Alien: Isolation Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Alien: Isolation RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Best PS4 Horror Games to Play on PS5 https://www.gameskinny.com/u0jg3/best-ps4-horror-games-to-play-on-ps5 https://www.gameskinny.com/u0jg3/best-ps4-horror-games-to-play-on-ps5 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 10:14:56 -0500 Jason D'Aprile

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Carrion
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Horror is a broad genre that doesn’t just mean having to be the hapless victim. Sometimes, you just want to be the monster. Carrion is the amazing game that lets you do it.

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Imagine if the creature from the Thing had been captured and trapped in a massive underground lab, where scientists relentlessly experimented on it. Then imagine violently escaping, trying to find a way out, all the while growing stronger, evolving, and taking revenge on all those pesky humans who hurt you.

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Carrion is a metroidvania-style game with distinctly 16-bit graphics, but thoroughly addicting in every way. The way the monster moves is a marvel of animation, the puzzles are great, and the violence is almost too satisfying. If you missed Carrion the first time around, don’t make that mistake twice.

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That's the end of our horror game list, how do you feel about the lineup? Sound off in the comments below with some of your favorite horror titltes you can play on PS5.

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Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle
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For something completely different, here’s a gem that merges horrific Japanese folklore monsters, classic grid-based first-person dungeon crawler gameplay, and some intriguingly creative mechanics.

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The game allows the four-character party to split up to explore, solve puzzles, and even fight monsters. While it’s not by any stretch the most cutting edge game in our list, Hyakki Castle makes excellent use of its settings, lore, and especially wonderfully macabre collection of monsters and characters. It’s well worth playing for fans of classic RPGs who want something very different.

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White Day: A Labyrinth Named School
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For a flair of Korean horror, White Day checks the boxes for the genre. A remake of a remake, the game has a long history. Originally released in 2001, in an admittedly very different form, the final version on PS4 is a first-person horror adventure that takes players into those most horrifying of all locations: high school.

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A love-lorn boy sneaks into school after hours to leave his crush a present but instead finds himself trapped in a supernatural, angry ghost-addled nightmare. It’s cheesy and fun, with plenty of sneaking around, finding items, and solving puzzles.

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Perception
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A labor of love for the small team at the Deep End Games (led by former Irrational Game’s Bill Gardner), Perception is a short, but intriguing twist on the haunted house theme.

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While the house itself is pretty garden-variety gothic horror, the protagonist is not. Cassie, our heroine, is blind and the game translates her use of echolocation and psychic visions into a visually fascinating low-fi wave of vibrations reflecting off the objects around her.

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It’s a memorable and intense graphic solution for translating Cassie’s world and sense of ever-building dread. The story is well-written, Cassie is appealing, and Perception is a good example of an indie game that deserves a second chance at finding its audience.

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Resident Evil 7
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Resident Evil 7 marked such a huge departure from the traditions of the series that it almost seemed like a different game entirely. Switching from third to first-person perspective might appear to be a radical change, but the end result was nothing short of gory, horrific magic.

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Bringing the series back to the roots of a mansion of madness actually ended up making it feel more in line with the original and that new perspective amped up the claustrophobia. There’s a lot going on as you work your way through each member of one of the most screwed up families in all of horror gaming, and after that, there’s plenty of additional DLC that branches the story out even further.

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Given that the upcoming Resident Evil 8 seems to latch directly onto the end of this one, now is the perfect time to dive back in.

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Amnesia: Rebirth
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Amnesia started something in the horror game genre. Instead of standard survival horror games where ammunition and weapons were merely limited, here there’s none at all.

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Hiding and evading the dread that walks these halls is the only means of survival, and it created a subgenre where tension and paranoia were essentially gameplay mechanics. The two games have been re-released twice now, but if you’ve never tried these slower-paced nerve-wracking tales of terror they are definitely worth adding to your hard drive. 

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Blasphemous
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One of two retro-inspired 2D metroidvanias on our list, Blasphemous plays with horror on a nearly unique level. Everything in this game’s world is horrible (or wonderful, depending on your point of view) to behold.

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The thinly veiled inspiration of Dante’s Inferno concerns the obsession-driven quest of a unknown knight. He’s fighting demonic and godly forces that seem to have flown right up from the lowest circles of Biblical Hell, and the player is fighting a difficulty level to match.

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Blasphemous is bizarre and clever in its deliverance of hefty piles of gore, horrific monsters, and absurdly violent means to dispatch them. Just don't expect an easy time here.

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LIMBO
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Both of developer Playdead’s catalog is expertly disturbing, fascinating, and worth playing, and their second game, Inside, is a gem too.

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Limbo, however, is definitely the more horrific of the two. A side-scrolling puzzle platformer, the game hits its horror notes easily thanks to the fact that all the nightmarish situations, monsters, and absolutely brutal death sequences are all perpetrated against a young boy (probably don’t play the game with the kiddies around).

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Limbo has been on a lot of platforms since its original release way back in 2010 and it’s nice to know it can continue to disturb more players on the new generation.

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Until Dawn
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In the relatively brief and recent resurgence of FMV-style games, Until Dawn remains noteworthy for the way it takes the tried and true slasher genre interactive while still managing to stay within the boundaries of its cinemative roots.

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There hasn’t been any game since that manages so successfully to create an interactive horror movie experience. Admittedly, the emulation of slasher films works because it lets the cheesy acting and writing of Until Dawn to feel like a perfectly natural and even expected part of the fun.

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Resident Evil 3
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The remake of the third game in the original Resident Evil series continues the story fluidly forward, making it a natural progression after playing RE2. While it’s not the best of the series, Capcom’s eye for detail and successfully balancing between nostalgia and modern-day design sense makes it an excellent survival horror-meets-action endeavor.

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The big hook in Resident Evil 3 is the continuation of the chase elements as characters Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira struggle both independently and together to survive against not just a constant onslaught of the dead, but the relentless pursuit of the mysterious and horrific Nemesis.

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
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Vikings have long been a favored subject in video games, but seldom has a game shown the utterly horrific effects of that much-lauded and glorified violence the people were known for. God of War showed it off, but also dug into it with fervor. Hellblade, however, shows the brutal truth of a lifetime of violence and abuse on an individual.

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Senua is a broken warrior, laid low by years of torment from Viking conquerors. Her love was murdered by them, her mind is fractured, and her struggle seems never-ending.

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Observer
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Cyberpunk is never out of style, but one of the least used aspects of this sci-fi subgenre is how well it melds with dismal, oppressive horror.

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Made by Blooper Team, who did the also fascinating Layers of FearObserver casts players Daniel Lazarski, a special brand of detective who can hack people’s minds as well as machines. Obsessed with finding his estranged missing son, Daniel finds himself trapped in a grungy run-down apartment complex that devolves into a techno layer of hell. The fact Daniel is modeled after and voice-acted by Rutger Hauer is icing on the cake.

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The original PS4 is still an excellent and evocative trip, but for the shiniest (well, high-res grungiest) version, there's also Observer: System Redux specifically released on the PS5.

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SOMA
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Frictional Games doesn’t have a huge library of games, but their two key releases are Amnesia: Dark Descent (see below) and the brilliantly moody sci-fi horror, SOMA. Originally released on the PS4 in 2015, it could be argued this is a horror-tinged “walking simulator".

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SOMA is wonderfully intelligent and harrowing interactive fiction. The emotional impact of the story hasn’t lessened in the intervening years, its presented conundrums over the nature of existence are hard to forget.

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Resident Evil 2
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Capcom’s Resident Evil series lands a few spots on this list, but with their complete remake of the second game, the company showed they still have a knack for horror. As with the original PlayStation game, you'll have to complete both Leon and Claire's campaigns to get the whole story.

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The mix between survival horror and all-out action is damn near perfect. Capcom’s been good at remaking their old catalogs, but Resident Evil 2 is especially noteworthy. It has plenty to offer nostalgic gamers who loved the original but also makes a great choice even for those who never touched the series before.

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Alien: Isolation
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It’s hard to believe Alien: Isolation is old enough to have been released right at the transition between the PlayStation 3 and 4 (and released on both). It’s even harder to believe that Sega and developer, Creative Assembly, haven’t returned to the world of this incredible and, even now, distinctively intense survival horror title.

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Isolation is a direct sequel to the original movie, where players take the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s famous Ellen Ripley character. 15 years after the events of Alien, Amanda is haunted by more than just the ghosts of her past as she finds herself in an Alien-infused nightmare aboard a space station. The retro-future set designs are stunning, but it’s the cat and mouse gameplay that makes Isolation remain one of the intense examples of its genre.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/2/re2-65982.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/2/re2-65982.jpg","type":"slide","id":"217491","description":"

The PlayStation 5 might not have much of a native horror library just yet, but thanks to the system's backwards compatibility you're able to play any and every fright-filled PlayStation 4 title on Sony's newer system.

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Luckily the PS4 library is extensive, and there's plenty for you to choose from between lower, more atmospheric horror games to those of the more blood-pumping variety. Let's get to the list.

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Claim 4 Free Steam Games as Part of Sega's 60th Birthday https://www.gameskinny.com/y5rov/claim-4-free-steam-games-as-part-of-segas-60th-birthday https://www.gameskinny.com/y5rov/claim-4-free-steam-games-as-part-of-segas-60th-birthday Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:13:11 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Sega is celebrating its 60th birthday with a bevy of free games on Steam, along with plenty of discounts. One of those free games is Streets of Kamurocho, a free Streets of Rage 2 x Yakuza mashup from Empty Clip Games only available from October 17 to October 19.

Streets of Kamurocho has players choose from Kiryu Kazuma and Goro Majima and then wander the streets of Kamurocho, pounding the pudding out of thugs along the way — the usual Yakuza material.

But all this takes place in glorious 2D. Kamurocho's iconic locations and, surprise, streets are recreated in Streets of Rage 2 style.

Along with Streets of Kamurocho, Sega fans can claim the following free games:

  • Armor of Heroes — co-op, top-down shooter, available until October 19
  • Golden Axedworking prototype of the canceled Golden Axe Reborn, available until October 19.
  • Endless Zone — combination of Endless Universe and Fantasy Zone, available from October 16 to October 19

Finally, Sega is hosting a Steam sale featuring Warhammer, Company of Heroes, Two Point Hospital, Persona 4 Golden, Yakuza 0, Alien: Isolation, Shenmue 1+2, Bayonetta, and a handful of free-to-keep games including Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The sale itself ends on October 19, and it features savings of up to 95% off. If you're a Sega fan, there's plenty worth checking out. 

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Fox Gives the Alien Franchise a Shot with a New Shooter https://www.gameskinny.com/lkqoz/fox-gives-the-alien-franchise-a-shot-with-a-new-shooter https://www.gameskinny.com/lkqoz/fox-gives-the-alien-franchise-a-shot-with-a-new-shooter Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:43:54 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

On the 17th of January, FoxNext (a gaming studio formed by Fox) announced on their twitter that they acquired Cold Iron Studios, where they are currently working on a new triple-A shooter in the Alien franchise for both consoles and PC. In recent years the Alien games have garnered a lot of controversy, with some really good games in the franchise -- and some that were awful. Let's take a look at a few:

Aliens vs. Predator

After being laid down for several years, Sega made an attempt at reviving the Alien games that were massively poplular back in the late '90s. They made this attempt with a new Aliens vs. Predator game developed by Rebellion, the developer of the original Alien vs. Predator games released in 2010. This version was a decent multiplayer game that was liked by many people but hated by others.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

After seeing good sales on their last Alien game, Sega released Aliens: Colonial Marines, a co-op FPS developed by Gearbox Software that by some critics is deemed as one of the worst games ever, being one of the main reasons why the franchise has so much controversy around it nowadays.

Alien: Isolation

Most recently in the franchise is Alien: Isolation, also published by Sega but developed by Creative Assembly. It’s survival horror game that has excellent AI and shows off the real dangers of a Xenomorph. This is, according to many fans, the best Alien game yet.

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For now, we’ll just have to wait until more information comes out on the game and hope for the best. Let us know in the comments down below if you’re excited about the new Alien game or if you’re going to stay far away from it.

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Finally Finished Resident Evil 7? Try Out These Survival Horror Games Next! https://www.gameskinny.com/rmsh5/finally-finished-resident-evil-7-try-out-these-survival-horror-games-next https://www.gameskinny.com/rmsh5/finally-finished-resident-evil-7-try-out-these-survival-horror-games-next Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ThatRainbowThing

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a new survival horror game that came out in February 2017. As a first person type game you play a man named Ethan, who got a message from his wife after she had been missing for 3 years prior. In the meantime you have to fight a biochemically engineered family and other monstrous creatures.

If you've already played this game and enjoyed it profusely then you'll have a blast playing these 5 games that will blow your survival-horror induced mind!

Until Dawn
until dawn, poster

A third person interactive drama survival-horror, about 8 teens who go to stay in a cabin in the snowy mountains for a night. You'll play all the characters and make decisions for them which will all have consequences later on in the game. In the game they are being chased by a psychopath.

Until Dawn made this list because it stimulates your brain and you have to choose your choices carefully. The game interacts with a "butterfly effect" mechanic so your choices will really set forth your story. There are quite a few endings and each game is around 9 hours of game play. It's recommended to be played more than once.

Developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PS4.

The Evil Within
the evil within

A third person survival horror game, where you play a veteran detective name Sebastian Castellanos. While investigating a brutal mass murder at a mental hospital Sebastian, and his colleagues, encounter a powerful and dark force that thrusts them in another horrifying place where they must find answers and defeat or run from terrifying creatures.

This game will melt your brain. Alot of the scenery reminds me of Resident Evil 4, and has quite alot of puzzle solving and monster fighting. The gameplay elements include scavenging and learning when to choose fight or flight. Make sure you make good use of your environment.

Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, the game is available on Microsoft Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

SOMA

SOMA, monster, horror

A science-fiction, first-person survival horror, You'll play as a man named Simon Jearrett. The setting starts normally and your character, who was in a previous accident and now has brain damage, has signed up for an experimental brain scan, done by a man name Dr. Munshi. You then awaken in an abandoned undersea research facility. In order to finds answers as to why Simon is there, he is contacted by a woman named Catherine Chun. But come to find out, Catherine isn't all that she seems, and neither is Simon.

