Silent Hill Articles RSS Feed | Silent Hill RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Konami Might Have Two Silent Hill Reboots in Progress Thu, 18 Feb 2021 15:39:34 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Konami might have two Silent Hill reboots in the works, a new report from Video Games Chronicle says, and The Medium's Bloober Team might be handling one of them.

VGC's Andy Robinson said separate sources confirmed that Konami has been trying to find a developer for one Silent Hill reboot for a while now and finally outsourced it to a "prominent Japanese developer." However, other sources suggest Konami wants more than one reboot for the series, one faithful to the original games and the other approaching it from a different angle.

That's where Bloober Team might come in. The speculation of Bloober's involvement comes from a new interview Bloober's CEO, Piotr Babieno, gave with Babieno told GIBiz the team is working on a new and exciting action-horror game:

[It's] another horror IP, and we’re doing this with a very famous gaming publisher. I can’t tell you who. I can’t tell you what the project is, but I’m pretty sure when people realize we’re working on it, they will be very excited.

VGC's sources say at least one Silent Hill game should be revealed this summer. All this follows a year of Silent Hill development rumors and cancellation rumors. Whatever the case, it seems likely Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama won't be involved, as he's hard at work on Bokeh Studio's inaugural death-game title.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

Silent Hill's Keiichiro Toyama Shares Death-Game Inspirations for New Project Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:01:53 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama is working on a new horror adventure game with his studio Bokeh and recently posted a video with some never-before-seen screenshots, plus insights into its ongoing development.

Toyama found inspiration for the as-yet-unnamed horror title in so-called death game stories, narratives that pit characters against each other in gruesome competitions, not unlike Danganronpa. Without giving much away about his upcoming game, Toyama said:

These [death game] works tend to add entertainment to somewhat brutal worlds, so I naturally took that approach. 

The view I have of horror is the everyday life being shaken. Rather than just showing scary things, it should question our position and make us challenge the fact that we're living peacefully.

Judging from the concept art Toyama shared, it seems safe to say Bokeh's new (and first) game will certainly shake up everyday life. The stills nearly all center on insects and other monstrosities in various stages of bursting out from human hosts, with one illustration — of the protagonist, perhaps — holding a sword and standing on the top of a building.

We still have a ways to go before seeing anything else about Toyama's new game. Bokeh's game is scheduled for release on "as many console platforms as possible" sometime in 2023.

[Source: IGN, YouTube]

Silent Hills Teaser P.T. Can't be Redownloaded on PS5 from the PS Store Mon, 19 Oct 2020 15:39:57 -0400 GS_Staff

It looks like P.T. won't be available on the PlayStation 5 in any official capacity. That even goes for those who still have the horror demo installed on their PS4 hard drives and may be hoping to re-download it from the next-gen console's PS Store.

The news comes straight from Konami, who confirmed P.T. isn't coming to the PS5's PlayStation Store in an email to GamesRadar. 

the content will not be available on the PS Store, so users won’t be able to re-download the content through the backwards compatibility feature to the PS5.

P.T. was removed from the PlayStation Store by Konami on April 25, 2015. Currently, the only way to play the Silent Hills teaser is to have it already installed on a PS4 hard drive. There's no way to download the teaser otherwise legitimately. Those who deleted the demo from their PS4s can't re-download it either. 

As Push Square pointed out, it may be possible to transfer P.T. from the PS4 to the PS5 via Wi-Fi data transfer, but that remains to be seen. Even if that's possible, though, getting P.T. on the PS5 only pertains to those who already have the demo installed on their PS4s. Those who deleted the teaser — or never played it in the first place — will be left out in the cold. 

Silent Hill fans have been awaiting a new entry in the survival-horror franchise since 2012's Downpour. That year also saw the release of the Silent Hill HD Collection, as well as Silent Hill: Book of Memories for the PlayStation Vita. 

While P.T. has retained its instantly-iconic status more than six years after it stealth-released on the PlayStation 4, Konami has remained mostly silent on the series.

Despite that, a slew of rumors has swirled around the survival-horror franchise for a while now, including that there are two Silent Hill games currently in the works, and that an impending SH reboot will be exclusive to the PS5

However, all of those rumors should be taken with a grain of salt until more is known about them. The only piece of concrete information we have right now is that Sam Barlow, writer and lead designer on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, has confirmed he is pitching a sequel to that game

While fans wait on any of those to come to fruition, horror game designers have used P.T. as inspiration for their own experiences, two examples being the now-canceled Allison Road and the Early Access Visage. The latter is even good enough to make it on our list of 15 horror games to play this Halloween and beyond. 

Stay tuned for more on P.T. and the Silent Hill franchise. 

[Sources: GamesRadar, Push Square]

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Sequel Being Pitched by Sam Barlow Thu, 08 Oct 2020 17:09:50 -0400 GS_Staff

Silent Hill is just one of Konami's franchises that needs to make a comeback. Don't get us started on Castlevania or Contra (because Rogue Corps doesn't really count). But if Sam Barlow has anything to say about it, a sequel to 2009's Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could get the green light.

According to Barlow, who wrote Shattered Memories and acted as the game's lead designer, he's in the process of pitching a sequel to the game. Any other details about the potential project are non-existent at this point. 

Barlow spilled the beans on Twitter after being asked about Shattered Memories in a recent interview. 

Another tweet from Barlow confirms that he is still working on Project A, which was enigmatically teased earlier this year on Her Story's fifth anniversary. Project A is currently in development, but it is not related to his work on the Shattered Memories sequel pitch. 

There have been several Silent Hill rumors making the rounds in 2020 surrounding a reboot of some kind, including rumblings that two Silent Hill games are currently in the works. In March, tweets referring to Pyramid Head from designer Masahiro Ito stoked the flames,  and in May, notable leaker Dusk Golem said that a reboot would be exclusive to the PS5

It's still unknown if those rumors are true, or if Barlow's pitch for a Shattered Memories sequel is one of the two supposed projects. It's also unknown if the pitch is anything more than that or how far along the process currently is. 

Ultimately, it's hard to tell with Konami. They did cancel P.T., after all, a game that was to be a new entry in the franchise from Metal Gear Solid designer Hideo Kojima. 

Fans have certainly been begging for more Silent Hill since 2012, with various entries in the series making remake lists far and wide. Perhaps we'll soon learn if the rumors are true — and if Barlow's pitch turns into an actual project. Stay tuned for more. 

[Sources: Twitter, Destructoid]

PlayStation Classics That Need a Remake, Remaster, or Sequel on PS5 Fri, 17 Jul 2020 15:36:58 -0400 Ethan Anderson


Legacy of Kain


Legacy of Kain is, depending on who you talk to, one of the more obscure entries on this list. It's a series of action-adventure games dating all the way back to 1996.


At the time, these games were praised for their storylines and gripping gameplay. Kain is a vampire out for revenge, and he didn't exactly meet the conventional standards for a protagonist at the time.


Yet again, we have another classic PlayStation franchise that isn't available on PS4. It's long overdue for an upgraded version for fans to sink their teeth into.




None of these games listed are guaranteed to get remasters, remakes, or sequels, but a little bit of hope can go a long way. Trust me. As a Spyro fan, I know the struggle well.


What classic PlayStation franchises do you want to see remastered or completely remade? Let us know over on Twitter




Tenchu was one of the most notable stealth-focused games on the PS1, alongside Metal Gear Solid. In fact, they both released in 1998 in Japan.


The duo's stealth mechanics are where most of the similarities between the two end, though, as Tenchu incorporated ninjutsu, Japanese fantasy, and martial arts elements throughout the series. Metal Gear Solid is, well, Metal Gear.


FromSoftware President Hidetaka Miyazaki actually stated that Sekiro could have been a new entry in the Tenchu franchise, but plans changed. That confession alone should give fans hope for a Tenchu comeback.




Suikoden is an RPG series that honestly, didn't always sell well. Despite this, critics and fans alike have continuously praised the early games.


Suikoden 2 is the brightest of the bunch, being hailed as one of the best non-Square Enix console RPGs of all time. Unfortunately, none of the games made it to the PS4 in any capacity.


Even if a sequel or full remake seems unlikely at this point, we can still keep our fingers crossed for a remaster of the long series' most enjoyable titles.


Sly Cooper


Okay, so there are a few platformers on this list. They're all classics, though. Like Jak and DaxterSly Cooper is another PlayStation franchise that gained most of its popularity during the early- to mid-2000s.


The latest entry came out in 2013 on the PS3, and at one point, there was even a movie in development, yet no signs of another sequel.


Unlike Jak and Daxter, the Sly Cooper games weren't made available on PS4 at all. Sly's band of thieves missed out on an entire console generation, but it might be just the right time to bring the series back.


Twisted Metal


Twisted Metal started out as a classic PS1 game, and it just so happens to be the oldest entry on this list. The first game launched in 1995, while the latest game was a reboot released for PS3 in 2012.


It'd be interesting to see just how the PS5 could improve upon Twisted Metal's chaotic demolition derby gameplay.


The high-octane action needs to be experienced once more, and now would be the perfect time for a victory lap, especially considering the popularity of games like Rocket League.


