Amnesia: The Dark Descent Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Amnesia: The Dark Descent RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Amnesia: Rebirth Adventure Mode Keeps the Monsters at Bay on PS4, PS5 https://www.gameskinny.com/w7b6g/amnesia-rebirth-adventure-mode-keeps-the-monsters-at-bay-on-ps4-ps5 https://www.gameskinny.com/w7b6g/amnesia-rebirth-adventure-mode-keeps-the-monsters-at-bay-on-ps4-ps5 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 13:32:15 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Amnesia: Rebirth is now a little less scary on PS4 and PS5 with the release of the free Adventure Mode update, which is available now on both platforms. The update is free to all players.

Adventure Mode not only removes "all life-threatening encounters with monsters" from the game while brightening up the environments and providing more "illumination in all dark areas," but it also increases the frame rate on PS5 to 60fps. The PlayStation 4 version of Amnesia: Rebirth still runs at 30 fps.

As mentioned by Frictional Games' Creative Lead Fredrik Olsson, monsters still roam the halls and corridors of Amnesia: Rebirth, but they are much more passive and docile than they are in the base game. They won't interact with players unless players "attack or annoy them first."

On top of taking the monsters out of the game, Adventure Mode removes the base game's Fear mechanic, which causes protagonist Tasi Trianon to hallucinate the longer she is in the darkness. It is similar to the Sanity mechanic found in Amnesia: The Dark Descent

To compensate for the changes Adventure Mode makes to those core mechanics, Frictional said that they added a few extra puzzles to the mode, as well. 

Olsson said that the goal behind the Amnesia: Rebirth Adventure Mode was to allow more players the opportunity to experience the game's narrative and themes without getting too scared to finish. Frictional already has experience implementing such a mode, as they released something similar in SOMA's Safe Mode, which was very well received by the community. 

We believe that anyone who loves a good story-driven adventure game will be stoked about this new mode. Not everyone is into horror and we don’t want that to block people from experiencing Tasi’s story.

We did something very similar when we released the Safe mode for SOMA. It was extremely well received and opened up the game to a much broader audience, something we hope will happen with Rebirth as well.

Everything else about Amnesia: Rebirth stays the same; Tasi's adventure and the conclusion of it doesn't change. 

Amnesia: Rebirth is a horror game "you won't soon forget," one that we praised for its story, ending, and setting. We found it a tad easier than other games in the series, but we're glad to see the game getting a mode that allows even more players the opportunity to experience it. Really, all games should have these types of modes, and we're here for it. 

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Frictional Teases New Horror Game With Fan ARG Experience https://www.gameskinny.com/xw3ur/frictional-teases-new-horror-game-with-fan-arg-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/xw3ur/frictional-teases-new-horror-game-with-fan-arg-experience Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:10:44 -0500 Ty Arthur

It looks like Frictional has a new horror game up its sleeve, with an official announcement to arrive soon.

For now, the Amnesia developer is keeping fans busy with an alternate reality game tasking them with uncovering URLs and deciphering cryptic symbols and phrases.

Frictional previously took a similar approach when revealing the mind-bending SOMA, with the end of the ARG seeing a full trailer launch. So far fans working through the ARG via a website simply titled "Next Frictional Game" have uncovered two video clips, both of which can be seen below. 

The first is a very brief, nine-second video titled Box 52, Tape 16 bearing the description:

Video Cassette 16/2/83, copy from a private collection. Marked Shetpe, KSSR.

The second is titled Box 7 Reel 2, Partial Success and features 23 seconds of blackness, but with some horrifying Art Bell "hell noise" type screams going on in the background, and this short description:

Artefact 1/7/115, marked 'Triple Crown'

What do you think is coming next from Frictional? Is it something related to SOMA or Amnesia? Is it something completely new? And have you made sense of the clues yet?

Let us know your guesses in the comments below, and join in the next Frictional title ARG yourself over here!

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This Was the Best Decade in Gaming History, and I Can Prove It https://www.gameskinny.com/w33ve/this-was-the-best-decade-in-gaming-history-and-i-can-prove-it https://www.gameskinny.com/w33ve/this-was-the-best-decade-in-gaming-history-and-i-can-prove-it Sun, 29 Dec 2019 14:27:56 -0500 Ty Arthur

The decade is coming to a close, and while there was controversy — and a few franchises flopped  the last 10 years provided some of the best moments in the history of gaming.

If you lived through the 2010s, you witnessed new, powerful console launches, new developers knocking it out of the park, and new, exciting tech releases from the ill-fated Kinect to the still burgeoning VR field.

All of that and more led to an unforgettable 10 years in gaming that rivaled much of what came before. Don't believe me? Let's take a look back at the industry's defining achievements over the past 10 years.  

The Early 2010s

Certain moments will live forever. Lady Gaga's meat outfit. Rebecca Black's Friday. Kony 2012. The color of that stupid dress. Marriage equality. "But her emails." Leo finally getting that damn Oscar. 

For me, the decade began in earnest when I put GLaDOS into a potato in Portal 2. The combination of humor and disturbing horror sold it as much as the game's top-notch voice acting and rock solid gameplay. That overall package had me sitting in awe, thinking: "Did modern video games just become amazing right this second?" 

Aside from the hilarious legacy of Portal's sequel (which itself will never be a follow-up since Valve sadly can't count to three), the 2010s kicked off in earnest with notable returns from major series featuring big changes. Mass Effect 2 ditched the extraneous RPG elements and somehow came out better for it; Dead Space 2 ramped up the horror and gore of the first game; and, of course, Starcraft 2: Wings Of Liberty arrived with a makeover and revamped multiplayer.

The early 2010s proudly brought the gaming universe a re-tooled horde mode in Gears of War 3, and it's one that stood the test of time. Aside from still holding the title of "one of the least toxic cooperative multiplayer modes" ever made, horde in Gears of War 3 remains the gold standard of multiplayer. Horde is one of the primary reasons why fans return to the Gears series even after the IP switched developers.

While those big-name AAA franchises made their marks, Minecraft became a phenomenon. Mojang's smash hit created an enduring legacy that can't be denied, even if the survival/open-world LEGO mashup has been endlessly emulated. Somehow the pop phenomenon still has hundreds of millions of active players, showing Mojang's vision wasn't just a fluke. 

Between an insane number of skins, seeds, maps, and mods, Minecraft has to be one of the most expansive gaming experiences of all time, and it will probably still be up and running long after we are all dead and gone. As we move into the next decade, we're preparing for Minecraft Dungeons, which could possibly be a game we'll still be talking about in 10 years. Who knows?

      OK, maybe it wouldn't have been the worst
thing if we didn't know about this guy...

Another low-key title that had a bigger impact than many realize — though not Minecraft big — came in the horror genre. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent kicked off the "defenseless" horror subgenre that has seen the likes of Outlast, Layers of Fear, and Alien: Isolation follow in its footsteps. Although the Amnesia series is now quaint when compared to what came after it, it brought the horror genre to the masses. Why? Because big-name streamers loved it.

Reaction videos to Amnesia's scarier scenes caught on like wildfire, and it's partly to thank for the sudden spike in video game streaming personalities in the early part of the decade. Without Amnesia, it's possible that the likes of PewDiePie and Markiplier might remain relatively unknown.

       It is an absolute tragedy that this didn't catch on.

Despite all of the unexpected successes, there were some "sure things" that ended up nosediving in the early part of the decade. Nintendo — normally a pillar of stability — saw the Wii U ultimately flop, even though the hardware itself had some fantastic applications.

If you haven't experienced Rayman Legends local multiplayer using both the Wii U pad and your television screen, then you missed out on a critical piece of amazing gaming history.

While the Wii U has been consigned to the dust bin, other parts of the early 2010 gaming landscape caught on like wildfire and still haven't gone out.

Though I point blank hated Skyrim, credit must be given where it's due. Bethesda captured the imagination of a generation with that particular Elder Scrolls entry, and Skyrim managed to remain popular enough to see re-release some dozen or so times across multiple consoles throughout the decade.

Without question, Skyrim played a large role in the success of the 2010 console cycle, but it had an even bigger impact on the PC landscape. Simply put, Skyrim is the king of mods, and has born an entire generation of modders that have created some truly fantastic experiences. 

To date, Skyrim has more than 56,000 downloads available on Nexus Mods. Yeah, a lot of them are nude mods, but between the total conversion mods and extremely clever gameplay tweaks, Skyrim can be an amazing game with the right modding.

The mod effect went well past Bethesda's fantasy baby this decade. Other open world games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are getting a slew of mods, but everything from XCOM to the Resident Evil 2 remake are finding extra play time through some pretty genius mods.

While story took a back seat to open-world exploration in Skyrim, storytelling as a whole wasn't left in the dust in this early period of the decade. Plenty of games weren't afraid to go with more mature or unexpected themes, from the devastating opening of The Last Of Us to the mind-bending twist in Bioshock Infinite

Story rich or story lacking, open world or linear, the early part of the 10s was drowning in genre-defining games... but things would take a turn just a few years later. 

The Mid 2010s

         Telltale looking at Telltale and getting ready to pull the trigger       

Has a developer ever risen so quickly and then fallen so far as Telltale? The Wolf Among Us and the first season of The Walking Dead are still hallmarks of interactive storytelling, but sadly, the development team, under immense pressure, faced insurmountable hurdles.

A badly aging engine, lack of new ideas, and overspending on major franchises weighed the dev down by the time Game Of Thrones Season 1 ended. Sadly, things did not improve, and the company shuttered later in the decade. We never got to see the heights this style could have reached if material like Stranger Things, Hellraiser, or True Detective had been made available.

While the Telltale name is currently clawing back from the dead, it appears this new version of the company won't feature the same people (which may be a good thing) and will work on a much smaller scale. Will we ever get anything as compelling as Bigby's murder mystery or Clementine's journey to adulthood? Probably not, but at least we've still got our memories. 

       Goodbye old friend. You will be missed.

Another amazingly bittersweet moment arrived in April 2016 as the beloved Xbox 360 finally met its end. While Games With Gold is still offering up free titles each month and a handful of games are still hitting the platform, production on this console legend officially stopped. If you've still got a 360, be sure to keep hold of it -- because no more are being made! Microsoft managed to bring out the longest-running console cycle in gaming history, lasting more than 10 solid years. 

The next-gen got off to a rocky start not long before the 360 ceased production (remember the horror that was Assassin's Creed Unity?) but the decade's trend of disappointing trilogy conclusions with Dead Space 3 and Mass Effect 3 would come to a shattering and conclusive close with The Witcher 3.

Without question, The Witcher 3 put CD Projekt Red on the map and showed that an open-world RPG could be story-rich and offer more than just endless fetch quests and following map markers. Even more impressively, The Witcher 3 remains one of the very few titles to feature DLC that is easily as strong as the base game.

Considering the many amazing ladies of the series (oh, and Geralt too, I guess) just made the leap to a Netflix Original Series, it seems The Witcher franchise is going to live on for quite some time.

The same time period didn't just see the arrival of some truly great games it also saw a change in how games are developed and the ways in which developers interact with players.

Although the method had been around for some time, it was around the mid-2010s that Early Access started to become a vehicle for on-going development. 

Though Early Access has seen its fair share of hate and has been legitimately abused, it gave us titles as diverse and satisfying as Darkest Dungeon, Slime Rancher, and later, Subnautica. Early Access has shown that supporting developers along the way and allowing tweaks to be made from fan feedback can result in better-finished products.

      Should have called it Baldur's Wind Dale: Temple Of Elemental Torment.

Rising alongside Early Access, the crowd-funding revolution also emerged in the 2010s, giving us an amazing crop of old-school RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2

Fans wanted classic isometric games utilizing tactical real-time-with-pause or turn-based combat, but publishers just weren't willing to take the risk. They couldn't see that nostalgia equals money. Kickstarter and Indiegogo stepped in.

While Obsidian and InXile got snapped up by Microsoft in 2018 and it would seem are now cranking out some very off-brand console titles we still had a good number of years where fans had the final say on what would get released in those instances.