SOMA made this list because like most amazing survival horror games, it really messes with your mind. This game was pretty detailed story wise but if you love intricate stories that build up more and more then you'll definitely find SOMA to your liking. The game has stealth elements and puzzle-solving.

Developed and published by Frictional Games, this game is out and ready to play! Available on Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, and PS4.

Alien: Isolation

alien: isolation, alien, aliens

Playing as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, You are sent to a space station to retrieve a flight recorder from the ship that Ellen Ripley was aboard but disappeared. After arriving Amanda finds that the ship is in complete disorder and she soon finds out that she's not alone and in dangerous company.

Now I'm sure a lot of people are up to date on the story of Ellen Ripley, but this game is from her daughter's point of view is actually pretty cool. I added this game to the list because, for one, space games with survival horror elements are always the creepiest, and adding a man eating alien makes for an amazing game. The game is first person and there are elements of scavenging and finding information and clues.

Developed by Creative Assembly and Published by Sega, the game came out October of 2014 and is available on Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Kholat

Kholat

An Indie survival-horror game, that commandeers an air of mystery. The game is based on a true story called the Dyotlav Pass incident. You play a character who is following the steps of 9 college students from Russia who've gone missing in February of 1959.

Now this game is incredible, and the fact that it's based off a true story made this game all the more freaky. The details and the story just add some seriously terrifying elements. This is a game that I feel if you like survival-horror but also like wandering for details, would be good for you. A first person game with elements of story finding, and parts where you should run away.

Developed by IMGN.PRO, the game is available on Microsoft Windows and PS4.

Bonus Games To Look Forward To!!!

Call of Cthulhu
call of cthulhu, cthulhu

You play a character named Edward Pierce, who is investigating the murder of a famous artist and her family on Darkwater Island. While going through this your character will soon find he can't trust his instincts, as he discovers an awakening of the Great Old One Cthulhu. 

As a game that hasn't come out quite yet I added it to this list, because it's supposed to be a psychological survival-horror game. Plus who doesn't love solving a good murder mystery with a little demonic ritual involved? This game has open world aspects with some RGP elements. I hope you guys enjoy sneaking!

Published by Focus Home Interactive and developed by Frogwares. Available for PS4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows and the game it set to release sometime this year.

Outlast 2
Outlast 2, outlast

An upcoming survival-horror that sure to sweep you off your feet. A young investigative couple are out in the Arizona desert in search of answers to the murder of a pregnant Jane Doe. Separated by a helicopter crash, you'll play as Blake Langermann whom while searching for his wife comes across a sect of deadly religious folks, who separated themselves from the world believing it's the end of days.

If you love Outlast or Outlast: Whistleblower then I'm sure you cannot wait for this arrival. This game made the list because it will be psycho to the core! Blood and gore fans that aren't afraid of the terrifying realities of what the world has to offer will approve. A first person game where you cannot fight whatsoever, but you can run and hide.

Developed by Red Barrels and published by Red Barrels and WB Games Inc. Available for Ps4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. The official release date is set for April 25, 2017.

Well I hope you enjoy and look forward to the games. I think that each game will suit a different kind of survival horror fan. Whether they are blood and gore or just running to solve the mystery and escape monsters in the process. Each one is different in it's own way, but they also have something in common... scaring your pants off! Enjoy!

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Top 5 Jaw Dropping Horror Games for the PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/8or9g/top-5-jaw-dropping-horror-games-for-the-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/8or9g/top-5-jaw-dropping-horror-games-for-the-ps4 Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 gamerpro2000

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Well those are the games on the ps4 that I found to be the most scary to me. And If you decide to play these hopefully you would agree with me.

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Many games deserve to be on this list, but the reason I chose these is because me and many people I know have played and enjoyed these horrifying games.

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Now it's time to ask yourself, "what games have I played that gave me the creeps?"

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-1xxx-c5f07.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-1xxx-c5f07.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152705","description":"

Alien: Isolation

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Alien: Isolation is a game which will have you peeing yourself with fear. It is all about hiding, sneaking, and very little about attacking. When this alien is on the hunt for you it would be wise to stay in cover before you suffer a horrible death.

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Out of all of the  games on this list, this is the one that give me chills while hiding. You have to be quiet and smart if you want to play this game right. The scariest part of this game is the suspense. You never know if you're going to make one quick mistake and then suffer the consequences when the Alien finds you.

\n

If you are thinking of adding Alien: Isolation to your collection then I would advise you to have an ambulance for when you have a heart attack.

\n

Alien: Isolation made it into the top horror games ever made and got great reviews around the board too. If so many people love this game then it obviously deserves to be on this list.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/9/30927293-5b8c-4488-88f3-427b5eae3746jpg-cb286869267-sr970300-0913d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/9/30927293-5b8c-4488-88f3-427b5eae3746jpg-cb286869267-sr970300-0913d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152707","description":"

The Last of Us

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Even though The Last of Us is not the scariest game that you can find, it is jaw dropping. This game has an amazing story to it and has some jump scares in it that will cause you to throw your controller across the room.

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The scariest part of The Last of Us is those damn clickers, they love popping out of nowhere and are pretty tough for something that can't even see. I enjoyed this game a lot, and the best part is that even at the scariest points it's still so fun.

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It keeps you on the edge of your seat while you're going through the dark trying to figure out what to do and where to go. This game has amazing lighting and the environment alone make The Last of Us worth playing.

\n

If you play this game then you will have a great time, and the story has a decent length to it too.

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The Last of Us was also really popular from the fans. It even got so popular that Naughty Dog remastered it for the PS4. So just think to yourself is this a game I see myself playing? Yes!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/until-dawn-cover-art-ba68b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/until-dawn-cover-art-ba68b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152706","description":"

Until Dawn

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Until Dawn has you making crazy choices that can affect the entire game. It has you making decisions like cutting your arm off, or trying to get out the bear trap while a psycho is trying to kill you -- better act fast if you want to survive.

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The best part of this game is as you are doing everything so quickly, it adds a certain fear that none of these other games on this list have. Plus this game has a pretty cool story to it, and the killer in this game is pretty disturbing looking. Watching him coming after you makes you wanna bite your nails and start shivering.

\n

The only thing is Until Dawn is kind of short. But if you're looking for a fun and scary game to pass some time, then this is the game for you.

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The most enjoyable thing about until dawn is 'the' plot twist and the different kind of clues that you end up finding throughout the game. Until Dawn received many good reviews, and I am very happy I got the chance to play it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/i/evil-within-37f5c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/i/evil-within-37f5c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152704","description":"

The Evil Within

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Not only is The Evil Within one of my favorite games, it has the most epic prologues you will ever play -- with it's fast paced running and suspenseful hiding.

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The Evil Within has you trying to escape some of the most psychotic things you will only see in your nightmares. There are a lot of jump scares in this game but these are not the scariest things. That would be home compared to the constant fear that comes from thinking the killer is right next to you. The worst part is most of the time you have nothing to defend yourself against them.

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If you have never played this game, and you want something scary and challenging, then I recommend this to you. It may cause you to have nightmares but you will enjoy The Evil Within.

\n

One of the things that I noticed in this game was the scenery, because the details inside every little thing is amazing. While this revolves around a lot of organs and blood, whoever is playing The Evil Within will see that this amazing detail makes everything look alive.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/5/8/758c4b1ab2e9f7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/5/8/758c4b1ab2e9f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152703","description":"
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
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The Resident Evil franchise has always had a scary feeling to it. But this one is by far the scariest, with its jump scares and crazy looking creatures that will give the devil himself nightmares.

\n

I have always been a Resident Evil fan (my favorite being 4) but Resident Evil 7 is different than the rest. This one has changed the way the fans will play Resident Evil forever.

\n

They did add stuff that makes it seem like the older ones which I thought was great. For example they put a similar system to the older games with how you combine things in the inventory. But they also added a new psycho kind of feeling to the game. It's a lot more gory and twisted than the rest.

\n

Resident Evil 7 has you staying focused on something, then little do you know it was all a distraction for something a lot scarier.

\n

Even though I love the oldies, I like the direction they went with this new installment of the franchise, and I'm sure you will too. So, you have to ask yourself what is next for the Resident Evil franchise?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/1/3/f13jason-610-a961d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/1/3/f13jason-610-a961d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152746","description":"

The PS4 has already seen it's fair share of scares, in only 3 years it has become home to some of the best horror games around.

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And who doesn't like having a bit of a scare now and then? Well these are the games that are more than just a bit of a scare. These games will have you sweating and panting hoping you don't die.

\n

This article will show you some of the worst places and worst positions to be in as a human being. Luckily for you you're on the other side of the screen. Lets hope it stays that way.

\n

So, what are the 5 Jaw Dropping Horror Games on the PS4? Read this article and you will understand why I chose these gruesome, gory, and horrifying games.

"}]]]>
9 Games with the Best Artificial Intelligence https://www.gameskinny.com/8zkeq/9-games-with-the-best-artificial-intelligence https://www.gameskinny.com/8zkeq/9-games-with-the-best-artificial-intelligence Sun, 05 Mar 2017 09:20:12 -0500 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c4f67f65183b9d4f199a8ffc0d0336e5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c4f67f65183b9d4f199a8ffc0d0336e5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10499","description":"

ARMA 3

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Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Release date: September 12, 2013
Platforms: PC

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ARMA 3 is known for a super precise enemy AI. Ever heard of clear shots on 300 or 400 meter distances? Yep, that’s ARMA 3. But many people don’t know that the best thing about the AI in ARMA 3 is that it is fully customizable.

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If you know how to edit “.ini” files, then you can easily set up the game’s AI to your liking. On the other hand, you could just download and install one of the many AI mods that are freely distributed for the game.

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However, most players have adapted to the default settings, and show no mercy for their enemies.

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What other games do you know of that possess a great AI? Share their titles and leave your opinions on why you think so in the comments.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d812d3d9e5455fd3012123dfeb895bdc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d812d3d9e5455fd3012123dfeb895bdc.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10498","description":"

Alien: Isolation

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Developer: Creative Assembly
Release date: October 7, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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You would think that the true star of the game is the main character, in this case Amanda Ripley… but no -- it’s the Xenomorph. This creepy alien and its constant, looming presence throughout the entire game makes it a particularly interesting case for an enemy AI study.

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This kind of prolonged interaction between the protagonist and the antagonist is unprecedented in the world of gaming. It probably took a lot of effort to program the complex behavior of the creature that would jump out of the most unexpected places.

\n

Clive Gratton, technical director on Alien: Isolation, said the following about the multi-layered AI system (read the full interview here):

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“Our basic premise for the AI was ‘not to cheat’. The level is pre-processed to find interesting places for the Alien to search. We then drop it in with a few parameters to say how fast to search, where and what size radius. If the Alien hasn’t spotted the player then it’ll do a leisurely search of a large area. If you can hear the Alien in the vents close to you then there’s more chance that it can hear you and will come down. It is actually traversing through the vent network.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/3/9/039f352396eeb9791ae5e36f938d9cfb-734a0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/3/9/039f352396eeb9791ae5e36f938d9cfb-734a0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152095","description":"

StarCraft II

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Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release date: July 27, 2010
Platforms: PC

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Long-time SarCraft players may laugh at this suggestion, because even the Hard and Elite AI in StarCraft II is not too impressive. But again, this is the case if you’re an experienced player. However, if you’re just starting out in the StarCraft universe, playing against AI is your best option, and it is built exactly for that reason.

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The AI in StarCraft II follows the same sequence every time, which is perfect for learning and developing your first strategy against it. Later, when you know what you’re doing, you can start playing against real players.

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And the last cool thing to mention is the upcoming StarCraft II challenge offered by the British AI developer -- DeepMind. It’s the one that beat the Go world champion last year, and it would be really interesting to see how this intelligence will fair against Blizzard’s own AI sometime in 2017.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/aa0824ad8c3129613e9a50b31d7852b9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/aa0824ad8c3129613e9a50b31d7852b9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10497","description":"

Far Cry 2

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Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release date: October 21, 2008
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

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It is a sad thing to say, but the Far Cry series doesn’t get any better with every new installment. Ubisoft tries to appeal to a more casual player these days, but at one point, Far Cry was one of the most unforgiving games ever made.

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The first one was developed by Crytek, and then Ubisoft helmed the second one, and the rest of them followed. Far Cry 2 was so challenging that people went as far as calling it “sadistic”… and it was for a reason. The enemy AI was simply brutal, and there were no friendly NPCs -- everybody was hostile.

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There was no real system to the AI’s behavior -- it was just incredibly chaotic and unpredictable. This alone made the game super hard, even for veteran gamers.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b12283b85e43259f2e012adc34f94d4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b12283b85e43259f2e012adc34f94d4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10496","description":"

Halo: Reach

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Developer: Bungie
Release date: September 14, 2010
Platforms: Xbox 360

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Halo: Reach stands out from the rest of the games in the cult series from Microsoft due to its staggering AI. This statement regards the Elites, who are some of the smartest and most aggressive enemies you will ever encounter in a video game.

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One could re-play the campaign over and over again without ever getting bored because the AI would behave differently every time. When the fans figured this out, they decided to push the AI in the game to its limits. And thus, in 2011, a team called “Termacious Trickocity” recorded more than 150 hours of gameplay in an attempt to show just how good the AI is in Halo: Reach.

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The result can be seen in the video above, which is a 10-minute montage of the best moments from the entire Termacious Trickocity run. One of the members of the said team, Aaron Sekela, stated the following:

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“Our hardest trick though would probably be the ‘Exodus Marine Collection.’ That’s the trick that starts around the 5:48 mark and ends at the 6:29 mark. We were in that game for 7 hours, getting the marines to cooperate was extremely annoying, we had to make sure they didn’t get killed by enemies or being launched over the river. Once over the river we need to drive 10 minute to get the marines, to the top of a huge mountain. We had to go back and forth about 4 or 5 times. Lack of check points didn’t help either.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-enemy-unknown-plus-vita-cde30.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-enemy-unknown-plus-vita-cde30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152091","description":"

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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Developer: Firaxis Games
Release date: October 9, 2012
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360

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Alien AI is the reason why the reboot of the XCOM series succeeded back in 2012. And the person responsible for that AI was Alex Cheng, who decided to make the AI not just distinctive, but also entertaining.

This effect was achieved “by means of a utility-based system -- a system that gave a measure of 'usefulness' to every possible action.” 