Jak and Daxter


Naughty Dog has been a big name in the video game industry for a long time. Before The Last of Us, there was Uncharted. And before Uncharted, there was Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter on the PS1 and PS2.


The Last of Us 2 has been on a lot of players' minds for a few weeks now, but it wasn't too long ago that Jak and Daxter could arguably be called Naughty Dog's best work. It was one of the very best action-platformers around in the early- to mid-2000s.


The series has been brought to PS3 and PS4 with upscaled ports, which is nice, but Jak and Daxter is a franchise that deserves more. 


It'd be a dream come true to be able to see more of the amazing story, fun combat and platforming, and loveable characters in a Crash Bandicoot-style remake or sequel.


Silent Hill


The Silent Hill franchise defined survival horror games with its first few entries on the PS1 and PS2. In fact, some would even say that Silent Hill 2 is one of, if not, the best game in that genre.


The creepy, mind-bending narratives stuck with players for years to come. This is even true for the demo for the canceled Silent Hill entry, P.T.


If anything on the level of P.T. gets released as a true sequel in the series for next-generation consoles, fans would absolutely lose their minds in the best way possible. Because of that, rumors of new entry have stalked the series for years, and iconic villain Pyramid Head has even made a recent appearance in Dead by Daylight


Ape Escape


The first Ape Escape came out back in 1999. It quickly became one of the console's must-play platformers. Exploring the diverse environments while catching all of the escaped apes never got old.


Fast-forward a few years, and we have the latest mainline entry in the series. "Latest" may not even be the right word since Ape Escape 3 was released in 2005 on the PS2.


With its insane number of spin-offs, it's genuinely surprising that a real Ape Escape sequel hasn't been made in 15 years.


There are ways to play some of the games in the series on PS4, but nothing close to a true remaster, remake, or sequel. Here's to hoping that these apes are let loose once again on PlayStation 5.


The next generation of consoles is right around the corner, but sometimes it's hard to leave old favorites in the past. Sometimes, players want a bit more than upscaled ports. But which games deserve that coveted remaster, remake, or even a sequel?


Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot made nostalgia-infused comebacks as remakes recently, which feels like a ray of hope for fans of PS1-era games. Crash is even getting a brand new sequel, coming this year.


With the PlayStation 5 arriving this holiday season, it's time to take a look back at some PlayStation classics that need to make next-gen appearances.

Silent Hill's Pyramid Head Terrorizes Dead By Daylight For Fourth Anniversary Tue, 26 May 2020 15:00:01 -0400 David Jagneaux

Today, Behaviour Interactive are revealing the next DLC release for their popular 4v1 asymmetrical survival horror game, Dead By Daylight, in partnership with Konami: Silent Hill!

The release will include not only Pyramid Head as the new killer, but it will also include Cheryl Mason as a new survivor and the iconic Midwich Elementary School as a new map.

It goes without saying that this is a pretty big deal for both game franchises. Not only is one of the most well-known and recognizable horror franchises in video games, with several renowned game releases, but it also includes one of the most iconic horror villains of all-time, making it the perfect fit for Dead By Daylight.

And for Silent Hill, it could point towards signs of a renewed interest in the license for Konami, something fans have been clamoring for them to do for literally years. The most recently released new Silent Hill games were Book of Memories on the PlayStation Vita in 2012 and Downpour on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, also in 2012. So it's been a while. 

This, of course, does not count 2014's P.T., the incredible teaser demo for Silent Hills, a game that never saw the light of day following Hideo Kojima's split from Konami.

Mathieu Côté, Game Director on Dead by Daylight and Product Evangelist for Behaviour Interactive, said of the partnership: 

We are so thrilled to welcome Silent Hill as Chapter 16 of Dead by Daylight. Silent Hill is such an iconic video game licence and to add it to our legendary roster of horror is truly an honor. We hope players will have as much fun discovering this Chapter as we had in making it.

In a Skype call, I got the chance to chat with Côté briefly about the new release. He told me Pyramid Head would look and feel like he does in Silent Hill 2, most specifically, and he features a powerful shockwave attack with his massive sword that can even go through walls or obstacles.

On the flip side, one of Cheryl's perks allows her to communicate with the Entity, in a limited way, to block a generator and prevent the killer from damaging it for a limited time. If timed well, it could be a great way to buy time while hiding or escaping during a chase.

Landing such a well-known IP isn't unusual for Behaviour Interactive with Dead By Daylight, but nabbing characters from another horror franchise is quite rare. Bill from Left 4 Dead is here, but otherwise, it's mostly film icons like Ghost Face from Scream, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, and Michael Myers from Halloween, among others. This latest release marks a big move for both Konami and Behaviour Interactive. 

As a big fan of the game personally, I can't wait to see how the two new characters play.

Despite the name, it looks like the screams will be anything but silent once this new killer enters the fray in Dead by Daylight starting today on the Steam public test build for PC and June 16 on PC and consoles officially. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more. 

Rumors Say Silent Hill Reboot is PS5 Exclusive, Demo in the Works Fri, 22 May 2020 12:53:50 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Another week, another round of Silent Hill rumors. This time around, the Silent Hill rumors claim a soft reboot is in the works, and the Silent Hill reboot would be a PlayStation 5 exclusive.

Though they should be taken with a grain of salt for now, it's possible these rumblings have a tinge of truth to them. The source of the Silent Hill reboot rumors is AestheticGamer, the same source that leaked information about the Resident Evil 4 remake that Video Game Chronicles went on to verify and support.

AestheticGamer's information reportedly comes from a number of independent sources they verified. These sources say Sony did not purchase the IP from Konami as other rumors suggested, and Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka and series creator Keiichiro Toyama directing the project.

If true, the rumors say a Silent Hill reboot announcement would be coming soon and a playable demo would follow shortly after.

As stated above, the veracity of these rumors is still up for debate. Konami debunked the first round of Silent Hill reboot rumors, though AestheticGamer proved right before and has remained consistent so far with Silent Hill. It's worth keeping an eye on, either way.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Silent Hill reboot news as it (hopefully) develops.

Silent Hill Rumors Intensify with Multiple Team Silent Staffers Fri, 10 Apr 2020 17:23:44 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Those Silent Hill rumors just keep on coming, and they're looking increasingly credible.

One ResetEra user, KatharsisT, claims that they can 100% confirm that a Silent Hill reboot is being worked on by series creator Keiichiro Toyama, creature designer Masahiro Ito, and sound designer Akira Yamaoka. Not only that, but they also claim the title will be announced in the next few months.

This perfectly lines up with other recent rumors and hints, outside of the rumor Hideo Kojima had anything to do with the project.

Manga artist Suehiro Maruo is also rumored to be working on the project, backed up by a post put on his Tumblr and Instagram.

Those bummed that Junji Ito isn't rumored to be involved in the project don't need to worry: Suehiro Maruo's work is on the same level of bizarre.

Many fans of the series would consider Silent Hill to be dead after its fourth entry on the PlayStation 2, with Team Silent disbanded after the title and other studios taking it into their hands in the years after. If these rumors are true, this game will be the first we've seen Toyama, Yamaoka, and Ito work on collaboratively in over 15 years.

One can't say "any news is good news" in regards to Silent Hill these days, but all these rumors really do seem like good news.

Thanks, PushSquare.

Konami's Silent Hill Revival Might Not Be Real After All Tue, 24 Mar 2020 13:52:10 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Recently, rumors swirled about Konami carrying on with Silent Hill in partnership with Sony. It turns out they might not be so plausible after all, according to Konami's U.S. public relations representatives.

The PR rep spoke with Rely on Horror, the outlet that originally reported on those rumors as well.

The rep said:

We’re aware of all the rumors and reports but can confirm that they are not true. I know it’s not the answer your fans may want to hear.

It’s not to say we are completely closing the door on the franchise, just not in the way it is being reported.

After this initial response, Rely on Horror followed up with more specific requests for clarification. They asked the U.S. PR agent whether that meant both the rumored projects — the Silent Hill reboot Kojima Productions was reportedly handling and the one Sony Japan was working on — were completely false. However, they received no response.

PR is a tricky beast, especially in entertainment. Silence could mean many things. On the other hand, given the nature of the response, Silent Hill remakes might be in the works, "just not in the way it is being reported." Given that second part of the response, we're rather inclined to go with that option.

Either way, rumors are rumors until proven true with actual announcements. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Silent Hill remake news as it develops.

More Silent Hill Rumors Arise and Look Increasingly Credible Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:41:04 -0400 Ashley Shankle

It's looking more and more like at least one new Silent Hill title is in the works, at least if the internet rumor mill is to be believed.

Fans may have noticed some interesting tweets over the past couple of months, most noticeably the following tweet by series creature designer Masahiro Ito, setting the Silent Hill series subreddit on fire with speculation soon after it hit Twitter.

Back in 2017, Ito tweeted that if he were to work on a new Silent Hill game, the iconic Pyramid Head wouldn't be a part of the program. Which is, of course, understandable. Pyramid Head was meant to be the foil to James Sunderland. Not a catch-all unstoppable force.

In January, AestheticGamer claimed on Twitter that two new Silent Hill titles may be in the works. Yesterday, he had more to say on the matter, again claiming based on his sources that an episodic title, as well as a soft reboot were being shopped around to various developers.

