Silent Hills Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Silent Hills RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Silent Hills Teaser P.T. Can't be Redownloaded on PS5 from the PS Store https://www.gameskinny.com/mbbra/silent-hills-teaser-pt-cant-be-redownloaded-on-ps5-from-the-ps-store https://www.gameskinny.com/mbbra/silent-hills-teaser-pt-cant-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]

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Silent Hill and Fatal Frame Movies Emerging From the Fog https://www.gameskinny.com/k32lk/silent-hill-and-fatal-frame-movies-emerging-from-the-fog https://www.gameskinny.com/k32lk/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.  

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

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

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

10. Condemned: Criminal Origins (The Mall)

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

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

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

9. Manhunt (Piggsy Boss Battle)

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

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

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

8. Outlast (Administration Block)

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

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

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

7. Dead Space 2 (Titan Elementary School)

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

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

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

6. Clock Tower 2 (Jennifer Chapter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Resident Evil 7 (Main House)

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

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

3. Amnesia: Dark Descent (Cellar Archives)

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

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

2. Siren: Blood Curse (Episode 3)

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

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

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

1. Silent Hills PT

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

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

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

 ---

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

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Top 5 Gamer Resolutions of 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/gr20v/top-5-gamer-resolutions-of-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/gr20v/top-5-gamer-resolutions-of-2017 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Will Dowell

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Number 1: Tackle That Backlog
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This may not be specific to 2017 itself, but with new games just around the corner, make sure to take the time to experience games you have already purchased. We all have the stack of shame, of games we have bought and never played. This year can be your year of clearing your backlog and experiencing the gems you have forgotten. The new year is upon us and gaming has never been better.

\n

What gaming resolutions have you made for 2017? Have you opted to take one of these? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/012232a6dd5d4de385559f086df26588.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/012232a6dd5d4de385559f086df26588.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10132","description":"
Number 2: Switch Up Your Gaming Style.
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With the Nintendo Switch arriving in March, so does a new way to play with. You will feel the wonders in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or compete in classic Nintendo multiplayer. Combining the mobility of a handheld and the power of a console, you will experience all there has to offer anywhere. This new console will reinvent how you play console games -- we hope.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cb2a9f86c4f0916dba6cb0fc4ea986e6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cb2a9f86c4f0916dba6cb0fc4ea986e6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10131","description":"
Number 3: Push Your Boundaries
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The AAA titles tend to stick to the safe formulas and can leave gamers with a need for the new. This is where the indie games come in. They will revive dead genres and form their own, risking their success in the process.

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Classics such as Undertale and Limbo have been heralded as art, while Volume and Super Meat Boy provide a new spin on established genres. You may have to wade through shovelware, but the indie darlings make it all worth it. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/25cdf4d1a93da586d44b9318bd393da9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/25cdf4d1a93da586d44b9318bd393da9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10130","description":"
Number 4: Explore New Worlds
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Gaming provides worlds to explore, characters to love, and quests to complete. Run through the post apocalyptic world in Horizon Zero Dawn or battle through ancient Japan in Nioh. Fall in love with Velvet Crowe in Tales of Berseria and become intertwined in in crime in Yakuza 0. Or for those traditional, experience the wonders of Dragon Quest Heroes II. With new IP's and sequels abound, many worlds are there to explore.

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Number 5: Feel the Fear
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Few games make you feel despair quite like the horror genre itself. Sadly, not many AAA games have fulfilled that feeling, instead opting to create a sense of empowerment through action.

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This changed with the introduction of Silent Hill: PT, the demo that recreated the AAA horror, but was scrapped after Kojima's departure from Konami. With Resident Evil: Biohazard taking PT's place, now is the perfect time to fully immerse yourself in dread.

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A new year is upon us, and with that, comes new resolutions. We all love to experience what gaming has to offer and the new year gives us a time to improve.

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This new year brings the revival of genres and a new console to experience. It's the year to remember those games which have been forgotten. The indie scene is still thriving, providing experimentation and discovery to all who are willing. There is so much to enjoy, that many gamers may feel overwhelmed in the new year. To gain what gaming fully has to offer, here are five gaming resolutions for 2017.

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The Decline of Silent Hill https://www.gameskinny.com/93n9s/the-decline-of-silent-hill https://www.gameskinny.com/93n9s/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.

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What Makes Resident Evil So Great, and Whether Or Not Its Future is a Problem https://www.gameskinny.com/cok90/what-makes-resident-evil-so-great-and-whether-or-not-its-future-is-a-problem https://www.gameskinny.com/cok90/what-makes-resident-evil-so-great-and-whether-or-not-its-future-is-a-problem Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:00:01 -0400 Rettsu Dansu

E3 2016's Resident Evil 7 trailer is a fantastic example of what I love about that expo. It's the reveal of a game that no one was expecting but are nonetheless excited for -- in such a way that it absolutely blows your mind. Barely anyone expected to see that title at the end of the trailer. The realization that everything you just saw was the new Resident Evil, a main entry in the series that goes back to horror in a way that we want it to, was a fantastic feeling.

Or is it? One of the reasons it was so unexpected was because the type of game shown off in that trailer -- and in the demo. It isn't quite Resident Evil. Despite major changes throughout the whole series, it's always been about biological monsters, not whatever we have so far. Arguably, we could have a situation like in Resident Evil where the enemies are sort of human, before their heads fall off and giant centipedes come out.

What's more important though is the way in which the first part of that trailer, and the demo, present horror. The classic Resident Evils (1, 2, 3, 0 and Code Veronica) create horror through resource management, environment, and atmosphere, while the direction for RE7 seems to be one that focuses on the mystery and the unknown. It's not bad, not bad at all, but it's not what Resi fans want. Capcom has promised that the tone of the demo wasn't particularly representative of the full game, however the second trailer is incredibly similar and hasn't cleared anyone's doubts.

But it's Not All Bad

That being said though, there are a number of things the demo has shown us that I think people don't seem to have noticed. These things connect Resi 7 to previous titles in the series, design wise. So, if you haven't played the demo yet or just haven't noticed them, I'm here to explain to you what these things are.

First, however, I'll need to explain what makes the classic Resident Evil formula so great, to give you an understanding of why it's important that these aspects return.

Dodgy Controls

 

Yes, I just said that. Resi's control scheme is a large factor in how scary it gets, however most people focus on how frustrating it can be.

The original RE games use 'tank controls'. Unlike most games in which you point the joystick in the direction you want your character to move, your character is instead controlled much like a tank. Basically, pushing the stick forward moves your character forward, and pushing sideways rotates your character. You have to first rotate your character before you begin to move.

Now, I could argue that once you get used to it, the controls aren't that clunky, but the obvious question would be 'why can't we just you just have normal controls?'. In my opinion the slightly higher level of concentration required to control your character means that if you get stressed or scared the controls can start to get in the way. Thus increasing your level of stress and fear. However, there is a much more important reason.

Knowing Where You're Going

 

Resident Evil was born in an era in which video games were still figuring out how to give players control over the camera in such a way that movement in 3D works perfectly (arguably, we still are). However, Capcom decided to completely ignore it and gave the player absolutely no control over the camera at all.

Resident Evil's world is portrayed to the player through an interconnected string of static camera angles. The camera rarely moves, however as soon as the player moves out of view the camera changes to a different one somewhere closer to the character.

Tank controls are required in this situation to prevent the player from being disoriented. Consider how this camera would work where the player is allowed the usual control scheme.

Say the player moves left across the screen, the camera angle changes and suddenly 'left' is a completely different direction  in relation to the player. The character would immediately change direction. If you don't understand what I mean, play the first Devil May Cry and you'll find out. In the tense, claustrophobic situations Resi presents, this could ruin things. With  tank controls, forward always means forward no matter what direction we're looking in, and it's easier to determine your character's movements.

 

Enter the Film-Like Horror

So why do we need this type of camera? We need it for horror.

A good horror film creates fear through 'sensory deprivation'. We fear what we can't truly understand, so when a film removes our ability to see the danger it forces us to use all of our senses and focus our attention on the scene in an attempt to figure out what's going on. When we begin to realize that it's difficult to determine where the danger is, where it could come from, or even how dangerous it is, that's when fear starts to settle in.

Resi's camera angles achieve a very similar affect. Enemies usually come from outside of your viewpoint. You can hear them, sometimes even see their shadows, but you aren't allowed to move the camera to see them. It creates this haunting atmosphere that the player becomes immersed in simply because they need to concentrate on every clue the environment offers that danger could be around the corner.

 

Holding Long

However the film techniques used in the original Resident Evil's don't end there. Here's one of my favorite examples:

There's a technique in film called holding long. This term is used the director doesn't end a scene as soon as we think it would. For example, a character leaves a scene and we're left watching the same spot. It causes us to concentrate on the scene and wonder in suspense about what could be happening.

There's a cinefix video that explains this quite nicely.

The remake of the first Resident Evil actually manages to utilize this technique. Not just through a cutscene, but through the gameplay itself.

We have been taught through thousands of films that when important events stop occurring the scene changes. This is why holding long on a shot is effective. Throughout the first couple minutes of Resident Evil we are taught that when we walk out of view, the camera changes. Which is why when this happens, it's weird.