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And this is what XCOM is known for: its limited system of movement that requires the AI to calculate the most efficient way of action for each of its turns. It would consider everything, such as the distance to the closest objective, proximity to other aliens, the number of enemies, the behavior of the enemies, and more.

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This approach to AI is truly groundbreaking and should be taken into consideration by other aspiring video game developers.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cd4c48be0e08d83f214b7fc91e3eddd0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cd4c48be0e08d83f214b7fc91e3eddd0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10495","description":"

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

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Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Release date: August 20, 2013
Platforms: PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360

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The objectives in all missions of Blacklist are basically the same -- avoid guards at all costs. You got it right -- it’s a hard stealth game. The guard AI is truly something here, and generally speaking, the AI in the Splinter Cell series has always been a subject of fascination.

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It reminds me a lot of a chess game. You enter an area, detect all the guards, figure out the plan of evasion, and move forward to a complete execution of the mission. But it’s not as easy to do as it sounds. The guards are programmed to detect and react to the smallest things -- not just visual cues, but audible ones as well.

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On top of that, they have dogs that prowl in the most unexpected corners, forcing you to reveal your position. It’s really something, and people have been writing entire essays on just how good the AI is in Splinter Cell: Blacklist -- you can read one of them here.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screen-shot-2014-113545-620x349-9e088.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screen-shot-2014-113545-620x349-9e088.png","type":"slide","id":"152087","description":"

The Last of Us

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Developer: Naughty Dog
Release date: June 14, 2013
Platforms: PS3

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If you’re wondering what this game is doing here (since the enemy AI in TLOU isn’t much to write home about) it’s really not about enemies this time, but instead about a companion AI -- Ellie. The teenage girl, the key to the survival of all humanity, is the star of the game, and it’s mainly because of an excellent AI.

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Did you know that the release of TLOU was initially delayed for five months? The director of the game decided to overwrite the entire companion AI from scratch. Well, it’s a good thing that he did, because Ellie has become a true friend and not just another burden on your hands.

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Here’s what Naughty Dog's Max Dyckhoff said about Ellie’s AI at GDC 2014 (watch the full presentation here):

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“Much of this was built on simple ideas, such as how to decide where Ellie should stand: the basic mechanics decide a zone she can inhabit, then draws a series of lines between her and Joel, the direction she's looking in, and where she could potentially move to. If any of those lines hit a wall or obstacle, then Ellie can't stand there.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f2ec97c62c7b5b9f3d7c9d6931fa8deb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f2ec97c62c7b5b9f3d7c9d6931fa8deb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10494","description":"

F.E.A.R.

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Developer: Monolith Productions
Release date: October 17, 2005
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

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If there was ever a good AI in any FPS game, it was definitely the one in F.E.A.R. The enemies would never act in the same way, but they would react to each other’s situations and would never repeat the same mistakes. This prompted players to constantly change tactics and never sit in the same position.

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Here’s how the designers of the AI have described their approach to F.E.A.R. (read full statement):

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“In F.E.A.R., A.I. use(s) cover more tactically, coordinating with squad members to lay suppression fire while others advance. A.I. only leave cover when threatened, and blind fire if they have no better position.”

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On top of that, enemy AI always applies pressure -- at times, you don’t even have the time to heal. The harder the difficulty you choose to play, the better the AI behaves.

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That's not to mention the weapons physics and movement animations in this game were groundbreaking for its time.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/a/fear-game-scenes-wallpaper-1280x720-079fd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/a/fear-game-scenes-wallpaper-1280x720-079fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152084","description":"

Many game developers intentionally make the AI in their games easy to deal with. Only a few choose the hard way and try to challenge their fanbase by making AI behave in more inventive ways than just duck, dodge, fire. 

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And of course, every gamer has his or her own favorite titles, but these nine games are universally praised for offering something new in the department of artificial intelligence. Each case has its own peculiar approach, and each shows just how deep one can dive into the possibilities of machine psychology.

\n

Different genres of games utilize different algorithms when it comes to programming AI. For example, FPS games implement the layered structure of the artificial intelligence system, while RTS games have several modules, such as effective path-finding, economic structuring, game map analysis, and more.

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You will learn about all these different algorithms in the list that follows. Let's get started. 

"}]]]>
The 7 Horror Games That are Better Than Resident Evil 7 https://www.gameskinny.com/66ami/the-7-horror-games-that-are-better-than-resident-evil-7 https://www.gameskinny.com/66ami/the-7-horror-games-that-are-better-than-resident-evil-7 Fri, 03 Feb 2017 08:00:02 -0500 Sergey_3847

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Silent Hill 2

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Developer: Konami
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Release date: 24 September 2001

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Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox

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Silent Hill series is an example of an untouchable cult classic. When it comes to comparing the two games, such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil, it is important to distinguish their main characteristics. While Resident Evil is designed to scare you with all sorts of unexpected enemies jumping at you from the darkness, Silent Hill is built around the fear of the darkness itself, or in this case of the fog, and not necessarily the monsters hiding behind it.

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Another big difference is that RE7 doesn’t leave you with too many unanswered questions after you’ve done playing it. In the case of Silent Hill 2, people still discuss certain plot points even 16 years after the release of the game. That’s how you write your horror games -- it’s a true masterwork of storytelling.

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On the other hand, maybe it’s not a good idea to compare these two games, as they are vastly different, if you look really closely. But anyway, it’s worth revisiting them and remember how really good horror games once were.

\n

Do you agree or disagree with these seven choices? Leave your feedback in the comments section.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-wallpaper-1920x1080-2c43e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-wallpaper-1920x1080-2c43e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149556","description":"

Resident Evil 4

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Developer: Capcom
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Release date: 11 January 2005

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Platforms: GC, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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Now let’s talk about something completely different. It is clear that Capcom wanted to combine all the best features of the survival horror titles and the action formula of the previous Resident Evil games. So previously we’ve been mostly looking at the survival side, but let’s take a look at the action side of things for once.

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When talking about Resident Evil 4, it is important to mention that this was a completely new look and concept for the Resident Evil series. Capcom took a bit of the story elements from the first installations, but the developer focused mainly on the action gameplay mechanics this time around. It made the series fresh again and reinvigorated the interest of the fans that started to get bored of the same ol’ gameplay.

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The action was truly awesome in RE4, and it made you stay sharply focused throughout the entirety of the campaign. The enemies could jump out of anywhere and you had to be ready with your guns out at all times. It was an adrenaline-packed game and it almost never got boring.

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While action in RE7 is obviously not as exciting as in RE4, it is good enough to keep you engaged. The developers clearly didn’t want to make it too combat-oriented, but if you were a fan of the RE4 action, the new game will definitely leave you wanting more in this regard.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-red-barrels-17077-89c79.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-red-barrels-17077-89c79.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149555","description":"

Outlast

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Developer: Red Barrels
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Release date: 4 September 2013

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

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Outlast was released the same week as the sequel for Amnesia, titled A Machine for Pigs. Both games are very similar in tone and gameplay, but Outlast is considered a superior game. Amnesia looks like a butcher’s dream with all its gory stuff, while Outlast carries a more refined vibe, and delivers a much more satisfying experience.

\n

The main reason for Outlast being so good is a total lack of any combat mechanics, which makes it so real... and oh so frightening. You are completely stripped off of any means to protect yourself or fight back -- all you can do is run, run, run... but it’s not easy, as there are so many obstacles on your way out of the mental institution that you were sent to make a report about.

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This makes Outlast so much scarier than Resident Evil 7, where you have all the means to kill the annoying zombies, including axes, knives, pistols, shotguns, etc. There is no sense of despair in RE7 like the one you feel in Outlast on a constant basis.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/forbidden-siren-siren-sairen-51d56.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/forbidden-siren-siren-sairen-51d56.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149554","description":"

Forbidden Siren

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Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
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Release date: 20 April 2004

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Platforms: PS2

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It’s really, really hard to write a good story for a survival horror game. It is even harder to write a story that catches the players by surprise. Forbidden Siren, or simply Siren, is a rare example of a horror game that brings story-telling element to a whole new level.

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The keyword here is “unknown.” From the very beginning to the very end you find yourself in a state of total and complete ignorance. The developers took to heart the rule of not revealing the key plot points up to the very end of the game. This entices not only horror, but also massive loads of frustration -- and all this culminates in a gaming experience like no other.

\n

Siren is not the most appealing horror game, but it shouldn’t be one. Isn’t the beauty of the horror genre is the fact that it is unappealing to most gamers? And this is where RE7 loses in the fight with such games as Forbidden Siren -- it’s just too slick and polished to be called a true horror title. But hey, Capcom needs to make their money back, and thus they need to appeal to a much wider audience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/e/5/2e55d0e9ed4ba5b4244b947de4a5f7e3-e065a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/e/5/2e55d0e9ed4ba5b4244b947de4a5f7e3-e065a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149553","description":"

Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

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Developer: Tecmo
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Release date: 10 December 2003

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Platforms: PS2, Xbox

\n

Fatal Frame, also known as Project Zero, never had a big success beyond the borders of Japan -- the country of its origin. However, those who had the chance to play this game back in 2003-2004 must have the most vivid memories of its dreadful setting.

\n

Of all other games in this list, RE7 is probably the closest to the ideas of Fatal Frame II. It’s the same search for keys and other puzzles that need to be revealed inside an old house in some old forgotten village. The mystery of what’s behind the next door cripples the player and makes you want to clasp onto the joystick even harder, as if it would help you deal with the creeping terror.

\n

Another common feature of Fatal Frame II and RE7 is the access to various endings -- good and bad ones. However, in the case of Fatal Frame II you have as much as six different endings, which is a huge plus for those who like to return and replay their favorite games, while RE7 has only two.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-304706-2b6fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-304706-2b6fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149552","description":"

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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Developer: Frictional Games
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Release date: 8 September 2010

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Platforms: PC, PS4

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Amnesia gets under your skin and never leaves. Those who had the chance to play this stunning horror game admit that the only possible way to play the game was in short time bursts -- it was just too scary. The funny thing is that it doesn’t offer any sort of revolutionary gameplay, but Frictional Games still managed to come really close to what many would call “a perfect horror game.”

\n

Amnesia provokes contemplation, and you start asking yourself: Where the true horror comes from? Is it the outside world or the inside of our minds? It plays with your fears like no other game, and it is truly horror inducing. The dark corridors of the old castle, screams behind the walls, moving shadows, creepy hallucinations... and your own loud heartbeat. Everything here is made to unsettle the player.

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Capcom clearly went for the same effect when creating RE7. Did they manage to build the same level of terror? Well, they did to a certain extent, but the atmosphere of Amnesia is still heads above the one in RE7.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-wallpaper-cool-wallpapers-62d7d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-wallpaper-cool-wallpapers-62d7d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149551","description":"

Alien: Isolation

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Developer: Creative Assembly
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Release date: 7 October 2014

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Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

\n

SEGA took a huge risk when they announced the new Alien title. The developer, Creative Assembly, had no prior experience in the horror genre, but the result was truly remarkable, and it was possible only due to a fantastic design of the game.

\n

Alien: Isolation is all about the atmosphere -- this is one thing that made the game so good. The developers even considered disabling the VR compatibility in fear that it might be too much of a pressure for players to handle. However, the modders returned the VR mode into the game, and it turned out to be extremely successful.

\n

It is now clear that VR and first-person perspective work great for a horror genre, and it made even more sense in Resident Evil 7. Players who tried the game enjoyed the experience immensely, but that first impression from Alien: Isolation VR is still considered to be way more immersive.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-wallpaper-snakeyboy-dail3o3-97320.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-wallpaper-snakeyboy-dail3o3-97320.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149550","description":"

As a series, Resident Evil had its many ups and downs. The previous installment, Resident Evil 6, was a letdown for most of the fans, so Capcom decided to reinvent the series once again, as they did several times before.

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Their latest attempt, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, turned out great, and the game is already considered one of the best in the entire run of the franchise. However, when you think about it, it is important to ask if it would be as successful as it is without the influence of other great horror games from the past.

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RE7 is undoubtedly a great game, but it clearly borrows its best elements from the games that came prior to its release -- games that have clearly inspired the design and the gameplay mechanics of the new Resident Evil.

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Let’s take a look at the titles that helped shape the future of the Capcom’s franchise that are a notch better than the highly-praised Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

"}]]]>
Horror Games That Would Find More Success on VR https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxg4/horror-games-that-would-find-more-success-on-vr https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxg4/horror-games-that-would-find-more-success-on-vr Thu, 02 Feb 2017 13:59:08 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/t/fatal-frame-wii-show-6479b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/t/fatal-frame-wii-show-6479b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149544","description":"

Survival horror has made quite the return in recent times and it has been the perfect showcase for Virtual Reality with games like the new Resident Evil and the forthcoming Paranormal Activity.

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The reason why horror games work so well on VR is the pace can be deliberately slow. It also helps hide the limitations of the technology. Resident Evil has also shown that games on VR can also be every bit as effective on the television too – as well as breathe new life into franchises that are becoming tired and outdated.

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If developers would be willing to patch in VR support for games like Alien: Isolation or Outlast there’s a good possibility of increasing sales for the titles as well creating an almost new experience for the games.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-2bb71.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-2bb71.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149508","description":"
Alien: Isolation
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Alien Isolation is one of the most effective horror experiences recent years. The small tight metallic corridors, the claustrophobic feeling of darkness and the level of detail that totally makes you feel that you’re immersed in the experience of the original film.

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The experience becomes a lot more powerful when explored through VR. As showcased by the VR demo for the Oculus Rift, all the minor details really come to life and the darkness completely surrounds you. The sense of powerlessness comes to life with the audio design -- Every creak and noise in the vents above and underneath you becomes really unnerving in the 3D sound.

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The biggest shame for Alien: Isolation was the fact that VR support never made it past the demo stage and while there is a way to get VR to work on the PC there was never any official support for it.

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It may be wishful thinking, but now that VR’s popularity is picking up steam with support for home consoles, It could be the perfect time to patch in VR and give Alien: Isolation the extra sales and exposure it deserves.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/project-zero-wii-edition-scare-8c9a9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/project-zero-wii-edition-scare-8c9a9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149509","description":"

Fatal Frame/Project Zero

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The Fatal Frame series are effective and scary survival horror games that take a lot of inspiration from Japanese horror films like The Grudge and The Ring. The games found a lot of success on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, Wii and the Nintendo Wii U.