There's more to what he offers today compared to before, though.

According to what he's heard, Sony was attempting to mediate between Konami and Kojima Productions. Not only that, but that Masahiro Ito has supposedly been working on the episodic title, and that a collaboration between Sony, Konami, and Kojima Productions is in "the talks," but not in development.

His sources have more concrete claims in regards to the Silent Hill soft reboot, though he cannot divulge which studios have their hands on it.

If even half of these claims are true, Silent Hill fans are sure to be in for a treat. After the loss of PT and the absolute shambles the series has been in since the PlayStation 2 era, a Silent Hill title from some of the minds that made the series great in the first place would be a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Silent Hill and Fatal Frame Movies Emerging From the Fog Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:29:50 -0500 Ty Arthur

It's been 14 years since we first saw the first Silent Hill movie (and that truly brutal barbed-wired dismemberment scene). Though it's been a long, foggy road, there's good news for fans of the franchise. A new Silent Hill movie is in the works, along with a film adaptation of the Fatal Frame series.

Christophe Gans (Silent Hill, Brotherhood of the Wolf), who notably did not work on the less well-received Silent Hill movie sequel, is tackling both projects. 

The news arrives via an interview Gans conducted with French site Allocine. Here's the relevant bit translated to English:

I have two horror film projects with Victor Hadida. I am working on the adaptation of the video game Project Zero (known as Fatal Frame in the United States). The film will take place in Japan. I especially don’t want to uproot the game from its Japanese haunted house setting.

And we’re also working on a new Silent Hill. The project will always be anchored in this atmosphere of a small American town, ravaged by Puritanism. I think it’s time to make a new one.

Be on the lookout for more concrete news on casting and release dates for both Silent Hill and Fatal Frame down the line.

On the video game front, Silent Hill has been on rocky ground. The unfortunate cancellation of Silent Hills led to Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus making the bizarre Death Stranding. And whether Konami is actually working on any Silent Hill games is still up in the air.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, the last entry in the camera-based horror series, came out for the Wii U back in 2014. Currently, there's less than no word on any new titles in the franchise. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the upcoming films and, hopefully, new games as it develops.  

Two New Silent Hill Titles in Works, Leaker Claims Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:46:45 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Silent Hill feels like it's been dead for a long time, doesn't it? I suppose it has. The last installment came in 2012 with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and most fans would rather forget it exists.

Now, though, a rumor is circulating that two Silent Hill games could be in the works. Reputable leaker AestheticGamer claims Konami reached out to multiple developers a couple of years ago for them to shop their ideas to Konami for two new Silent Hill titles.

According to AestheticGamer, one title is a "soft-reboot of the franchise" and the other "an episodic TellTale/Until Dawn-style game to go alongside the reboot."

The Silent Hill series has had a hard time finding its legs since Silent Hill 3 on the PlayStation 2. The fourth game in the series, Silent Hill 4: The Room, was not even meant to be related to Konami's renowned survival horror series; however, it was eventually released as a Silent Hill title with some story connections to the in-game town that shares it's namesake.

Whether this rumor holds any water is up in the air unless Konami comes forward with an announcement, and most fans of the original three or four games can attest Silent Hill hasn't met the same storytelling standard or terrifying heights as its original PS2 titles since Team Silent disbanded. The P.T. collaboration by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro regrettably went nowhere.

A return to "our special place" may be just what we need in 2020 to turn the fate of Silent Hill around, but whether Konami actually reached out about these projects or has trusted them to developers that respect the essence of the series is yet unknown.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the Silent Hill franchise as it breaks. 

5 Scary Games to Keep You Awake at Night Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:02 -0400 ReverendShmitty

As a resident of Texas who despises hot weather, I loathe Spring as it's the final nail in Winter's coffin. With Summer looming on the horizon, watching and waiting for its time to strike, I find myself fantasizing about Autumn and its many benefits. Namely Halloween.

So I shut my windows, cranked up the AC, and got set to remember the most frightening moments in video games I've ever experienced -- to get into the spooky spirit. If you, too, want Halloween in March, then dive in headfirst and pretend it isn't sunny and full-of-life outside.

5. Silent Hill

Silent Hill

Silent Hill is easily one of the most genre-defining horror games in the history of ever. It was among the earliest to force the player into the role of an underpowered protagonist merely trying to survive against untold horror. A father, trying to find his missing daughter who has run off into the mysterious town of Silent Hill. The town itself, abandoned, and covered in a thick layer of fog is eerily stagnant yet alive. The empty buildings stand like tombstones watching over you as you meander your way through the darkness.

The static you hear through your radio at the approach of an enemy always made me tense in despicable anticipation of what was to come, like the pause just before the drop of a roller coaster. All too often were you forced to run from horrors such as the mannequin monsters with only a flashlight to arm yourself with.

This game will give you nightmares and make you question the sanity of its creators when you face the endings.

4. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2, zombies

Another classic horror game, Resident Evil pits the player against zombies and other mutants, with the second installment my own personal brand of Hell. In the boots of Leon Kennedy, you find yourself in the front line of a zombie pandemic in Raccoon City and must fight your way to the station to find help.

This game had the tank-like controls to make you scream in frustration, but they really added to the scare factor as you had to work harder to hit the zombies as they closed in on you. Ammo was scarce and head-shots hard to come by, creating a tense atmosphere as the undead swarmed about; slowly lumbering closer and closer. I can still remember the disgusting splashing sound effects of them feeding on a corpse nearby.

Even opening a freaking door was intense as the camera entered a first person view of a door slowly opening to reveal darkness beyond it. And yes, there is a part where zombies burst through before you can move or aim. Combine that with creatures such as the skinless, ceiling-walking Licker and the room full of ravenous crows, and this game seems specifically designed to mess with the player.

3. F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R., FEAR, Alma

F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) was the first game in the 360/PS3 generation to make me actually yell. I saw it as just another first person shooter with nice graphics and tight, responsive controls. I got my assault rifle and my scissor kicks and felt invincible.

Then I met the terrific AI of the game in the form of super soldiers and was pleased by the challenge. It was a dynamic shift compared to the games of yesteryear and I became intrigued. I fought through them and became more confident in my abilities.

Then the crap hit the fan.

Alma, a ghost-child with psychic abilities, begins appearing when you turn around to descend a ladder, or running past a light behind you, bathing you in her shadow. She wipes out your entire team and leaves behind nothing but skeletons soaking in a pool of scarlet. The game has more than the jumps to make you flinch and combines it with the atmosphere of knowing something amiss is nearby. The balance of gunplay against humans and exploration makes the small creepy details really build and build until the sudden appearance you’ve been dreading blows you away.

2. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2, Dead Space, Necromorph

Dead Space 2 features the most unlucky man in the history of ever. Isaac Clarke, an engineer, was sent to fix a ship, only to find the undead onboard and barely fight them off at the expense of losing both his girlfriend and his mind. Pick up a couple years later and Isaac is suffering from dementia and another tour through the pits of Hell.

Once more he’s forced confront the legion of Necromorphs, only this time on a much larger and more terrifying scale. They’ve consumed an entire city, perhaps more, and he must use the information hardcoded into his brain to save it.

For the player, this means you have to explore decrepit spaceships and destroyed buildings as the twisted monstrosities of Stephen King’s nightmares stalk you left and right. They will burst through walls, doors, ceilings, floors; anything they can to get to you. A fully illuminated hallway is no less frightening that a dark one when you know the monsters can come from anywhere.

As horrifying as they are though, the sound is the scariest aspect of the game. You will hear a quiet, tense track of tones and strings to mellow the mood as you progress. Then you hear something scuffle away and the moans of something in pain. You creep into the next hallway and see blood splashed across the walls and strange runes written in it. You move closer and the strings begin to rise so slowly you don’t notice until it’s too late and the Necromorph is upon you. The roars of these creatures are a disturbing crescendo that is like night and day from the moody soundtrack.

You will play this game only when feeling brave and knowing sleep isn’t that important. Especially after the needle-in-eye scene.

1. Condemned: Criminal Origins


Oh, Condemned, what can I say about you? You are the pinnacle of what scares me in a video game. You are the epitome of fright and the physical manifestation of the horror that can grow within someone’s mind.

As federal agent Ethan Thomas, you must track down a serial killer who has framed you for the death of your partner through the seediest city since downtown Detroit. Psychopaths await you both in groups and alone, making their tactics so varied they’re nearly impossible to predict. Some will wait under trash or behind obstacles to ambush you. Others will charge in head on with a more powerful weapon such as the fire axe. Then there are the special enemies that change from location to location, with my favorite being the ones in the mall who pose as mannequins until you come within range.

This game is demented. Combat is slow and heavy with melee weapons found in the vicinity making up the vast majority of the game. Pipes, paper cutters, axes, crowbars, sledgehammers, rebar; anything you can get your hands on. You have to time your blocks and swings perfectly to succeed against the insane and just pray they don’t swarm together too often as your taser has to recharge between shots. Even your flashlight will vary in intensity based on the creator's designs for the level.