To give you some context, at this point in the game you've seen your first zombie. You're unable to kill it yourself so you feel quite weak. As you explore more of the mansion, you hit a dead end and find a knife. You pick up the knife and turn back, however for some reason you walk right off the screen and nothing happens.

Now this doesn't have quite the same effect, as a gamer would probably assume that the game has some lag or it's frozen. What's really important is what happens next.

Without the player's control, Jill walks backwards into view. This causes the player to question the entire situation, until they see the hand appear from around the corner and they understand what has happened.

This combination of suspense and then release is the essence of horror, but the addition of a disconnect between the player and the game makes you feel helpless and confused. It adds to the suspense as suddenly the game doesn't work how we were taught it should.

What's even better is that this scene has three main purposes: The first is to teach you how to use the knife, it's not easy to get out of there without being grabbed by the zombie and having to use the melee weapon. The second is to teach you that the game will sometimes pull this type of thing on you. The third however, is the most important.

You Are Never Safe

The reason why the appearance of a zombie in that location is truly confusing is the fact that we were backtracking. The player had already been through that hallway, had seen that there were no zombies in the area, and had probably assumed that they were safe.

But a zombie turned up anyway.

Resident Evil is a game about exploring a mansion, hence the term Resident Evil. As you explore you'll be returning to places you've been before in order to solve puzzles. Unlike games like Castlevania Symphony of the Night or Metroid enemies don't usually respawn once you leave the area. Once an enemy is dead, it stays dead. Unless you don't burn the body, in which case you're screwed.

Again, we're taught to think a certain way. Surely when I return to an area I've been to, it should be safe because I killed all the enemies. But no, certain interactions trigger certain events to occur in certain areas.

For example, you defeat a snake boss and pick up a key. You go to use the key somewhere else, returning to a previously explored area. However, this time the windows smash and some more zombies jump in. You never know what could set off an area to have more enemies, and this creates an environment where you feel like anything could come at you at any time.

And this is all emphasised by music. If you never understood how music could create emotion, then play Resident Evil. The safe room music is so superbly done that even though its the safest place in the game, you still feel afraid that something could break in. It's mainly soothing music, but with this creepy undertone that reminds you that while you're safe now, you have to go back out there at some point.

This feeling would mean nothing if Resi's gameplay didn't fit. The areas you explore in each game are metroidvania-like, in which you scour the mansion for things to find, meeting locked doors and enemies along the way. Eventually you'll find a key that allows you to unlock certain doors, requiring you to go back to each area and see where that key works. Let me just say that this is really fun, the feeling when you find a key is like no other. It's a feeling of endless possibility... until you get that message that says the key has no more use and you throw it away.

This design encourages backtracking, which allows the constant fear of danger to take full effect. If we were constantly moving forward then there wouldn't be too much to be afraid of.

However, none of what I just said would be scary if it wasn't for the way that Resident Evil deals with death.

The Death Penalty

I could write an entire article about how video games should penalize you when you die, because in my opinion it's something that's really hard to perfect.

Every fear portrayed in a film usually connects to death. What truly scares us is either being so immersed that it feels like it's happening to us, or that we don't want those characters to die.

This doesn't work in a video game, the developers can't just have you die and end the game altogether. So any fear of the death of your character is immediately removed once you die the first time, and see your character come back to life afterwards. There are only a few games where permanent death works.

Fearing death in a game helps to make the game more immersive. It allows tense situations to be tense for the player. Really, any game could be improved with a proper death penalty. However, horror games require them, because horror games need to generate fear.

So this asks the question of how we penalize the player when they die. The obvious answer, which is what most games use, is to cause the player to lose progress. Either pushing the player back to a checkpoint (pretty ok), back to the start of the level (pretty mean), or back to the last save (even meaner). Dark Souls has its own rather unique method of punishment in which you lose your unused exp, however this doesn't avoid the major problem.

Losing isn't Fun

We play video games to have fun, arguably, and this is where death penalties create issues. There's almost no way to take something away from the player and have them actually enjoy it, it just doesn't work.

The more you take away from the player, the more tense the situation is. Therefore it's almost impossible to create an incredibly tense situation in which the player doesn't feel terrible once they end up dying.

Unless You Cheat

Resident Evil takes the incredibly mean route and forces you to load your last save when you die. This isn't always great because you could forget to save and end up losing hours of progress. What's even meaner, however, is that saving in Resi requires you to use a finite resource, and it isn't too common either. This means that you have to spread out your saves so you don't run out.

Basically, if you die in Resi you have quite a lot to lose. Or do you?

Resident Evil is a game about learning, as I've said before. It's about finding items and using logic (and sometimes just guessing) to find out where you need to use those items. A player who knows what they're doing can finish the game in a couple hours.

What this means, is that even if it was 2 hours since your last save, if you die it would only take you about 10 minutes to get back to where you were. Most of that time you just lost was spent finding where the items are used, now that you have that information you don't waste that time. Not only that, but you know where all the enemies are so there's no need to be cautious.

This -- in a way -- is the best of both worlds. When you're being attacked by enemies, in the heat of the moment all you can think about is the amount of time it's been since your last save, so it's tense. But if you eventually die, it doesn't sting so much because you begin to realize that all you need to do is run to a couple of specific rooms and you'll be back.

This doesn't work for all games, because not all genre's can have this puzzle style implemented. We can't really learn from RE in this retrospect. However, Dark Souls has a similar situation, in which you learn your enemy's patterns and learn how to deal with them better. So perhaps this is just an aspect of good game design.

Fear

 

In my opinion, the way that Resident Evil deals with death is integral to creating fear while playing it. There are a number of things that I haven't mentioned that other people might think are just as important, such as resource management, atmosphere, or zombie dogs. But I don't think any of them would be scary if we weren't actually worried about the death that came along with it.

This is exactly why I think that RE contains examples of good jump scares. It's quite popular recently to hate on jump scares, and with good reason. They're an easy way to make people scared, but they're usually used way too often and with not enough thought put into them.

Here's the problem, a jump scare isn't particularly a "scare", it's more of a simple reaction. It's your body reacting to possible danger by waking up all the muscles, and it's unpleasant. You could argue that it's possible to "fear" a jump scare, but I would say that that's more like the way one would act when they're about to experience pain. This is the same feeling the people abuse to make people go insane through torture.

This could explain why we enjoy watching people play games with jump scares in them, but there isn't as much enjoyment to be had when you play one yourself.

When a jump scare is used in a well directed film, or Resi, it makes us jump, but also creates fear because they have some weight behind it. The appearance of a monster in this fashion is scary because it means that the characters could get killed by it. In RE's case, you yourself have to actually point your gun at them and shoot them. The player jumps not just because the brain is waking up, but because they themselves need to be awake to act.

If a monster enters the shot and leaves for the sake of making you jump, it doesn't really have the same effect.

Onto the Future

2000 words later, let's go back to Resident Evil 7

So RE7 has a lot of fans rather skeptical. The demo and it's trailers appear to give off an atmosphere of general creepyness, cooking pots full of cockroaches, weird men appearing out of nowhere, and a creepy run-down house. This kind of horror is something similar to Silent Hill or a number of horror indie games. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, other than it becoming rather cliche recently. However, it isn't what makes the Resident Evil series unique. But let's look at a number of ways Resi 7 could be returning to the original formula.

First of all, it's rather difficult to tell how RE7 will deal with death. Since the only way to die in the demo is to finish it, there's no way to find that out. However, there's one thing that's rather important that we need to consider.

Welcome to the Family, Son

The first thing you do in the demo is find a tape player, with no tape. Then you progress in the house and find a cupboard, which is locked by a chain. You then reach the end of the house and find pliers.

You use the pliers on the chain, which unlocks the cupboard revealing a tape, and you then use the tape on the tape player.

This might seem really simple, but this means a whole lot. What this indicates is a style of gameplay in which items must be found, and we must backtrack in order to use those items. It's an incredibly simple progression, you simply move forwards then backwards, but if the demo is in any way indicative of the full game, I think this means we'll have that same puzzle style of game with items and exploration.

And This is Really Important

If we have a game that focuses on exploration, then this creates a format for a number of the horror aspects I talked about before. It allows for random enemy placement, and replacement, that creates constant danger. This is something I'm sure other people have picked up on, but it doesn't get the focus it deserves when discussing the game.

And that previous scene isn't even the only hint towards items found through exploration, there's a hidden fuse that opens a door if you do things in a different order. Players have also found an incredibly hidden, albeit useless, axe hidden deep in the demo. This type of gameplay is what truly made Resident Evil for its first five games, and when they dropped it for RE4, that's when the series began to be more and more action focused. To me, the resurgence of this mechanic is what could make Resi 7 more Resident Evil. However, fans do still have their worries.

The First-Person Camera

RE7 is the first main series title to be in first person, and this does create some issues if Capcom really is trying to return to formula. With a completely controllable camera, you lose the camera angles that made the original games so cinematic, and loses an integral part that made the games truly scary.

So how much of an impact will this have on the game? Well it depends on how well Capcom can design the game for fear. There are still ways to create horror with a controllable camera, and there are more ways to create horror in a game than just utilising film techniques.