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Unfortunately the formula had started grow stale with its most recent title Fatal Frame: Maiden of The Black Water receiving mixed reviews. Although it did receive praise for its innovative use of the Nintendo Wii U gamepad as a viewpoint for the Camera Obscura.

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The success of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard had in rejuvenating the series from a brand new perspective. This could work for the Fatal Frame series too. If the developers could find new way to adapt the first person viewpoint of the Camera Obscura -- like they did with the Wii U pad in a new way. VR could help breathe new life into the series.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/o/among-sleep-oculus-rift-a3573.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/o/among-sleep-oculus-rift-a3573.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149512","description":"
Among The Sleep
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Among The Sleep is a horror game that puts you in the body of a young toddler. It’s a unique horror game that takes feeling defenseless and helpless to push it to a new level of disempowerment.

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Through the eyes of a child everything is so much bigger and larger than life. There's even a tense situation when being unable to reach for the door handle. The ability to play this game in VR would add so much more to the immersion of the already foreboding experience.

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The developers Krillbite were working on a VR experience for the Rift and there was an alpha build of the demo but the project was cancelled according to the studios blog

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The studio did however mention the possibility of working on new demo using Among The Sleep’s assets.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-store-update-soma-7794a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-store-update-soma-7794a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149510","description":"
Soma
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Psychological horror is where Soma shines because the atmosphere builds on this style of horror rather than conventional scares. This is what make this game such an effective horror experience.

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Your character wakes up at the bottom of the ocean in an abandoned research facility.  The events that then pass in the game truly make you doubt your surroundings, and it's those surroundings that draw you into its atmosphere. The sound design in this game is some of the best I’ve heard since the likes of Dead Space and Bioshock.

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For those reasons and VR’s ability to transport you to another world Soma would find good success. Along with the play to your senses it would be a perfect combination.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/6/4/464-1071f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/6/4/464-1071f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149507","description":"
Outlast
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Outlast is definitely a game that would benefit from VR. It’s dripping in atmosphere with tight but dark passageways and the absolute feeling of disempowerment would lend itself very well to VR.

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There is unofficial support for the VR on the PC. However, it would be really beneficial for both fans and developers to get official support and with PlayStation VR helping to push VR into the mainstream. It could add more replayability and potentially more sales with PS4 VR gamers clamoring to get the best experiences possible.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/r/3/vr3037921-poster-horror-35ae5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/r/3/vr3037921-poster-horror-35ae5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149452","description":"

Virtual Reality is a perfect marriage to the survival horror genre, the potential for a deeper level of immersion on an emotional level and the ability to fool the senses is increased exponentially. No longer is a creature, monster or a ghost restricted to the television screen but now you can almost feel and hear them around you -- their footsteps in the vents or the whispers in your ear.

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The improvements in VR technology definitely brings more realism to the games and the ability to disrupt your already heightened senses that in kind allow you to become far more engrossed in the games surroundings. This is because our audio and visual senses are overridden by shutting out the sights and sounds of the physical space that you're in.

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Now that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has already shown that a survival horror game can function both as a survival horror game on the television and a VR game.

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Here, I've compiled a list of games that would find more success with Virtual Reality support.

"}]]]>
6 Horror Games That Use the First-Person Perspective to Deliver Their Scares https://www.gameskinny.com/w16tt/6-horror-games-that-use-the-first-person-perspective-to-deliver-their-scares https://www.gameskinny.com/w16tt/6-horror-games-that-use-the-first-person-perspective-to-deliver-their-scares Sun, 22 Jan 2017 06:57:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-870x489-5dd6c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-870x489-5dd6c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148384","description":"

The rise in first-person horror games has demonstrated just how well suited to the survival horror genre the perspective is. It adds a level of immersion that works so well with the dark and oppressive atmospheres, effectively placing the player directly in the fear-inducing action.  There's something about facing horrors of all types when up close and personal. And not knowing what is around the next corner or if something is behind you, definitely adds another layer fear.

\n

There's something about facing horrors of all types when up close and personal. And not knowing what is around the next corner or if something is behind you definitely adds another layer fear.

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Obviously, there is still room for horror games that use a third-person perspective, but unless aided by awkward controls and clever camera angles (to ratchet up the scares and sense of helplessness), I don't feel they quite pull you in and play around with your senses and emotions in the same way the first-person perspective does.

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What do you think? Is the third-person perspective better for horror games or do you like your scare up close and personal? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienisolationwallpaper-phase-7dbe3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienisolationwallpaper-phase-7dbe3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148052","description":"

Alien Isolation

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Platform: PC/PS4/Xbox One/PS3/Xbox 360

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One of the first big-budget games to take inspiration from the likes of Amnesia and Outlast with its run and hide mechanic, Alien: Isolation perfectly melds stealth and exploration to create a work that perfectly captures the context of the first film.

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Through the eyes of Amanda Ripley, you're completely underpowered and unprepared as the Alien AI is completely dynamic, doesn't follow any set patterns, and is every bit the predator the Alien should be. It hunts you down through the narrow corridors of the Sevastopol, a decommissioned trading station -- and it's horrifying. 

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When the Xenomorph appears you truly get an up close sense of its size and terrifying nature, whether you're facing it down for the first time or hiding inside a locker, a first-person perspective really adds to this level of immersion. Coupled with the impeccable sound design, the PoV works wonders. 

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Alien: Isolation recaptures everything that made the first Alien movie so intense and atmospheric and puts you right in the middle of the horror. It not only manages to be one of the best survival horror games of any generation, it's also easily one of the best-licensed video games ever made.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-a7715.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-a7715.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148053","description":"

Outlast

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Platform: PC/PS4/Xbox One

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I challenge anyone not to get more than a few scares playing this game.  Another indie title but from experienced developers who set out to make their passion project, Outlast shines through its execution and is one of the purest horror games I've played.

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There's no way to defend yourself beyond just mashing buttons to escape and run from some of the inmates. The object is to hide and use the darkness to your advantage.  

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The game carries many genre influences from films such as REC and The Blair Witch Project, and it uses them to full effect as you work your way through the asylum completely terrified and defenseless. So the first-person perspective here is a completely natural fit that works when looking down the lens of a camcorder, constricting your field of view, and ratcheting up the horror. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/redemption-amnesia-dark-descent-wakraya-d567ct6-9f34a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/redemption-amnesia-dark-descent-wakraya-d567ct6-9f34a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148051","description":"

Amnesia: Dark Descent 

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Platform: PC/PS4

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I didn't get to play Amnesia upon release in 2010 because I never had the PC to play it, but it's impact and influence still echoes today in modern and future horror games. It has recently been ported to the PlayStation 4 as part of a collection and is absolutely worth playing.

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The game is starting to show its age a bit now, but the scare factor hasn't weakened in the slightest. Just like Frictional Games' successive title SOMA, to give away too much information would be to spoil some of Amnesia's impact, as you really should experience it all for yourself. But I will say its execution is a masterstroke in psychological horror every step of the way.

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The first-person perspective here allows the player to feel lost in some of the game's ultra dark areas. If this was played from a third-person viewpoint, there would have been a risk of making the player feel disconnected from the surrounding horrors.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/o/m/zombi-xbox-one-ps4-600x375-d2dd2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/o/m/zombi-xbox-one-ps4-600x375-d2dd2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148050","description":"

Zombi

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Platform: WiiU/PS4/Xbox One

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Originally an exclusive WiiU launch title known as ZombiU, Zombi was overlooked at launch, just like Condemned.

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This game was Nintendo's attempt at trying to draw in a mature audience from the get-go, rather than just being associated with itsfamily-friendlyy roots.

It wasn't a big seller, which was a shame because ZombiU is a superb horror title on any system and one of the scariest games in the zombie genre. It brings a perfect blend of tension, atmosphere, and challenge to make it truly stand out on its own. ZombiU was also one of the few games that made good use of the WiiU controller, without it feeling too gimmicky.

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Perspective aside, the game cleverly follows a similar structure to the Dark Souls series. Only this time, after your character dies (permanently) you will wake up as an entirely new character in the safehouse, and instead of trying to retrieve your "souls," you'll aim to try and recollect your previous corpse's belongings.  Unlike the Souls series though the first person viewpoint helps immerse the players in its truly desolate and dark environments.

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It's recently been remastered on the PS4 and Xbox One, and I would definitely give this game a look if you missed it the first time round.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/2/1024-414-4bfb8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/2/1024-414-4bfb8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148049","description":"

Condemned Criminal Origins

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Platform: Xbox 360

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Condemned is a game that was criminally overlooked as an Xbox 360 launch title in favor of the Perfect Dark sequel, but for me, Condemned was the real system seller. I loved the intense and gritty atmosphere, the lighting effects, the shadows and legitimately horrifying gameplay.

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There are so many moments that stand out so well for me in this game that it remains one of my favorites today. It would be higher on my list if not for the weird final chapters. But it's still a fantastic game in spite of this.

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Taking an alternate approach to the defenseless run and hide gameplay mechanics of more recent titles, Condemned features one of the most brutal and well-implemented hand-to-hand combat systems I've seen in a horror FPS. The brutality of the game doesn't pull any punches at all and the perspective definitely adds to that.  

If viewed from a third-person viewpoint, I think the atmosphere would have been lost in what may have looked and played like a half-baked action game.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/m/soma-951-610-b5c3a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/m/soma-951-610-b5c3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148048","description":"

Soma

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Platform: PC, Mac, and PS4

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Following their success with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, developers Frictional Games released SOMA, a.A disturbing sci-fi horror game set in an underwater facility.

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As much as it's a horror game dealing with disturbing alien lifeforms with a similar running and hiding mechanic previously seen in Amnesia, the real impact comes from the psychology and the philosophical questions raised in the game. To go into too much detail will probably spoil game, but I feel it's a definite stand-out game in the horror genre and one that will stay memorable long after you're finished.

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The first-person perspective works brilliantly with SOMA's vision of horror. The true horror is found in its psychological and atmospheric surroundings and the perspective here helps the player feel fully immersed in the shoes of the protagonist.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-c34d8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-c34d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148047","description":"

Ever since I was first introduced to the genre through Alien 3 on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis and later Resident Evil on the original PlayStation, the survival horror genre has been a favorite of mine. 

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The portrayal of the of the genre in gaming has varied over the years in my experience, as I've seen it implemented in 2D side-scrolling horror-fests like the aforementioned Alien 3, the static prerendered back drops of the first three Resident Evil games and the now familiar over-the-shoulder action oriented horror games like Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill, the Dead Space series and Gears Of War.

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The direction most big-budget horror games have been moving in in the last several years has been more action based than we've previously seen, and unfortunately, a lot of these action-horror games have lost their fear factors, too. And it all seems almost ironic that as revolutionary as Resident Evil 4 was at the time of its release, it was so in a totally unforeseen way: It was instrument in moving the genre into far less scary, more action based territory that influenced games for years to come.

\n

There has been the occasional exception to the rule, but overall, horror quickly fell out of favour with publishers. Even Capcom's own Masachika Kawata declared there was no market for survival horror anymore.

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That is until a passionate few indie developers brought in a sort of renaissance with titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Slender Man, Outlast and others.  They opted for a more immersive first-person perspective and added in a feeling of helplessness with deeply oppressive atmospheres that had been lacking from the genre for so long.

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And all of those indie titles have since had good success beyond the PC, and made their way to the current generation of consoles, too. They have given rise to many similar titles in the genre and now even the upcoming Resident Evil 7 has taken quite a lot of inspiration from those very games, right down to the first-person viewpoint. And based on my experience with the demo, it is set to be a fantastic horror experience.

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So here, and without further ado, I have listed some of my favorite survival horror games that like Resident Evil 7, use a first-person perspective for that all important level of immersion -- and horror. 

"}]]]>
An Exclusive Interview with Jack Packard and Rich Evans https://www.gameskinny.com/d4g01/an-exclusive-interview-with-jack-packard-and-rich-evans https://www.gameskinny.com/d4g01/an-exclusive-interview-with-jack-packard-and-rich-evans Fri, 28 Oct 2016 11:14:31 -0400 Jared Elliott

Rich Evans and Jack Packard are well-known for co-hosting Previously Recorded -- a popular show which features thoughtful game reviews and hilarious Twitch streams. But they are perhaps most famous for their work in other programs under the Red Letter Media umbrella, such as Best of the Worst, Half in the Bag, ReView, and the full-length comedy film Space Cop.

Both also participated in the hugely popular Mr. Plinkett reviews of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. 

Last week, I reached out to Rich and Jack for an exclusive interview, to which they graciously agreed. Within, they discuss the origins of Previously Recorded, their best (and worst) experiences on the show, and much more:

Jared Elliott: How did Previously Recorded get started?

Jack Packard: The show started as Gamestation 2.0, a Rich Evans solo show where he talked about video games. Rich would write and star in the show and it would be edited by Mike [Stoklasa] or Jay [Bauman]. Rich hated doing that show as he didn’t have anyone to bounce off of. He didn’t like JUST talking to the camera. Also Mike and Jay aren’t video game guys so they didn’t enjoy editing the episodes.

[Rich and I] would always gravitate together during filming of Best of the Worst or other Red Letter Media productions, and conversation would usually end up on games, as we are the only two gamers at Red Letter Media.

With a little pressure from Red Letter Media to make some video game content, we started the show half-assed and under-prepared, filming the first episode in Jack’s Kitchen.

JE: What has been your favorite episode to record?

Rich Evans: The Order 1886. Because the game was so short we really had time to direct exactly why it failed so hard. Also lighting it on fire with hundreds of matches that spelled “F*CK YOU” was very cathartic.

JE: What is the worst experience you've had with a game that you played for the show? The best?

Both: The worst was Alien: Isolation. We don’t get the horror stealth genre. We thought that game was incredibly lame and therefore not enjoyable to play. Then after the episode came out we were inundated with “you played it wrong” comments.

The best was Bloodborne. We stumbled in our first attempt at playing Dark Souls so we were nervous playing another FromSoftware game. But the journey of figuring out the rules of Bloodborne’s world has been unparalleled. These games are packed deep with lore and more importantly emergent storytelling.

JE: What is your process when reviewing a game? How long does the review process take?

RE: The only process is playing the game… though Jack has a notebook because he has a bad memory, and he usually records the gameplay footage. After we get enough play time (about 20-30 hours) we sit down and film the discussion, which usually takes an hour. Then Jack edits the episode, which takes another 15 to 20 hours.

