On the Hunt for Surivival Horror

After talking about Fatal Frame with some students earlier this week, I decided this weekend to go check out some Survival Horror games- games where the focus is on the psychological/mystery side of things instead of just shooting at monsters.

Unfortunately, Fatal Frame isn’t available for PC, and I didn’t want to spend much money, so I decided to see what was out there for free. There are a number of free indie horror games, and so I thought I’d check those out. Unfortunately, it may be a case of getting what you pay for.

The first game I tried out was Slender: The 8 Pages.

This was a “short”, experimental horror game someone did based on the made-up urban legend of the Slenderman. Basically, you’re in an abandoned forest/military base looking for 8 documents while being stalked by the Slenderman monster. The horror element comes from the fact that if you look at the Slenderman too long, you’ll die, so you’re being stalked by something you can’t look at even to see where he is. It does make the game a bit unsettling.

Unfortunately, I found it pretty tedious as well. There’s nothing but trees and buildings in the game, and after an hour of wandering around without finding a single page I got frustrated and turned it off. Yes, it was creepy, but there needed to be something a little more to it to keep my interest.

The next game I tried was DreadOut, which is basically an Indonesian clone of Fatal Frame.

The actual game isn’t finished, I think, but the demo is a full demo and it’s free so I gave it a shot. For an Indie game the production values aren’t bad, and it has nice atmosphere, but my god are the controls for the game annoying and frustrating. The 360 degree camera around the character is hell to control, and the character moves in relation to the camera, not the world. After dying and then maybe chasing away a ghost on my second time, I just gave up because I couldn’t take those controls any more.

Then I found the trailer for a new upcoming horror game by the creator of Resident Evil, called The Evil Within. Damn….Now THAT is survival horror! Hell, it’s terrifying just to watch, much less play!

The quest continues!

Rob