And what levels they are. Abandoned malls, hospitals, schools, farms; pretty much the scariest places you would never want to go to. With such a visceral first person view, you can’t help but feel like you’re really there in the midst of such violence. The alleys become suffocating and the tight quarters claustrophobic, but the wide areas offer no alleviation as you realize you’re wide open without cover and could easily be surrounded. You glance left and right through the dark but your flashlight can only shine so far.

Then movement.

Most often I would hear something first then get hit, knowing too late I’m being attacked. The soundtrack to this game is virtually nonexistent as the atmosphere and ambience seep into your brain and cause paranoia. Go into the basement and you’ll hear footsteps overhead in the room you just left. Enter a new area and hear hushed voices that fade away when you come near. Objects in the world such as bottles will make noise when bumped into for both you and them, causing tense moments of did-they-hear-me? and what-the-hell-was-that? throughout the game. There are even a few hallucinatory-like moments to add a mind bending psychological aspect that will make you question what’s real and what’s in Ethan’s mind.

If you play this game, it will likely be in short bursts with plenty of time between sessions, all the while wondering: why am I playing this?

These are the titles that made me squirm, shriek, flinch, and gasp. Some as a child, some as an adult, all of them forever remembered for the sheer sense of dread they instilled in me. Share your own scary experiences in the comments and let's keep Halloween in March alive.

What Makes a Horror Game? Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:43:26 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Horror is easily one of the most misunderstood genres in media. This is mostly because many people are still under the misconception that it’s all about blood, guts, boobs, and butts with a fair amount of idiot teenagers getting murdered.

It doesn’t help matters that one of the most profitable horror genres – the slasher genre – is the biggest purveyor of this trend, much to my annoyance.

However, now there seems to be another unfortunate plague infecting people’s minds relating to the genre: the inability to tell between a horror game and horror elements within a game. One could assert that if anything has the elements of a horror game, then it should be considered a horror game...

This is incorrect.

This assertion mostly originates from people who aren’t familiar with what horror is; a feeling, an overwhelming sense of dread and helplessness that can’t be fully explained. To further extrapolate on this allow me to quote one of the founding members of the Horror Writers Association; Robert McCammon. – from an interview in Twilight Zone Magazine:

"Horror fiction upsets apple carts, burns old buildings, and stampedes the horses; it questions and yearns for answers, and it takes nothing for granted. It's not safe, and it probably rots your teeth, too. Horror fiction can be a guide through a nightmare world, entered freely and by the reader's own will. And since horror can be many, many things and go in many, many directions, that guided nightmare ride can shock, educate, illuminate, threaten, shriek, and whisper before it lets the readers loose." (Twilight Zone Magazine, Oct 1986)”

With that in mind, what about those pesky games with horror elements? Well, those games make it a little tricky for those who are connoisseurs of the horror genre. While we do certainly appreciate them for adding the elements that help diversify the landscape of gaming and to change up a possibly boring formula, I’ll admit I take issue with people putting one game as “the best horror game of all time”:

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

Allow me to clear something up without a shadow of a doubt: Majora’s Mask is as much of a horror game as Doom 2016 is – that is to say, it isn't. It has elements that make you feel dread; the looming moon, Skull Kid, or the Mask itself, and it has elements that are meant to make you feel helpless, like how Romani will be taken away by aliens if you don’t take action.  These are what are called horror elements. However, there is one big thing that it gives the player to keep it from being a horror game: power.

Despite everything that Majora’s Mask makes you feel, it gives you the power to combat those feelings in many ways, primarily with the fact that you’re able to go back in time to the beginning after playing a quick song.  That gives you the ability to go back and change the events of the game, preventing many of the events from happening at all and effectively changing the timeline, with the only consequence being that you have to restart the three days over again. You can deposit all of your rupees, you can keep all your items and you come back being smarter and stronger than you were before. There’s a sense of you conquering the evil and saving the day which urges you onward despite the desperation in your heart from witnessing the world’s end.  Regardless of the crushing despair and anxiety that you may feel in Majora’s Mask, it leaves you with a sense of closure; a sense that things are going to be alright now.

Let’s contrast this with a common horror game element: a “bad” ending, an ending that can be combated by going back to a specific save and not doing what you did to cause the bad ending in the first place. Now, from an outsider’s perspective, that may sound like exactly the same thing, right? Here’s the difference: the only event in the game that you change is the ending. Many of the other events that lead up to that ending will still happen in the same way.

To use a game as an example, let’s talk about Corpse Party; that particular title has a basket full of bad endings. While you can go back and prevent the bad ending, you can’t go back and prevent the deaths that occur over the course of the story. There are all these ghosts and corpses around that you can’t do a single thing about all while you’re wandering about this abandoned school, wondering if the character you’re controlling will suffer the same fate. There’s no way of preventing it, no way of going back in time and fixing the fact that they died because of your character's actions within the realm of the story rather than the unscripted bad endings for poor performances. The characters themselves actually try to go back in time and fix what they’ve done, yet they make everything ten thousand times worse, resulting in even more suffering for our main cast.

That’s the biggest difference between horror games and games with horror elements:  the pain, the suffering, the anxiety and the emptiness can’t be filled with just a game over screen. By the end of a horror game, you’re not meant to feel as though everything can be okay once more. You’re meant to feel that everything has changed and that these characters are never going to be the same again. This suffering you’ve gone through with them isn’t over, not by a long shot, and now there’s a body count in addition to all of this – one that you couldn’t prevent even if you tried.

Even if the ending is a lighter one within the genre, such as in Silent Hill with you holding baby Cheryl with Cybil the police officer, there’s still that sense of “I just witnessed a crazy cult that was responsible for all sorts of horrors summon a demon lord after burning a child alive” in the back of your mind that no awkward CGI smiling at each other can wipe from your head.

When looking at a game, before you decide to view it as a horror game, I want you to take a moment to figure out just how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel helpless, then that’s a good start, but there’s a lot more to it than that.  When you’re able to ruthlessly tear down the monsters that plague you as if they’re tissue paper, then you might have found a game with horror elements, but not a horror game.

Finding the latter means that you’ll be exposed to concepts like the inevitability of your own demise, or be confronted with your insignificance in fates' design, or be faced with machinations of the void, or perhaps even the depths of your own psyche. This is what makes a horror game, it's not just about fear, it's about transporting someone to a place where they're confronted with something that they wouldn't want to face and then not allowing them to look away, not even for a second.

The 5 Grinchiest Characters in Video Games Mon, 19 Dec 2016 03:00:01 -0500 Pablo Seara

Christmas is just around the corner! We think it is the perfect moment to write about happiness and joy... But also about The Grinch, of course. He is one of the most iconic characters related to Christmas, a grumpy, green and selfish creature that wants to steal this special Holiday.

There are plenty of villains in video gaming that share many similarities with the Grinch, even physical ones. In this article, we want to remember the five grinchiest characters in video games.

We are excluding The Grinch from this list (he has his own video game), because it would be, you know, kind of cheating.


Wario is the real anti-Mario, not Bowser. He is everything Mario is not: selfish, evil, narcissistic, and even fatter. His main motivation is getting rich, usually by stealing money from anyone. That is pretty grinchy to me, since he does not care about others and would rather rob anyone than remain poor.

Some would say he is more an antihero than a villain, especially since he has his own line of games, and they are probably right. The Grinch eventually came around and learned to love Christmas, which makes him an antihero as well. However, I do not think Wario will ever stop thinking about money...

Dahlia Gillespie

This woman is the worst and she is really ugly. She is so bad that she does not even care about her daughter, Alessa. She used her to give birth to her Dark God, with horrible results. After a failed ritual resulting in a big fire, Alessa burns and is completely disfigured. She should have died, but her mother keeps her alive with black magic. Disgusting.

Her actions trigger the events in the first Silent Hill, a key figure in the nightmarish town. She puts everyone in danger, and uses them for her own selfish purposes. She is mad, and even a little bit green, perfect for a grinchy person like her.

Professor Hojo

This guy is just despicable. Just like Dahlia, he is the real villain of his game, Final Fantasy VII. He is behind SOLDIER and the Jenova Project, which makes him the creator of Sephiroth, his finest experiment.

Hojo is the typical mad scientist, who does not care about the well-being of anyone, because he sees them as possible subjects for his tests. He performs experiments on himself, and put the city of Midgar and the whole planet in risk, but that does not matter to him at all. He even finds enjoyment in the suffering of others. You cannot get grinchier than that.


The first and only green character on this list, Gruntilda is the antagonist of Banjo-Kazooie. She is clearly inspired by The Wicked Witch of the West. She is so selfish that, when she discovers that Banjo's sister is the prettiest girl in the land, she kidnaps her and tries to steal her beauty.

She goes even further in the second game, when she tries to steal everyone's vital energy to restore her body. She would rather kill everyone than remain ugly. Just as all the characters in this list, she does not care at all about anyone other than herself.


What else can I say about GLaDOS (just her quotes tell you everything) that has not been said before? She is one of the greatest villains in video games, and she would make a great Grinch with her sarcastic and powerful humor. The gift is a lie!