Kickstarter would later grow to feature revitalized classics such as Shenmue 3 and the Castlevania-adjacent Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Whether you asked for a refund and still think its a scam or are eagerly playing along, Star Citizen showed just how massive a crowd funding campaign can become. Somehow its still earning crowd funding revenue, having raked in more than $250 million from fans who know what they want and are willing to pay to get it.

Outside the realm of the typical gaming sphere, a surprising new genre would emerge and make a bigger impact than anyone suspected: absurdist games meant entirely for Let's Plays, reaction vids, and water-cooler talk.

"Classics" like Goat Simulator and Octodad: Dadliest Catch saw gamers re-thinking what truly makes a game great, while also laying the foundation for newer entries like Untitled Goose Game.

The Late 2010s

      Welcome back, Nintendo!

Breath Of The Wild was exactly what Nintendo needed to retake its position near the head of the pack. A major shift in gameplay towards an open-world style gave the Zelda franchise and the Switch a serious shot in the arm.

A brand new design for Nintendo's latest console didn't hurt either, as the combination of permanent home base console and mobile device re-captured the imaginations of gamers. While the controller and movement-based games like 1-2 Switch don't seem to have caught on, Nintendo is still very clearly back into position as console innovator. 

Another open-world game that defined this same period, but on the PlayStation 4, was Horizon Zero Dawn. The combination of old and new styles with a gripping mystery of humanity's past pushed forward by a fiery main character gave many players a reason to stick with the PS4. 

Considering the lauded Red Dead Redemption came out in 2010 and Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most highly anticipated titles of 2018, it's clear that the open-world trend has reigned supreme this decade.

One game refutes that claim, though, is Fortnite.

You might love to hate it, but you have to ask yourself: has any other title done more to bring gaming into the public consciousness? When Star Wars and Avengers hold in-game events in Fortnite, I think it's clear we've surpassed fandom boundaries and hit the big time.

The concept of Battle Royale has been around for quite awhile, and one could argue it hit its stride with PUBG not long after getting popular through the DayZ mod to Arma 2. That being said, it wasn't until Fortnite that the term became a household name and a genre giant in its own right. 

The resurgence of Battle Royale aside, Fortnite still plays a major role in live streaming, catapulting it to a previously unknown level of popularity with celebrity appearances and major eSports events. Fortnite managed to hit just about every platform imaginable, including mobile phones, and that's another area of gaming worth looking at that made a huge splash in the '10s.

      Not only is this peak 2010s, I'd argue it was also the
reason the internet was invented

Forget Angry Birds and Candy Crush, because there was an absolute explosion of mobile gaming covering every conceivable genre this decade. Aside from the clear cultural significance, Pokemon Go's launch started the AR craze meant to get gamers off the couch and out into the world of sunlight and exercise.

Even if you didn't care for the change in mechanics from the other monster-collecting titles, Pokemon Go was the gift that just kept on giving, from Pokemoan dildos (yep, they exist) to a Chuck Tingle erotica book, to a news cycle that kept bringing up new insanity every, single day.

While some games got smaller and more mobile, others got larger and more tethered VR broke into the mainstream. The PSVR brought true virtual reality to console gamers for a (sort of) affordable price for the first time.

Meanwhile, a number of dueling PC VR platforms are now pushing the boundaries and getting the tech where it needs to go. Vive and Oculus are currently duking it out, with the Oculus Quest now ditching wires and even the PC entirely for a more liberated experience. We haven't seen the best VR has to offer yet  that's for sure  but what's available today is already impressive.

If virtual worlds are less important to you than the interactions that occur within them, the late 2010s were a time when communities really started coming together through platforms like Twitch and Discord.

While the former popped up in 2011 and the latter in 2015, it hasn't been until recent years that they've really come into their own. Whether a mobile gacha title or a graphics-intensive PC shooter, pretty much every game worth playing has its own Discord community where players help each other out and forge new relationships.

New consoles, new tech, new ways of communicating, and new and returning franchises made this is a decade to remember in gaming history.

Looking Forward to 2020 and Beyond

That all about brings us to the present: 2019 was filled to the brim with major gaming news. Bungie parted with Activision but kept the Destiny series; Blizzard stepped in it with their poor handling of eSports players discussing Chinese democracy protests; and Xbox Game Studios snapped up Double Fine back in August.

On the release front, the tail end of the decade hasn't slouched with top-notch new games in a number of surprising genres. Disco Elysium came out of nowhere, and yeah, it deserves the hype. If you miss Planescape: Torment style text-heavy experiences, you want to play this one. The movie snippet experimentation with Telling Lies is also well worth experiencing and shows gaming can be just as interesting and story-rich as cinema. That's not to mention Netflix's Bandersnatch.

As the year ends, we're seeing more changes to the gaming landscape with monthly game services like Game Pass, PS Now, EA Access, and more coming into prominence. Even the mobile gaming crowd is getting in on the monthly subscription action with Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass. If you want to try out a bunch of games for a low monthly price, there's never been a better time to explore what's available on console, PC, or mobile devices.

Of course, the obvious next step of this digital revolution was the advent of the all-streaming Stadia and XCloud. The effect of those changes is still anyone's guess, but it sure looks like we're barreling towards a digital future with a Netflix style library of games.

As Google and all-streaming services come into the spotlight, the console wars still raged between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The PS4 managed to become the fourth best selling console of all time this gen, and some killer exclusives likely played a big role there. How the PS5 and Xbox Series X stack up against each other still remains to be seen.

Far more happened in this decade than we ever could have covered in one article, and I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me which games and events I missed that made this the best 10 years in gaming history.

For now, it's time to look toward the future, as next-gen consoles are well into development and are expected to arrive next holiday season. Major titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Baldur's Gate 3, and The Last Of Us 2 are mere months away, and we can't wait to see what the next 10 years have in store! 

What were your favorite video game moments from 2010-2019, and do you agree that it was the best decade in gaming history? Sound off in the comments below!

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Amnesia Collection Free on Humble Bundle until January 27 https://www.gameskinny.com/u1fe2/amnesia-collection-free-on-humble-bundle-until-january-27 https://www.gameskinny.com/u1fe2/amnesia-collection-free-on-humble-bundle-until-january-27 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 13:42:40 -0500 SinOfApathy

Humble Bundle, an online retailer with a focus on charity, currently has the Amnesia Collection available for free on their site. The pack includes Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Amnesia is a classic horror game that has you exploring dark and creepy areas and solving puzzles whilst hiding from the terrifying monsters that roam the corridors. The first title features a unique sanity system which will have the player experience hallucinations after witnessing unsettling events. It also includes community-made custom maps, which increase the replay value of the game.

The deal is only available temporarily and will end on January 27 at 1 p.m. EST. 

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GOG Halloween Sale Contains More Than 200 Deals https://www.gameskinny.com/9wb0f/gog-halloween-sale-contains-more-than-200-deals https://www.gameskinny.com/9wb0f/gog-halloween-sale-contains-more-than-200-deals Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:54:04 -0400 spacechaser

Halloween is almost here, and to celebrate this spooky season, Good Old Games is putting on a monster mash of a party. Starting today, you can find more than 200 games on sale -- some up to 90% off -- in GOG's marketplace. On offer are plenty of bundles and stand-alone games, and many are more recent titles as GOG continues to diversify its historically old-school games library. 

A few of the games currently on sale include:

  • Hotline Miami (-80%) 
  • Darkest Dungeon (-60%)
  • Quake and DOOM bundle (-66%) 
  • Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice & Shadow of the Comet (-75%)
  • Outlast 2 (-40%)
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent (-75%)
  • Sunless Sea (-67%)
  • Oxenfree (-75%)
  • Layers of Fear (-60%)
  • SOMA (-75%)

In a press release about the Halloween Sale, GOG also revealed various Halloween-themed bundles, which give you "better discounts when you grab all the games in a bundle" without having you re-buy any you may already own. On top of all of that, spending $15 or more will get you a free copy of Tales from the Borderlands, straight to your email. 

If you're a GOG Connect user, you can also connect your Steam library with GOG.com. And during this sale, GOG Connect users can add nearly 30 games to their account, including Amnesia, Layers of Fear, and Sunless Sea.

The sale ends November 2 at 6 p.m. EST, so don't waste time. Pop on over and pick up some spooky games to enjoy over the upcoming Halloween weekend!

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10 Most Terrifying Horror Game Levels to Revisit for Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/uqz5s/10-most-terrifying-horror-game-levels-to-revisit-for-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/uqz5s/10-most-terrifying-horror-game-levels-to-revisit-for-halloween Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:59:03 -0400 Louis Bulaong

Tomorrow is Halloween and for many it is a time to immerse oneself in horror stories to get their goosebumps raising, nerves twitching, and mouths screaming in fear. The market offers tons of horror video games for the occasion, but inside every horror game lies that one most terrifying level that gives players a pants-wetting scare that is worthy of its genre.

These are the ten video game levels taken from every horror game subgenre, from bone-chilling survival horror to gut-wrenching action horror, that should terrify players and keep them awake for the rest of the night this holiday.

10. Condemned: Criminal Origins (The Mall)

Inspired by psychological detective thrillers like Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, Condemned: Criminal Origins is a game filled with mysteries unfolding and mind tricks being played. Players control an investigator named Ethan Thomas, a man desperately fighting off monsters from the real world and from his own psyche. One particular level that scared both Thomas and the players takes place in a seemingly normal department store filled with immobile and faceless mannequins.

As Thomas walks through the mall, the human-shaped plastics can be seen slightly moving or twitching at every glance. It turns out that many of these mannequins were actual human beings, with some being fully alive and hungry for blood. Some of them had blank faces while others were stitched up plastic and dismembered flesh. To make matters worse, a serial killer known as the Match Maker is also hiding in the store.

If you think that Slender Man was creepy, then you haven’t seen the mannequins from Bart’s Department Store yet.

9. Manhunt (Piggsy Boss Battle)

Rockstar is known for its hardcore video games like Grand Theft Auto and Bully, but nothing was more controversial than their 2003 game Manhunt. Often dubbed as a real “murder simulator” by the press, this was probably one instance where people finally said that Rockstar had gone too far. Manhunt stars a convict named James Earl Cash who escaped death row but is now forced to kill people by a snuff film director. Killing idiotic enemies in various ways can be fun in a weird way, but when said enemies are then replaced by a terrifying serial killer, that is where the tension and difficulty begin.

One of the antagonists is a large, naked, chainsaw-wielding maniac wearing a decomposing pig’s head named Piggsy. His strength and durability makes it difficult to fight him up close, so the only way to fight Piggsy is by stealth. But Piggsy can also be sneaky, so players have to be wary as you stalk each other through the dark, creaky hallways--taking bits off of each other at every turn.

Every second of this level is nerve-racking, especially the times where Piggsy chases you down the room squealing with his chainsaw.

8. Outlast (Administration Block)

Outlast is currently one of the most popular horror games today with its simple story of a rather wimpy journalist trapped inside a mental asylum filled with deranged and murderous psychopaths. It had everything fans of survival horror genre love like the eerie atmosphere, the variations of creepy enemies, classic jump scares and tense moments, and also the inability to defend oneself so you are forced to run and hide.

One of its scariest levels is also its first. The first chapter introduces the protagonist and his objectives for coming into the asylum, only for that asylum to be taken over by the mentally-ill patients who started butchering every staff before going for the player himself. The level introduces players to the hellhole that they will be forced to survive for the whole game, as well as meeting crazy enemies like the large bulky Chris Walker and the mysterious Wallrider.

If this was only the beginning of the game, then expect more terrors as you play through the rest. Just don’t forget to pack an extra battery.

7. Dead Space 2 (Titan Elementary School)

Dead Space 2  came out during the time when survival horror titles like Resident Evil, Alone in the Dark and Silent Hill were slowly turning into action horror games. Thankfully Dead Space, while similar to these games, did have some genuinely frightening moments with its religion-themed lore, that isolated feeling of being trapped in space, and those grotesque gory-looking necromorphs.

The game stars not an action horror hero, but an ordinary yet traumatized engineer named Isaac Clarke, who is forced to survive inside a space station filled with zombified mutated people. However, the level that truly put the series in the horror genre map was, of all places, a Daycare Center. The level cranked up the horror by having Clarke fight mutated babies and children. Ripe with scares, the level shows infants turned into slug-like bombs and little children morphed with sharp claws and evil shrieks.