JE: Do you still enjoy playing games as much as you did before starting Previously Recorded?

Both: Of course we still enjoy games, and playing for the show or streaming often allows us to discover games we wouldn’t normally play. We do get a lot of suggestions for games to play, and that can get overwhelming.

JE: You've reviewed quite a few indie titles on the show. How do you feel about the current state of indie games in general?

JP: Rich thinks that we are in the dark dystopian future of gaming with things like DRM, always-online, and the over-abundance of walking simulators. I think we’re in a god damned golden age of entertainment, with more options than ever.

Though with the over use of things like Kickstarter, early access, and consumer beta testing we’re seeing a lot of half finished games. The up-side is we’re seeing games that might not have been made without these tools.

JE: What are your favorite games? What's great about them?

Both: That’s too vague a question, there are so many that we love.

RE: I am replaying the Thief games now, which I love for their slow and tight stealth gameplay mixed with impressive world building.

JP: I'm obsessed with Overwatch at the moment because of its great characters, good balance, and the constant challenge of online multiplayer.

JE: If you could apply any game mechanic to real life, what would it be?

JP: The Konami code for extra lives of course.

JE: What can fans of the show look forward to soon?

JP: I am almost done with the Gears of War 4 episode and Rich wants to do a look back at the Thief games (I have never played them). Also, we are working on something that doesn’t involve them playing games… super secret #ProjectHornet.

We can’t give too much away about #ProjectHornet, but it’ll either be a mild success or a HUGE failure, so either way you’ll want to watch.

JE: Any final thoughts for our readers?

RE: Try your best, every day, not to be a horrible asshole.

To catch up with the latest gaming streams and reviews, follow Previously Recorded on Youtube and Twitter (@PreviouslyRec). Special thanks to Rich Evans, Jack Packard, and Red Letter Media for making this interview possible!

]]>
The 9 Best VR Jump Scares https://www.gameskinny.com/6cu4q/the-9-best-vr-jump-scares https://www.gameskinny.com/6cu4q/the-9-best-vr-jump-scares Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/a/woah-c4617.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/a/woah-c4617.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136335","description":"

For those without VR headsets, an honorable mention for jump scares you can try out is the very cheap but also very highly rated Sophie's Curse.

\n

At this point there's something like 30 pages of indie virtual reality games on Steam, and a pretty good portion of those are horror, so if you want jump scares, there's more than enough to be had. What did you think of our list, and what VR games have been scaring the pants off you?

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My question though, is when are the FNAF games going to get Oculus Rift or HTC Vive support? It's a match made in animatronic jump scare heaven!

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/e/slender-dcdbb.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/e/slender-dcdbb.png","type":"slide","id":"136341","description":"

Slender The Arrival: Screen Spasms

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Seeing the screen flip out is one thing on a monitor, but it's another when hooked up to VR and that's your whole field of vision. When things start to get to the real goods in this take on the Slenderman urban legend, the screen goes nuts and glitches out periodically, offering some unexpected scares even before anything starts chasing you.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/i/emily-72908.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/i/emily-72908.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136339","description":"

Emily Wants To Play: Giggles And Appearances

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Just take a look at that cover image up there: why are both dolls and little girls so inherently terrifying?

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The little girl laughs in the background are almost their own jump scare, but this one's chock full of jump-out-of-your-seat frights when the lights pop off and the little girl appears just where you least expect.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monstrum-7eb0c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monstrum-7eb0c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136338","description":"

Monstrum: Creature Breaks Down The Door

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Finally changing up the scenery, this VR game moves from the creepy abandoned house to a creepy abandoned ship... except maybe it's not so abandoned.

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There's lots of opportunities for great jump scares here while hiding from the monstrous creatures onboard, and there's more than one monster to worry about, each with different tactics. Sometimes hiding from them doesn't work out so well either, like when a door gets broken down and messy death ensues.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/boogey-57c6e.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/boogey-57c6e.png","type":"slide","id":"136337","description":"

Boogeyman: Boogeyman Leaps From The Window

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This one takes the standard fear anyone has of being alone in a dark room at night and turns it into a full video game.

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As you'd imagine, there's a boogeyman lurking in all those typical hiding places: up in the vents, under the bed, behind the closet door, and in one case that really seems to affect players, just outside the bedroom window.

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While there's lots of fun to be had watching teens be terrified by the boogeyman, the most interesting part might be the idle musings such as “Where are this kid's parents?” and "This is some next level terror, although I mean, I AM on the second level."

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/7/3/5/7358014c5c77a5a.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/7/3/5/7358014c5c77a5a.png","type":"slide","id":"136334","description":"

Terrorift: Screaming Dead Girl Pops Out Of A Book

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Hearing animal sounds in the background and a heartbeat stopping when something bad's about to go down creates a great sense of dread in this VR title. But all that's just leading up to the jump scare.

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Now I'm going to let you in on a secret that probably won't endear me to many of you: I'm not actually a big fan of the Markiplier clips. Yeah, I know, he's definitely not the most obnoxious YouTuber out there, but I still don't see the appeal of watching him play games and pretend to be scared.

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That being said, Markiplier's reaction to this jump scare in particular is worth seeing. Even though he knows its coming, it still effects him enough that he literally knocks the Oculus Rift headset off his head!

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienisolation-c131a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienisolation-c131a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136331","description":"

Alien Isolation: Any Time The Alien Jumps At You

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If ever there were games just tailor made for VR, it's the defenseless horror titles like Outlast or Alien: Isolation that don't let you kill the creature stalking your helpless character.

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This new take on the Alien franchise is legitimately scary on its own, but in VR the game is taken to a heart-pounding level, between both the spot-on sound and the knowledge of impending xeno death.

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There honestly should be an extra warning label above and beyond the standard disclaimer on stuff like this for people with heart conditions. Just take a look at the reaction video below, where the most common thing players say is “Shit, shit, shit, shit shit, shit!”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/a/dease-bd2f3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/a/dease-bd2f3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136330","description":"

Dead Secret: Figure Appears In The Mirror

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While VR horror takes its first fledgling steps, there's going to be a lot of exploring houses, turning old locks, and picking up random objects, which is what's on display with Dead Secret.

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It feels a bit like those old PS1 days of first discovering horror (think Clock Tower or the first Resident Evil). But there's plenty of sudden shocks, like seeing a masked and covered figure appear in a mirror – guaranteed to get a real life jump from a virtual scare.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/r/paranormalactivity-356fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/r/paranormalactivity-356fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136328","description":"

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Appearance

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Yep, the Paranormal Activity universe is officially invading VR, and its got scares galore. A jump scare involving a mirror breaking in the bathroom while looking for a key is particularly effective, because you don't see it coming and it really sets the tone.

\n

The jump scare that has everyone screaming most though is the appearance of a ghostly girl figure near the staircase, even causing one player to completely fall over and start bawling. Favorite player quotes: “I don't feel like I'm in a safe space” and “I just really need the lord Jesus right now.

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The clip below also showcases how VR still has some issues to overcome, maybe best summed up when a Paranormal Activity pre-alpha player tries to lean on a table that doesn't exist.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/e/dreadhalls-8b22b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/e/dreadhalls-8b22b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136327","description":"

Dreadhalls: Monstrosities Looming In The Darkness

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One of the earlier Oculus Rift horror games, this one unceremoniously plops you in a dungeon populated with all sorts of nasty beasties. The horror comes from odd things suddenly appearing where they weren't just a moment before when you turn your head.

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Whether is a winged gargoyle statue, creepy long haired ghost girl, or demonic hulking beast, there's a metric ton of excellent jump scares when something appears just out of the corner of your eye.

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-e143e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-e143e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136332","description":"

Has there ever been a gaming device more tailor-made for scares than VR? Curiously, the actual developers of VR devices aren't actually keen on the idea. Earlier this year Palmer Luckey from Oculus specifically commented on a Reddit AMA session that “...we are strongly discouraging developers from using jump scares.

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That might make sense from a fiscal standpoint - no hardware company wants to be liable for that one person who literally has a heart attack playing a scary game, but for the rest of us, VR is all the about the horror.

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There are plenty of great ways to create legitimate dread in a player through VR's very immersive interface, from the sounds of doors opening and closing behind you to the much-maligned but reliably utilized jump scare.

\n

Here we're rounding up 9 of the best VR jump scares currently available. Many of these videos have very NSFW imagery and language. so watch at your own risk!

"}]]]>
Horror Game Inspired Halloween Costumes https://www.gameskinny.com/yk8h1/horror-game-inspired-halloween-costumes https://www.gameskinny.com/yk8h1/horror-game-inspired-halloween-costumes Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:52:07 -0400 Glitchieetv

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silent-hill-plastic-anime-d2e44.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silent-hill-plastic-anime-d2e44.png","type":"slide","id":"134514","description":"

Butcher and Nurses by Plastic Anime, Others Unknown

\n
Silent Hill
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Silent Hill is easily one of the scariest games around. Effects include: blood everywhere, various disfigured nurses chasing after you, and gooseebump-inducing music. Not only that, but it has been made into a horror movie series as well. Here the Butcher and some nurses are getting ready for their next slaughter. Spine chilling.

\n

These costumes are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to horror. Will you embrace the spooky side of Halloween and wear a horror game inspired costume? Let us know in the comments what game inspired your costume!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/a/ada-wong-4f480.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/a/ada-wong-4f480.png","type":"slide","id":"134515","description":"

Ada Wong by UchihaSayaka

\n
Resident Evil 
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Resident Evil spawned not only many video games, but also a hit movies series, various articles of merchandise and numerous cosplays. Ada Wong, a main character of the series, is brought to life while fighting for her life by UchihaSayaka. From the action shot, to the outfit, to the crossbow, everything is dead on. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/l/willow-dont-starve-helen-stifler-33896.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/l/willow-dont-starve-helen-stifler-33896.png","type":"slide","id":"134513","description":"

Willow by Helen Stifler

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Don't Starve
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While some may argue that Don't Starve is more survival than horror, the Tim Burton-esq art, being attacked by savage beasts and the simple survival aspect, make it just as creepy and nerve wracking as any other horror game. Willow, the second character you can play as in the game, loves to set fire to things with her lighter when she gets stressed. Helen Stifler has the hair on point, and the fire effect brings Willow to life.  

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/n/a/fnaf-puppet-rochelle-aycoth-c0f1d.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/n/a/fnaf-puppet-rochelle-aycoth-c0f1d.png","type":"slide","id":"134512","description":"

The Puppet by Rochelle Aycoth

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Five Nights At Freddy's 2
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FNAF 2 expanded on its cast of jump scare characters when it introduced The Puppet. A sinister being who attacks as soon as the music box stopped, its cracked face and open mouth were sure to induce a fright. Rochelle Aycoth's portrayal of The Puppet is spot on and super creepy. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-beau-peep-copy-5f503.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-beau-peep-copy-5f503.png","type":"slide","id":"134511","description":"

Alien Queen by Beau Peep

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Alien: Isolation
\n

Inspired by the Alien movies, Alien: Isolation takes place after the original Alien occurs. Ripley's daughter goes looking for her mother after hearing about the Nostromo's discovery. There she finds the ship to be infected by aliens and the queen still breeding. Beau Peep did a phenomenal job with her Alien Queen cosplay, bringing the salivating, shrieking terror to life.  

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/title-slide-784ba.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/title-slide-784ba.png","type":"slide","id":"134422","description":"

Fall is here, cooler weather is setting in and Halloween is just around the corner. Holiday themed candies are starting to find themselves on the shelves and scary movies are playing on repeat. Chatter about potential costumes starts filling the air. Looking to scare the neighborhood trick-or-treaters? The following costumes were inspired by some of the best horror games. Take a look at five of the scariest horror game inspired costumes. 

"}]]]>
Why Alien Isolation Deserves a Sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/cx0q2/why-alien-isolation-deserves-a-sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/cx0q2/why-alien-isolation-deserves-a-sequel Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:08:00 -0500 Jeff D_7921

Alien Isolation was one of my favorite games in 2014. Developed by Creative Assembly (ironically a studio known for strategy games such as Total War) it was a suspenseful horror game that got the Alien franchise back on track.

Unfortunately, Sega reported disappointing sales on the game, selling roughly 2 million copies. To further complicate things, Creative Assembly is now developing Halo Wars 2 with 343 studios. This all but guarantees that a sequel is not in the works. I feel this is a big mistake.

Yes, I will admit that Alien Isolation did have flaws that led to divisive reviews from several outlets. The game dragged a bit too long due to pacing issues, and plenty of frustrating deaths. The alien could not be killed, you couldn't outrun it, and it had a one hit kill.  In this game of cat and mouse, you were very much the mouse.

I didn't mind this as much as others, but nevertheless, it was a problem. There was also the issue of backtracking. Way too often were you forced to loop back to the same sub-station for the fourth or fifth time. 

 

This may sound like a plethora of problems, but the game had a really good concept and foundation set for it to become a successful franchise. If the developers were able to make a sequel they could easily correct some of these issues and expand on the concepts of what made the first game great. Creative Assembly took the series back to its roots, with a look and feel similar to Ridley Scott's original film. 

How Alien Isolation can improve through influence from the Bioshock series.

The sequel could expand on this by taking inspiration from games like Bioshock. Make multiple aliens this time around and make them killable. By all means still make them a force to be reckoned with, give them the same difficulty as a Big Daddy from the Bioshock games. Give the player limited resources which would still make their stomach drop at the sound of the hearing a hiss come from the vents above. This would add variety to the gameplay in a pseudo stealth/action-adventure kind of way.

I'm sure the developers could also create a bigger station for the next game which would cut down on the back tracking. Either that, or have multiple stations to travel to and maybe even a planet section similar to what first game teased us with. 

Now we all know the gameplay benefits of a sequel, but how would the game sell better? There are a couple of ideas. I still believe the sales of Alien Isolation were hurt by the disaster of the previous Alien Colonial Marines. Having a sequel to Alien Isolation with Creative Assembly at the helm again would give gamers a sequel to the title that had far better reviews, meaning more hype and marketing. 

Releasing the movie and game hand in hand could benefit both sides.

Timing of release could assist with better sales as well. Ridley Scott has announced he is making another Alien film. If the game were to come out around the same time as the film, it could attract a larger crowd wanting to check out the game. 