But this is what made Resident Evil unique. In our current era, there are so many horror games that use the same techniques. Any currently thought of design to make horror has probably already been done to death. Resident Evil is probably the only one to make horror in such a way, and even if it's not the most successful at least it's unique.

So Why Can't we Just Use the Old Way

The obvious reason for why Resi 7 is first person is because it's going to be in VR, third-person games just don't work. But there is a bigger issue.

The majority of people don't like tank controls. They just can't be bothered to wrap their head around a needlessly complex control scheme. In this day and age, when we want Resident Evil to be relevant again, we need to it to appeal to as many people as possible. I know quite a few people who, even though they'd probably love RE, just get frustrated by tank controls.

But as I said before, tank controls and the camera angles work hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. If we remove the tank controls, we have to remove static cameras.

This is exactly what happened with Resi 4, tank controls were removed, and a different camera control scheme was designed. The over the shoulder, 3rd person, camera definitely worked, but it lead towards an action focus. Now, Capcom is probably trying a third time to make this work, with the only camera system they have left to try.

Will it Work?

I'm not particularly at liberty to say, but I think it could work. We haven't truly lost the same sensory deprivation as before. There aren't many enemies in the demo, but you can still hear footsteps and creaks in different rooms as you progress. This is mostly used to creep you out, but it could hint to a later use of sound to indicate the presence of enemies in the full game.

There's also the scene in the demo where one of the characters calls your attention, and you look over to him. Once he's done talking, you look around and realise that the other character, Andre, has dissapeared.

You can still control the camera and watch the other character leave, but a first time player will get distracted and believe that Andre has just mysteriously been taken. It's this kind of design that makes me feel hopeful, as Capcom has used events to move the player's attention, and effectively forced a camera angle in a certain direction.

Most games would probably remove control from the player to show them what they want you to see. This way feels more fluid and immersive, because in a way, it is the player's choice to look in that direction.

The Story

The story is probably the biggest thing people complain about. The generic, Silent Hill-esque atmosphere and the lack of connection to previous games.

There's certainly some slight connection to the series: an umbrella logo in the game, on a helicopter, in a picture, in a hidden room, accessed by playing the demo a second time, and activating a secret (little bit of a stretch).

 

As I stated before, Capcom has said that the plot and tone of the demo isn't representative of the full game. However, despite the first trailer being mostly for the demo, there are some things shown in that trailer that are nowhere to be seen.

There's a montage of clips at the very end that has a certain atmosphere. There's this creepy music and a bunch of unsettling shots of forests and other things. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly the tone is, but I don't feel that it's the same cliche-creepy that we get a lot. It's actually the part of the trailer that intrigued me the most, even before I knew it was Resident Evil 7.

There's also a number of shots where things seem to deteriorate quickly, such as the wolf head. This seems to me like some kind of connection to biology, it might be a stretch, but for me this is what gives me the idea that they won't be ditching Resident Evil's biological roots.

There are a number of things in the second trailer, however, that seem a lot less biological and that create a cliche-creepy tone. The being said, it barely shows us anything. It's possible that this is just an early stage in the game where we first see the enemies we're fighting.

The monster that attacks the player could turn out to be a product of the bio-organic testing Umbrella does, but there's really no way to tell. From what I hear the character in the trailer is one that the player is trying to rescue in the full game, so perhaps the tone of helplessness is only portrayed because that character is truly helpless.

I don't think this is a representation of how the game will turn out, but a representation that Capcom doesn't know how to make trailers.

So Should We Be Worried About Resident Evil 7?

The short answer: probably not.

I mean, we shouldn't be sitting around wondering if a future game will be as good as we want it to. There's better ways to spend our time. There's absolutely no way that we can tell exactly what kind of game Resident Evil 7 will be until we can play it for ourselves, who knows what the entire experience could be like?

But as to whether or not we can predict Resi 7's quality, I think the community's current predictions are a bit too exaggerated. Resident Evil fans have been burnt too many times to be hopeful, and overhyped games have been so frequent recently that any depiction of what your game could be is not going to convince anyone anymore.

I myself am hopeful that Resi 7 will return in some ways to the original formula. It would be nice to see those things return.

Is it a problem that some things are different?

Well, I'd like to say it isn't. We're in an era currently where plenty of developers are trying to return to what their games once were (New Super Mario Bros., Ratchet and Clank), but they aren't trying to improve on that original formula at all. So instead of returning to glory, we get something we've already gotten.

It's actually quite interesting to see Capcom attempt to bring back aspects from the past, but also try to improve on them for a general audience.

And if it turns out to be just like P.T., well then we'll finally get Silent Hills.

 

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8 of the Best Jump Scares in Horror Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/is7ds/8-of-the-best-jump-scares-in-horror-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/is7ds/8-of-the-best-jump-scares-in-horror-gaming Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:32:19 -0400 Amy Turnbull

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1) Fatal Frame - Broken Neck Ghost

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That's right - Fatal Frame is so good at genuinely frightening jump scares, it gets two mentions in this list! And this particular ghost from the first game in the series is well-deserving of the number one spot.

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This infamous jump scare is just one of the encounters you'll have with this angry ghost in Fatal FrameBroken Neck is undoubtedly the most well-known (and perhaps worst-feared) ghost in the series. She's near-impossible to get rid of and crops up in the game time and time again.

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As you make your way through the beautiful Himuro Mansion, be sure not to get too distracted - one moment, all is calm and relatively quiet; the next, you find yourself face-to-face with the terrifying Broken Neck ghost - and she has no regards for personal space.

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It's been over a decade since I first played this game, but I can still remember my first encounter with Broken Neck (and the accompanying near heart attack!) clear as day, along with the reactions of everyone in the room at the time. As you can see from the clip below, even those not engrossed in playing the game can't help but scream when she appears from nowhere.

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And let's not forget, Fatal Frame is supposedly based on a true story... Sweet dreams, horror fans!

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Did your favorite jump scare make it to the list? Let us know in the comments which heart-stopping moments you'll never forget from your favorite horror games!

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2) Resident Evil 2 - Interrogation Room Licker

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This well-known video game series has been going on for years, but it's actually one of the earliest games in the franchise that provides some of the best jump scares out there.

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Raccoon City is overrun with zombies following the outbreak of the T-Virus - a bio weapon developed by the evil Umbrella Corporation. 

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You get to play as both Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield in this outing, which has the classic Resident Evil formula - exploring, solving puzzles, and kicking zombie ass. 

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In one of the most unforgettable jump scares of the entire Resident Evil series, you find yourself in a rare quiet moment, collecting necessary items in the police department's interrogation room. Before you know it, one of the 'Licker' creatures comes crashing through the two-way mirror just as you walk by.

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This continues to make me jump out of my skin during replays to this day!

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Watch from 2:58 for the specific jump scare

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3) P.T. (Silent Hills) - Lisa Attacks

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Known simply as P.T. at the time of its release on the PlayStation Store, this free playable teaser for (the eventually canceled) Silent Hills game was an interesting and unique psychological survival horror.

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As the mystery protagonist, you find yourself in a corridor which you must explore (and which you soon realize is endless, as you are caught in some kind of never-ending loop).

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The key is to work your way through the game until the moment a phone starts to ring. Once this has been triggered, you are released from the hallway and are rewarded with the trailer for Silent Hills.

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The objective isn't as simple as it sounds. You have no combat skills, and must investigate various frightening situations and solve challenging puzzles. The corridor will continue to change around you each time you complete a loop of it, and this can go on for hours, adding to the desperation you already feel.

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One scary aspect of P.T. that keeps you on your toes is the hostile spirit Lisa, whom you encounter numerous times throughout the game. However, it's the moment she attacks you suddenly if you let her get too close that really takes you by surprise, and provides one of the most terrifying jump scares on this list.

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4) F.E.A.R. - Alma Appears on the Ladder

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The appropriately titled F.E.A.R. is an FPS survival horror in which you play as the First Encounter Assault Recon's Point Man. Your team has been sent in to contain the area where supernatural phenomena of the deadly variety have been taking place.

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The horror style used in this game is heavily inspired by Japanese horror movies, both visually and audibly. There is a lot of silence used throughout, which, when paired with the other aspects of the game's creepy atmosphere, allows the player's imagination to run wild, creating your own anxiety and fear.

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The main antagonist in F.E.A.R., Alma Wade, most often presents herself in the form of a little girl (and as we all know, creepy little girls are always a hit in the horror genre!). She's often spotted in your peripheral vision, walking by as though she was there all along, but sometimes she gets a bit more daring.

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In one of the most memorable moments from this game, Alma appears out of thin air right in front of you as you reach the top of a ladder, with her eerie giggle sending a chill down your spine, just in case suddenly seeing her wasn't scary enough.

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5) Dementium: The Ward - Screeching Banshees

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Dementium stood out as a rather unique game for the DS when it was released, as it was the first fully 3D, first-person survival horror to be released on that platform. As it turns out, it works surprisingly well.

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You start the game knowing very little about what you may encounter. You wake up alone in a dimly lit room within a run-down asylum, with no knowledge of who you are or how you came to be there. 