Kids can be terrifying enough for other people, but the children here are a whole new level of disturbing.

6. Clock Tower 2 (Jennifer Chapter)

This list wouldn’t be complete without the grandfather of all survival horror games, the Clock Tower series. The games were legendary for being the first to use gameplay elements that you now see in today’s survival horror games (minus the shooting). While all the games in the series are scary on their own terms, the most terrifying was Clock Tower 2 (released in North America simply as Clock Tower) in 1996.

The first chapter starts off with the protagonist, Jennifer, trying to recoup after surviving the Scissorman--a serial killer who kills his victims using a large scissor in the first game. Just as she was starting to get her life back, the Scissorman reappears one night and chases her throughout most of the game with scores of people being murdered along the way.

The game would certainly make you feel nostalgic of old slasher films. If you think that Jason Voorhees’s machete, Freddy Kruger’s gloves or Leatherface’s chainsaw aren’t scary enough, then you should go and meet the Scissorman.

5. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (Tachibana House Chapter 7)

While most horror games have you fight monsters, zombies and serial killers as a tough male action hero, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is special from the others for two reasons.

First of all, the game has you fight against ghosts (not the Ghostbusters type, but the sinister ones like in the films The Grudge and Ring). Second, the game has you play as a young Japanese schoolgirl named Mio Amakura. She doesn’t have any guns or blades to defend herself with, but she carries a Camera Obscura--an item that allows her to see ghosts and lay their souls to rest by taking pictures of them. This may sound unorthodox, but this offered a more nerve-racking experience as you try to take that perfect picture without losing your cool as the spirits come at you.

But in the 7th Chapter, Mio is chased down by a ghost named Sae and unfortunately drops her camera. What made this chapter more frightening is the vulnerability of being defenseless, the insanity that some of the characters showed, and other chilling moments that makes surviving this game even more satisfying.

Gameplay and moments like these are why critics named this game the scariest video game of all time.

4. Resident Evil 7 (Main House)

After years of releasing action horror games, the Resident Evil franchise finally went back to its roots in 2017 with Resident Evil 7. Having a shift of gameplay wasn’t easy, but thankfully the game delivered what horror fans really wanted from a true Resident Evil game.

The protagonist of the game is Ethan Winters, a normal average man unlike previous characters like Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield. The game’s introduction already puts the scare factor into you as you watch your friends get butchered and you get trapped inside a cabin owned by a deranged superpowered family. Escaping from the beautiful but scarily-designed main house is made difficult with the invincible Jack Baker happily pursuing Winters all throughout it. Hiding in walls will be useless since he can just bash his way through like the Terminator. He’ll be taunting you and screaming at you, and all you can do is run.

3. Amnesia: Dark Descent (Cellar Archives)

The Amnesia series is the quintessential example of modern survival horror games and for good reason. The game’s tight and tense levels, filled with unique inhuman enemies and the feeling of defenseless, was well loved by gamers during its release. Amnesia became an instant sleeper hit that would later inspire Outlast, Slender Man and virtually every survival horror games you see today.

The gameplay consists of an unarmed character who had to run away from ghoulish monsters inside an abandoned castle. Simple right? Until you get to the water-filled cellar level where you are pitted against creatures you can’t even see. The cellar archives is filled with these invisible monsters called Kaernks, and the only way to detect them is by listening to the splashes they make in the water. Being blind, the Kaernks also find you by the sound you make in the water, so there’s a need to be both smart and stealthy in order to survive this level.

2. Siren: Blood Curse (Episode 3)

The Siren series is one of the most underrated horror games out there. While constantly being praised as one of the scariest of all time, the franchise never got the fame and popularity that its contemporaries have achieved. And yet its recent titles have proven to be even scarier than what big budget horror game series are producing today.

Siren: Blood Curse introduces a cast of unique characters as they are forced to survive a whole town filled with blood-covered murderous humans called Shibitos. If you thought playing as a young school girl in Fatal Frame II was heart-pounding, in this level you get to control a 10 year old girl named Bella Monroe. Playing as a small and defenseless little girl helplessly trying to hide away from monsters makes you feel sympathy and emotions unmatched by other games on this list. It also makes you feel proud as she bravely faces horror and death even though she is alone and separated from her parents.

This is one of those instances in games where you truly care about a character's survival, especially when that character is just a kid who wants to be with her dad again.

1. Silent Hills PT

For over a decade, the Silent Hill series has scared a generation of gamers with its colorful list of titles that offered both supernatural and psychological scares (and in some endings, even aliens!). Ironically, the franchise’s most terrifying title was a game that never got released. The Silent Hills Playable Teaser was supposed to be the first look at the creation of the dream team of Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, Junji Ito and Norman Reedus, but sadly the game never got to see the light of day. Fortunately for horror fans, this demo was already enough by itself.

Players take control of a man trapped in a claustrophobic hallway of a suburban house that is stuck in a loop. Entering the door only leads back to the entrance of where he came from. As he continuously enters the door again and again, the hallway becomes bloodier and more horrifying, radio starts to play tragic news, and a disgusting abomination appears in the bathroom.

If this game got released it would have become an instant classic, but the playable demo still did a terrific job in giving horror fans the scare that they wanted. Even far better than full-price horror titles today.

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These are only a few of the scariest levels in video games that horror fans can enjoy this Halloween. Each level is rendered beautifully and passionately to create that scary atmosphere that will immerse players right into the nightmare themselves. Now you are not only reading or watching the horrors unfold, you are fighting to survive in it yourself.

]]>
5 Horror Games to Play If You Liked Resident Evil 7 https://www.gameskinny.com/9bg7k/5-horror-games-to-play-if-you-liked-resident-evil-7 https://www.gameskinny.com/9bg7k/5-horror-games-to-play-if-you-liked-resident-evil-7 Mon, 06 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Azreen_Azmi

[{"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/res7-marg-616be.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/res7-marg-616be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149802","description":"

A great horror game is one that can induce panic, anxiety, and a sense of dread whenever you play. These 5 games are some of the best examples of the horror genre revival on Steam at the moment. So, choose your game, close off the curtains, turn off the lights, put on your headset, then get ready to be traumatized by some of the scariest monsters you can imagine!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8ab92e92bfe9480ecd307370823dec0b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8ab92e92bfe9480ecd307370823dec0b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10334","description":"
Outlast
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Another game that took the first-person survival horror to new heights was Outlast, which was released during the peak of the survival horror resurgence on PC.

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Using the tried-and-true trope of an abandoned asylum as its location, Outlast provided plenty of scares with its generous usage of violence and gore. Combine this with a hide-and-seek gameplay mechanics that often leave players breathless, Outlast truly is one of the best horror games to play by yourself if you're brave enough.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a268e36473cf61590c6382acf19ee12c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a268e36473cf61590c6382acf19ee12c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10333","description":"
Goetia
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Point-and-click games are not widely known for horror games but Goetia, published by Square Enix and developed by Suchee, is a game that effortlessly blends both genres, and results in a game that gives the best of both worlds.

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Set during Victorian Britain, players takes control of Abigail Blackwood, who has to unravel the mystery behind the death of her family and herself to uncover the family's dark secret. With some of the most innovative puzzles and an engaging story, it’s a game that point-and-click fans and horror enthusiasts should definitely check out.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ef2db45b116327bb9670aceb1f788159.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ef2db45b116327bb9670aceb1f788159.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10332","description":"
Detention
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Detention is a recently released 2D side-scrolling horror game that’s reminiscent of old-school horror games with its simplistic design and visuals. With heavy influences from the likes of Silent Hill, Detention is a horror game worth looking into if you’re a horror fan.

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Set during the 1960s in Taiwan, Detention makes clever use of its historical setting to create a chilling environment for players to explore and adds a healthy dose of cleverly designed puzzles to keep gameplay fun.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5464aada98ab8f8090fd96a2a681bd84.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5464aada98ab8f8090fd96a2a681bd84.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10331","description":"
7 Days to Die
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While Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Resident Evil 7 focus on the claustrophobic nature of horror, 7 Days to Die takes the opposite approach and puts players in a post-apocalyptic open world that players have to survive in.

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7 Days to Die is what happens when you put zombies and survival horror together and combine it with the addictive gameplay of Minecraft. If you ever fancy yourself a zombie survivalist, 7 Days to Die lets you live out your post-apocalyptic zombie-survival dreams.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/60c8b0dcee73ecc8894e7f4b9b847cbd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/60c8b0dcee73ecc8894e7f4b9b847cbd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10330","description":"
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
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One of the big changes in Resident Evil 7 is the move from third-person to first-person view, which added tension that the franchise was lacking in the last few releases. However, when it comes to first-person horror games, Amnesia: The Dark Descent takes the crown in giving an experience that’s like no other.

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A puzzle and exploration game at heart, what makes Amnesia stands out is the fact that the player has no means of combat. This meant that players can only hide from the game's enemies or run like hell if they ever encountered one, which is enough to get your blood pumping.

"},{"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/outlastscreenshot-1920x1080-7dc1f.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/outlastscreenshot-1920x1080-7dc1f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149777","description":"

The recently released Resident Evil 7 brings the long-standing franchise back to its survival horror roots, which was welcomed by fans of the series. While some might see this as a resurgent moment for the survival horror genre (of sorts), horror games have actually been thriving along within the PC gaming market for quite some time. To celebrate Resident Evil’s return to form, here are 5 horror games on Steam that you should check out if you’re in for some scares.

"}]]]>
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 Serhii Patskan

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

"}]]]>
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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

"}]]]>
5 Haunting Indie Games to Play on Halloween Night https://www.gameskinny.com/nj18r/5-haunting-indie-games-to-play-on-halloween-night https://www.gameskinny.com/nj18r/5-haunting-indie-games-to-play-on-halloween-night Sat, 29 Oct 2016 11:02:56 -0400 Jared Elliott

The age of indie titles is upon us, and if the horror genre as it exists today is of any indication, the timing couldn't have been better. Indie developers are doing most of the heavy lifting these days when it comes to innovative and, most importantly, terrifying horror games.

And it shows -- nearly every popular horror title today is the product of talented, ever-blossoming indie studios. With so many great choices on the market, we've cherry-picked a very special few which are guaranteed to make your Halloween night even more haunting. Be warned: These five indie horror games will likely shave a few hours off of your sleep schedule.

5. Claire (2016)

Imagine a choose-your-own-adventure, 2D side-scrolling Silent Hill game, and you'll probably think of something like Claire. Psychological terror and ever-shifting environments create a wonderfully crafted horror experience that caters to fans of traditional survival-horror fare with its puzzle-solving, area maps, and emergent storytelling.

Claire amounts to a success for indie developer Hailstorm Games at creating a better Silent Hill-like game than the series itself has produced in several years. Whereas Silent Hill began to suffer when its focus shifted from pensive, psychological horror to fast-paced action, Claire takes the opposite approach by leaving the player defenseless from the various monstrosities found within. Peppered throughout are some vaguely Dark Souls-ian elements, namely encounters with crestfallen weirdos who serve to enhance the plot and atmosphere.

Though Claire tops out at a few hours (and that's a liberal estimate), it is a surprisingly deep thriller that is easy on the wallet and perfect for some casual Halloween gaming. If you're in the mood for a quick horror fix and an early bed time, you won't be disappointed here.

4. Slender: The Eight Pages (2012)

It's rare to watch a mythical figure akin to Bigfoot and La Chupacabra rise to prominence before your very eyes -- and that's what makes the legend of Slender Man truly remarkable. Appearing first in a post on the Something Awful forums, Slender Man became an instant phenomenon, with internet-goers across the world expanding his lore and "validating" real life sightings. The figure's influence grew rapidly in a matter of years, even compelling two young Wisconsin girls to lure an unsuspecting "friend" into the woods, where they attempted to murder her. When questioned about the incident after their arrest, the attackers admitted that they had attempted to appease Slender Man.