Overall, it's disappointing to think we may never get a sequel to Alien Isolation. The hope of what could have been may always linger since the first one showed such promise. Hopefully one day Creative Assembly will come back to the series after it's done with Halo Wars 2

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How games use instinctual fear against us https://www.gameskinny.com/taw26/how-games-use-instinctual-fear-against-us https://www.gameskinny.com/taw26/how-games-use-instinctual-fear-against-us Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:57:28 -0500 Clint Pereira

Psychologists tell us that there are five fears that everyone shares: extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego-death. These are fears that have plagued human beings since the dawn of man.

But how do video games, specifically, use these fears? There's more to spooking someone than jump scares.

Extinction

What is it?

The fear of no longer being. The fear of complete oblivion. You no longer exist. You are no longer conscious. You have returned to a state of emptiness.

Games that do it well

Most games don't pull this off very well. After all, death is usually just a minor irritation. It's games like Limbo and Mirror's Edge that really make the act of death terrifying. That spider's leg through the chest or that whooshing sound before hitting the ground is terrifying.

Arcade games were probably the best at scaring their players, though, but not in the way you might think. Game over screens, like the ones in Ninja Gaiden and Final Fight, were designed to get people to feel like they were letting their character die, all so they could put more quarters into the machine.

Mutilation

Games that do it well

Losing a limb is extremely traumatic. People who have lost limbs will even experience phantom pains. Mutilation is closely related to extinction, though you can be mutilated without dying. We'd all like to live our lives in one piece, and even just seeing a person with an amputation can be unnerving for most people.

Games that do it well

Dead Space and Outlast are two games that come immediately to mind. In Dead Space, the loss of limbs and eyes is often preceded by death. In Outlast, you get to watch your character's fingers brutally amputated before escaping the asylum.

Loss of autonomy

What is it?

You are trapped. Whether in a literal space or not, your freedom and choices are limited. Like an animal, it is your instinct to go into fight-or-flight mode when you feel cornered.

Games that do it well

This is one of the most common fear exploits in games, often employed in games that have jump scares. P.T. and Five Nights at Freddy's are two games that restricts autonomy by limiting player movement to one (neverending) hallway. The fear is in the feeling of being trapped; the jump scares are just there to trigger the fight-or-flight panic.

Some games will use game mechanics and graphics limitations to their advantage. Silent Hill, for instance, has a constant fog or darkness around the player character. Resident Evil uses fixed camera angles and tank controls to keep the player from feeling too powerful or in control.

Separation

What is it?

You are alone. There is nobody around, at least nobody you can relate to. If there are any people, they are empty shells or alien personalities. You can't touch them or talk with them or relate to them at all. You start to feel less human...

Games that do it well

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has characters, but they all seem off and inhuman. Silent Hill, too, uses vaguely inhuman characters to its advantage. The town's fog also acts as a way of making the player feel isolated and alone. Additionally, Yume Nikki and Silent Hill 4: The Room, create a feeling of isolation by having a bland room be the only solace from a nightmare world that you have to traverse. In both games, dealing with monsters becomes a relief when confronted with the stark isolation of your apartment.

Ego death

What is it?

You are not the person you thought you were. A rift forms in your psyche. You can't tell right from wrong, the truth from the lie. Ego death is often considered the first step in a spiritual transformation, but it is in itself not beautiful or radiant.

Ego death is the death of one's identity. And if one cannot find a way to cope, it may as well be a real death.

Games that do it well

This is notoriously difficult to pull off, as players see themselves as separate from the character. Unless first completely immersed in the character identity, there's little the game can do to cause any kind of ego-death.

Still, some games are able to use the player's feeling of heroism and power against them. Spec Ops: The Line and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are two such games in which the player starts out as the hero but turns out to be the villain. Both the player and player character have to face the fact that they made bad choices and are not really the person they thought they were.

Summary

Games don't have time to condition new fears for players. Instead, they have to tap into instinctual, or sometimes cultural, fears.

All of these fears are survival mechanisms, to keep us from dying, from losing ourselves into the dark unknown. But in spite of the dehumanizing nature of these fears, sharing them through stories or games does one miraculous thing.

It makes us feel human again.

Image sources: Alien: Isolation via kotaku.com; Ninja Gaiden via youtube.com; Dead Space via en.wikipedia.org; P. T. via anthonyvecch.com; Silent Hill 4: The Room via venturebeat.com; Spec Ops: The Line via everydaygamers.com

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The Scariest and Spoopiest Games for this Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/tnxpw/the-scariest-and-spoopiest-games-for-this-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/tnxpw/the-scariest-and-spoopiest-games-for-this-halloween Sun, 25 Oct 2015 12:46:03 -0400 Brandon Morgan

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In all, these horror games simply scratch the surface of the genre. Sure, they may be some of the very best recently released, but there are always plenty more to get your hands on for a couple of cheap thrills or horrifying nightmares.

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Halloween is less than a week away, so if you truly want to be scared, then turn off the lights, close the blinds, toss on some headphones, and enjoy one of these titles.

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The Forest
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If you've ever been looking for a video game version of the film The Descent, with just a bit more added in, then The Forest is what you're looking for. Surviving alone on a deserted island after a plane crash is bad enough, but adding in flesh-eating cannibals and horrific deformed creatures is a bit overkill.

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Unfortunately, that is exactly what this Steam Early Access title accomplished. It's an unsettling player-driven adventure that could last you days in-game, or you could last for all of ten minutes. The enemies are smart, they hunt you down after seeing you once, so staying on the move is a good idea.

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Spooky's House of Jumpscares
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Spooky's House of Jumpscares doesn't look like it would scare anyone, let alone a child, but you'd be dead wrong in thinking that way. Ten minutes into the game and I was already on the edge of my seat as little monsters and creatures popped up in the hallways and random rooms.

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The spoopy horror game boasts 1000 rooms of "cute terror" that the player must survive. Cuteness fades quickly and gives way to hideous creatures. It's unsettling.

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Alien: Isolation
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There are very few games that truly scare me when it comes to the horror genre, but Alien: Isolation was the most recent to do so. I played late at night, enjoying the dark expanse of space for a time before things turned into a living nightmare aboard the spacecraft.

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If you want the perfect horror atmosphere, then look no further than Alien: Isolation. This is the game everyone was waiting for when the Alien franchise turned toward the gaming world.

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Outlast
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Outlast, although it is an older game, remains one of the very best survival horror titles in the entire world. The first-person perspective, the terrifying location, the creepy enemies, and more all lend their hand to ensure this tale sticks with you long after you complete the campaign.

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With the most recent release of Whistleblower, there has never been a better time to enjoy the world of Outlast.

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Honestly, Whistleblower features one of the very best antagonists seen within the video game world, and not just within the horror genre. See for yourself!

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Bloodborne
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Thanks to developer From Software, the creators of the Dark Souls franchise, the world of Gothic Horror has been brought down upon gamers' heads in Bloodborne; another PS4-exclusive title.

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The game may not be scary in the same sense as SOMA or Until Dawn, but it certainly has its moments. The setting is the scariest of all, as is the difficulty, where if you die you start back further away. It is unforgiving.

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SOMA
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SOMA, the most recent sci-fi survival horror game from developer Frictional Games, has combined some intense scenery with an unsettling story about being a human being.

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Set in an underwater facility, SOMA is tosses the player into this dilapidated world filled with robots who fancy themselves humans. The team at Frictional has created terrifying encounters with twisted creatures and insane AI, only you get to determine how to handle the situation on hand.

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Until Dawn
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Until Dawn, one of the most recently released horror games, albeit one exclusively on the PlayStation 4, is in the running for the best horror launch this year.

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While the game is primarily about the story - much like TellTale's adventures - you can still control your character and put them through life or death situations. Every single choice you, the player, makes will alter the course of the story. Main characters will live or die depending on whether or not you take the left path or the right, or if you decide to hide or confront the killer head on.

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It's terrifying and interesting all wrapped into one package.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/3/f/d3fc855dbc99fd318821c828b41a0473.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/3/f/tiny_d3fc855dbc99fd318821c828b41a0473.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88983","description":"

The horror genre is easily, in this writer's personal opinion, one of the best genres to exist within the video game world. The simple act of being afraid of a game has ensured millions of people are too terrified to turn off the lights at night.

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However, there is another breed of gamer out there who bathes in the fear, who loves to get their hands on the latest horror games and sit afraid in their living room or at their computer.

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For those gamers, here are some of the very best horror games to enjoy this Halloween.

"}]]]>
Unmet expectations: games that failed to live up to the hype https://www.gameskinny.com/aaav6/unmet-expectations-games-that-failed-to-live-up-to-the-hype https://www.gameskinny.com/aaav6/unmet-expectations-games-that-failed-to-live-up-to-the-hype Tue, 18 Aug 2015 04:51:59 -0400 katlaborde

Every year, there are games we get so excited for we end up putting them on an impossibly high pedestal. Whether it's because the earlier titles in the franchise were stellar or the developers behind them could seemingly do no wrong, we are sometimes let down by ridiculous hype. These titles are not necessarily bad games, but due to overwhelming hype from the eager public, these games were put through the wringer and tarnished in the process. 

Final Fantasy XIII 

Before the release of Final Fantasy XIII, every addition to the franchise was always hyped to be the next big JRPG. However, with the let downs that came with the thirteenth entry, people's excitement for new Final Fantasy games have become more reserved.  The previous installment, Final Fantasy XII, was well-received with a sprawling world, making the linearity of Final Fantasy XIII disappointing in comparison .

From it's either bland or beyond irritating characters, I'm looking at you Vanille and Hope, and utterly confusing plot, people were lost in a spiral of nonsensical exposition. Not all was lost though. The game was beautiful and boasted a fast paced, in-depth battle system that could be exhilarating when you were taking down a boss. The thirteenth addition to the long-lived franchise may go down as one of the more forgotten iterations, failing to live up to more popular entries such as Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy X.

Assassin's Creed III

Sure, looking back now, the original Assassin's Creed was pretty lacking, but it's sequel, Assassin's Creed II was one of the best games from that year. With the follow ups Brotherhood and Revelations completing Ezio's story, the next numbered entry was finally revealed in Assassin's Creed III. With fans craving a shift from Ezio, the game showed a lot of promise and garnered lots of attention. Its setting during the American Revolution to its Native American protagonist, Connor, this title looked as if it was going to take everything the franchise had done so far and expand upon it.

Now, Assassin's Creed III is by no means a bad game, but what the public got was a brooding and uninteresting character with Connor that could hardly carry its ultimately uninteresting story. Although fans were sick of Ezio, Connor lacked any form of personality. Luckily though, all was fixed with the great follow-up, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.  

Destiny  

Admittedly, I didn't play Destiny beyond its demo, but that's all I needed to see to turn me away from the ultimately underwhelming addition to Bungie's previously grand resume'. I wasn't too surprised when the scores hit the big game sites, scores like 6.5s and 7s, definitely not the amazing reviews everyone would have expected a few years before.

Destiny ultimately proved to be a hodgepodge of other games thrown into something that resembled a MMO. From Peter Dinklage's bland voice work to the "been there done that" gameplay, there really wasn't a reason to explore the post apocalyptic world, no matter how gorgeous it looked. The game felt way too limited and nowhere near as grand as it wanted you to believe. 

Watch Dogs

When Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs at E3 2012, gamers were excited to explore the tech heavy sandbox of Chicago. The trailers showed off a free roaming, open world environment similar to Grand Theft Auto, but with a heavy emphasis on hacking the world around youAfter a six month delay, Watch Dogs was met with mediocore reception when finally released.

Gamers were expecting a unique gameplay experience, but were met with an unsatisfying Grand Theft Auto clone instead. Although the game had a variety of missions, the game's story and main character were underwhelming. The release of Grand Theft Auto V a few months earlier might have been why games were ultimately unimpressed with Watch Dogs. However, the franchise does have the potential to become a formidable opponent in the open world sandbox genre.

With more hyped games like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Final Fantasy XV arriving later this year and next, let's hope that these titles can live up to the hefty expectations we've put on their shoulders and not crumble under the weight like some others.

Did I miss any overhyped games that you think should have been included on the list? If so, let your voice be heard in the comments below! 

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Seven Games That Should Have Multiplayer https://www.gameskinny.com/uw41a/seven-games-that-should-have-multiplayer https://www.gameskinny.com/uw41a/seven-games-that-should-have-multiplayer Sat, 16 May 2015 14:00:34 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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BioShock: Infinite

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Why do I specifically cite the E3 2011 version of Bioshock Infinite? Because a lot of what we see here could easily have worked as a multiplayer mode. Calling up tears that have to go on a recharge timer? Check. Using Vigors more like special grenades than as Plasmids? Check. Massive maps with numerous vantage points, skylines, and destructible pieces (such as the blimp)? Check, check, check.

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Bioshock 2: Fall of Rapture had an outstanding multiplayer mode, which is why people still actively play it even though Bioshock 2 released in 2010. The fact the best Irrational Games could come up with for Infinite was a pinball-style tower defense mini-game and a co-op mode (both of which never made it in the final game) is depressing. Granted, I realize my suggested alternative isn't the farthest out of the box.

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Really, the Fall of Rapture framework, other than specific mechanics like hacking turrets/vending machines, is just fine as a template here. Narrative provided through the player's apartment and audio diaries works as well in Columbia as it did in Rapture. Unlocking new weapons, vigors, gear, and weapon modifiers fits just fine as a progression system. Even maps with little winks and their own narrative touches is part of what made Fall of Rapture feel like a true Bioshock game, so include similar level design here.

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Really, all you are doing is trading mechanics. Instead of hacking, include Skyhooks and skylines to ride. Instead of a Big Daddy suit, either have a random Heavy Hitter that can be triggered, or a one team can use the combat blimp like the Gunship in Call of Duty. Make the levels a bit less cramped and... ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Bioshock Infinite's multiplayer.

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Much like with Fallout 4, it's just not that complicated to see a multiplayer mode working. I'm sure something more imaginative could be accomplished in a cooperative space, but that would be limited either in replayability or in the amount of content easily made. For Bioshock, competitive multiplayer works surprisingly well, so I'd say stick with what works.

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Is there any game you wish would add multiplayer? Have an alternative idea for the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below!

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Alien: Isolation

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Back when Alien: Isolation was leaked, it was listed as an Xbox Live game with up to four-player multiplayer. This was the original element that interested some gamers, as the potential there is quite intriguing. While we've seen plenty bombastic Alien Versus Predator multiplayer, we have yet to see a subdued, Damned-style Alien multiplayer experience.