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Upon exploring the asylum, you come across various mutants, the result of surgical experiments performed on the hospital's patients. With limited weapons and ammunition scavenged from around the darkened asylum as you explore, the game's atmosphere leaves you feeling claustrophobic and increasingly on edge.

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In one of Dementium's more surprising jump scares, you find yourself entering a seemingly empty corridor, only to be confronted with what appear to be FLYING CLOWN HEADS. The stuff of nightmares, right? And just in case the image isn't bad enough, the noise they make is terrifying.

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6) Five Nights at Freddy's - Freddy Jumps Up

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Five Nights at Freddy's is a relatively short game with a simple concept - work a night shift as a security guard for a pizza restaurant, and try not to get killed in the process.

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The game, developed by Scott Cawthon, became an instant sensation on its release and has spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs in the two years since. The series still has a large cult following online today, and fans are waiting in hope of a new game this October.

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FNAF is a simple point-and-click game, but it still has a high fear factor, as you are left with rising panic as the nights go on. Unable to move from your spot, you can only click through the security cameras to keep an eye on the various deadly animatronics that lurk about the place, and hope that they don't make it to the office you occupy.

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In this clip, YouTube user Smike is working his way through Night 4, when animatronic Freddy seems to appear out of nowhere, as he is wont to do.

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Watch from 15:00 for the specific jump scare

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7) Fatal Frame - Ghostly Man Behind the Door

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The Fatal Frame series is one of my personal favorites when it comes to survival horror games. The games have a uniqueness to them that make them a delight to play, and they really do continually scare your socks off!

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The first installment in the series is set in the abandoned Himuro Mansion in 1980s Japan. You play as Miku, on the search for her brother who has recently gone missing at the mansion. You are armed only with the Camera Obscura - an antique camera that can be used to fight off and capture ghosts.

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The game's atmosphere is rather creepy, as you never know when or where ghosts are going to appear, or how violent they may become upon seeing you. 

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In the clip below, YouTube gamer TrueGameMage illustrates just how suddenly the spirits in this game can take you by surprise, and it really does leave you with a racing heart every time!

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Watch from 1:50 for the specific jump scare

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8) Outlast - Hanging Body

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We kick off our countdown with indie survival horror Outlast. In the game, you play as a freelance investigative journalist, Miles Upshur, who is investigating an asylum tucked away deep in the mountains of Colorado.

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Armed with a camcorder and nothing more, your aim is to document the horrors taking place in the asylum, which has been overrun with homicidal patients. 

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Knowing you have just a camera and some parkour-type moves to get you through the game, you're kept on the edge of your seat throughout. But one thing that guarantees you'll be on the alert from the start is that the jump scares begin almost immediately. 

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The clip below, from YouTube user Deadwax, is the first jump scare of the game. As you enter a room, you are unexpectedly greeted by a dead body swinging towards you from the ceiling. This moment lets you know from the get-go that Outlast won't mess about. 

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The survival horror genre is a popular one amongst gamers. Apparently, there are a lot of us out there that just love to scare ourselves silly!

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But what makes a great horror game?

A typical recipe for games wanting to induce fear in the player will include things like dim lighting, chilling music, and sound effects, and gruesome antagonists, all combining to provide a creepy atmosphere that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

As the years have gone on, and graphics have continued to improve with changing technology, the fright factor has increased, with more and more extreme visuals and themes appearing in horror games. The ghosts, zombies and other beasties and apparitions at the core of these games today can leave a lasting impression in the nightmare department.

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But one thing that has been a constant throughout the genre, no matter the age or quality of the games' graphics, is the jump scare. A timeless technique employed in both the movie and gaming industry, this classic tactic will never fail to leave your heart racing and your spine tingling. 

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Here, we take a look back at just a handful of the more memorable jump scares that have left us chilled to our core over the years...

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5 of the Best Bromances in the Gaming Industry https://www.gameskinny.com/6wj4o/5-of-the-best-bromances-in-the-gaming-industry https://www.gameskinny.com/6wj4o/5-of-the-best-bromances-in-the-gaming-industry Mon, 04 Jul 2016 06:30:01 -0400 Donald Strohman

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Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus

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Silent Hills may be dead (Thanks Konami,) but one of the best behind-the-scenes bromances managed to survive its cancellation. With Norman Reedus slated to play the main character of the horror game Silent Hills, and Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima creating the project, fans felt like this was a match made in heaven. All of that changed, however, when the Konami Empire pulled the plug. 

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However, that didn't stop this made-match from thriving elsewhere. Thanks to the fine folks over at Sony basically handing a blank check over to Kojima and saying "YOU DO YOU AND WE WILL 100% SUPPORT WHATEVER CONCOCTION YOU MAKE," Kojima was able to bring along Norman Reedus into his newest project Death Stranding. And considering the fact that Reedus has vehemently derided Konami since the cancellation, especially in regards to the way they treated long time developer Kojima, this bromance is definitely one of the finest the gaming industry will ever offer. 

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Believe me bro when I tell you that these bromances are some of the best in the entire field. Trevor Philips and Michael De Santa may have one of the funnier love-hate bromances in the fictional world of gaming, but that's just been written into a game. It's hard to deny how much more fun it is to see two guys fighting with light sabers over their bromantic bond.

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Which of these bromances do you consider your favorite? Did we miss any of your favorite real-world bromances in the industry? Be sure to comment and let us know which pair of pals make your favorite pair of bros!

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Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog

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Not every bromance needs to exist between a pair of people. Rather, one of the best bromances in the gaming industry as a whole has to be that of these two well known developers; Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog. The two teams that came together in the early days of PlayStation's beginning. 

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After sharing the same building during their early days with Universal Interactive Studios, the teams behind Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games have remained remained close companions well after they've gone their separate ways. And while Naughty Dog opted to stay with Sony, and Insomniac chose to remain and independent developer, it's hard to argue against the facts of how tongue in cheek they've kept their relationship over the years. Looking back at some of their older titles, you'll be able to find a plethora of Easter eggs referencing their friendly competitor. Fellow developers should take note of how to treat their rivals, because what's better than having a bromance with your favorite "frenemy"? 

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The Angry Video Game Nerd and The Nostalgia Critic

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What originally started out as a friendly rivalry has since blossomed into one of the best bromances in the world of nerdy critics. While the Angry Video Game Nerd, in real life known as James Rolfe, was busy getting ticked off at old school Nintendo games, the Nostalgia Critic (Doug Walker) came out of the blue to do the same with films from his childhood. 

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Over the years, the two formed an on-screen rivalry that saw the pair fighting against one another in their videos, and declaring their counterpart to be their "mortal enemy."  In actuality, however, James Rolfe and Doug Walker have remained good friends over the years, and Walker occasionally stops by on some of Cinemassacre's "James and Mike Monday" videos. And yet, it's hard to argue how satisfying it is to see the pair fighting together, instead of each other, in their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review video. 

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Boogie2988 and Major Nelson

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Just because you're head director of programming for Xbox Live, that doesn't mean you can't take some time out for your bro. Larry Hyrb, better known as Major Nelson, has appeared in several of YouTube gamer Steven Williams, aka boogie2988's, videos over the years. However, their time together can be summed up perfectly in the "Francis Vs Major Nelson" video as to what it truly means to be a game loving geeky bro. 

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The Game Grumps (Arin Hanson and Dave Avidan)

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Whether you find yourself more of JonTron or Danny fan, it's hard to deny the popularity this gaming channel has garnered during its run. Being the literal picture perfect example of bros enjoying video games together, Arin Hanson and Dave Avidan define the vivacious nature Game Grumps has become known for. Unscripted and all about the laughter, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better bromance in the form of a gaming channel. 

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Bros. Whether they're pulling off the next big Grand Theft Auto heist or smashing each on a Nintendo console, the tale of the bromance has been written into games as long as they've existed. However, not every tale of bromantic buddies needs to be in a video game today. Sometimes, the best bromances happen to be from the developers themselves.

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Whether they're busy making the games or busy playing them, some of the best bromances in the world of gaming stem from our own. And since video games have always been a favorite past time for bros to get their fill of manly bonding, let's take a look at five of the best bromances for you keep an eye on! Perhaps, you shall learn something from these fine bros to take into account of your own future bromantic relationships.

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Will Resident Evil 7 Be the Silent Hills We Never Got? https://www.gameskinny.com/8j5ps/will-resident-evil-7-be-the-silent-hills-we-never-got https://www.gameskinny.com/8j5ps/will-resident-evil-7-be-the-silent-hills-we-never-got Thu, 30 Jun 2016 07:58:37 -0400 Donald Strohman

When Silent Hills was cancelled by social pariah Konami, fans across the world cried out in agony. It seemed like the perfect blend of creators and cast to possibly make one of the best entries in the series to date. With Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus playing the main character, and legendary creators Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima directing the project, it seemed like a potential slam dunk for the return of survival horror.

And yet, thanks to the pure idiocy of Konami, the most players ever got out of the discontinued project was the PlayStation 4 demo P.T, which you can no longer download off the store anyways. 

With Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus set to work with Sony Interactive Entertainment on Death Stranding, it would seem that hope for a proper Silent Hill game has been all but dashed. Even the indie developed game Allison Road, which contained a lot of the same elements that made the P.T demo so chilling, has since been cancelled. And with survival horror games becoming a dying breed, these losses feel like extra stabs to an already bleeding carcass of what the genre used to be.

Here Capcom Comes to Save the Day?

And then E3 2016 happened. While Silent Hills may not have been magically resurrected, there was a giant hit that came out of left field from a series that has become more of a joke over the years: Resident Evil. After a large series of missteps in the series following the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4, Capcom announced the series would finally be returning to its horror routes after the disastrously misguided Resident Evil 6, which was solely an action adventure experience. 

Just like with P.T., Capcom released a demo for Resident Evil called The Beginning Hour onto the PlayStation Network Store after its announcement at E3, and so far the reaction has been very positive. Thanks in large part to the demo showcasing an experience based entirely on atmosphere and exploration of a run down house, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard could mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Capcom and its scorned fan-base. 

But...

There's just one problem, The Beginning Hour is just that: a demo, and an extremely early one at that. Before the player is able to get into the entire experience, a disclaimer pops up letting the user know that the demo "doesn't represent the final product and changes are bound to be made".

For all we know, Capcom could up and change their minds tomorrow and decide to make Resident Evil 7 exactly like Resident Evil 6.

Think about that for a second -- it's not like it would be impossible for the switch to happen. After all, Konami up and cancelled one of the most anticipated games of 2016 over a hissy fit with one of Silent Hills' creators, so who's to say something similar might not happen here?

Capcom even revealed that they intended to implement combat mechanics into the final product, something that was only slightly graced upon in The Beginning Hour. Exploring through the attic, the player could look for an ax weapon, but was never be able to use it thanks to the unavoidable "twist."

Biohazard isn't set to release until January of 2017, that span of time could spawn a multitude of changes if executives aren't happy. Just how scary would that abandoned house be if developers suddenly decided to throw you an AK-47? All in all, if combat is favored too highly above everything else, it'll kill the entire experience; because nothing screams "pure dread and fear" like the knowledge you have no way to fight off an enemy, you just have to outmaneuver and survive. 

Yet, You Should Still be Excited!

However, considering the praise the Resident Evil 7 demo has been garnering, it would be incredibly silly for Capcom to try and fix what isn't broken. Games like Amnesia, Slender, and Alien: Isolation worked so well in the instillation of fear -- not because they tried to be grand epic adventures, but because they knew made caused fear: a lack of power. Resident Evil 6 did try to throw in some frights into its explosion-heavy campaign, but I can guarantee not a single one of them worked, because of the vast arsenal of weapons you could use to face whatever the game would throw your way.

The P.T demo understood how a lack of power creates scares, only giving you a flashlight to brighten the way you were walking, and nothing more. Resident Evil 4 understood this too, even though you had shotguns and machine guns to use! While you had an assortment of weapons to purchase and utilize, the game hindered you by preventing you from walking while aiming -- i.e., taking away power from the player. 

When I played the Resident Evil 7 demo, I was beyond stoked to see what the final product would be like. There was so much dread and eeriness layered in the demo's atmosphere that I could feel goosebumps running up my skin -- something I, and many fans of the series, had not experienced since Resident Evil 4. And to see the series finally returning to its roots, even after the downright horrible experience of Umbrella Corps, feels like a wave of relief.

Regardless of whether or Capcom is just doing this to capitalize of Silent Hills' failure is beside the point. If the success of games like Slender or Five Nights at Freddy's is an indication of anything, it's the fact that players clearly want their AAA survival horror games back. If Capcom wants to gain back the fans they've lost along the way, they should triple check and make sure they follow The Beginning Hour's game plan as much as possible.

Did you get a chance to check out the Beginning Hour demo? What are your thoughts on it? Be sure to let us know if you're excited to see Resident Evil return to the survival horror genre, or if you're still skeptical thanks to their recent strings of duds. 

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Hideo Kojima: 3 Possibilities for What's Next https://www.gameskinny.com/9tq9l/hideo-kojima-3-possibilities-for-whats-next https://www.gameskinny.com/9tq9l/hideo-kojima-3-possibilities-for-whats-next Sat, 20 Feb 2016 10:09:36 -0500 Eric Adams

Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions have the gaming world abuzz about what the future holds. Kojima has put out more than a handful of fan favorite video games over the years and the man himself promises that the future is bright. What are some of the possibilities for Kojimas next project? While Sony and Kojima have partnered for a brand new IP, it does not necessarily mean it is the first or the only thing that Kojima and his team will be working on.

Kojima has stated that he feels free and is ready to bring something edgy and exciting to the world. The possibilities are really endless for Kojima's next project but whatever his next creation is, it isn’t likely to disappoint. Lets take a look at what could possibly be in store for gamers the world over.

 Norman Reedus/Guillermo del Toro Collaboration

Recent pictures of Norman Reedus and Hideo Kojima together have given PT and Silent Hill fans some cautious optimism. The game that wasn’t meant to be is still not likely to grace our consoles due to the rights being retained by Konami, but that doesn’t mean the two can’t come together to give us a kick-ass horror game.

Along with the pictures is the love fest happening between Kojima and horror aficionado Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro has stated that he is finished with game development; however, he will do ‘whatever the fuck Kojima says’. Those are his words, not mine.

Imagine the Silent Hills trio coming together to create a really great horror gaming experience. That would certainly be justice for those who fell in love with PT. The heartbreak of Silent Hills may finally be cured after all.

Virtual Reality Experience

Kojima has stated recently that he would like to dabble in the virtual reality realm of gaming. A mind like Kojima could certainly bring virtual reality to the forefront. If Kojima wants to really make his mark with his independent company, this may be the way to go. Virtual reality is certainly starting to gain steam and if he could create the first great virtual reality experience, he would further cement his status as a game making god.

Imagine if Kojima, del Toro and Reedus collaborated on a virtual reality horror game. The thought alone that these three could work together on virtual reality is awe-inspiring. As fans we can only hope, but if these three get together for a virtual reality experience I think the gaming world might stop in time.

Also, if you are asking yourself why would you want to be Norman Reedus in a virtual reality experience instead of yourself...it is because no matter who you are Norman Reedus is a thousand times cooler than you.

Something Totally Different

 By something different, I do not mean a game. Kojima has stated in interview that he would like to create something edgy and special. He did not rule out the possibility of making a small movie or something along those lines. It may not even be a horror experience. All we know is that Kojima wants to create something innovative. He has not been this free to speak his mind in thirty years. Now that he has the freedom to do what he wants, he certainly will want to do something that pleases not only himself, but also his fans.

Whether it is a movie or a short film, whatever he has in store is sure to impress. It is his first shot at being independent and free to do what he wants. He will not waste the opportunity. He has too great of a mind to do so.

Conclusion: We are the winners

Whatever Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions have in store for us, fans are sure to be happy about the fact that he's doing what he wants. That is only good news for gamers and fans of the legend alike. Whether it is a virtual reality experience, collaboration or something totally out of left field, Kojima has the ball in his court. Get ready for something exciting.

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What does the future hold for Hideo Kojima? https://www.gameskinny.com/e2jxb/what-does-the-future-hold-for-hideo-kojima https://www.gameskinny.com/e2jxb/what-does-the-future-hold-for-hideo-kojima Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:49:49 -0500 Eric Adams

DICE Summit 2016 offered gamers plenty of highlights and hope. One event that surely brought us both was the Hideo Kojima/Guillermo del Toro conference. While del Toro previously stated that he was finished with game development, he concluded at the conference that he would do whatever Kojima says. Plans for the two horror icons to work together on Silent Hills, along with The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, fell through when Konami decided to cancel the project. But it sounds as if Kojima and del Toro still have the desire to bring the world something creative and exciting.

In an interview with GameSpot, Kojima confirmed that while a game is certainly in the works, his first project could be “something more edgy, maybe a small movie”. Kojima re-affirmed:

“I decided that I would work on an edgy project. There are many things that I want to do, but I didn’t have to think too much about which one I want to work on; it kind of came naturally, what I’m working on now”.

Whatever Kojima is working on will surely get gamers excited. As the creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and the mind behind countless Silent Hill titles, Kojima will certainly not disappoint. Whether it’s a new movie or a new IP, he seems to have the desire to give the gaming world something special. When asked if he was cautious about making another game that could turn into a series, Kojima said that he actually hopes his new IP with Sony achieves that.

It is hard not to get excited listening to Kojima gear us up for what Kojima Productions has in store. The future seems to be bright and with Kojima free from Konami, the power is in his hands.

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2015's biggest gaming scandals https://www.gameskinny.com/xb93s/2015s-biggest-gaming-scandals https://www.gameskinny.com/xb93s/2015s-biggest-gaming-scandals Fri, 11 Dec 2015 03:49:25 -0500 Ty Arthur

Jack Thompson may have been disbarred and the media hasn't flipped out about incredibly tame quasi-sex scenes in a Bioware game lately, but there's still plenty of scandals to be found across the industry.