Slender: The Eight Pages, released by indie studio Parsec Productions in 2012, capitalized on the ghastly lore of Slender Man to the fullest extent, situating players in a dark forest with nothing but a flashlight as they are stalked by the titular creep. The goal is to explore the forest and the abandoned facilities within in the search for cryptic pages, all of which have something creepy drawn or written on them. As more pages are amassed, Slender Man stalks the player more aggressively, and soon, the heat is on...

Every corner is suspect in Slender, and looking over your own shoulder is never advised. Before you've discovered any pages, you might catch a glimpse of Slender Man with the rays of your flashlight as he watches you from a distance, only to disappear at a second glace. By the time you've gathered a few pages, Slender Man follows closely, appearing around the corner when you least expect it.

Then again, the horror of Slender is best when you do expect Slender Man to appear suddenly before you. The feeling of being stalked helplessly by a terrifying monster is heart-pounding and very intense, and no number of jump-scares could ever match the terror you will experience during this short, simple game. 

3. Among the Sleep (2014)

Childhood is scary -- period. When you're three feet tall and clueless about your surroundings, every bump in the night is an omen, and every shadow in the closet wants to snatch you up and take you away. Krillbite Studio captured this sensitive and universal fear in Among the Sleep, a disturbing journey into the imagination of a troubled and fearful toddler.

Among the Sleep is a surreal, suspenseful experience throughout each of its four hours, peppered with notable moments of sheer terror that I still can't shake. In a world where kitchen counters look like mountains and coats in the closet look like monsters, tension is omnipresent. The environments take their shape from the child's imagination, which creates a warped, unpredictable reality in which anything can happen.

While the experience is almost too short, Among the Sleep is commendable for achieving exactly what it set out to do, which is to create a new landscape for the horror genre and inject it with some real imagination. It accomplishes both of these feats with great success, and maintains a cogent narrative all the while. If you're looking for a great horror experience that won't take all night to complete, this game fits the bill. Oh, and it will scare the shit out of you repeatedly.

2. Inside (2015)

While there may be some debate about Inside's place (or lack thereof) in the horror genre, there is still no doubt that the world of Limbo's successor is deadly, oppressive, and fear-inducing every step of the way. I wrote about Inside a few weeks ago and mentioned that the hallmark of suspense in any medium is uncertainty. For Inside, Playdead Studios captures this element and amplifies it to heart-pounding extremes. There were countless moments during the game in which I felt hopelessly doomed, only to escape death by the skin of my teeth.

Atmosphere is this game's greatest strength, and it uses it with cutting precision to immerse the player into the cold, bleak world. Mastery in this department serves to intensify the many panicked and dreadful moments that players will encounter, especially where snarling dogs and violent explosions are involved. Virtually everything and everyone wants to kill you at all times, requiring the player to be on guard constantly as they navigate the fatal universe of Inside

Rather than referring to Inside as an incredible horror game, it's probably fairer to refer to it as an incredible game with substantial horror elements attached to it. Horror is not the primary theme, but it looms forebodingly, striking the player during moments of helplessness and panic. This is a game that should be played at any time, but if you've never experienced the horror that Inside has to offer, Halloween is a perfect opportunity.

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

Due to its success, it's easy to forget that Amnesia: The Dark Descent was developed by a fledgling indie developer -- Fractional Games -- based in Helsingborg, Sweden. Following the conceptually-similar Penumbra series of titles, Fractional Games delivered a new level of sophistication and polish to their unique brand of survival-horror with Amnesia. The world took notice in a big way, with the game now receiving top choice in a staggering number of "Best Horror Game" lists.

And you bet your asses that its reputation is well-deserved. Amnesia is one of those games that gets under your skin and stays there. Armed with little more than a lantern and scant oil supplies, the player must navigate a mysterious mansion with all manners of horror lurking within. Battle takes place not between the player and the aforementioned horrors, but between the player and his or her own sanity as reality shifts and wavers, leaving nothing sure in the mind except the terrible darkness which surrounds everything.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a game to play in doses -- it is far too stressful to experience the constant twists, turns, and genuine freak-outs for long periods of time. For veterans of the horror genre, however, this is one indie title that can (and should) be finished in a Halloween gaming marathon. 

Do you agree with our picks? What's your favorite horror game to play on Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Unconventional Horror Games To Play This Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/ftr4d/5-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/ftr4d/5-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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That's the list! I hope it was just as fun and full of sunshine and joy for you as it was for me! If you feel that there was a game that should have been on this list but wasn't, or you'd like to commend us on a particular game we DID pick, feel free to comment below and let us know! If you end up playing any of these games and enjoying them, feel free to let us know about that too! It's always fun getting creeped out together.

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Stay safe out there this Halloween!

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Killer7

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(Gamecube, PS2)
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Picking just one screenshot to properly describe Killer7 is absolutely impossible. Even using just words to describe how abnormal this game is really isn't enough to do it justice -- but I'm sure as hell gonna try.

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Killer7 is a game that seeks to break convention in nearly every manner possible. It changes up controls, camera perspective, and GUI standards to the fullest extent that it can without becoming incomprehensible. It is a truly unique video game, but what's more unique than its gameplay, is its serious and disturbing plot/subject matter. 

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Killer7 is a game that truly earns the M Rating on the cover of its box. It is loaded with themes of murder, sexual assault, rape, religious cults, the killing of children, organ harvesting, and terrorism...among many others. All of these themes are used with purpose in the story, rather than just for shock value, and they help to string together a plot revolving around international political intrigue and supernatural terrorism.

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With all of the disturbing things present in this game, you might be surprised to learn that Killer7 is not a horror game. It's just a game that seeks to tell a serious and gripping story -- while also being very weird, as it is a game that also has anime parodies and lucha libre wrestlers as serious plot points.

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It compounds its disturbing subject matter and the bizarre world in which takes place with a bright color palette, ludicrous enemy designs, and sometimes comedic dialogue -- creating a game that lives to intrigue as well as confuse. Despite all of these seemingly random elements mixed together, Killer7 comes out as a truly trippy and disturbing experience that's perfect for horror enthusiasts and story buffs alike, and it must be seen to be believed.     

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If you honestly want ANY sort of idea what kind of game Killer7 really is, then you NEED to watch the trailer down below. Maybe it will help. Maybe...

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Undertale (Genocide Run)

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(PC, Mac)
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You're gonna have a bad time.

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Undertale is one of the most fascinating examples of video game narrative released in years. Because depending on which of two ways you play it, Undertale can either be one of the funniest, most good-natured, and kindest games about humanity and sympathy ever crafted -- or it can be a paralyzingly grim tale of mistrust, hatred, and the relentless slaughtering of innocent people.

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If you've played Undertale before, you more likely than not played the Pacifist Route first, which is the way that the game was intended to be played. If this is the case, and by some additional miracle you've managed to avoid the game's overexposure on the internet, and then went to play the Genocide Run without knowing anything about it -- you are in for the shock of your life.

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It takes the typical gaming standard of mindlessly ending the lives of enemy monsters and makes you feel like you really are the bad guy after all. All of the people who could have just easily been your friends, become obstacles in your path that you must crush to dust.

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(Also, a brief but very important DISCLAIMER: DO NOT PLAY THE GENOCIDE ROUTE FIRST IF YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED THE GAME BEFORE. Just trust me. The game will be ruined for you after this. Because the game will remember what you've done -- and it will not forgive you.) 

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Considering that pretty much everything about Undertale is best experienced without spoilers, and I'm already kind of doing that by talking about it at all, I'll just show you the game's trailer. That way you can decide for yourself whether or not this game looks like it has some of the most disturbing murder scenes ever put in a game hiding inside it.

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Sonic Dreams Collection

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(PC) 
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The Sonic the Hedgehog series is famous these days, in part, for the bizarrely wide reach of its fanbase, and what some of these fans have created. Sonic Dreams Collection is a fan-made effort from the same creators as Bubsy 3D 2 . It plays like an interactive art-film that analogizes what both the Sonic fanbase and the Sonic series itself have become. 

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The game masquerades itself as a collection of incomplete Sonic game projects that were meant to be released on the Sega Dreamcast back in the 90's. And from a somewhat exaggerated, but still silly and colorful start, Sonic Dreams Collection quickly becomes a living hell fresh out of the dark side of Deviantart.  

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All horror is subjective of course, but let it be made clear that if you find overt sexual themes uncomfortable, or don't like to talk about any sort of sexual fetish to any degree, then stay far away from this game. Sonic Dreams Collection is more disturbing and creepy than it is outright scary, but if you find existentialism and overt sexuality scary, then click to the next slide right now. 

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Regardless of whether or not you end up finding this game funny rather than disturbing, Sonic Dreams Collection is a wildly bizarre game regardless. Enter at your own risk.

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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

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(DS, iOS)
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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a visual novel mystery/puzzle adventure game, and the first entry in the Zero Escape series.

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In the game you play as Junpei, one of nine random people who are mostly complete strangers to one another. You and the others wake up to find themselves trapped on an abandoned cruise ship, only to then be informed by a mysterious figure that they have 9 hours to escape the boat together before they are all killed. You travel through the ship and its wide assortment of bleak, lonely, and sometimes unnerving locations in a first-person perspective, while talking to 2D characters with excellent sprite work, solving puzzles, and exploring 3D-rendered environments in a style somewhat similar to Myst

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The strongest points of 999 are its excellent atmosphere and writing. Every empty room that resembles a normal room, yet stripped of functionality or any view of the outside world, cements the feeling that you are trapped in hostile location against your will. This is all backed up by the excellent soundtrack and sound design, as the often-eerie and droning music is accompanied by the heavy creaking of the ship to create an oppressive tension in the air, making you feel as though you are trapped in the belly of a massive, unfeeling beast.

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The writing, again, is phenomenal. Every character is distinct and memorable, and each of them carries various different motivations for their actions -- both obvious and hidden. As you make your way towards the unknown and unseen exit, you must work together with the other people in order to succeed. Yet at the same time, you have no reason to trust them, and some of them give you perfectly legitimate reasons to distrust them entirely. Death and plot twists are around every corner, and events take an unexpected turn early on, which ramps the tension up high right off the bat.

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It must be clarified that despite all of the game's positive qualities, 999 is designed in a way that expects the player to play through the game several times in different ways in order to eventually discover the true ending. There are multiple bad endings, and dying about halfway through and starting all the way over is a very real possibility. Combine that with the large amounts of text you are expected to read, seeing as this is a visual novel, and you can see that this game isn't for everyone.  

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But if it looks interesting to you at all, and you're looking for well-written, dark, and truly gripping story, I'd highly recommend you look further into 999.

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I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

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(PC, Mac, Linux)
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Let's start this list off really heavy, why don't we? Based on the novel of the same name by Ellison Harlan, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is a game where you cannot win. You can only lose heroically, or in a manner that doesn't involve eternal torment, because this game is horrifically, gut-wrenchingly depressing.  

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It's a 2D point-and-click adventure game revolving around five different people, all of whom are the last surviving humans on Earth. They are being tormented by a colossal supercomputer called AM, who creates a different world for each to explore that best torments them and exploits their greatest character flaws. As these worlds are slowly exposed to you, along with the flaws of the characters, you are forced to come to grips with the fact that you are trapped in an illusion while being forced to relieve the most traumatic experiences of these peoples lives -- and escape is nearly impossible 

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It's a story-driven experience with an extremely dark and twisted plot, loaded with very serious and disturbing subject matter that runs the gamut from rape to the Holocaust. And it is not a game where the "happy" ending is easy to find. Even in the best case scenario where you can escape from AM, what you're escaping to is the ruins of civilization -- and while that's much less horrible than the torture you endured, it's still a miserable existence devoid of purpose. Fun!

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If you want to feel terrible this Halloween, while also feeling grateful that you aren't being tortured for all eternity, then give I Have No Mouth, and I must Scream a look.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is NSFW!
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Horror games have seen a resurgence in popularity in the last few years. Both indie and AAA developers alike (although mostly indies) have begun to realize that there is a large and continuously growing audience for horror media. And as such, many developers have taken to making more and more games that cater to their demand to be scared out of their wits.