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In future Alien: Isolation games, Creative Assembly should really consider testing multiplayer. Co-op was apparently briefly tested, but promptly dropped. What if, instead of co-op, we took the game's highly praised survival mode, and take it to the furthest extreme. What if we make one to three players survivors, who have to achieve goals, whilst another player controls a xenomorph alien - perhaps a little bit similar to Evolve.

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Players would need to remain stealthy, and extremely clever. This would be the ultimate test of skill for many players, and every death of a teammate would intensify each players' terror drastically. You could still use your flamethrower to deter the xenomorph, but it will do little more than require it retreat for a time before spawning in a new vent. Your resources, unlike its respawns, would also be limited and would require searching the level.

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The best part of this is that the xenomorph would be genuinely unpredictable. Maybe the player controlling the xenomorph is overly aggressive and can be easily avoided due to lack of finesse on their part. Or the xenomorph player decides to toy with players, sneaking up on them when they least expect it, and leaving little hint of its presence.

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So as a result, we get the cooperative experience that Alien: Isolation could have had, but also get a competitive multiplayer that touches directly on what makes Alien: Isolation such a great horror game. I, for one, hope we see something like that with whatever Alien: Isolation 2 turns out to be.

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Dead Space 4

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With word now that Visceral Games' developers are open to a new Dead Space game, it seems appropriate for the series to finally settle what kind of multiplayer it's going to have. The first game was single-player because co-op was proposed too late into development, and the game engine wasn't optimized yet. Later, Dead Space 2 had competitive multiplayer that was great fun, but had limited content and a few balancing issues. Dead Space 3 took the experience cooperative, but also unfortunately fumbled its gameplay by grafting in a weapon crafting system as well.

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The next Dead Space game could go in any direction, but what it needs to do is pick one. If it's going to have co-op, then its cramp levels need to better support it. If it's going to have competitive multiplayer, then it either needs to seriously retool (or better yet, drop) the current weapon crafting system.

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Either way, tightness of Dead Space 2's shooting will also need to return. Dead Space 3 put more emphasis on splash damage and cones of fire, and this took way too much away from the focus on precisely dismembering enemies.

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The competitive multiplayer should still retain the narrative focus (a la Killzone 3's Operations mode) that the original Dead Space 2 multiplayer emulated. Except now, there should be more branching options, and flipped goals. Maybe the necromorphs go on the offensive instead of the humans. If humans fail an objective, why not give them an alternate last-ditch one to save the match and get them back on track? Variety is the key to any multiplayer mode, and it is what Dead Space 4 needs badly if it wants to outdo its predecessors.

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A cooperative experience should both include a standard horde mode (seriously, why is it only the mobile Dead Space game that has this?) and a cooperative story mode. Except it shouldn't also be the main campaign, or in any way dramatically impact our single-player experience. No story content locked behind magic co-op doors, Visceral.

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Lastly, if we really want to be ambitious and include all the above modes of play, then some kind of united upgrade system (a la Splinter Cell: Blacklist) should be considered. Nothing to the extent of Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, where you'd have opponents with vastly better late-game gear. Instead, you'd merely be able to spend in-game currency and upgrades on the game's competitive, cooperative, and single-player unlocks.

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So you'd play single-player to unlock extra suits with unique effects, play the competitive mode to grind for upgrade points, and chill with a friend in co-op to experience a cool side story. It all works in unison without stepping on anyone's feet. Here's hoping we see something like that in Dead Space 4.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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I remember playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution back in 2011, and remarking on how well the mechanics could work in a multiplayer setting if tweaked and rebalanced. Now that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided looks to be doing those very same rebalances and improvements, I really hope we see a multiplayer mode added to the game.

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Once again, the game's setting offers perfect potential. With A.R.C., Task Force 29, the Illuminati, and the mysterious hacker group, there are four different factions at play. On top of this, the game has three combat-oriented playstyles that all could work well in a multiplayer setting: hacking, action, and stealth.

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Imagine it like a mixture of Aliens Versus Predator, Bioshock 2: Fall of Rapture, and Watch_Dogs. Team One has a hacker who opens access to vents and turns on a remote controlled turret he/she can control from the console. Team Two has a stealthy player who uses the vents to sneak behind lines and take out the hacker. A combat focused player could shoot the stealthy hacker, but then be taken out by Team Two's hacker patching into Team One's turret. It's a perfect Rock-Paper-Scissors effect.

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The controls and mechanics are also highly fluid and intuitive. Stealth takedowns could work great, but can only be done if you aren't in a player's line of sight (excluding if you're invisible). Combat takedowns can be done at any time, but leave you vulnerable to being shot -- just like hacking. Items could be looted from your opponents and the environment. The quick select wheel/bar lets you easily access your inventory on the fly. Energy bars keep everything balanced, and encourage using augmentation sparingly.

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Levels could actually include lots of twists and turns, and the variety of locales available means each could be visually distinctive. Leveling up would unlock augmentations and other new gameplay options. Players would get at least one loadout for each playstyle, which they could swap between lives. You'd also be able to use any equipment found mid-match, regardless of whether you'd unlocked it yet or not.

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The original Deus Ex had a popular multiplayer that even got a Human Revolution-themed mod way back. So let's bring it back in full force, even if some of the fanboys will cry "I NEVER ASKED FOR THIS".

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Fallout 4

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Co-op in the wasteland, Bethesda. We've made a mod for this in Fallout 3 (and partially in Fallout: New Vegas). It can be completely optional, and players can just let a friend tag along (like in Saints Row games). Seriously, this is even simpler than Assassin's Creed: Syndicate's ability to support multiplayer modes.

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You could trade resources between each other, including better gear your partner may have unlocked, like in Borderlands. Also like Borderlands, the combat difficulty could scale for the increase in active players. It would be especially ideal for those who don't normally play hardcore RPGs like Fallout, as their more experienced friends could help them survive the Wasteland.

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The most interesting potential, though, is if players have different faction allegiances, and they use these to make new quest branches that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Imagine you and a friend igniting a war, or preventing one, by using your various connections and allegiances. The potential in the game's sandbox is very enticing.

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No one really wants a competitive Fallout game, and I honestly can understand that. The series has never been about competition, but survival and personal stories. So let us build stories together, Bethesda, and tear down the wall preventing friends from playing with each other.

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Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

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Yes, I've already spoken at length about how the exclusion of multiplayer makes very little sense when it comes to Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, but there's more to it than that. The game is just basically begging for a multiplayer of some kind, because of its entire meta-game in the story.

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The Assassins and Templars are both running gangs, who are even color-coded. You face off against rival gang leaders in the main story, leading brawls against their goons and finally fighting them one-on-one. Meanwhile, your faction accrues power and influence, gaining new gear and resources. That doesn't sound like a single-player game, that sounds almost like one of those Facebook "strategy" games.

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Now I am not saying Assassin's Creed: Syndicate should emulate Facebook -- far from it (please Ubisoft, of all things, do not emulate Facebook). All of the traditional multiplayer modes in past games make way more sense here. Almost every mode makes sense in these circumstances. Wanted, Assassinate, Manhunt, Artifacts, and Wolfpack in particular make way more sense. You need to steal from rival gangs and take out opposing gang leaders. A simpler set-up could not be handed to Ubisoft.

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The multiplayer could be heavily integrated with the single-player, and better yet, they could finally make offline variants. Imagine having all the content of past multiplayer titles, but you could also play it against bots in-game. It could even increase mission variety. This is so obvious that it just makes the exclusion all the more disappointing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0559d7d0e6acc471c1f0153d2e38a455.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0559d7d0e6acc471c1f0153d2e38a455.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5918","description":"

Batman: Arkham Knight

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The aversion Rocksteady has had with bringing multiplayer to the Batman: Arkham series will remain one of the most profoundly divisive decisions the franchise heads have ever made. Fans have begged to at least have co-op. Even at the end of the line, after Batman: Arkham Origins' Invisible Predator Online clearly proved that playing as the Dynamic Duo can be done right in an online experience. And yet here we all are, looking at another solo experience.

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Don't get me wrong - the Arkham games are some of the finest single-player experiences from last-gen, and Arkham Knight will easily be one of the best next-gen games to come. Rocksteady has this formula down to a T. That's why it makes no sense to not try and do some sort of multiplayer. Whether it's a rebalanced and expanded version of the Batman: Arkham Origins multiplayer (which for some of us, was the only redeeming factor of Arkham Origins), or a cooperative experience, we want to see it. 

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Imagine solving a Riddler house full of puzzles, combat, and exploration. Almost like a hybrid brawler/dungeon crawler, it would require two players (they could choose between the current cast of challenge mode characters and DLC additions) to navigate the mechanical hell-hole and make it to the other side intact. There could be alternate solutions based on what character you play as, and levels themselves could be randomized, like in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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Both Invisible Predator Online and a co-op mode could even tie into the game's Challenge Mode, which has been a staple of the series and kept many fans digging into the game's nuanced combat mechanics. It makes perfect sense, but it needs the developers to take it seriously.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/c/f6c65a67aafb30e40ac85190e9d60d20.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/c/tiny_f6c65a67aafb30e40ac85190e9d60d20.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66363","description":"

While some developers might feel that staying away from multiplayer improves a product, there are always games that are solid material for experiences gamers can share. With so many new games coming out, and some promising IPs, there's never been so many divergent and unique multiplayer games and modes. So in the spirit of new frontiers, here are seven titles that should totally give multiplayer a try.

"}]]]>
Top Reasons Why Horror Games are Scarier than Movies https://www.gameskinny.com/0u9sk/top-reasons-why-horror-games-are-scarier-than-movies https://www.gameskinny.com/0u9sk/top-reasons-why-horror-games-are-scarier-than-movies Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:17:46 -0400 Dani Gosha

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So, what are your thoughts? Are horror games scarier than the movies or do you think they're pretty much the same?

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With the wave of horror games today do you think games getting better, do you think movies will be able to catch up and scare us like they used to? Share your thoughts!

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First Person Perspective

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The suspense thriller Oculus' tagline really sums up the difference between horror movies and horror games 'you see what it wants you to see'. The irony of this is that gaming goggles by the same name, Oculus Rift, actually wants you to see everything. 

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If none of the previous reasons have convinced you that horror games are much better than their movie counterparts than perhaps a different point of view can change your mind. Literally. Just take in all that I've brought up, atmosphere, endless dread, character relationships and jump scares and imagine it being thrown at you all in first person. If playing Call of Duty in first person can make you feel like a real sniper than playing a horror game in first person can make you feel like you're really in the scariest place on Earth. 

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 Movies have played with the first person perspective seen when they change camera angles from the character's perspective to yours when looking down an abandoned hallway but that's about the extent of it. Horror games get their claim to fame by making the gamer feel like they are really in a lonely office, scary forest, alien infested ship or what have you. 

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Taking this perspective away from horror games would make them more on par with horror movies, but since that isn't the case, horror games take the edge.

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Jumpscares

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If horror is defined by anything it is by its ability to scare, primarily by jump scares. They're the moments that make you scream when you didn't even realize you had it in you. They're also what makes you storm out of the theater, close your eyes and if bad enough, rage quit. 

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With a few indie horror games as exception, jump scares in gaming in much stronger than that of movies. In fact, sometimes the strength of the scare has led many gamer's to fall out of their seats and even break their keyboards. This isn't overreacting per se, just that the scares aren't heavily manipulated by camera but more so there is an emphasis on the things that surround your in-game character. There is a demand for spacial awareness instead of a focus. Once again I mention Five Night's at Freddy's as there are many tasks for you to see too that you're not prepared for Foxy to suddenly jump out of the dark or run down the hall.  

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Films on the other hand demand less awareness as they force your attention to the spot they have prepared a scare. At the end of Carrie, there is a specific shot where Sue is dreaming of leaving flowers on Carrie's grave. While they could have simply had Sue shot from behind bending down to place the flowers before standing back up, they instead focus on the rubble effectively giving away the scare of the hand shooting up to grab her before it even happens. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/a/3/ca3e7f45327dc4082b38dae22de1f1c1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/a/3/tiny_ca3e7f45327dc4082b38dae22de1f1c1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"63353","description":"

No Forced Character Relationship

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Movies unmistakably force the audience to form some kind of relationship with the character on screen, particularly the one running for their life from the chain wielding murderer. We're adults though, we can make our own decisions but films still insist to make them for us. True, there is a level of linear direction in games but, we as gamer's get to make those decisions, especially when it comes to hiding. 

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When it comes to horror games, you're not watching someone hide, you're the one hiding. There's an unpredictability there, that really has you living in the moment and holding your breath because you have no clue how the A.I. has been programmed to react. You can't guess it. 

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Outlast Whistle Blower has a great example of this as seen during the chase by Gluskin. Throughout the game we have hidden under beds and in lockers but, for once hiding doesn't matter for when you think you're safe Gluskin is dragging you and the locker along with him to make you his darling

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 Even Alien: Isolation has this, for if you continually hide in the same spot the Synthetics will instantly find you forcing you to find a new hiding spot until they become wise to it. 

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Unlike movies, horror games don't insult the intelligence of it's players or it's monsters. 

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Inescapable Sense of Dread

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 How many movies have you watched that had you shouting at the screen for the character run and where to go? At least one unless you're the cynic who prefers to eat popcorn and laugh at the cliche blonde doing the worst thing possible in the the worst case scenario. 

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Whether the character gets out alive or not, movies just don't have the urgency and inescapable sense of dread. Things are easy to call from the get go, let's take the scene of Ripley and the Alien Queen from Aliens for example. As viewers we were on the edge of our seats when the alien came literally face to face with Ripley but, somehow we knew that there was no way that she was going to die. She's our protagonist which typically means she survives. There's no sense of fear for her, she's getting out. Horror games however, don't care if you're a protagonist or not, you play the game until you win; whenever that may be.

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Take games like PT and Five Night's at Freddy's for example. They're games based on not just scares but an infinite loop of inescapable dread. One wrong move can end the game and put you back at the start and have you wondering; when is this nightmare going to be over? When am I going to get out of this house? When Is it going to be 6 am?

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This is something that horror movies just don't have, granted no real fault of their own given the nature and length of a movie.