She uses Chell in both Portal games as test subject and killed almost everyone in Aperture Science. She becomes corrupted by power and, as usual in this article, does not care about anyone. In the second game, she starts to change after she loses control of the facilities and becomes kind of good, which redeems her a little bit -- but was it all a ploy to get back in control?


This is our list for the grinchiest, grumpiest and most cold-hearted characters in video games. As always, there are many more in the history of gaming that could fit in this description.

What do you think about these characters? Who do you think could make a great Grinch? Let me know in the comment section below!

Interview: Mega-Maniacal Gaming Studios Developer and the Horror Genre Sat, 17 Dec 2016 13:11:15 -0500 StraightEdge434

Today's horror games are not as impressive as the ones from the past. If it's not the constant jumpscares like in Five Nights at Freddy's, then it's the constant action, like that in the current Resident Evil games (let's hope that RE7 will change that).

So, why can't the horror genre go back to its roots and give gamers a real scare without cheap scare tactics or action-movie thrills? 

Unlike AAA developers, who are "ruining" the horror genre, indie developers are carrying the weight of the genre on their shoulders, trying to keep it relevant and alive.

GameSkinny recently sat down with an aspiring developer and founder of Mega-Maniacal Gaming Studios, Leo Maldonado, for an interview to talk about the horror genre as a whole and what can be done to potentially save it. 

GameSkinny: Are you working on developing any projects right now in regards to horror games?

Leo Maldonado: So far, I have been testing the waters in terms of getting into certain projects, and yes there is one right now that is occupying a great deal of my time.

GS: Can you tell us a little bit about what project you are working on and what it will be about?

LM: Certainly. I am currently working on a survival horror game called Viral. It centers around a protagonist who wakes up within a desolate science research facility not knowing what happened or what is going on. He has to solve puzzles, as well as explore the facility to find out what happened to the place, and escape any potential danger. Speaking about danger, my protagonist will have to escape while also evading mysterious creatures that have overtaken the facility.

GS: Based on the description you provided, it seems that you have really thought this one through. Is there anything that has inspired you? Perhaps modern horror games, or those of the past?

LM: Honestly, I have been inspired by many of the classic horror games that have come before, such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. But probably, my biggest influence right now is the cancelled Silent Hill project, entitled PT

GS: Do you have a specific target audience in mind? If you plan to release your title, to which fans are you particularly catering to?

LM: My target audience are people that are already familiar with the genre of survival horror. My reasoning for this is that I feel the gaming community as a whole has grown apart from it throughout time.

GS: What did you mean when you said that the gaming community has grown apart from the survival horror genre?

LM: I mean I feel that a lot of horror games have become afterthoughts to the gaming community because they lack the type of "magic" that made the originals so great.

GS: Can you please elaborate on that if possible. What exactly do you mean by that?

LM: Sure. An example that I believe best demonstrates this trend are the latest additions to the Resident Evil franchise. The first few games were the embodiment of the desperation that horror games present. But from the fourth installment to the sixth, they began to favor action packed gameplay over the isolated, atmospheric and overall desperate gameplay nature that horror games are made of. 

I personally believe that this trend has led loyal fans of the franchise to lose interest and grow apart from it.

GS: With the upcoming release of Resident Evil 7, and based on what you just said, do you think that that particular title will be able to restore the franchise back to its former glory?

LM: I full-heartedly believe that it will not only restore the franchise to its former glory, but I believe that it will pave the way for many more installments to come. RE7 is set to be the first game of the franchise to be in the first person view, and to be VR compatible, so that alone will be enough to generate the desired effect.

GS: Seeing your support for the franchise, and as you have said earlier that RE has inspired you, what do you hope to accomplish with your own project?

LM: With this project, I am hoping that I can breathe life back into the original survival horror, and bring back the genre to its roots, while providing die hard horror fans with a sense of nostalgia as well. Fans want things to be the way they were before, and that is what I seek to deliver. 

GS: Going back to your game, what platforms do you plan to release it on, and do you think your game will be any different or unique? If so, how?

LM: That's a good question. Well, first off, I seek to release my project for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. I know that it might sound like a lot, but I hope that I'll get it done.

For the other half of the question, I think this game will be unique in the sense that it is revitalizing everything that has made classic survival horror games excel (atmosphere, sense of hopelessness and the need to explore to find the objectives). This will also be mashed together with the modern taste of things, as I will seek to make the game compatible with VR. This creates an even dose of a blast from the past and a face full of the future!

GS: Do you have an expected release date for the game yet?

LM: Well, the development of this project is certainly something that I would prefer not to rush. However, things have been coming along, and I feel that the train has been running steadily right out of the gate. Hopefully, I'm shooting for a release in the fall of 2017.

GS: Finally, do you have a website where people can learn more about you, your studio, and your project?

LM: As of this exact moment, not right now. I'm currently working on developing my own website, along with the project, so as you can imagine, I'm multitasking, which isn't exactly a fast paced process. Eventually, I will have the site running where people can learn more about my project. 

Viral hopes to restore the survival horror game genre to its former glory with promises of isolation, eerie atmospheres and a sense of hopelessness -- the way survival horror games are meant to be developed and played.

Leo Maldonado is a man on a mission with one difficult goal in mind. Personally, I wish him and his potential team the very best of luck, and sincerely hope that his title will be something that will be remembered and, more importantly, embraced by classic horror fans.

What do you think of the current state of the horror genre? Do you like it? Or do you think it needs a new infusion? Let us know in the comments below!


Six Things That Would Make Me Give Up on the Video Game Industry Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:17:26 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Throughout my life, I had the pleasure of being involved with different forms of entertainment. I studied playwriting in High School, worked as a film critic in my first year of college and now I am immersed in video games, a passion that started late in my life, at the age of 17, but only blossomed as the years went by.

When I first experienced interactive storytelling, I realized video games hold great potential to become the ultimate platform for narrative-driven experiences, in both depth and meaning, surpassing films and books. The prime example to support my reasoning is Ken Levine developing a story that can only be told through video games.

Moreover, games, through interactivity, can engage their users in a way that no other form of entertainment can. With this in mind, game designers have started to use their skills, in order to create experiences that motivate individuals to tackle real life problems.

Games can be a powerful tool for social change, as Jane McGonigal detailed in her New York Times bestselling book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World. The future for gaming seems bright in various fronts.

This industry continues to become more sophisticated each year, developing deeper and more engaging experiences and as the development curve for video games remains steep, the revolutions we are witnessing today are only the beginning.

While I love video games in their current form, the future of this medium is what excites me the most about it and also what makes me place games above all other forms of art.

However, as in any relationship, I may have to reevaluate my judgment over video games if certain expectations are not met in the long run. 

With this said, I compiled six future scenarios that, in conjunction, would make me give up on placing the video game industry on top of my priority list.  

Reason #1 - Lack of meaningful innovation:

As technology continues to grow in an exponential rate, new gadgets and novel ideas are created each day and the time spam between the development of one innovative product and another is getting shorter, due to a principle known as Moore’s Law.

This concept states that technology doubles its processing power every two years, as seen in the graphic below, designed by Singularity University.

Video game studios keep a close eye on the technological market, in order to spot opportunities to implement new technologies in their productions and gain an advantage on the competition. The current example of this process is the expansion of Virtual Reality.

I fear; however, for a future in which the time between the arrival of one revolutionary product and the other continues to get shorter, to the point that developers will not have enough time to fully explore one technology, before moving on to the next "big thing”.

If this scenario comes to fruition, it will hurt the innovation this industry can deliver, as developers will not be able to explore a technology to its limits.

Considering that I place the gaming universe on top of my priority list due to what the future holds. Lack of significant innovation is a scenario that could make me shift my focus towards other mediums.  


Reason #2 - Lack of focus:

The Final Hours of Portal 2 (above) is an e-book written by the video game journalist Geoff Keighley, in which the author details the development process of Valve’s Portal 2.

Therein, Geoff reveals the story behind the origins of the game, and how the initial concept diverged from the final product we all go to know. The original premise of the game featured a counterintuitive concept.

In an attempt to innovate in their design, developers at Valve produced an early version of the game that did not feature portals and included a much different story. The codename of the project was F-Stop. 

The development team; however, realized it had moved too far away from the essence of the franchise. Acknowledging its mistake, Valve restarted the design of the game and Portal 2in the form we all know, was born.

With acclaim from both critics and fans, scoring 9.5/10 on Metacritic (PC version), Valve managed to transform its bad start into a masterpiece, but not every developer can accomplish this feat. A prime example is the Call of Duty franchise.

Through the years, players complained that the series had become too repetitive and when the minds behind it decided to alter their formula, the fans reacted negatively to the change.

I am referring to the latest entry of the series, Infinite Warfare

Enthusiast asked for change and when they received it, they complained. This may seem as a paradox, but the issue was not the change itself, but how it was delivered.

It was so drastic; that the essence of the franchise fell into oblivion and this resulted in a lesser product in the eyes of the players. Without following the identity of the series, it was not a surprise that the sales were 50% down from Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

In the years to come; however, this issue might not be exclusive to Call of Duty. The problem of lack of identity might spread in the video game franchises of the future. 

As developers have at their disposal an increasingly large set of technological tools to work with, the problem of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may affect the video game industry as a whole in the future.