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But today, we aren't going to be talking about the typical horror games you always hear about. Today we're going to give honorable mention to horror games that break the mold formed by most other popular horror experiences, such as Five Nights at Freddy's and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Instead, we're going to focus on the games that gave us horror in a new or unconventional way. 

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So for those of you who are tired of the tried-and-tested formula of darkened corridors, jump-scares, and decrepit abandoned buildings, these are a few games that can spook you a different way -- and perhaps even disturb or disgust you. It should be said that not all of these games are actually horror games by design, but that doesn't mean they can't be made for Halloween, and that they can't still be scary.

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Alright...let's get spooky in here.

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When Your Best Isn't Enough - The Ideal Horror Experience https://www.gameskinny.com/1j41x/when-your-best-isnt-enough-the-ideal-horror-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/1j41x/when-your-best-isnt-enough-the-ideal-horror-experience Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:05:18 -0400 Jeremy Brown

There's one moment that instantly terrifies me in Capcom's Resident Evil 4. I haven't seen the game in ages, but when I bought the HD edition on PS4 this past week, I remembered that spot that haunts me to this day.

For those that don't understand the premise of Resident Evil 4, an evil cult in possession of the Las Plagas parasite kidnap the U.S. President's daughter, and agent Leon Kennedy is sent in to rescue her. 

It's not a boss- no, not one of the incredibly disturbing fights with Leon's gruesome end as a fail state- but those scare me too.

It's a moment of realization in the castle- Leon and Ashley enter this room of the castle, with long narrow walkways separated by shallow pools of water. Music hasn't started, but the silence is daunting and deafening. The expansive room has regions you can't even see yet- as a wall of armed Los Illuminados are staring right back at you, with flails, shields, bloody grins and a parasite living in them all ready to explode out of their heads and eat you. 

This one moment scared me so much as a kid-- the fact that when handed the controller from my older brother I couldn't aim. My hands were shaking and sweating, and I was so afraid I wouldn't see it to the end that I had nightmares about this fight for quite some time.

Granted, an 8-year-old kid shouldn't have been seeing this game. But I couldn't tear my eyes away -- it was the most intense thing I'd ever seen on a TV. What Resident Evil 4 achieved was something incredible. It gave you the full capabilities to defend yourself, and survive against somehow even more insurmountable odds. 

The game certainly has an action-heavy approach to its combat. It offers a large upgrading system for your guns to become more powerful, a wide variety of weapons for any playstyle, and the ability to upgrade your max health.  That along with the story context of Leon Kennedy being a confident bad-ass that kicks and suplexes all his foes should make the player confident -- but the beauty of it is that's not enough. 

All of this makes me much less afraid in modern horror games -- the trend that Amnesia: The Dark Descent set forth is one that I find incredibly lame. Instead of providing ways to defending yourself, games like Outlast, Soma, Slender: The Arrival, and Layers of Fear, all decide to put players at a disadvantage mechanically. You control a person with no real means of defending themselves other than running away and hiding from the enemies.

That's part of the appeal, though. In a game like Outlast you don't really win, you survive. Even so, a good horror game shouldn't let you always run away.

This doesn't make them bad games. But without some means of defense, I feel weak. Plus, in any situation I want to face my fears -- confront them, and attack that adversity. True horror comes from the realization that you can't keep running from your problems. You have to get through them, otherwise there's no victory. Going through Soma on my second run was the least tense time I'd had with a horror game in a long time, because I knew exactly where to run to and hide at every turn. Perhaps that's a place for innovation in this subgenre of non-confrontational stealth horror; less corridor-focused level design would allow for more exploration into the unknown.

 That's why it's survival horror instead of... horror? (I'll be honest, gamers throw "survival" onto the term so much now I don't even know what it really means other than Resident Evil -- the series that created the term.)  It pulls you away from some innovative ideas that can be put in place, whereas defeating your foes becomes part of that survival. 

It's the trending horror that pits players against things they should run from, and that's not a bad thing. But when the player is not eventually forced to face those fears, it might as well be the same thing as turning the game off.

I am excited to see how Resident Evil 7: Biohazard handles its horror -- the producers have gone on record saying it takes some inspirations from games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent but also state it will still have combat. Perhaps they strike the balance I'm looking for -- a game that makes you want to flee constantly, but also forces you to face your fears in the end. Until then, I'll be sticking it to Los Illuminados for my horror needs.

What about you? What horror games make you afraid? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, thanks for reading.

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Are Let's Plays responsible for That Dragon, Cancer sales figures? https://www.gameskinny.com/3k063/are-lets-plays-responsible-for-that-dragon-cancer-sales-figures https://www.gameskinny.com/3k063/are-lets-plays-responsible-for-that-dragon-cancer-sales-figures Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:05:18 -0400 Damien Smith

On March 24th, That Dragon, Cancer developer Ryan Green spoke about how they have yet to receive a dollar for the game in a post on the games blog. The developer blames Let's Play videos for being the reason behind this. Are Let's Play videos solely responsible for the lack of sales for That Dragon, Cancer?

It all begins with a tweet

I've already written an article about whether Let's Plays are ruining video game development. Today we are going to be taking a look at whether or not Let's Play videos are responsible for That Dragon, Cancer developer Numinous Games not seeing any sales.

To get an answer to this, we need to look at some different aspects -- the blog post, the different forms of Let's Play videos, the audiences of those videos, whether such videos can be the making or breaking of a game, and the audience of That Dragon, Cancer.

The original blog post was written in response to Tweets from a Let's Player about their videos having copyright claims placed on them. This claim is due to the music contained within the game being copyrighted to ensure that the composer gets compensated for his efforts.

Green talks about how the studio is yet to receive a dollar from sales of the game. He also talks about how he only wishes for the music composer Jon, to receive the money he deserves for the game and that people use his music only with full permission:

However, there is another side of this that I’ve been afraid to talk about in public. And that is this: our studio has not yet seen a single dollar from sales. That Dragon, Cancer was created by a studio of eight, and for many of us it was a full-time effort that involved thousands of hours of work. This huge effort required taking on investment, and we decided to pay off all of our debt as soon as possible. But we underestimated how many people would be satisfied with only watching the game instead of playing it themselves.

And so yes, Let's Play person, I agree with you, it does suck to have someone else making revenue off your work.

 We paid Jon to create music for our game because we understand that he needs to be paid in order to spend time creating that music. If someone else uses his music without permission, we also believe he should have the right to determine the consequence. And if there is revenue being drawn from that use, we believe he should be compensated.

Green follows by talking about let's play videos and his experience with watching them and his opinions.

We feel the Let’s Play culture adds value to this medium. And for games with more expansive or replayable gameplay, it can directly benefit developers. Even knowing that some who streamed our entire game refuse to directly encourage people to support us, we’ve still sat on the streams and talked with streamers and viewers...Let’s Play culture is vibrant and creative and really cool.  

...However, for a short, relatively linear experience like ours, for millions of viewers, Let’s Play recordings of our content satisfy their interest and they never go on to interact with the game in the personal way that we intended for it to be experienced.  If you compare the millions of views of the entirety of our game on YouTube to our sales as estimated on SteamSpy, you can hopefully see the disparity.  

We have seen many people post our entire game on YouTube with little to no commentary. We’ve seen people decompile our game and post our soundtrack on YouTube. We’ve also seen many, many Let’s Players post entire playthroughs of our game, posting links to all of their own social channels and all of their own merchandising and leaving out a link to our site.

Green ends the blog by asking let's players to return the favor by creating videos that "don't just rebroadcast the entirety of the game with minimal commentary." Instead, he asks them to use portions of the game as "a context to share their stories and start conversations with their viewers."

We have allowed our content, the fruit of our sweat and our tears, to be used by Let’s Players and to your fans for free to create content with, and you are drawing a small amount of ad revenue from our content.

...We would encourage you to link to our site and directly encourage viewers to support our work financially through buying the game, or donating a dollar or two to our studio if they believe that what we did has value. This small act will allow us to continue to work.

Looking at Let's Plays and the audience

I am by no means a big fan of watching Let's Play videos or any particular YouTuber, but that is not to say I have not watched my fair share of videos. From my experience of watching such videos, I have found there are three main forms of Let's Play videos.

The first is the entertainment Let's Play video. These videos are for pure entertainment purposes, where the presenter plays a video game and creates comedic moments from it. Such channels primarily play horror games, but do play other games in which they feel they can entertain their audience.

This form of Let's Play videos are the most popular and have resulted in several channels booming to YouTube stardom. Such channels would include Markiplier, Pewdiepie and Jacksepticeye as three more famous examples.

The audience of such Let's Plays is mostly of a younger age group, with a majority ranging from eight to fifteen. The audience watches the videos for the presenter more than the game itself. They watch for the entertainment and comedy that the presenter brings to their videos. The video game itself is simply there to conjure up comedy with the presenter. Most of the audience of such videos wouldn't buy the game whether they watched them or not, due primarily to the general age group.

The second form of Let's Play videos includes those who enjoy playing video games and want to share their experience with others. These videos are generally of particular games from the YouTuber's childhood or their favorite games of all time.

Often, they talk about the game and provide their opinions on it, such as what was good and what was bad about it. An example of such a channel would be Kikoskia.

The audience for these specific Let's Play videos would be those looking to view the YouTubers opinions on a game or to take a trip down memory lane. More often than not, the viewer will have already bought and played the game. 

The third kind of Let's Play video is archival videos. This form of Let's Play video is to archive video games. These videos are generally of older games but can at times be of modern games. They are simply recordings of the games from start to finish without any form of commentary and do not have a presenter. An example of such a channel would be Nintendo Complete.

The audience for these Let's Plays would be those looking for the nostalgia factor or to view games which they didn't play during their childhood. Individual videos do contain more modern games. The audience watches it generally to get an impression of the game to help decide whether or not the game is worth buying.

If an audience member does not purchase the game after viewing such a video, it is more likely due to it not interesting them, or it isn't a good game.

Can Let's Plays potentially make or break a game?

For years, Let's Plays were held responsible for either making a game huge or making it a financial failure. I don't think this is entirely correct.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is potentially the most played video game on YouTube. Nearly every single YouTuber who creates Let's Play videos has created a video series on Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Despite it potentially being the most played game on YouTube, as of September 2012 the game generated an estimated 1.4 million sales. 

Amnesia is quite a linear game. Once you have played it once, it has given you everything it has to offer. If you do go back and play it a second time, it is because it is a good game.

Let's take a look at the other end of the spectrum. Overcast - Walden and the Werewolf was a game covered by a lot of Let's Play channels of varying size. It was a game that was played equally by the Let's Play giants to the smallest of channels.

Despite this, the game didn't become a massive success by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, the soundtrack for the game became more famous than the game itself. The strange occurrence of the soundtrack being more famous than the game is due in large part to the game being genuinely bad while the soundtrack was simply beautiful.

I sincerely believe that no matter how many YouTube channels create a video of a game, it doesn't make a difference long term. It isn't the videos which make or break the game; it is whether the game is good or bad and if there is an audience who wants it.

The Audience of That Dragon, Cancer

An important part of a video game's success revolves around the public it is targeting. Each genre of video game has its particular audience. That Dragon, Cancer is rather unique in almost every regard. The design and the story are something that developers have not attempted before.

That brings up the question of if there was a large audience for the game to begin with? The issue with such unique video games is that they usually only appeal to a very niche audience. The story to That Dragon, Cancer is not one that is fun to experience nor is it one that will bring you happiness.

It is a game that would make some of the most emotionless individuals shed some tears; that is just how sad the game is. Chances are, the audience for the game are those who have been unfortunate enough to be in the same or similar situation as the Greens. The story will have meaning to them. It gives them a reason to play it. For the average gamer, however, this may not be the case. Potentially That Dragon, Cancer is a game that simply doesn't appeal to the average gamer.

Are Let's Plays responsible for That Dragon, Cancer sales figures?

There is no denying the fact that it is a sorrowful story that the studio has yet to see a single dollar since the game's release. Spending two long years pouring blood, sweat and tears into creation, particularly one so close to your heart, to receive no financial compensation is excruciating.

To further increase the pain of this, all revenue of the game on Ouya is to go to the Morgan Adams Foundation and Family House SF. Without the sales, there is no revenue to go to the charities. The Green's and the studio have my sincere sympathy, and my heart goes out to them.