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Atmosphere

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When I say atmosphere I'm not talking about the game/movie atmosphere; dark, scary and eerie music. I'm actually talking about the setting and atmosphere that we as an audience are subjected to when taking part in these horror genres.

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While going to see a super scary movie is a bit unnerving there is still that level of comfort you get because you're not alone. You're surrounded by at least fifty other people. Playing a video game on the other hand is completely different. If you're a true horror gamer and are in it for the authentic feel, so more than likely you're in a dark room by yourself in the middle of the night. Let's not forget to mention you're probably wearing headphones which really makes the game immersive.

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No matter how much visual and sound effects Hollywood can put into a single film, it will never reach the authenticity of the isolated gamer atmosphere.

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Whether you're a fan of horror movies or horror games you have to admit that there is a difference within the scare factors. As both mediums have grown over the years from visual effects to overall execution there is a clear distinction in regards to the level of scare-ability.

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Like anything else in the world, there has been a shift in power. In the beginning, movies were the primary source of fear, when games came out they started to gain steam only for movies to reign supreme once more with their iconic monsters. We're in a new era now and once again games have taken the crown thanks to titles such as The Evil Within, Amnesia and Outlast. Maybe films will once again be our favorite way to be scared but with the wave of horror games coming out over the next year that's unlikely thanks to these top reasons. 

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Why Modern "Horror" Games Are Not Scary https://www.gameskinny.com/5cxdo/why-modern-horror-games-are-not-scary https://www.gameskinny.com/5cxdo/why-modern-horror-games-are-not-scary Tue, 24 Mar 2015 07:36:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“They just don’t make them like they used to.”

You hear this a lot when you spend time with an older generation reminiscing about the past and the “good old days.” While the phrase is not always accurate, sometimes it has a fair amount of substance behind it.

Nowhere is this truer than the state of horror games. Horror in gaming has been subject to one of the most interesting and unique evolutions from its roots to its present state. Looking at a game like Haunted House on the Atari 2600, one would never imagine games such as The Evil Within and the Silent Hill series would be birthed from this type of game.

However, when I look at the state of modern horror games, I see a troubling trend: most of these games are not scary or even horror. Worse yet, some are blatant cash grabs made by cynical developers seeking a quick buck. Granted, there are exceptions, but it seems most games released nowadays labeled as “horror” are anything but and deserve those quotation marks. So what happened to our once great genre? I am so glad you asked!

The Rise of Amnesia Imitators

Up until 2010, most gamers had not heard of Frictional Games. While some of us were enjoying their Penumbra series, many people still had no idea about this great studio. On September 8, 2010, this all changed. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was unleashed on an unsuspecting gaming population and proceeded to take the world and YouTube by storm. Hailed as one of the scariest games of all time, Amnesia soon led to a deluge of reaction videos, live streams, and Lets-Players screaming their heads off for the enjoyment of their viewers. This is where the trouble began.

With the success of Amnesia, imitators were inevitable. Whenever something is as remotely successful as Amnesia has been, imitators are drawn to the success like sharks to blood in the water. Like most facsimiles, the games trying to ape Amnesia missed what made the game work in the first place; hence why we now have a glut of horror games where we are unable to defend ourselves.

Many of the imitations simply removed combat from their game because that was all they saw in Amnesia: A game where players could not defend themselves.

In Amnesia, the mechanic fit with the world and the game was made with this design in mind. Many of the imitations simply removed combat from their game because that was all they saw in Amnesia: a game where players could not defend themselves.

But they missed the carefully cultivated atmosphere, the terrifying monsters, and the subtle things the game had which set it apart from others. Five years later, we are still seeing developers trying to copy the success of Amnesia and still failing to grasp why players gravitated towards the game. Instead of trying to make new games and explore new ideas, people are still trying to mimic a game which they do not even understand.

YouTube Fodder Attacks!

Another outcome of Amnesia’s success was the rise in popularity of YouTubers and horror games, specifically reaction videos and let’s plays. Just look at the views on these things, millions of people watched others be scared witless or act terrified as a result of this game. As a result, we have a new blight upon the gaming world, “YouTube fodder.” 

Coined by Jim Sterling, this affectionate term is spot on in describing this new wave of greedy cynicism which has swept gaming. While the popularity of Goat Simulator and Surgeon Simulator videos contributed to this as well, most of this fodder is in the horror genre.

What is YouTube fodder you ask? Simply put, it is a greedy team cobbling together the barest minimum of what can be considered a game and releasing it through Steam with the intent of gaining sales through YouTube videos. (The fact these are even releasing on Steam and in general is a rant for another day.) These are not games. They are the products of developers with no sense of ethics releasing complete drivel.

These are not games. They are the products of developers with no sense of ethics releasing complete drivel. 

Besides being morally questionable, this bunk is ruining horror gaming. It seems every day upon booting up Steam I am greeted by a new “horror” release. All of these releases being labeled as horror ensure quality horror games are harder to find for players who are less-informed. They also burn players out on the same experiences making players wearisome to try more games. Worse yet, these things seem to release nearly every day. No, seriously. Look at Jim Sterling’s channel. The amount of these releases is dumbfounding and terrifying. If these were paper, they would not be worth using to house break your puppy. We need a New Mexico landfill for these abominations.

Jump Scares ‘R’ Us

As I have mentioned before, I think what Scott Cawthon has done with Five Nights at Freddy’s is admirable, and I respect him for it. However, the series is another disturbing trend in the decline of quality horror: jump scares. As long as there has been horror, there have been jump scares. When used masterfully like in Alien, The Thing, or Resident Evil, they can be absolutely terrifying. The problem with FNAF is not the jump scare; it’s that the jump scare is all there is. Yes, the games do build tension and have some atmosphere, but every session of the game is essentially anticipating a jump scare.

See, the game relies on a simple pass/fail mechanic. You either survive the night or you don’t. If you do not, an animatronic eats your face off while screaming at you with the voice of a small child. The core of the game is built around the anticipation of this scare. Without the scare, there is nothing to the game. There is no escaping in a weakened state while trying to fend off monsters while tending to your wounds. No hiding in a nook while watching with bated breath as your pursuers attempt to surmise your location. There is nothing. Jump scares cannot be the foundation of the horror experience; they accentuate it.

Even if you could kill the beast, the knowledge that a perfect predator is constantly tailing you ensures when a jump scare transpires, you jump.

Think about Alien: Isolation. There were times when the xenomorph makes a surprise visit in an attempt to give you a passionate lover’s kiss. These moments are terrifying because you know the monster is constantly hunting you, and you can never truly conquer it. Even if you could kill the beast, the knowledge a perfect predator is constantly tailing you ensures when a jump scare transpires, you jump. Jump scares go hand in hand with other elements of horror to deliver a horrifying experience. Without the rest of the elements, you are left with an incomplete picture; a shadow of what could be.

All Filler, No Substance

While all of the above are serious issues with the horror genre, there is one matter which lies at the core of the problem. Most modern horror games reduce horror to bare scare-tactics and end up being anything but horror. This applies to the AAA and indie scene alike. Now there are exceptions, 2014 saw the release of Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, and P.T. All of these games were a fine return for horror in the AAA market. While not perfect by any means, each game pursued horror in a unique manner.

As a whole though, the AAA market has all but abandoned true horror and has instead pursued some bizarre action/horror hybrid abomination. The Dead Space series started out with two solid entries, but the third entry devolved into a nonsensical action co-op shooter. With an exception for the recent Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Resident Evil has gone completely down the Michael Bay rabbit hole. Both series started out as tense, atmospheric experiences where survival was paramount and empowerment was scarce. Now they are the complete opposite.

Sadly, this mostly applies to the indie market as well.

Going hand in hand with the YouTube fodder and jump scare trend, most of the recent indie games forgo horror altogether to make the most unintentionally hilarious things this side of The Room and Birdemic. Seriously, go watch some of these things in action. Most of the games even fail to grasp a fundamental understanding of atmosphere, content to have the player wander aimlessly for thirty minutes while throwing random noises and poorly paced jump scares. 

Most of the games even fail to grasp a fundamental understanding of atmosphere, content to have the player wander aimlessly for thirty minutes while throwing random noises and poorly paced jump scares.

In Silent Hill 2, you encounter the town and your first enemy within the first thirty minutes of the game, and by that point, the game has already established a fantastic sense of atmosphere.

The first thirty minutes of The Thing (the original 1982 film, not the poor prequel) has the first major alien encounter and gross out scene, but it also establishes place, characters, and atmosphere with incredible mastery. Most of these newer horror games are not even sure of their identity nor their goal at the thirty-minute mark. Strange noises and plodding around locations with no sense of tension or context does not equal atmosphere. 

The Future

While I sound cynical in this post, I am hopeful for the future of horror games. The year ahead holds several promising games for us horror devotees. Perhaps even more encouraging though, is to see players and some prominent personas and pundits in games media speaking out against some of the more malicious of these practices.

We can expose these games for the shams they are, and we can refuse to give poor horror the money and attention they demand. People are calling out developers and spreading the word about these blatant pandering products, and that is a start.

The future for horror is bright, but we players need to do our part as well.

We need to speak up when we see cynical fodder littering Steam and point out YouTubers who play some of these strictly for the pandering. We need to support the good horror games that do get released, like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and The Cat Lady.

As the consumers and players, we hold an extreme amount of power in our hands. The trick is to responsibly harness this power to better the gaming landscape and the horror genre. Until then, watch your backs. You never know what lurks in the darkness.

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What to Buy With Your Tax Refund https://www.gameskinny.com/8rhvm/what-to-buy-with-your-tax-refund https://www.gameskinny.com/8rhvm/what-to-buy-with-your-tax-refund Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:21:04 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

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Games

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If you're looking to stock up on games, whether it be for the PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, GameSkinny certainly has lots of reviews to help make some of those decisions a little bit easier. Check out some of these recent releases:

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What ideas do you have in mind? Did you like our suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/083c823e2ee80454d1780d34eaf37b5e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_083c823e2ee80454d1780d34eaf37b5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60881","description":"

Gaming Chair

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Have you ever dreamt of splurging on the ultimate gaming chair? I know I have! This may be your perfect opportunity to provide yourself with the ultimate companion from the expensive to the even budget friendly variety. There are various types of chairs on the market for kids and adults whether you're on a PC or console. Choosing one for your child may not exactly be suitable for you, so keep that in mind--one size does NOT fit all.

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Amazon is great place to start looking, along with Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, Sears, Target, Walmart, and even bizrate. Shopping online is a great way to shop, check customer reviews, and find the best price that won't give the wallet a heart attack.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/27070d43354ea6dff7f88fd143ad7c33.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_27070d43354ea6dff7f88fd143ad7c33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60878","description":"

Gaming Keyboard and Mouse

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Well, who doesn't need a great gaming keyboard and mouse? Keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex, Razer BlackWidow Ultimate (2014), Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. TE, and the Roccat Ryos MK Pro are great options.

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When looking for the ultimate mouse, options such as the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse, Corsair Vengeance M65, Roccat Tyon, SteelSeries Sensei Wireless, and the Razer Ouroboros are pretty sweet.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5763aa6f9882c6ed46971b0dffd16bd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e5763aa6f9882c6ed46971b0dffd16bd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60873","description":"

Gaming Headset

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A killer headset definitely comes in handy when you want to fully immerse yourself in your game. PCmag.com has a great review on their Top Gaming Headsets. On this list you'll find reviews on the Razer Kraken Pro, Skullcandy PLYR 1 Gaming Headset, to the ultimate Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset.

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Here's a great review on the Corsair H1500 Headset by our own D.Slater.

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Gaming Desk

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Perhaps it's time to replace or get a new gaming desk. Sites like Amazon are a great place to start looking for various types of desks to meet your needs and budget. Take a look at some of these extreme gaming desks and these expensive gaming desks if only to dream saying "I wish."

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This Atlantic 33935701 Gaming Desk here is a great option thanks to its features, dimensions, and price of $90.89 with shipping included.

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  • Steel rod frame construction
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  • Cable management system
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  • Fits 27 inch flat panel monitor up to 40 lbs
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  • Charging Station
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  • Speaker trays
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  • Drink holder
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  • Headset holder
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  • 26.5 inches x 50 inches x 40.25 inches; 37.4 lbs.
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"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/80437807ef14373e0e4d1fcc9753009d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_80437807ef14373e0e4d1fcc9753009d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60870","description":"

Wii U

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Getting your hands on the Nintendo Wii U system is always a wonderful idea for the entire family. The Super Mario 3D World Bundle is available at $299.99. It even includes Nintendo Land.

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Don't forget to include extra controllers, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. These are a must-have!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/beeab7856c891159630d0cc61b956510.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_beeab7856c891159630d0cc61b956510.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60869","description":"

PlayStation 4

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What about upgrading your PS3 to the PS4 console? Whether purchasing in-store or online directly through Sony, you can get your hands on some great bundles starting at $399.99. Pick from The Last of Us Remastered, Destiny, Far Cry 4, NBA 2K15, or Little Big Planet 3.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/17e40236b23e5df2c9dd740773363c80.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_17e40236b23e5df2c9dd740773363c80.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60868","description":"

Xbox One

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If you haven’t already, how about purchasing an Xbox One console? You can purchase at various stores locally or directly online via Microsoft. Bundles start at $399.99 and up like the Madden NFL 15 without Kinect. The Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag bundle with Kinect is $499.99. It also includes Titanfall for a limited time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f5d71a3ecd6ac82cb11b33e765b71162.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f5d71a3ecd6ac82cb11b33e765b71162.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60865","description":"

New PC or Laptop

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Dell has some great deals on Windows 7 PCs and laptops right now on their website where you can customize according to your budget. Deals starting from $379.99 and up on desktops; and $229.99 and up on laptops is not a bad way to go.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7edeaff2379e4785bc066c871d1c70df.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7edeaff2379e4785bc066c871d1c70df.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60863","description":"

It’s that time of year again for W2s, 1099s, and a trip to H&R Block. If you’re lucky, some of you will get to stay indoors, hop on your trusty computer, and file those taxes online. Not having to pay the IRS is a Godsend and receiving that refund check is like Christmas (or any holiday gift). If you have a kid like me, you’ll even get a Child Tax Credit which will add some extra dollars to that check.

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Throughout the year, so many of us gamers put off buying things we’d love to own for various reasons. Now with tax season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to purchase those long-awaited for items.

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So what should you buy?
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