Unfortunately, many of them are caused by us – the collective gamers of the world - being lame to each other instead of sticking together as a community of fans. Other scandals this year came about by both developers and publishers making some seriously bone-headed decisions that caused major backlash in the digital realm.

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Some of this year's most notable scandals didn't come from leaked photos, bad online behavior, or even potentially offensive content – the issues that riled gamers up most frequently came from unexpected changes in gameplay styles. On the one hand we demand innovation and changes, and then on the other when something actually changes we typically don't take it well.

That was most definitely the case with the announcement of Metroid Prime Federation Force, which caused a much bigger ruckus than expected. With nary a Samus to be found, this is essentially a spin-off series despite the name. Changing both to a chibi art style and to first-person co-op gameplay did not go over well with fans.

As of this writing, the game's trailer has 82,000 downvotes and 9,000 upvotes. Yikes. People are so upset a that a petition was launched asking Nintendo to cancel the game entirely and start over with something else. 23,300 people so far have signed the petition, which explains its position with this statement:

"With the release of the Wii U and its greater technological capabilities thousands of fans were expecting a new and improved Metroid game. What we got however is a disgrace of a game with the name Metroid slapped on the title.

"It has no elements at all of what Metroid is about and its a disrespectful manner to old and new fans of the series of showing them that the Metroid franchise is not dead after all. This is not the Metroid we asked Nintendo to make. We should let Nintendo know what we really think of the game and make them actually LISTEN to their fans for once. Help us stop this atrocity of a game from bearing the beloved Metroid franchise name and make Nintendo halt production on it."

Obviously gamers are passionate about their franchises of choice, but not everyone jumped on the flip-out train. Some of our readers and contributors don't get the hate at all and have called for a calming down and cooling off.

This is apparently not what Metroid fans had in mind...

FF7 Remake Goes Episodic

If you thought Metroid changing styles was a big deal, then you weren't prepared for the shockwave of rage that crashed through the Internet when it was revealed the Final Fantasy 7 remake would not only be episodic in nature, but would also be ditching traditional turn-based combat.

Has there every been a faster instance of a full-speed-ahead hype trail immediately derailing? FF7 went from the most anticipated thing coming out in the near future to the most despised, and all in a matter of seconds!

You never know, Square Enix could reverse course on this, but for now it seems like those who can stomach the changes will be buying another portion of the game every few months while hacking and slashing through Shinra soldiers, rather than politely waiting for a gauge to fill before summoning the Knights Of The Round.

Hideo Kojima Banned From Game Awards

The not-so-secret feud between Hideo Kojima and Konami boiled over this year and managed to burn gamers across the globe when Silent Hills was canceled out of the blue. In an insane move to apparently kill any good will anyone in the world had left towards them, Konami reportedly banned Kojima from attending the 2015 Game Awards at all.

There was some pure, unadulterated hate splattered across any Konami-related social media page that night when Keifer Sutherland had to accept the Best Action/Adventure Game award for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in Kojima's place.

Gamergate Rears Its Ugly Head...Again

It's the scandal that just won't die and keeps bringing out the worst in everyone. Every time you think it's over, it comes back again, recently culminating in threats of violence against the annual SXSW convention in Austin, Texas.

In a response to the ongoing Gamergate debate and intense vitriol spread across various gaming forums, two panels were planned for SXSW 2016 to discuss sexism in the industry and harassment from gamers.

Fellow human beings expressing opinions in “Save Point: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” was just apparently more than some people could handle, as SXSW initially canceled the panels after death threats were called in.

When major organizations announced they were pulling out of SXSW entirely due to that decision, the organizers of next year's festival immediately reversed course, and now there will be a whole day dedicated to the issue of harassment in the gaming industry. That hasn't put a lid on the issue though, as some are still upset about the inclusion of speakers who have been accused of harassing women in the industry.

Reading all the back and forth and vicious attacks that have come from both sides, all I can think is: seriously, can't we just enjoy games and not be pricks to each other? Why is that such a tall order?

Undoubtedly a low point in the history of gaming

Valve's Mod Charging Fiasco

In one of the quickest turnarounds of recent memory due to instant and unrelenting negative backlash from the gaming community, Valve and Bethesda implemented paid mods for Skyrim and then removed the feature only days later.

On the one hand, allowing passionate gamers who put in the time to make mods get some compensation for their efforts is actually a good idea, as it could easily lead to higher quality mods across the board. Unfortunately it became clear that wasn't the driving force behind the decision when it was revealed the actual content creators were only getting 25% of the cut of the sales, with the remaining 75% going to Valve/Bethesda. It reeked of more unnecessary cash-grab microtransactions, and fans weren't having any of it.

The statement Valve released about why the feature was reversed was surprisingly candid and deserves some props though:

"We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing. We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different.

"To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it. 

"But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here."

Of course plenty of other gamers were just as adamantly opposed to the idea on the grounds that they would now have to pay for something they previously got for free, so essentially no one liked the idea. With the way the industry is going in terms of DLC and microtransactions though, it's a good bet this idea is going to return sooner rather than later in a modified form.

That sure didn't last long.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's Tiered Pre-Orders

Again we have to throw some congratulations towards the publishers and developers of the game industry even while reporting on their scandals: this was a year in which companies actually listened to their customers!

Pre-orders are a point of contention among gamers these days anyway, and many aren't happy with how different regions or even different retailers get varying content depending on which version of a game you pre-order. Making that issue even more convoluted was a tiered pre-order system setup for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in which you chose from different rewards at each tier, with new tiers unlocking as more people pre-ordered.

The bottom line is that essentially everyone hated the idea, so Square Enix relented and canceled the scheme altogether, offering all the various options to everyone who pre-ordered instead. This is again an issue that's not going away though – various PC game pre-orders from other companies are still using this setup, and it's a good bet others will continue to do so in the future.

Arkham Knight Pulled From Steam For Bug Fixes

Echoing the ill-fated release of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the latest in the Arkham series of Batman games was an epic flop due to a horde of game-breaking bugs. This is a problem that's become more widespread recently, especially for AAA PC games, as publishers rush to get a game out the door on specific schedules rather than allowing developers to actually finish them first.

The numerous issues were so bad that Arkham Knight was actually entirely pulled from Steam due to a relentless barrage of negative reviews. After various fixes were implemented, the title finally returned to Steam along with the serious mea culpa of Warner Bros. giving away free games to anyone who had previously bought Arkham Knight.

With the amount of money publishers and developers are losing out on after releasing unfinished and buggy games, we can only hope other companies will look at the disasters experienced with Assassin's Creed and Arkham Knight and vow to polish off their games before releasing them in the future.

The caped crusader had a serious failure to launch this year

Afro Samurai 2 Erased From Existence

 Even going a step further than Warner Bros. did with Arkham Knight, publisher Versus Evil entirely pulled the epic flop that was Afro Samurai 2 from all retailers permanently, with no plans to fix any issues and re-release. In a move that's almost unprecedented, the publisher is even refunding the purchase price to anyone who bought this universally reviled game, apparently realizing how badly they'd messed up. Versus Evil issued this statement explaining the decision:

"Versus Evil strives to create great products and valued relationships with our partners and customers. Despite our best efforts, Afro Samurai: Revenge of Kuma Volume One did not meet the quality standards that we require. As a result, we have decided to voluntarily refund the purchase price of the game and its associated Trilogy pack with our sincerest apologies. We have also decided to cancel all future Afro Samurai episodes.

"Depending on the retailer you purchased your game through; your purchase price will either be refunded automatically or may require you to request a refund. As you can imagine, this has been a difficult decision for Versus Evil, but creating great games is our highest priority. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and look forward to a continued, long-term relationship."

While both Versus Evil and Afro Samurai 2 developer Redacted Studios will no doubt take a hit from this fiasco, there's something to be said about a company owning up to its mistakes plainly and publicly without making any excuses. Hats off to you guys for doing the right thing.

Farewell forever Afro Samurai 2

Cynthia Bunnay's Online Feud With MVG

As eSports become more widely accepted by the mainstream, we will unfortunately start to see some big scandals just like we occasionally do in the regular sporting world. It's already started with the flame war that erupted earlier this year between Super Smash Bros sponsor Most Valuable Gaming and former employee Cynthia Bunnay.

The very public drama was a breakup in more than one sense of the word as personal and professional relationships got all intertwined -- and for some reason had to be splashed across Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter for all the world to gawk at. If you missed that whole debacle, an overview of the mess can be read here.

That would have been enough negative attention for eSports as it was, but unfortunately events took a nasty (and potentially illegal) turn when somebody - apparently not connected to Most Valuable Gaming - decided to throw fuel on the fire by engaging in “revenge porn” and leaking nude photos of Bunnay across the web. It doesn't get much more despicable than that, and if eSports want to be taken seriously, this entire drama-fueled adventure is one that shouldn't ever be repeated.

What did you think was the biggest scandal of the year that you hope to never see repeated? Sound off and let us know!