Despite the situation at hand, I don't think there is anything in particular that is to blame for the sales of That Dragon, Cancer. It is easy to blame Let's Plays, especially when you are receiving tweets from them when all you are doing is the right thing.

I think the sales figures are down to the game appealing to a very niche audience. It isn't something that the average gamer would look to play. More often than not, someone plays a game to get away from the drama that life brings.

They would rather get lost in a fantasy world or be the hero that saves lands from tyranny or that action hero like in 90s movies. The average gamer isn't looking for something that is most likely going to make them upset or even cry. They play games to get away from such things and to have fun. Let's Play viewers are there to either watch the presenter or watch a game which they had no intent on buying from the start. 

What are your thoughts on the story? Do you believe that Let's Plays are to blame? Let me know in the comments below.

IMAGE SOURCE: All images are sourced from their Steam Store Pages.

That Dragon, Cancer, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Deus Ex, Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

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SOMA Programmer Ian Thomas on how Frictional makes horror https://www.gameskinny.com/x6cn8/soma-programmer-ian-thomas-on-how-frictional-makes-horror https://www.gameskinny.com/x6cn8/soma-programmer-ian-thomas-on-how-frictional-makes-horror Wed, 04 Nov 2015 08:50:48 -0500 Andrea Koenig

SOMA is the newest and potentially scariest horror game from the developers behind the modern classic Amnesia: The Dark DescentWith two horror hits now, it also raises the big question: how do they do it? Frictional Games programmer Ian Thomas let out the answers in a recent interview with Engadget.

Apparently, the process is incredibly simple and the people that wonder don't even need to wonder; if you have the mind for horror then you'd make a great member of the Frictional team. 

We'll work on levels in small teams of maybe a coder and an artist together (and the sound guy every so often). Then we'll all play each other's levels each week and kind of feedback on what's going on and what's working.

This individual but collaborative approach seems to be making the right kind of magic. Forming a section of the game individually for presentation by others leads to different minds finding different ways to bring out the horror.

Your sense of horror will be different from others. Your elderly neighbor is spooked by a loud commercial while your friend laughs through a main character death. Everyone has different things to bring to the table.

Take two (or three, sorry sound guy) minds and they create a piece of the game with their own image of horror.

In the feedback process, other minds of the SOMA team will be able to give feedback on it for both the first and last try, eventually bringing out specific details that they think need to be emphasized for the horror to work. 

The critique process itself is simple enough, so that means it's all in the hands of people with some really horror-driven minds - but what does that entail? That lies in what "horror" means to developers, because SOMA almost wasn't a horror game.

You read that right:

They knew the story they wanted to tell, but was it going to be in a horror framework? Then I think it just came back to that's what the company does. They couldn't find a way to do it that wasn't horror and it just started to feel right by putting in those elements.

Narration ended up being a key factor in SOMA's creation. It makes sense; how do you make a horror game scary when you can't fight back and use some sort of weapon like the others? Games need a scary story with scary ambiance, and all the little pieces in between that makes it "horror."

For the process to feel right to be adding horror elements, then what does that mean to its creators? What is horror to them? It's much different from jump scare indies and slasher films, that's for sure.

The real root of the horror we want to bring in with the underlying meaning of the game.

So you're lying in bed after playing the game, with these things, these problems running through the back of your head. That's the thing we wanted to key into, really.

Thomas and his team were looking for more than a flutter of your heart, or even a chest pounding scare, really. They have that all there, but they wanted to go deeper.

They wanted to find a way to have the theme of the game and its story in the back of your head even when you're not playing and really torture your psyche with your thoughts.

It almost doesn't do the game justice to call it a psychological horror, but that's the best way to give it a genre while describing the developers' intentions.

The theme being, "What does it really mean to be human?" That's the big question that we're asking.

And while they make you contemplate the big questions, they surround you in vast, dark ocean and hope you survive it as your forced to meet some big personalities and make big decisions.

What makes it horrorific to you? The vast unknown of the ocean? The psychological turmoil and second-guessing? Maybe it's the actual threats you find that remind you of your Amnesia days.

Whatever it is about SOMA that keeps you up at night, let us know in the comments.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent Review - A good survival horror with flaws https://www.gameskinny.com/5ibom/amnesia-the-dark-descent-review-a-good-survival-horror-with-flaws https://www.gameskinny.com/5ibom/amnesia-the-dark-descent-review-a-good-survival-horror-with-flaws Fri, 30 Oct 2015 06:40:15 -0400 Damien Smith

You awaken in a damp gloomy corridor of a castle. You have no memories, other than your name (Daniel) and where you are from (Mayfair). You begin to follow a trail of liquid that lays on the floor where you find a note written and left by yourself before taking an amnesia potion. As you delve into the depths of Brennenburg Castle, you begin to piece together what happened and set out to have your revenge.

Not a story for the faint-hearted

The story of Amnesia: The Dark Descent appears rather simple at first, but as it progresses it slowly builds into something far more complicated. The deeper you go into Brennenburg Castle, the darker and more gruesome the story becomes at a brilliant pace.

As you journey through the castle, you get audio flashbacks of horrifying events that have taken place there. You hear the characters talking and all the horrible noises that had occurred at that moment in time. The flashbacks at first are relatively tame, but as you progress get darker and more sinister.

The best thing about how the story is written is that it doesn't directly show you the horrifying things that have happened in the castle. Instead, it gives you enough visual evidence of the aftermath and audible representation that your own mind begins to create images of what happened - and it certainly is cringe worthy in almost every manner. The imagination creates scenes more gruesome than the developers probably could have devised.

The story certainly does brilliant job of grossing you out, giving you chills, and making you genuinely feeling uncomfortable with what you are experiencing, but it isn't without its flaws. There are three different endings to the game, depending on how you deal with the final room. Unfortunately, no matter which ending you receive, you are left with a lot of unanswered questions. All of the endings are very much unsatisfactory.

The best ending of the game leaves the biggest question of all and does nothing to answer it, leaving the player with a lack of full closure.

I was shocked that the game ended as it did. I felt that the story was truly beginning to reach its peak and all my questions were to starting be answered. But then it just ended, leaving me scratching my head and attempting to make sense of what had just happened.

The best ending of the game leaves the biggest question of all and does nothing to answer it, leaving the player with a lack of full closure.

It Gives too Much too Soon

There is no denying that Amnesia has some brilliantly scary and very intense moments, but they are few. What few there are get put into play all at once early in the game. Easily the best part of the game (and one of the most intense moments in video gaming history) is the invisible cellar monster.

You cannot see the creature, but you can see its movements in the water below as you navigate the area by jumping from crate to crate and using corpses to distract it. At the end of this scenario, you have to navigate a number of corridors with the creature following you, and the only thing slowing it down is closing the doors behind you.

Without a doubt, it was one of the biggest adrenaline-filled moments I have ever had in a video game. My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, I was sweating, and I couldn't get enough of it. I was excited; I was eager; I wanted more; I was craving it; I needed it. But I never got it.

Despite there being moments throughout the game where you have to sneak around monsters or run and hide from them, it wasn't the same. All the player has to do is find a room, close the door and hide in a dark corner until they are safe.

The first instance of this may be somewhat scary, but after each encounter it just becomes more stale and boring. Thankfully it doesn't happen all too often.

I wish that they had implemented more moments like the invisible monster, or at least put it at a later point in the game so we had something to look forward to.

Solid survival horror gameplay, but lacking in complex puzzles

Amnesia certainly has some great ideas and uses lighting and atmosphere to its advantage. The dark, dismal corridors of the old castle, with your only light source being your oil lamp and lighting torches with tinderboxes, is simply wonderful.

You must choose carefully when to use the tinderboxes and make sure not to overuse them. The same applies to the use of your oil lamp, as both are limited in supply. You also cannot light up the area too much, because it will leave fewer areas for you hide from the monstrosities that dwell within the castle.

The sanity mechanic is also a nice addition, though it doesn't really affect that much overall. The more sanity you lose by standing in the dark, seeing monsters, or experiencing horrifying things, the harder it is to control the character. If it gets low enough, the character may collapse temporarily, but the chances of this happening are extremely low. The only time the character collapsed for me was when I was rushing things a bit on my second playthrough. Playing more cautiously as you would on your first time, it probably won't happen.

Survival horror games often have numerous puzzles throughout their experience, giving you moments of having to think in order to progress. Penumbra, for example, had some great puzzles that really got you thinking. Such puzzles included having to translate morse code, reinstall system configurations for a server, and more. They were genuine puzzles that were not too difficult, but hard enough some thought had to be put in.

In Amnesia, however, the puzzles are difficult to call puzzles. Often they entail finding items A, B and C and placing them into where they need to go, which the game does automatically. So really, the only puzzle is finding the items. And that's not a puzzle.

There is one exception, where you have place a number of pipes in a certain order, but variations in where the pipes can be placed were extremely small. You wouldn't be stuck with it for more than a few minutes, even if you weren't trying that hard.

The puzzles, however, are rather a double-edged sword. They are disappointing from a puzzle point of view, but due to their lack of difficulty, the game progresses at a fairly fast pace.

An Overall Good Game Despite its Flaws

Amnesia: The Dark Descent has its flaws, but nevertheless it is an enjoyable game. It won't give you the heart attacks like Silent Hill. It won't give you the puzzles of the Penumbra trilogy. And it won't give you a story that is fully closed and explained.

It will, however, give enough story and atmosphere for it to be an overall enjoyable experience - one that I appreciated and loved playing through a second time just as much as the first. Amnesia isn't perfect, but has moments where it scares, disturbs and genuinely grosses the player out. I would recommend it to any horror fan.

With a massive wealth of community-created content, the Amnesia experience doesn't have to stop with the main game. There are hundreds of custom stories to download and play, which will give you hours more playtime in this wonderful title, which has been a most important part in modern survival horror. In spire of the flaws, it will no doubt go down in gaming history.

Amnesia The Dark Descent is available to buy on GOG.com for €17.99 and on Steam for €19.99.

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Survival Horror - Does it Scare like it Used to? https://www.gameskinny.com/25iza/survival-horror-does-it-scare-like-it-used-to https://www.gameskinny.com/25iza/survival-horror-does-it-scare-like-it-used-to Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:07:55 -0400 Damien Smith

Over the years we have seen the genre of survival horror change greatly in various ways. It all started with the grandaddy of them all, Alone in the Dark but it wasn't until Resident Evil that the genre really began to shine. These changes are so great in fact that, some franchises have become but shadows of their former selves, the original two named above in particular. The question that such changes leave one wondering is, due to change, do survival horror titles scare just as well as in the old titles?

 (Alone in the Dark, 1992)

To Jump Scare or not? 

It would seem there is a divide in the design of survival horror games these days where they are becoming either all out jump scare syndrome or joining on the Amnesia The Dark Descent bandwagon. Jump scares are simply not scary, they are startling and nothing more than that. Therefore that style of game is not really horror and gets thrown out the window.

From that the Amnesia bandwagon looks like the way to go when it comes to horror these days but are they truly scary? Let's look at the classic itself, Amnesia The Dark Descent. Despite the fact that it was Frictional Games first title Penumbra that gave birth to this form of survival horror gameplay, it wasn't until Amnesia that it turned into the cash cow that everybody wanted to also have a piece of the pie.

Amnesia was a great game in its own right and oozed with a classic and done-right atmosphere. It truly had its great moments that were really intense and quite horrifying. The one prime moment that stands out for me is in the flooded cellar with the invisible monster in the water, where you had to jump from crate to crate avoiding it below.

What followed was one of the most intense moments in video game history where you're pursued down corridors and having to close doors behind you to escape the monstrous being. These two moments were easily the greatest moments in the entire game, but where does that leave the rest of it? The rest of the game felt rather boring after experiencing that and I never truly felt like I was in any danger afterwards. I often saw creatures in the distance but never really face to face. Even when I did, I didn't have enough time to get a good look at them for them to have any form of scare while running from them. I could have had a big wide-eyed cuddly puppy dog chasing me and it would have had the same effect as long as it killed me.