In tandem with Reason #1, I fear for a future when developers attempt to harness the potential of several technological innovations at once and by “shooting at every direction”, the essence of long-standing franchises might be lost. Resulting; therefore, in a less engaging experience, which aspires to be many different things at once. However, it ends up pushing too hard towards innovation and failing to preserve what made it special in the first place.

Reason # 3 - Lack of focus (on writing):

Video games have delivered masterpieces in regards to writing, The Last of Us, BioShock and Mass Effect, to name a few, but these are the exceptions, unfortunately.

The overall standard for writing in this industry is considered low, if compared to other forms of entertainment, such as films and books.

The video above, from the YouTube channel Extra Credits, gets into further detail as to why the gaming industry often delivers poor narratives, but the biggest factor is the working conditions under which writers operate.

In many games, developing a narrative comes as one of the last steps in the development cycle, which means the writer needs to construct a story for a game that has essentially been already built.

With this said; video game writers usually need to face the frustration of having their imaginations limited by the constraints of the project, needing to adapt their ideas to a game that has been presented to them. This scenario limits the artistic freedom of writers and hurts the quality of their work.

The most notable example of writers delivering poor narratives as a consequence of the constraints of the project is the original Mirror's Edge game.

In 2011, the writer of the game, Rhianna Pratchett, spoke to the website ActionRip and commented on the reason why Mirror's Edge lacked a compelling narrative.

"DICE was a great company to work with, but Mirror’s Edge was a challenging project and an important learning experience for me. Unfortunately, because of the timing when I was brought in and a large amount of the script being cut (due to the late decision to remove level dialogue) the narrative wasn’t what I would’ve liked it to be. Thankfully, I got the chance to remedy this a little bit in the Mirror’s Edge comic series with DC. The story in those was much more along the lines of what I would’ve liked to have developed for the game."

This is the opposite of the working circumstances in other mediums, such as television and film, where the emphasis is in the narrative and all of the rest is built around that.

This trend in gaming is changing; however.

Some studios now have full-time writers as part of their design teams. These include BioWare, Ubisoft and Valve (above) and they aim to develop the narrative of their games since the initial concept, finding the best methods to combine storytelling with gameplay, in order to ensure both work together and deliver an optimal experience.

This shows a commitment from these companies to deliver compelling narratives and it represents the recognition that a good story is a fundamental piece to make a game be successful.

It is my hope to see more studios adhering to this modus operandi of placing more emphasis on writing and holding it as a crucial element of the experience.

Narrative design is a key component of the game’s design, after all, but whilst this industry has improved significantly from its roots, there still is plenty of room for improvement.

Developers are still discovering the language of video game narrative and this process of attempting new techniques, especially in the indie scenario, excites me, due to its potential to deliver more compelling and emotionally provoking experiences.

Considering the potential video games hold for storytelling, and given my passion for the art of telling stories, if the development curve in the evolution of video game narratives cease to be as steep as it is now, this will demotivate me to keep my excitement over the future of this industry.

Reason #4 - Lack of self regard:

Video games have come a long way since their conception, but they still have a long way to go. In order to improve the experiences of today and perfect the ones of tomorrow, we must learn from the past.

For this purpose, case studies have been created around games that are the best this industry has to offer to date, in order to understand what made them so special, but not everyone agrees that we should study games in depth.

Two years ago, I watched a video posted by the YouTube channel Extra Credits titled “Art is Not The Opposite of Fun” (above). As video games continue to become more complex, a worrying trend also emerges.

A portion of gamers believes that making a deep analysis of the products of this industry will make them worse. They claim video games are meant to be fun and studying them, in order to craft deeper experiences and develop their potential as a form of artistic expression, would hinder the fun they deliver.  

People perceive art as something boring or weird and some gamers fear that making games become more artistic will lessen their fun.

I must say, unfortunately, that I have witnessed this trend occur with my friends. In many occasions, when trying to talk about a game in a deeper sense, my peers would simply say, “it is just a game”, in an urge for me to stop “overthinking” about it.

If I speak about the potential games have to deliver experiences of art, people automatically assume I wish to make games become as boring and weird as people perceive art to be.

The image below portraits the reactions I get when I mention the development of games as a form of art.

“It is just a game”, this assumption needs to go.

We cannot demand better experiences if we, as a community, are not willing to mature along with this industry. The games designers create are a mirror that reflects us. They want us to buy their games; therefore, they create products to suit our needs.

With this said; if we are to ask for better content, we must grow together with the industry and attempt to discuss our games in a deeper level and that means embracing the possibility of having games as an artistic product.

Creating more artistic games; however, will not be easy. As Reason #2 stated, players can react negatively if games change in a way that makes them loose their essence, as happened with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

With this said, the trick to making games mature as a form of art, without making them lose their fun, is ensuring that developers do not deviate entirely from what makes games special today.

Aiming for the future, whilst staying true to the past of games should be the goal of developers, so they may deliver productions with great artistic value, that are still fun to play.

But as the video from Extra Credits explains, there is a hidden reason as to why many gamers vilify those who study video games in depth.

They do not want games to change.

Many gamers love their favorite titles so much that they want them to remain as they are forever and as developers study new ways of delivering experiences through gaming, some gamers fear that the aspects they cherished dearly in their favorite titles will be a part of the past, buried seven feet under.

Whilst this is a comprehensible concern, we as an industry must acknowledge the potential video games hold for the future and unfortunately, techniques from yesterday may not entertain the audiences of tomorrow.

We must learn from the past, but never copy from it. We shall adapt what made games great today to the new reality of the future that is yet to come, but in a careful manner, so we do not lose the essence of gaming. We must evolve from where we stand, rather than creating something new.

This will be achieved through discussions on the topic, among professionals from AAA companies, indie studios and gamers, who should not think that games are “just games”.

AAA studios spend time and resources, in order to learn as much as possible about the art and science of game design. but if their target audience continues to diminish their efforts and they do not make a significant impact in revenue, studios may downscale these researches and progress in this industry may become stagnant.

Given that the biggest factor that compels me to video games is the prospect they possess, if this scenario occurs, I may have to reconsider what my favorite form of entertainment is.

Reason #5 - Lack of cultural plurality:

According to Newzoo, the top ten list for largest video game markets in the world looks as follows:

It is possible to see that the top ten rank is populated exclusively by countries from Asia, North America and Europe and it is no surprise that the major AAA studios in this industry are located in these continents, but other contenders are appearing quickly.

India, Brazil and Russia are examples of emerging markets in the video game industry and their indie scene is growing rapidly. Due to the expansion of the middle classes in these nations, more people have gained the financial resources to afford a computer and work on a game with their peers.

If you do not live in an emerging economy, you may ask - “Does this affect me?”

Yes, it does and a lot.

The emergence of these economies can bring plenty of benefits to the video game industry. The countries mentioned herein have cultures that differ vastly from the nations that dominate game development.

Individuals from these emerging markets have a different perspective over the world, due to a different culture, and this influences the products they create.

The different culture and set of beliefs from these developers in emerging countries makes them tackle different themes and explore new ideas, because they look at games through a different set of lenses.

Every gamer benefits from this, because this growth of the industry in emerging nations will allow players from all over the world to enjoy new experiences, themes, ideas and a more culturally rich industry.  

The best example of cultural plurality benefiting the video game industry as whole was the development of games in Japan and how they differed from the games designed in the United States.

The video game industry in American soil develops mostly FPS games, in which the gun is seen as a tool to empower the player against the foes. In Japanese productions, on the other hand, a gun is perceived as an extension of the character and used as a mean to escape from a situation where everything went wrong. In Japan, the gun is a last resort.

This occurs due to a difference in culture. In the United States, guns are seen through the lenses of soldiers, whereas in Japan, they are perceived under the philosophy of the samurai.

With this reasoning, Japanese developers created games such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid (above), each of these productions representing a revolution in the industry.

If Japan had not invested in video games, many contributions of this country to this industry would not have happened. Now, imagine if more countries start to emerge and establish video game studios.

In the future, we may see several revolutions in this industry, as developers from various part of the worlds, with different cultures, would look at games in a different manner, as happened with Japan.

The biggest concern for this future; however, is politics. In emerging nations, unfortunately, corruption rates are very high, as seen in the map below, presented by Transparency International.

In the emerging countries, a corruption scandal can suddenly become public and change the entire governmental structure. Despite living in the USA for a period of my life, I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I currently reside.

Our former president, Dilma Rousseff, lost the presidency after a political scandal, being accused of improper use of government money. After the current president, Michel Temer, took control, the direction of the country changed drastically.

As everything may change with the blink of an eye in developing countries, due to the corruption levels thereat, the promising landscape of the middle class and the video game industry in these locations may shift suddenly as well and not for the better.

With few unfortunate moves, a government may wither the development of the video game industry in its soil, by halting the social progress done in the last few years.

It may happen in Brazil, as Michel Temer promises to cut social programs, which were intended to allow the population to raise above the poverty line. This can happen in Russia, India and any other developing country, where instability rules.

The middle class in these nations progressed quickly, but it might go the other way around just as fast, depending on which way the wind blows in the government.