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The state of horror games in 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/rv635/the-state-of-horror-games-in-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/rv635/the-state-of-horror-games-in-2015 Thu, 10 Dec 2015 08:22:20 -0500 Ty Arthur

While other gaming genres are stagnating and in need of a serious shake-up, horror is innovating and finding new ways to be more effective. The recent pinnacle was probably last year as Among The Sleep and Alien: Isolation from 2014 showed how first person experiences can epitomize and legitimize terror.

Although not without flaws, those games made it clear that horror works best when you can't effectively fight back – a notion that's gone forward into 2015 with a bevy of absorbing titles, covering every platform and graphical style you can imagine. That's great for gamers in general, but can also be a problem for individual players, as many of the most intriguing titles didn't hit all platforms: if you want to experience them all, you'll need to bridge the divide between PC and multiple consoles.

Before checking out our look back on the state of the horror genre this year, don't forget to also read through our other articles analyzing the state of other genres in the 2015 gaming world:

Most Overhyped / Biggest Horror Disappointment Of 2015

There were a slew of high-quality and imminently frightening releases this year, but all is not well in the state of horror...

Silent Hills

Until the upcoming reboot of FF7 was announced to be an episodic release without turn-based combat, there wasn't a bigger outcry from gamers that reverberated across the entire web than when Silent Hills was canceled and PT was pulled from the PlayStation Store.

Hideo Kojima's messy breakup with Konami led to this collateral damage that still has people in shock. We're all desperately holding out hope that someday this Guillermo Del Toro / Norman Reedus collaboration will return, but the stark reality staring us in the face is as bleak and horrific as the game would have been.

Just looking at this makes me sad

Five Nights At Freddy's 3 And 4

The gaming community is definitely split as to whether the infamous Five Nights At Freddy's series is a boon or a low point for horror. With simplistic gameplay (honestly, these could be mobile tapfest games rather than PC titles) and a string of games coming out in rapid succession, FNAF catapulted into the public consciousness mostly from the reaction videos. Frankly, watching those reaction videos is more fun than actually playing the games.

Two separate entries came out this year in the series, which didn't really shake up the formula much beyond a change in scenery and adding in some pixelated mini-games. The first 15 minutes playing any given FNAF game is scary, exhilarating fun, but then you're left with the endless repetition. It isn't long before the annoying realization sets in that it isn't actually all that enjoyable to check camera 1, check camera 2, check camera 3, re-check camera 1, close door, open door, check camera 1, ad nauseum into infinity.

This is really only scary the 1st time.

Biggest And Best Horror Release Of 2015

Horror managed to sneak its way into plenty of major games solidly sitting in other genres, like the Lovecraftian influences in Bloodborne, while Black Ops III of course saw the return of zombie mode, this time going in an eldritch horror direction set in the 1940s.

For the full-fledged games that are meant to be horror through-and-through, there was no shortage of options in 2015, and some of them managed to reach the same heights of last year's crop. It should go without saying that these are games best experienced alone, with the lights out and headphones on, or you lose a lot of the impact.

Soma

Coming from the same folks responsible for the Penumbra and the Amnesia games, you know you're in for something really messed up and genuinely creepy with Soma. While there aren't as many direct scares this time around with monsters actively trying to kill you, there is an overall sense of dread – and some really disturbing psychological horror – that propels this one forward. It's also always nice to see horror take a sci-fi bend rather than another supernatural or modern day focus, and fans of System Shock will be right at home here.

The lines get seriously blurred in Soma, in more ways than one.

Dying Light

Really delivering on the promise of open-world style horror that was hinted with past zombie titles, Dying Light puts the emphasis more on the “game” aspect in the genre of “horror games,” and is a ton of fast-paced fun once you get the controls down. That all changes when the sun drops below the horizon, though, as everything turns deadly and you have to carefully sneak your way back to safety, with the horror of the situation hitting home a little harder. Much like Dead Island, there are some issues with the gameplay, but overall this is a much better experience.

Until Dawn

Going a very different direction from either Soma or Dying Light is the interactive movie Until Dawn. You've heard this one before: a bunch of attractive and horny 20-somethings are about to spend the weekend in a remote cabin when something starts picking them off one by one. You may have seen it a hundred times in a slew of movies with diminishing returns, but you've never played it quite like this. The choice system brings to mind Heavy Rain while the subject matter is classic slasher horror to the max.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2

After a spate of games that keep going further and further away from their roots, we did get another Resident Evil title this year, and that's usually a good thing for horror fans. While it's not Resident Evil 4 (and the series is probably never going to be that good again), the episodic Revelations 2 is still being received better than the last couple of entries. It's still more action-focused than fully survival horror, but switching between characters to use each of their skills is a fun mechanic, and you can now try the 1st episode for free on consoles.

The Park

Although not a big release by any stretch of the imagination, there was one indie game well worth mentioning in horror that saw release in October just in time for Halloween. Short and sweet, The Park isn't a lengthy experience, but it's an all-encompassing one that really draws you in and hits the psychological horror notes hard. Amusement parks are already pretty creepy, but abandoned ones at night are even more so, and this game will make you never want to go near another one again.

Yeah, don't go on the Ferris Wheel.

Early Access

The advent of early access titles through platforms like Steam has made it difficult to classify what year a game is actually released. If a title has been available in early access for all of 2015 (and half of 2014 or earlier...) and has been played by thousands, but won't be feature complete until 2016, what year does the game actually come out? The issue becomes more complex when you consider that some developers are just leaving their games in early access mode indefinitely, using the money of new purchases to fund additional features over time.

There's some interesting ethical considerations in this style of funding, since fans are essentially paying for demos that may never get finished, and overall it's more dicey and prone to fail than straight crowdfunding. We'll avoid those titles that have been abandoned or look on the verge of failing and instead focus on three prominent games this year featuring fairly frequent updates that appear to be nearing completion.

The Forest

The Forest has been in early access since May of 2014, and it shows a ton of potential; hopefully, the full and complete game is actually on the horizon. This one puts you as the only survivor of a plane crash in a huge forested area filled with seriously creepy cannibalistic creatures. It's basically a survival sim – you have to build shelter and craft objects – but with a horror theme. This one has the possibility to become great, if only it ever makes it out of alpha.

Layers Of Fear

Only having been in early access since August of this year, Layers Of Fear is already feeling more like a complete game, and it delivers the fear in spades. Putting you in the role of a painter who has just totally lost his mind, there is an amazing atmosphere and aura of menace to this whole game that's both unique and leans on classic tropes. If there's an early access horror game that seems destined for success in the near future, this one is it.

Everything about this game is as unsettling as the painting suggests

Darkwood

Having used the early access feature of Steam for more than a year now, Darkwood offers a completely different style than what you'd typically get from a horror game: it's a top-down, procedurally generated game. It sounds odd, but it works, and there are some truly creepy moments on display in what Darkwood has offered up so far.

Horror On The Wii U In 2015

Fatal Frame 5

Frequently an afterthought in this latest console generation, lately there have been a few reasons to dust off the not-so-old machine (most notably with the RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X just arriving). Horror fans actually have one very solid incentive to go the Nintendo route: Fatal Frame 5 finally landed in North America on the Wii U this year under the title Maiden Of Black Water.

If you aren't familiar with the series, those early Fatal Frame entries were terrifying before games really figured out they could be terrifying, and they are still worth playing today. Unfortunately, this one isn't getting nearly the love from fans as the earlier games (the Metacritic score is currently a very disappointing 67), but for Wii U gamers it's still worth giving a shot. Unfortunately, this is a digital-only title in North America, so don't expect to find it sitting on store shelves.

Get ready to see dead people!

The Forecast For Horror In 2016

Horror isn't slowing down anytime soon, and in fact it's a good bet the genre is going to significantly ramp up as VR devices like the Oculus Rift finally arrive for large scale use. While that's still a ways off, the closer 2016 already has a ton of fright-based games that look amazing.

Games originally forecast to arrive this year – like the black and white, noir horror title Dollhouse or the Clocktower reboot Nightcry – are going to be coming early 2016 and should make some great early year material.

Asymmetrical or co-op is also getting a bigger focus coming up soon, with games like Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age or Friday the 13th covering the cooperative front. If you want something really unique, be on the lookout for Perception, a horror title along the lines of Outlast or Amnesia that changes the formula by making you play as a blind character.

Co-op monster hunting action is on the horizon.

For a full look at what's coming, check out our list of the 11 most anticipated horror titles slated to arrive in the coming months here, and be sure to let us know what you thought of 2015's scary offerings.