(Invisible Creature in Amnesia: The Dark Descent)

So is Amnesia really that scary of a game? Not really, it has its moment but I wouldn't call it extremely scary nor as scary as the hype would make it out.
What about Outlast?

Let's look at Outlast next. Outlast was without a doubt a damn scary game at times, but it was scary for a different reason to that of Amnesia. I often refer to Outlast as a completely relentless beast, as essentially that is exactly what it is. It simply does not stop from the very first moment you're pursued, giving you very little breathing time before something is once again attempting to crush your skull in.

(One of many threats in Outlast)

Hiding from enemies was not easy either as they would often search the areas that were possible to hide in such as lockers, under beds and so on and so forth, meaning there was always the possibility that you would be found. It genuinely scared me, my heart was racing, my body temperature increasing and wondering should I continue to play or give it a break. That relentless feeling mixed in with amazing lighting and atmosphere worked brilliantly but this is the only case of a survival horror game that has scared me in recent years and yet it still felt like something was missing. It still didn't scare me like that of the old games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

What is that thing that is missing you might be thinking. In order to answer that question we need to look back into the game that made the genre the greatness that it once was. Let's go back to 1996 and take a look at the original Resident Evil on the Playstation 1, the game that brought the genre into a being of its own.

(The First Zombie Encounter in Resident Evil)

What did Resident Evil do right?

Resident Evil pitted you against an array of horrors in a very much claustrophobic mansion, with long tight corridors and this ever impending feeling of doom and dread. The ambient music that ran in the background as you journeyed through the mansion just added to this already eerie and mysterious building along with the dimly lit rooms, traps and ambushes.

Ammunition was scarce, wasting it would lead to certain death, awkward tank controls made it extremely hard to control compared to today's control standards and the fixed camera angles worked perfectly. Due to the camera angles you never really knew what was behind that corner you were walking towards if anything at all. It all left this amazing everlasting psychologically effect on the player's mind. Silent Hill did exactly the same thing but added in the likes of limited visibility with darkness and fog mixed with extremely strange monsters that made your skin crawl to enhance the psychological effect even further.

 (The Darkness Adds to an Already Overwhelming Sense of Dread)

You see it is that psychological effect that is missing from modern-day survival horror, where the game developers create them in a way to play tricks on the player's mind to the point that their mind creates the horror within itself.

Modern day survival horror even the greats like Amnesia and Outlast are predictable, you know from the design of a room or even from how long it has been since your last encounter when something is going to happen. You know full well it's about time.

The modern survival horror games are so highly scripted and linear that it's like following an instruction manual and you quickly begin to see this A,B,C style of design coming into play. While back in the 90s developers were much more limited in what they could do and had to use what they had available and create more of a psychological effecting experience in order for their games to scare.

I have often heard people saying "If a survival horror game has guns in it, it isn't scary".

The thing is, having access to a gun in a place full of monsters with little to no places to hide and having little ammunition at your disposal serves a psychological impact on the player immediately in its own right. The player begins to question "do I kill this monster and risk being lower on ammunition than I already am, or do I find a way around it and save ammunition for later when I find myself backed into a corner?"

It is the psychological aspect of horror that is missing from today's survival horror games. Those moments where the player questions themselves, their actions, their perception and their minds. It is within a persons own mind where the greatest of horror truly lives and this is why survival horror games were scary back in the 90s, as they had such an effect on the player as oppose to today's survival horror games.

I dream of the day that survival horror games go back to having such effects on the player as it is only then that the genre will reach its greatness once again like it was so many years ago. I feel that if survival horror was going to go back to its true roots with developers understanding what it is that actually made them scary back in the day, that with modern-day technology we could have some of the scariest experiences ever created in any form of media.

That brings me back to the original question of this entire article. Does survival horror scare like it used to? The answer to that question is simply no.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent free on Steam; until 9/16 at 10 AM Pacific https://www.gameskinny.com/rcysf/amnesia-the-dark-descent-free-on-steam-until-916-at-10-am-pacific https://www.gameskinny.com/rcysf/amnesia-the-dark-descent-free-on-steam-until-916-at-10-am-pacific Tue, 15 Sep 2015 19:54:37 -0400 Courtney Gamache

The "Overwhelmingly Positive" horror-survival-adventure game developed by Frictional games called, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a free addition to your Steam library until September 16th at 10 AM Pacific. The reasoning behind the free game is a large Frictional Games Sale that is taking place until September 18th. Complete list of games on Sale

Among the Frictional Games Sale are five complete games that are on sale for up to 80% off, including upcoming game release, SOMA. Below is the full list:

Is it worth getting Amnesia: The Dark Descent?

In this first person survival horror game, the goal is to not only survive but also escape with your (Daniel's) wits in-tact. This difficult task is posed upon the gamer by questioning every move that you make; from standing in the light of your lantern to walking in the abyss of darkness. Find out how far the human mind can stretch in a game where insanity is a large possibility from the trials that an eerie castle possesses, along with the inhabitants that are inside. 

So of course the game is worth it. Not only is Amnesia: The Dark Descent competely free and entirely yours once you "purchase" the free game; but you can play it at your leisure and take the needed breaks that the intense game requires. Do you plan on adding the free game to your library? Have you played Amnesia: The Dark Descent before? Share your thoughts below on the horror-survival-adventure game.

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Top 5 horror game developers https://www.gameskinny.com/wz2vo/top-5-horror-game-developers https://www.gameskinny.com/wz2vo/top-5-horror-game-developers Sun, 06 Sep 2015 06:16:58 -0400 Review Yobo

It's a dark and rainy evening, there are a handful of people on the couch, a pizza on the table, and a great horror game on the big screen - that recipe spells one heck of a good night for anyone fond of scary games.

But what are the best horror games, and who are their makers? It can be difficult make your way through the minefield that is the market of modern horrors and find the true gems. But I'm here to help by putting forward my favorite developers and their best franchises.

These will not be games that operate solely on cheap jump scares. This list contains games that use more elaborate terror and deliver an intriguing and satisfying storyline.

5. Grasshopper Manufacture

 

This Japanese icon shows the Western players what they're missing. They're responsible for a series that has made top horror lists around the globe - Fatal Frame. This game takes you to some really dark and unsettling places, then makes you watch the approaching monstrosities as it snaps your anxious nerves - one frame at a time.

Grasshopper started with the PS2 game Killer7, but later ventured to make various games, including a game inspired by Franz Kafka - Shadows of The Damned. While they never made any games for the PC platform, they certainly make our list of top horror game developers, due to unique storyline ideas and level designs that make your skin crawl.

4. Visceral Games

I can't make a list of horror game developers if I don't mention the makers of Dead Space. Dead Space is a sci-fi shooter that will challenge your senses with a butt-load of dark atmosphere, intense in-game scenes, and goring monsters.

3. Red Barrels

Red Barrels is responsible for Outlast. This game takes you through the dark hallways of a mental care facility, where horrifying experiments have taken place. The terrifying level designs and stealth/run-for-your-life scenes make this game a prime choice for anyone looking to enjoy their weekend hiding under a bed.

2. Monolith Productions

If you have played F.E.A.R. already, you don't need an explanation for this entry. But Monolith Productions has worked on many more excellent games. They started out with a classic, for crying out loud. In 1997, they made Blood - Doom's creepy and disturbing cousin, if you can imagine such a thing. It was a hit - a bloody marvelous game.

They went on to make many other games, including an Aliens vs. Predators sequel. However, to me, the next piece of gold they struck was the F.E.A.R. series.

F.E.A.R. combines a fast-paced shooter with a horrifying exploration and puzzle game experience. However, the real reason people soil their living room leather while playing this game is a terrifying little girl named Alma. She is the protagonist of the series - a possessed child with supernatural powers and an ingenious evil character that will make you lose your breath a couple of times throughout the game.


The essence of F.E.A.R.'s excellence is this - it manages to be puzzling without being boring, and on top of that it manages to instantaneously switch the player from being the ultimate gun blasting hero to a trouser-soiling toddler, desperately looking for ESCape.

1. Frictional Games

 

This development team has been striking horror gold ever since they launched the Penumbra series. Their second brilliant idea was Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Its excellence was eye-watering and spawned a whole new series of games that Frictional Games is still working on today. All of their newest games are certainly well worth your time and will provide you with outstanding horror sensations.

But now let's briefly look back on our personal favorite, one of Frictional Games' originals - the Penumbra series. The first Penumbra was a knee-shaking puzzle game, where you get tormented by a crazy guy named Red. On top of that, some mutated rottweilers chase you through the dark tunnels of a secret underground base.

The second game enhanced your struggle by adding some disease-riddled scientists that haunt you with flashlight beams, while your character develops schizophrenia. It had fantastic level design, in-game scenes, and a thought-provoking and mysterious ending.

 

The third Penumbra game went away from the horror genre and focused primarily on physics puzzles and atmospheric level design. It was a kind of a letdown, but Frictional Games more than made up for it by putting you in the shoes of Daniel and setting you loose in the bewilderingly beautiful and horrendous chambers of Amnesia: The Dark Decent.

Frictional Games finishes off our list of five favorite developers. If you are looking for awesome horror games, this is where a majority of the magic happens.

Of course, there are other great developers not mentioned here, comment below with your suggestions and they will be sure to receive future praise. We hope you enjoy these games!

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The 20 cult video games you need to play before you die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

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Ikaruga

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Ikaruga is shoot 'em by Treasure for the PC, Dreamcast (Japan), Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox 360.

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In the nation of Horai, their leader discovered the Ubusunagami Okinokai (Power of the Gods) gaining great power. Calling themselves "The Divine Ones," begins conquering nations until they are challenged by those longing for peace.

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Why you should play
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Ikaruga's combat system is just mind-blowing. It's a polarity mechanic where only the opposite polarity can destroy the enemy. This constant "flipping" while maneuvering your ship, the "Ikaruga," had me on my toes.  It is one of the best shooters I have ever played.

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Verdict

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As previously stated, cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong fan following. Some of the games here weren't always hits at launch and some even gained their 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others. What deems a game as "cult" varies from gamer to gamer and that's okay. It is great to see how gamers impact this industry.

\n

What did you think of our list? What games would you add? List in the comments. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0d242cf31dde86cb2bae92aca370b7c9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0d242cf31dde86cb2bae92aca370b7c9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6642","description":"

Killing Floor

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Killing Floor is a cooperative zombie, horror, survival FPS by Tripwire Interactive for PC.

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Set in London, England, the Horzine Biotech, a biotechnology company, conducts military experiments involving mass cloning and genetic manipulation. During the process things go very badly and the human subjects begin to exhibit horrific mutations, disfigurement, becoming hostile, and eventually overrun the internal security forces. They escape and begin overrunning the city of London.

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Why you should play
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Where do I begin? Killing Floor has the most realistic weapons of any game I have ever played and I am a gun owner. The gameplay never gets boring no matter how much you play. This isn't a simple zombie survival by any means, oh no.

\n
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"So how did Killing Floor become so successful you ask? It's a really good question but simple to answer, this game is possibly one of the most clever games ever created due to the fact it's not one of the games where you try to get the other side of the level and re-stock on supplies then trying to get to the other side of that level or trying to gather supplies and making gangs and being a total ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ruining other people's experience with that game." - scud[i]Ö!

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The zombie hordes will ensure death and believe me--they will. Each wave becomes harder than before until meeting the final boss, the Patriarch. In between each wave you can visit the Trader's location which changes with every wave. Players earn money for every kill and for surviving the wave. Use the money to buy: katanas, shotguns, flamethrowers, and more. Select perks at the start of each match for bonuses.

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Killing Floor is deliciously fun and shouldn't be missed.

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Steel Battalion

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Steel Battalion is a Mech-simulator by Capcom for the original Xbox. The game bundles with the controller included. The controller has two control sticks, approximately 40 buttons, and a separate foot pedal.

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The controller lights up at key times, especially when taking damage. The unison lighting effect is to make the player "feel" like they are really taking damage.