I dream of a future in which the plurality of cultures making video games increases significantly; however, the political scenario might shift in a manner that stops the progress of the gaming industry in developing countries.

If this occurs, we may never see the cultural diversity they would bring to this industry and this lost potential could demotivate, because the future I envision would not happen.


Reason #6 - Lack of social engagement:

If you are reading this article, it means you have an interest in the video game industry and there probably has been people in your life who have claimed that gaming is a fruitless activity; a waste of time.

Luckily, not everyone adopts this reasoning. Some individuals recognize the superb job video games have done to retain the attention of their users. Some people even go further and reckon that video games have potential to save the world.

In your job or at school, you have probably felt at some point that you could not clearly see the reason as to why you are performing certain tasks. You perhaps felt demotivated to go on.

If you felt this way, you are not alone. According to Forbes, most Americans are unhappy at work. The reason varies from not seeing the impact their jobs have, to a detachment from the mission of the company. 

Video games; however, are on the opposite side of the trend, as they continue to become increasingly more engaging, but playing a game consists of completing tasks, as in a real life job. With this said, what makes people become attracted with doing virtual work, whilst they become more dissatisfied with their real life jobs?

In a video game, players feel empowered. They relate with the objective of the experience and most importantly, they receive a clear an immediate feedback upon completing a task. They see how their actions influences the virtual universe around them. They have a clear sense of progression. This motivates players to continue.

In real life, there is no such thing. Reality is broken.

In her book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, Jane McGonigal tells how we can craft a better world through gaming.

In her piece, she shares the techniques game designers use, in order to motivate players to become engaged in a video game. Her objective is to apply these techniques to real life situations, so they become more interesting and people become happier with their endeavors.

Using concepts from game design in non-game contexts is known as Gamification and it can be used to motivate people to engage in various activities, including those that can help others and save the world.

In 2007, McGonigal released an Alternate Reality Game, called World Without Oil. It was an experiment in which users needed to imagine themselves in a world suffering from a sudden oil shortage.

Players needed to work together, in order to create practical solutions to adapt to this new reality. The data gathered in this game has the intent of saving the world one day, as its Wikipedia article states:

By playing it out in a serious way, the game aimed to apply collective intelligence and imagination to the problem in advance, and create a record that has value for educators, policymakers, and the common people to help anticipate the future and prevent its worst outcomes. ”

We can see examples of video games causing positive impact even when they do not have the intention. The prime example is Pokemon Go stimulating sedentary individuals to go for a walk and sometimes even aiding to treat depression.

The potential video games have to retain the attention of users can be used to benefit society as whole, in various fields, including social change, happiness at work and even education, as the video below, from Extra Credits, explains:

The trend of using gaming for social good may help the video game industry to cleanse its reputation of “fruitless”, whilst actively changing the world. This premise should excite every gamer, but if it fails to continue, it might demotivate me to stick with this industry.


It is my sincere wish to see the video game industry thrive, for I believe it holds enormous potential in the areas mentioned herein and many more, which I did not cite in this article for the sake of its length.

While I enjoy the games of today, what makes me place video games on top of my priority list is the bright prospect of this industry. If for some reason, the brilliant future of gaming does not occur, I will continue to play, but my perception of this field as the ultimate entertainment platform will most likely change. 

The Decline of Silent Hill Sat, 29 Oct 2016 12:20:57 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi

The Silent Hill series is basically the only horror series I like.

Lately however, it seems likely to be dead since the last main series title Downpour fared quite poorly in 2012  and the reboot that was to be directed by Hideo Kojima, of Metal Gear fame, and Guillermo del Toro -- famous for Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim-- ended up being scrapped.

But why is it like this? Let's find out.

Silent Hill came out in 1999 and was quite innovative in the Survival Horror genre, because your character was basically just an average guy, not a trained policeman of a special ops unit like in Resident Evil for example. The game tried to make you feel dread and fear by not only putting you up against unholy abominations -- not that there weren't any, but they weren't what sparked fear into you.

The world itself, the Silent Hill city, felt otherworldly and not right. The ambience was built to scare, and it was done goddamn well too! Due to this, the game had an overwhelmingly good impact on the public and press, and a series was spawned.

The sequels themselves, at least at first, were not only up to par with the original, but at times even better. Silent Hill 2 being most likely the best of them all and 3 coming close. However, most critics do agree that the series itself, after 4, and maybe even with 4, started on a slippery slope towards less and less quality. Series need to change themselves to stay relevant or to continue to deliver the same experience but in ever better ways -- this is why Civilization is still a big hit after more than 20 years. Let's see if the Silent Hill series failed to do just that, and where in particular did they fail.

Silent Hill 4 started changing the series' formula, giving greater emphasis to combat, this in itself wasn't bad, in fact the game is still better than average, but it can be argued to have been the last time the series was very good, tough no longer exceptional.

It was still atmospheric, the city, while no longer being the titular Silent Hill was still a malevolent and eldritch location, but the fact that you could--and had to-- fight, made it feel a bit less scary compared to previous installments where combat was marginal and the likes of Pyramid Head in the second installment, could just kill you outright in one hit.

Origins tried to recapture the spirit of the first 3 games and while being overall a decent game it wasn't like the games it tried to emulate, since its storyline was less compelling than those of previous installments were and the overall atmosphere of the game didn't feel as scary and oppressive as previous entries set in Silent Hill.

Homecoming went all out with the idea of making combat even more prominent than it was in 4 --the game itself wasn't bad-- but every instance was now feeling less and less scary and old time fans started to complain, since it didn't remind them at all of what Silent Hill used to be. There was no longer that oppressive fear of being overpowered at every turn and not being in control. The story here was decently written and the main character was relatable, but the series had lost itself, and sales started to confirm the dip in quality the series had experienced selling less than 900k copies worldwide, but still, Konami decided to give it another sequel.

Sequel that did indeed arrive with Downpour in 2012, the last mainline title to be published to this day, and one can hardly question why since the game itself did even worse than its predecessor selling less than 800k globally.

It wasn't bad, the story was better than the previous one and the setting was scarier. It overall may have been a step in the right direction, but it can be argued that it was too little and too late, the franchise had been suffering, and needed a huge hit to be brought back to a healthy status, Downpour wasn't able to deliver that. Although it went back to its roots, basically putting you against your innermost fears from your psyche as the first and second installment had marvelously done, it didn't get great reviews from critics who overwhelmingly though, not without reason, that the game had a generally bad gameplay and control system that made it difficult to enjoy its other qualities.

[Sales figures for all Silent Hill Games]

Now we've seen why the series has died, lets concentrate on the scrapped Silent Hills game--that  might have brought it back into relevance had it been released.

Silent Hills, as previously said was a joint project of Hideo Kojima and Benicio del Toro, their names alone generated a lot of hype among fans due to how good at their respective works they both are, a demo was released on the Playstation 4 PSN and met overwhelming praise from all, players and press, but why then was the game ultimately scrapped?

I fear that the cause was the retirement from Konami of Hideo Kojima and later the retirement from the Silent Hills project of Benicio del Toro, it may very well be that Konami's higher ups felt the game could not live up to the hype generated by the demo without those big names working on it anymore and classified as not worth risking the company's resources over.

To be honest, this is understandable, since the game would have greatly benefited by del Toro's touch and by the publicity associated with his name, and needed to have exceptionally great sales to revive the franchise. An objective hard to approach without said publicity boost he would have granted.

The franchise at the moment, needs something that goes back to the basics in its storytelling, but innovates on the gameplay, not an easy feat, certainly, but I've yet to give up all hopes and indeed think that there will be another attempt to revive the franchise, let's just hope it comes soon and does well.

We need a Silent Hill game that once again creates in us a sense of impotence and dread while exploring the world, that scares us without jumpscares but rather with eerie ambience and that has a well written and likeable protagonist struggling against such an alien, eldritch location and I do hope we get it soon.

Phenomenally Bad Movies Based on Horror Games Sat, 22 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


How many of these abysmal game-to-movie adaptations have you managed to sit through, and what movies should have made our list that are just as bad?


If you love bad movies then don't worry, there's bound to be many, many more cash grabbing horror game crossovers coming soon.


I can't imagine that the planned Dante's Inferno or Castlevania movies are going to be worth seeing, but for those wanting a more serious viewing experience, The Last Of Us (currently stuck in development hell) is actually source material that could make a legitimately good film - if all previous game movie history is somehow overcome.


Five Nights At Freddy's


Yes, yes, I know, this movie isn't even out yet, but I'm calling it now: this is going to be hilariously bad.


The big screen adaptation of Scott Cawthon's never ending jump scare series is due to be directed by Gil Kenan (who also directed the Poltergeist remake and episode of the TV version of Scream).


But hey, maybe I'll be wrong and this will somehow be randomly awesome. The latest game Sister Location wasn't half bad for a FNAF entry, so there's always hope I suppose. But don't hold your breath.




We're officially back in Boll country again, so you should already know what to expect. A word like "cheesy" doesn't even begin to cover what's on display here. I'm honestly baffled that they managed to get Ben Kingsley on board for Bloodrayne. Maybe Uwe held his family hostage or something?



