy house.

 

Some apparently didn't understand what Layers of Fear was about.

 

The main character is not meant to be indentifiable, he's completely nuts, or did you not pay attention to him at all? Why should I empathize with someone who is crazy? I feel bad for him, sure, but why would I give a shit if he dies or gets hurt?

 

 

To me, Alien Isolation was a horror game done right.  Amnesia.  Outlast.  The first REs.


Totally 100% completely different games that shouldn't be compared with Layers of Fear. Also, really? Alien Isolation? That massive borefest that went on forever and was incredibly difficult thanks to the human and android enemies? That wasn't scary, just annoying.
 

ATMOSPHERE, dude. That's what all horror games are about. If it's not scary for you, just go play something else. It's not meant to be that anyway.

 

Let's look at Subnautica for example.  Yes, I consider it horror.

 

Subnautica does it's horror right.  It doesn't outright state that it's horror, which few can get away with.  That is the ultimate way to lower your player's guard, and that can lead to some great things.  You can also do the same vice versa: always have the player's guard up but keep teasing them with potential threats and hit them just when it's right.  Amnesia: The Dark Descent did the same thing.  Subnautica wears the mask of a pretty game with lots of cute little fish, but when you dig deeper you discover that you're almost never safe.

 

Subnautica also plays on a natural fear humans have: of the ocean and of the unknown.  Both go hand in hand and play off each other well.  You never know when you're swimming toward a drop off and a giant Leviathan creeps out from the darkness to try and eat you.  It also allows for danger in almost any direction: up, down, left, right... and that plays a huge role in panic scenarios.

 

It doesn't really do any of those things. It's not a horror game. It's more like Minecraft underwater: You craft stuff, build a base, hunt stuff, and survive and shit. Similar to Rust or H1Z1, among others.

 

There's only three giant monsters in the game that could be considered terrifying, and two of them aren't even in the actual game yet. They're cool looking but not exactly scary, even if they make scary noises. Screw that ship though, that is a really creepy environment.

 

You're focusing too much on that Leviathan. Is that really all there is to that game now? It's not supposed to be a sea filled with giant monsters, that'd be just ridiculous. A certain point comes when it's not scary anymore, especially considering how broken that game is.

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This is as simple as saying that you need to threat in a video game, just creepy ambiance.

 

Most horror games with monsters just turn into cheesy action flicks as if they had come out in the 90s or something.

 

 

First of all, the thing with Layers of Fear is its atmosphere and story. If that's not your forté, too bad, there are plenty of other games out there made just for you.

 

 

That's very subjective.

 

 

Seriously? You criticize SOMA yet praise Amnesia, in regards of monster attacks? There are hardly any in Amnesia compared to the out-of-nowhere disturbing and random freaks of nature from SOMA.

 

 

You're definetely off target because none of that is true.

 

Especially when it comes to games like Layers of Fear who don't need a Mother Brain or a Regenerator, or any generic monster minion for that matter.

 

 

Some apparently didn't understand what Layers of Fear was about.

 

The main character is not meant to be indentifiable, he's completely nuts, or did you not pay attention to him at all? Why should I empathize with someone who is crazy? I feel bad for him, sure, but why would I give a shit if he dies or gets hurt?

 

 

Totally 100% completely different games that shouldn't be compared with Layers of Fear. Also, really? Alien Isolation? That massive borefest that went on forever and was incredibly difficult thanks to the human and android enemies? That wasn't scary, just annoying.

 

ATMOSPHERE, dude. That's what all horror games are about. If it's not scary for you, just go play something else. It's not meant to be that anyway.

 

 

It doesn't really do any of those things. It's not a horror game. It's more like Minecraft underwater: You craft stuff, build a base, hunt stuff, and survive and shit. Similar to Rust or H1Z1, among others.

 

There's only three giant monsters in the game that could be considered terrifying, and two of them aren't even in the actual game yet. They're cool looking but not exactly scary, even if they make scary noises. Screw that ship though, that is a really creepy environment.

 

You're focusing too much on that Leviathan. Is that really all there is to that game now? It's not supposed to be a sea filled with giant monsters, that'd be just ridiculous. A certain point comes when it's not scary anymore, especially considering how broken that game is.

"That's very subjective."

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Guess it depends on the person. Personally atmosphere alone isn't scary enough for me, there needs to be a threat, otherwise I find it kind of boring.

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You're telling me it's not?

 

I'm telling you that it's scary to me because of the fear of the ocean, the fear of the giant monsters in the ocean, and so on and so forth.

 

Its the same with any horror game... expecting a game to be scary on all fronts for all people is silly for any horror game.

 

I am simply pointing out, just as you pointed out to that fellow up there, that your opinion was exceedingly subjective.  What may not be scary to you may be scary to someone else.  And it doesn't matter that I know what awaits... It's the ocean, the fear of it, that gets to me.

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I wasn't even talking about Subnautica when I mentioned what was subjective and what wasn't.

 

The fear of the ocean is nothing but that, an irrational phobia, like when people are afraid of clowns, or dogs, or completely harmless stuff, mostly for unknown reasons.

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I wasn't even talking about Subnautica when I mentioned what was subjective and what wasn't.

 

The fear of the ocean is nothing but that, an irrational phobia, like when people are afraid of clowns, or dogs, or completely harmless stuff, mostly for unknown reasons.

You're saying good horror games don't take advantage of irational fears?

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I wasn't even talking about Subnautica when I mentioned what was subjective and what wasn't.

 

The fear of the ocean is nothing but that, an irrational phobia, like when people are afraid of clowns, or dogs, or completely harmless stuff, mostly for unknown reasons.

 

That one is not so harmless or irrational anymore :| Just saying.

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It just seems like to me that everyone has their own different taste for horror. Some enjoy more monster in your face, pants wetting kind and others enjoy more of the atmospheric dread/creeping sense of uncertainty...I think they both can work well, and be equally valid ways to be terrified/entertained. Personally, I prefer more tangible threats (and I often like some way to beat the threat other than running, but I digress), but I get the appeal of other forms of the slow burn. I also don't see why you can't mix the two, but anyway let's just all be glad that horror is becoming more widespread and there is a variety of entertainemnt to be scared by.

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Sorry, I screwed up, I meant to say some of them don't.

 

You're right, some don't.  And that doesn't necessarily make them bad horror games.

 

But it's much easier to create fear through the irrationality of some other fear.

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Atmosphere can build fear... but in general there needs to be some risk involved to be ACTUALLY afraid.

 

Can a game be scary without a threat? Yea. Can it reach the same levels as a game with a truly SCARY threat? No.

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