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Why you should play
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Steel Battalion is a true sim to first exist on the console. The Mechs acted like real machine and the gameplay feels as close to the real thing as you can get. The controller set up makes you feel like you are in control of the Mech. If you run out of money and don't eject in time--game over! There is no pause button folks... just like real battle.

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Truly immersive game, a must-play.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/08c061f0966b4a093d0ecce6b5b38fff.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/08c061f0966b4a093d0ecce6b5b38fff.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6640","description":"

Portal

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Portal is a first-person puzzle-platformer by Valve for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It was originally bundled with The Orange Box upon release.

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Chell is challenged by GLaDOS, an artificial intelligence (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), to complete puzzles in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using a portal gun with the promise of cake upon completion.

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Why you should play
\n

Portal offers unique gameplay and GLaDOS' dark, dry humor is brilliant. The portal gun is used by creating inter-spatial portals (orange & blue) between two flat planes in order to solve the puzzles. It is amazing, fun, and quite challenging. The test chambers vary in terms of hazards, so be prepared to die--a lot. There are challenge maps and two additional modes are unlocked once the game is completed.

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Valve never anticipated Portal would be such a hit with players and was originally a mod for Half Life 2.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5b45b1e490cfc7d572930b9edc96c617.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5b45b1e490cfc7d572930b9edc96c617.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6636","description":"

'Splosion Man

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'Splosion Man is 2.5D action platformer by Twisted Pixel Games for the Xbox 360.

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'​Splosion Man is created by the laboratory Big Science. He is completely made of explosive material. The purpose is to "splode" through the levels of puzzles, traps, and enemies to escape. A splode is a jump which is used to kill enemies, demolish walls, detonate explosive barrels or even trigger other surrounding effects.

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Why you should play
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'Splosion Man offers a hefty amount of single-player and 4-player cooperative levels (local or online). Its humor, originality, and simplicity is what makes this classic great. The controls are easy as pie I might add, so there's no difficult combinations to remember. The puzzles are cleverly designed to constantly add new mechanics to the players. It can be challenging but never to the point of frustration or boredom; it's fun. There are so many references to the 1980's that you are sure to be engaged in nostalgic fun.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6603","description":"

Earthbound

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Earthbound aka Mother 2 is an RPG by Ape and HAL Laboratory for the Wii U (originally NES).

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Follow Ness and his friends as they travel the world to collect melodies while defeating the evil alien Giygas.

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Why you should play
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Earthbound has a Lovecraftian theme that is both dark and fun. There are unique elements to this classic game that I found delightful such as the the numbered health wheel and never combating an enemy beyond your limit. It doesn't punish you but still allows you to gain the XP. Give it try.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6602","description":"

Demon's Souls

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Demon's Souls is the action RPG by From Software for the PS3 that accumulated more deaths than YouTube has epic fail videos. This is the game that started the Souls series.

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The kingdom of Boletaria is being ravaged by a curse. The "Deep Fog" brings forth demons to feast on mortal souls in this dark, fantasy. Brave warriors set out to save the kingdom against this threat.

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Why you should play
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If you are like me when it comes to playing any series, you have to go to the beginning. Demon's Souls is a testament to decision making all thanks to the auto-save system. Weapon mapping is critical when in combat. Death is cruel... but delicious.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6601","description":"

Xenoblade Chronicles

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Xenoblade Chronicles is a sci-fi RPG by Monolith Soft for the Nintendo Wii.

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Follow Shulk and his friends as they search for answers regarding the mysterious "Monado" sword to defend their land from robotic creatures called the Mechon.

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Why you should play
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Xenoblade is loaded with quests with an MMO similar combat system. The world is grand and gorgeous. Oceans, caves, and swamps can be found scattered throughout. The soundtrack is equally dynamic. It is a game that you'll either love or hate.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6600","description":"

Conker's Bad Fur Day

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Conker's Bad Fur Day is a crude adult-oriented, action platformer by Rare for the Nintendo 64.

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Take the foul-mouthed squirrel Conker, who has one hell of a bad fur day, through levels based on popular movies, even one made of poo. Yes... poo. Conker goes through all of this just so he can sleep off his hangover.

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Why you should play
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Conker's Bad Fur Day is a classic full of dark, vulgar humor, puzzles, cigars, booze, and fighting loads of enemies. Do you really need any more reasons?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6587","description":"

Catherine

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Catherine is an adult adventure puzzle-platformer and dating sim by Atlus for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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Catherine weaves a tale of a young man named Vincent as he attempts to come to grips with settling down with his girlfriend Katherine. However, when Vincent gets involved with another young woman named Catherine... all hell breaks loose. This is a game that makes you think twice about being unfaithful.

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Why you should play
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Catherine is a unique game unlike any other that I have played before. The use of puzzles as nightmares due to Vincent's moral dilemma is the game's core. The anime style is a fantastic and will certainly appeal to fans of the genre.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6592","description":"

Valkyria Chronicles

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Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical RPG by Sega for PS3 and PC.

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Set in Europa, similarly to Europe during World War II & the 1930's. The abundance of Ragnite ore has caused the neutral nation of Gallia to come under attack from the Empire; who is currently at war with the Federation. Soldiers of the Federation's 7th Platoon are fighting back to unify the continent under its power.

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Why you should play
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Valkyria Chronicles has an epic storyline, beautiful graphics engine, a great gameplay system, and loaded with tons of customization. The immersible environments are stunning to boot.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/tiny_301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79243","description":"

Deus Ex: GOTY Edition

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Deus Ex: GOTY Edition is cyber-punk theme action RPG by Edios Interactive for PC.

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Set in the year 2052, Deus Ex follows JC Denton, an nano-technologically-augmented (UNATCO) agent, as he combats terrorist forces in a world slowly slipping chaos. He then becomes involved in an ancient conspiracy where he encounters groups similar to the Illuminati and the Hong Kong Triads.

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Why you should play
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Deus Ex: GOTY is an upgraded edition of the original that started a revolution as far as I am concerned. It brought an all-new gameplay to FPS with a real  immersive 3D, first-person perspective. Despite the original launching over 15 years ago, this is still a favorite among gamers.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6596","description":"

Alan Wake

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Alan Wake is an episodic psychological survival horror by Remedy Entertainment for Xbox 360 and PC similar to a television series. 

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Alan Wake is novelist suffering from a bout of writer's block who must uncover the mystery behind his the disappearance of his wife. However, his best clues come from torn pages of a book that he hasn't written yet.

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Why you should play
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Alan Wake is a fantastic combination of elements of storyline, television, and game creating an experience loaded with thrills, humor, and scares that is just as fun to play as it is to watch.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6597","description":"

Mirror's Edge

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Mirror's Edge is an action-adventure by DICE and EA for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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Join the free-runner Faith as she works to uncover corporate conspiracies by moving across rooftops, walls, through ventilation shafts, and navigating the environment using parkour.

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Why you should play
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Mirror's Edge graphics are breathtaking. Once its parkour elements are mastered, Faith's movements are traversed seamlessly. This is a game that words cannot describe, you simply must see to believe. Its expansive environment provides a dynamic setting for the fluid parkour.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6590","description":"

Grim Fandango Remastered

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Grim Fandango Remastered is an adventure game by LucasArts and Tim Schafer for PC, Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Android, and iOS.

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The game combines elements of the Aztec belief of the afterlife with film noir style to create the Land of the Dead. Departed souls, represented as skeleton-like (calaca) figures, must travel to reach their final destination, the Ninth Underworld. The story follows travel agent Manuel "Manny" Calavera as he attempts to save Mercedes "Meche" Colomar.

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Why you must play
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Grim Fandango Remastered's story, its characters, and humor make it a classic unlike anything else. It truly is one-of-a-kind. You need to pay close attention to things people say, and everything you read and see in order to complete the puzzles. Its stylistic choice to mimic the Mexican paper dolls for the Day of the Dead is wonderful. Even after 17 years from its original launch, this game is still a must-play.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6588","description":"

American McGee's Alice

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American McGee's Alice is a third-person horror action by Rogue Entertainment and EA for PC.

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The game is an unofficial sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice novels. Set years after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it is dark and Alice is maniacal. After witnessing the death of her family in a blaze, Alice suffers from survivor's guilt and is sent to the Rutledge Asylum when she begins losing her grasp on reality. Her only possession... her stuffed rabbit.

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Why you must play
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It's a steampunk, Gothic horror with no signs of Disney. A dark, deliciously morbid storyline with an amazing soundtrack. The level design and artwork are so elaborate, you will find yourself mesmerized. I cannot tell you how gorgeous it is. The characters are twisted and The Cheshire Cat delivers some of the most memorable lines to date.

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"We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat

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There is currently a petition on Change.org requesting that EA make another Alice game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6586","description":"

Psychonauts

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Psychonauts is a fun platformer by Double Fine Productions for PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, and PS3.

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Psychonauts follows Razputin (Raz), a boy with psychic abilities, who runs away from the circus to sneak into a summer camp for those with similar powers to become a "Psychonaut" (spy with psychic abilities).

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Why you should play
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Psychonauts is a creative game that features fun gameplay, wonderful voice acting, beautiful environment, strange humor, and a great soundtrack. Each character's brain is  a world for Raz to explore. The puzzles are challenging without being too difficult. I love its bizarre cast of characters. They are hilarious and well constructed.

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Tim Schafer delivers a fantastic story with the comedic style he's known for. If you love his games, you need to play this one.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6585","description":"

Limbo

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Limbo is a puzzle-platformer from Playdead for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. Its black-and-white theme and lack of dialogue resonate similar to rich film noir. Its artwork speaks of German Expressionism and it is gorgeous.

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The darkness hides loads of hazards such as:

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    \n
  • lethal bear traps on the forest floor
  • \n
  • deadly monsters hiding in the shadows... giant spiders!!
  • \n
  • glow worms: they attach themselves to the boy's head forcing him to travel in only one direction (I'll let you solve this on your own)
  • \n
\n

The second half features mechanical puzzles and traps that use machinery, electromagnets, and gravity. There is no dialogue or instruction, just the ambient eerie setting in which you must explore while using critical thinking in order to advance. Love it!

\n
Why you should play this
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Limbo is intuitive and creative; cold, lonely, and stark. The nameless boy's journey provide a breathtaking experience. The stunning artwork and physics system lend itself to its maze of masterfully crafted puzzles that make every mistake a brutal consequence.

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Simply put... it is a perfect and emotionally moving game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6584","description":"

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first person survival horror available on PC, Mac, and Linux. It is a game about immersion, discovery, and living through a nightmare made by Frictional Games.

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If you are in the darkness too long, witness unsettling events, or stare at monsters, this will reduce Daniel's sanity (which needs to be maintained). If not kept in check, you are in for hallucinations that draw the attention of the monsters. Not fun at all!

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Why you should play
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Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the scariest survival horror games I have played on PC. Its thick atmosphere is terrifying. I love how well the gameplay is crafted. The scares are horrific and memorable. The story unfolds slowly to its unsettling climax. In my opinion it is a must-play, you do not know what you're missing.

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Castle Crashers

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Castle Crashers is a side-scrolling 2D beat 'em up game from The Behemoth available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and a remastered for Xbox One.

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Castle Crashers offers a single-player and up to a 4-player cooperative gameplay either locally or online. Gain experience points, unlock weapons, animal orbs, earn coins, and unlock characters. The melee and weapon combinations are so much fun to use, especially when fighting the giant cat fish (literally... it's a cat) while in battle on the raging river.

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Why you should play
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There are giant cats, corn, knights, sandwiches, lollipop swords, and... sketches of unicorns.

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The art style of Castle Crashers is by no means any indication that it is a G-rated "baby" game. It's Diablo meets princesses that crashed into the World of Dr. Seuss. It is hysterical, fun, and will make you feel like a crazy button-smashing kid again.

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Hello gamers. If you have ever wondered what cult games should be on your must-play list, GameSkinny has got you covered. We have selected some of the best games to play before you die from PC to console.

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Cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong and dedicated fan following. Some of the games on this list weren't always hits at launch and some gained 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others in the same series or released around the same time. Unconventional elements are a common appeal that will also categorize a game as "cult."

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It just goes to show you how much of an impact we as gamers make in this industry. Here's our Top 20!

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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 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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