Silent Hill: Revelation 3D


You know nothing for appearing in this movie Jon Snow (yes, Kit Harington was in this movie)... Seriously though, how did they muck this up so badly after the surprisingly well-executed original?


I'm going to break ranks with many in the gaming community here for a moment and gush over that the first Silent Hill, which wasn't just good, it was legitimately awesome. That scene of Alessa dancing while blood rains down, and Christabella is being torn apart from the inside out by sentient barbed wire is one of the most effective in horror movie history.


Contrast that with the bizarre direction, major plot holes, and awful effects of the pointlessly 3D sequel. This follow-up movie was completely lacking in any entertainment and featured some truly abysmal visuals (the screen distortion effects during the mall clown scene was a particular low point looking like direct-to-DVD quality).



Alone In The Dark


Ugh, this one physically hurts. There's so much that could be done with this long-running series, from Lovecraftian cosmic horror to zombies, ghost stories and more. Somehow this is the nonsense we actually got: Christian Slater battling a bad CGI alien. Any guesses as to the director? His name rhymes with roll.





I remember years ago seeing a poster at a local shop for a game called Samurai Bikini Squad and thought to myself: this is going to be the greatest thing ever. Then I played it, and dropped into a deep existential despair.


Somebody in Japan (who presumably hates both cinema and all meaningful life) decided to make that game into a movie. The fact that there was then a direct-to-DVD sequel sort of bums me out.



House Of The Dead II


Hold on now, there was a sequel to that crapfest? Yes there was, on the only place that would take it: the severely spelling-challenged SyFy channel.


Yep, the brilliant minds behind Sharknado and the Megashark Vs. titles apparently saw the first movie and went “amazing, let's do a made-for-TV sequel!” The end result is absolutely as bad as you'd assume it would be.


The fact that Lionsgate disabled comments on the DVD trailer below ought to tell you everything you need to know... 



House Of The Dead


There's a gajillion bad zombie movies out there if you take the time to look for them, so a truly bad zombie video game movie seemed like a given.


What's unexpected is both how bad this is, and how little it had to do with the arcade shooter series. Picking this one up off the rental wall one Friday night when it first saw DVD release was my introduction to Uwe Boll's gleeful destruction of video game franchises.



The entire Resident Evil series


I'll grant you the first one was watchable, fun even (but certainly no masterpiece) while each subsequent entry tried to outdo its predecessors in the "unrelentingly awful" category.


It's unclear why those involved with the franchise decided to totally abandoned the storylines and character arcs from the games to go in baffling directions, but needless to say it never worked out for the better.


There's one moment in particular I'll never forget from this series. Sitting there drinking with some friends, we're all staring in slack-jawed awe at the nonsense assaulting our eyes as a flock of very badly rendered CGI ravens attacked a post-apocalyptic convoy in Resident Evil: ExtinctionThe Birds somehow invaded Resident Evil, and it was even worse than I could have imagined.


I didn't even bother with any of the films past that point, and based on the review scores they garnered, it seems like I made the right life decision there.



While there are individual exceptions, it's a truism that video game movies tend to be bad. Churned out for a quick buck with a built-in fan base, there's rarely any actual care or effort put into them, and it's going to be a cold day in hell before they get any sort of serious critical acclaim.


While everybody points to Super Mario Bros. and Double Dragon as examples of abysmal game movies, it's the horror games that usually the get real short end of the stick. It's a shame too, because there's some amazing material to be mined in horror gaming, but most of the time the transition to screen results in an unwatchable mess.


Of course you're going to find a lot of Uwe Boll here as we round up the worst of the worst, but he's not the only one who has taken fun game series and turned them into utterly awful movie franchises.

Why Can't Developers Make Classic Franchises Great Forever? Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

Mega Man. Sonic the Hedgehog. Final Fantasy. Resident Evil. Silent Hill. These are just a small number of franchises that helped define my personal gaming history. And they're also franchises with fans who react to new titles with less "oh, great!" and more "ugh, not again."

This is kind of an inversion from the earlier days of gaming; I remember that there was once an unofficial rule that movie sequels were always terrible while game sequels were always good. In several of the above cases, the franchises even have provided some great games along the way, but they're also games that didn't connect with the long-time fans who would have been eagerly awaiting the next installment.

So why aren't older franchises evergreen? Why do the games you loved two decades ago not lead to more games in the same style now? The answer is that there are a lot of reasons why classic franchises aren't great forever, and it's helpful to understand why that's the case.

The people responsible have left...

When people start listing the great Silent Hill games, they always include the first three, usually including the fourth with a bit of a grudging nod, and pretty much never include the later games. Incidentally, the first four games were the only ones developed by Team Silent at Konami, with each subsequent installment developed by a completely different team.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn't. The creative team behind a game can really inform a lot of what goes into the actual game, and that goes beyond just saying that the original designers are always the best at designing a franchise. Teams that work together and develop multiple games can often produce games that feel very similar to one another in a positive way, but once people move on or new people come on board, the games they produce often feel very different even if they have the same core ideas. When Inafune left Capcom, that didn't stop the publisher from making more Mega Man games... but it also meant that the original creator wasn't there any longer, and that was after several staff and platform changes.

You can't just hand off tasks to an endless series of different people who don't necessarily understand the appeal of the original games. Watching a team really nail a franchise for multiple installments is a thing of beauty; witness the past few Persona titles, for example. But it's never permanent.

...and they might not have the spark left anyway

Here's a fun fact: Hideo Kojima wanted to leave the Metal Gear franchise after every single title. Why does Metal Gear Solid 2 end with such a bizarre, nonsensical cliffhanger? Because Kojima never intended to resolve it. He didn't want any lingering cliffhangers after the first Metal Gear Solid, he wanted to make that and be done with it. But he kept getting pulled back for another one, resulting in an ongoing contest of wills in which the franchise just would not die.

It's not just a matter of spite, though; playing through Mighty No. 9 repeatedly made me think that maybe Inafune needed to hang up his hat, that he just didn't have any more Mega Man in him. The reality of that, is that it's fine. Games are art like any other form, and it's fine to hand off the reins to someone new after a while. It just means that you are going to see a different sort of game, probably one that doesn't exactly resemble the originals.

The franchise has evolved past your memory

Final Fantasy was Hironobu Sakaguchi's last game ever. That was the plan. He made a game he never expected to sell as a wild experiment, so he could leave the field happy. Instead, it wound up becoming a huge success, resulting in a long-running series that has always brought on a wide variety of different developers and storytellers to make a series of games that are not meant as direct sequels to one another.

When people complain that, say, Final Fantasy XIII feels so different from classic Final Fantasy games, it stands out simply because most of those classic games also feel so different from one another. The franchise is built on doing something new with every single installment, and while some of the conceptual walks are further than others, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single pair of games that feel like the same game with a different set of wrappers.

The bright side is that it means that each new title is something fresh and different. The down side is that if you buy Final Fantasy XIII expecting Final Fantasy VI but new, you're going to be disappointed. The exchange for a franchise never getting stale is that it doesn't maintain the same shape indefinitely.

The environment has changed too much

You could not release Resident Evil today as a brand-new game without the weight of the franchise behind it. The game's awkward controls and pre-rendered backgrounds worked in no small part because of when it was released; if it was launched today it would be panned for bad acting, bad storytelling, weak gameplay, and poor graphics.

All that is fine. But there's an attached point that's easy to overlook: every new release in a franchise is the first release for someone. Yes, you've been playing Sonic the Hedgehog since the oddly stutter-stop motion of the first game in the series, but to someone out there, the most recent game starring a blue hedgehog is the first one they've ever played. And the fact of the matter is that these franchises need to evolve, simply to continue marketing themselves against legions of other games who have been inspired and influenced by these originals.

This is particularly true of older games that marketed themselves on punishing difficulty designed to artificially extend the game by eating up quarters. (Even if you didn't actually have quarters.) No one is willing to buy a new game for $60 that you can blow through in an hour but takes you time to beat because you just keep getting killed consistently. That means that designers need to bulk out the game in some way, and in the case of franchises that traditionally work on the basis of straightforward smashing sequences, it means that the core needs to change to account for the new gaming environment.

There's no longer a market

It barely needs to be said that the gaming market and environment is very different now compared to where it was in, say, 1990. And yes, some of that is as simple as the fact that video games are no longer exclusively sold in the back reaches of department stores who might put one or two on the shoe racks if they find the box, but it goes much further than that. The availability of gaming devices, the ways we engage with games, the budgets of big titles... everything is different.

This means that even old franchises need to adapt and change, as mentioned above, but it goes beyond bulking out games. Our patience for some features has evaporated, while our patience for others has increased. When Blizzard first launched StarCraft, online play was a novelty that was essentially just a bonus; when StarCraft II came out, it was a major component of the game.

Unfortunately, it does mean that some of the stuff you loved from back in the day just doesn't stick around. But on the bright side, it means that there's a neverending stream of new things. We live in a world with such a maddening surfeit of gaming options that even if your favorite franchise goes in a direction you no longer care for, there are still so many new games out there. You can almost certainly find something that appeals specifically to you.

Or you can just play Pokémon. I mean, let's be real, that gameplay isn't changing much until the heat-death of the universe.