]]>
20 games every horror fan should play https://www.gameskinny.com/c4gjr/20-games-every-horror-fan-should-play https://www.gameskinny.com/c4gjr/20-games-every-horror-fan-should-play Tue, 27 Oct 2015 07:49:01 -0400 Stan Rezaee

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1. Silent Hill 2
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Hailed by gamers and critics as the best horror game of all time, Silent Hill 2 has been the measuring stick all others have been compared too. This title takes players on a psychological journey into madness were the players actions will effect how they walk away from the nightmare. James Sunderland receives a letter from his wife (who has been dead for three years) asking him to meet her in the town of Silent Hill.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/5/7350028eef770419241d3a5223d56629.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/5/tiny_7350028eef770419241d3a5223d56629.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88012","description":"
2. Resident Evil 2
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Resident Evil 2 has been hailed as one of the best games for the PlayStation and in the series. The game has become an icon for better establishing the foundation of the horror survival genre and introducing several of gaming most memorable characters. The T-virus has turned the citizens of Raccoon City into zombies while the only survivors must find a way to escape the nightmare. Players take on the role of either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield as they must escape the city.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/5/2/b52ea07ca83177cc77206d18ce8f37eb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/5/2/tiny_b52ea07ca83177cc77206d18ce8f37eb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87999","description":"
3. Alien: Isolation
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Inspired by Sir. Ridley Scott's original film, players must use their wit to avoid the Xenomorph. Fifteen years after the events of the film, Amanda Ripley arrives to the Sevastopol after hearing they may have found information about her missing mother. However upon her arrival, she learns that a Xenomorph is prowling around the space-station. There are no Marines with pulse rifles and you’re not some badass angel of death, your character is an engineer that needs to use her wits to survive.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/7/507d178ac9180e01182ac5fb18b3144f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/7/tiny_507d178ac9180e01182ac5fb18b3144f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88002","description":"

4. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

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Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly was a break from the traditional horror games of the Sixth-Generation era by creating an eerie atmosphere while forcing the helpless player to confront the demons. The story follows the Amakura twins as they are lured to an abandoned village populated with paranormal entities.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/b/fab7ae001f361e8c70fca6dd2560f13f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/b/tiny_fab7ae001f361e8c70fca6dd2560f13f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88018","description":"
5. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
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Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of the earliest horror survivals that incorporated the need to preserve ones sanity. Alexandra Roivas is investigating the mysterious murder of her grandfather when she finds a mysterious books that unleashes dark forces.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/9/739df190af2ebe9b805368a109e151e2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/9/tiny_739df190af2ebe9b805368a109e151e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88001","description":"
6. Resident Evil
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Be it the original, GameCube remake, or the recent HD remake, Resident Evil is a gaming classic that established the horror survival genre. Following a series of murders outside the city, the STARS unit is deployed to investigate. However, the team is forced to take refuge in a mansion as Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine work to uncover the secrets of the Umbrella Corporation.

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7. BioShock
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BioShock is a horror adventure that takes players to Rapture, a dystopian nightmare based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand. The story follows Jack, the only survivor of a plane crash, who arrives to Rapture and is forced to participate in the civil war that has torn the city apart. If one has not played this game then, would you kindly play it on Halloween?

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8. The Last of Us
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Praised for its deep story and memorable characters, it has been hailed as one of the best titles for the PlayStation 3. The Last of Us stood out from other horror games by adding a humane element to the survival story while adding a new tone to the zombie genre. 20 years after an infection destroyed civilization, Joel must escort Ellie across the country as her blood may be hold the cure.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/a/b/4ab6db46682ed6cf8b6cb452ede8b14d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/a/b/tiny_4ab6db46682ed6cf8b6cb452ede8b14d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88004","description":"
9. Silent Hill 4: The Room
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The first game in the series not set in the town of Silent Hill, yet its memorable for taking players on a journey of madness while remaining connected to the series lore. Henry Townshend wakes up locked in his apartment with a warning by “Walter” to not go outside. Five days past and a hole opens up in his bathroom that takes him to an alternate dimensions.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/c/ffc7f49e29c1407ad45ce58070311af2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/c/tiny_ffc7f49e29c1407ad45ce58070311af2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88005","description":"
10. Condemned: Criminal Origins
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One of the earliest games for the Xbox 360, this horror survival takes players on a journey into madness. FBI Agent Ethan Thomas is trying to capture Serial Killer X, a killer that is targeting the serial killers that Thomas is looking for. Condemned: Criminal Origins was a unique horror game as it focused more on puzzle solving over combat.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/0/8/608fb589888493a6b1d9f219e73a954a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/0/8/tiny_608fb589888493a6b1d9f219e73a954a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88003","description":"
11. Manhunt
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Despite so many demons that are created by our imagination, we forget that human nature can be the most terrifying monster of all. This is the premise of Manhunt, a modern retelling of The Most Dangerous Game only set in an urban environment. Players are put in the role of James Earl Cash as he is forced to murder subjects for the amusement of Lionel Starkweather (aka The Director).

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/2/7/c277b8b9a237d4691ed6f2a781f3f044.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/2/7/tiny_c277b8b9a237d4691ed6f2a781f3f044.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88006","description":"
12. The Suffering
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A horror classic that took players through a vicious Lovecraftian odyssey that pitted them against the demons of a neglected justice system. After Torque arrives to Abbott State Penitentiary, an earthquake unleashes an army of demons (a manifestation of the prison’s history) that begin a reign of terror upon the inmates and prison staff.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/7/1/f71b3f5df16eacfffeba3f156e52df33.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/7/1/tiny_f71b3f5df16eacfffeba3f156e52df33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88008","description":"
13. P.T. (Silent Hills demo)
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Even though its a demo for a canceled game, it had such an impact on horror culture that fans were outraged when Konami removed it from the PlayStation store. Silent Hills was a reboot that was being developed by Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, and Junji Ito. Had it been completed, it could have redefined the horror genre.

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14. Doom 3
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A remake of the iconic shooter, Doom 3 incorporated elements of the horror survival genre into a First-Person shooter. The result is an unforgettable horror experience that redefined a classic series. When an experiment in teleportation opens a gateway to Hell, a lone marine must find a way to escape Mars.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/a/ecad777c2d73efd3cb4a103592215c75.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/a/tiny_ecad777c2d73efd3cb4a103592215c75.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88019","description":"
15. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
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H.P. Lovecraft is considered to be one of the most influential horror writers to put pen to paper and was responsible for creating the sub-genre known as Lovecraftian horror. While many games have been influenced by his work, very few have tried to adopt it. Based on the story, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, gamers take on the role of private detective who is hired to find a missing person in the town of Innsmouth.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/0/6505315926ae6594196a28c20f70c48f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/0/tiny_6505315926ae6594196a28c20f70c48f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88010","description":"
16. Fear Effect
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At a time when horror games were dominated by the Resident Evil series, this cyber-punk themed horror title defined the norm to bring an unforgettable experience. Fear Effect pushed many boundaries at the time, but today is remembered as a horror classic. Three mercenaries are looking for the daughter of a Triad boss only to discover that she is to be sacrificed to a demon god.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/c/b/acb4b77982c17280f6b384980f3f5be8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/c/b/tiny_acb4b77982c17280f6b384980f3f5be8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88014","description":"
17. F.E.A.R.
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F.E.A.R. takes the fast pace action of a shooter and puts it into a horror survival environment. When Paxton Fettel uses an army of super-soldiers to seize control of Armacham Technology Corporation headquarters, the First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.) team is deployed to take him out. However, something more sinister could be manipulating the situation and it's up to the Point Man to uncover the truth.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/f/d/4fde76d8efac00f21d5e966abfad25c0.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/f/d/tiny_4fde76d8efac00f21d5e966abfad25c0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88007","description":"
18. Deadly Premonition
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Deadly Premonition is a horror survival that could easily be described as a video game remake of Twin Peaks. It featured elements  seen in many works of Japanese horror along with content inspired by David Lynch classic show. The story follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, I mean FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan as he investigates the murder of a young woman in a small town that shares similarities to several other murders.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/f/f4fdff4761a5e1c97f1f9dff5498d336.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/f/tiny_f4fdff4761a5e1c97f1f9dff5498d336.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88000","description":"
19. The Thing
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The long awaited sequel to the John Carpenter classic finally answers the question of who or what survived. Set several months after the events of the film, a military unit is deployed to investigate the radio silence at Outpost 31. However the parasite is sill alive while a bio-engineering company has set up a secret lab in the hopes of weaponizing it.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/1/2/e124b0592a029e591ff5699d68912c92.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/1/2/tiny_e124b0592a029e591ff5699d68912c92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"88013","description":"
20. Resident Evil 4
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Resident Evil 4 not only rebuilt the gameplay setup of the iconic series but also found a way to balance the elements of action and horror. This was achieved by keeping elements of its predecessors such as limited ammo and challenging puzzles. Leon S. Kennedy returns as a Secret Service agent tasked with rescuing the President’s daughter from the Los Iluminados cult.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/a/4/ba43f8e1a7195157c6b661704bb1ed6d.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/a/4/tiny_ba43f8e1a7195157c6b661704bb1ed6d.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"89153","description":"

October is the season of fear as pop-culture junkies indulge themselves in any work of horror they could find. It's also the perfect excuse a gamer needs to dig up their old game console and play some classic horror games. Here are 20 horror games every horror gamer needs to play.

"}]]]>
Five reasons why we're still upset about Silent Hills https://www.gameskinny.com/649ix/five-reasons-why-were-still-upset-about-silent-hills https://www.gameskinny.com/649ix/five-reasons-why-were-still-upset-about-silent-hills Sat, 17 Oct 2015 16:18:36 -0400 John Adamczyk

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1. It's another nail in Konami's coffin.
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From firing Hideo Kojima to releasing pachinko machines to exploit and capitalize on everyone's favorite games instead of providing new content for them, it's clear that the direction Konami is taking is one that has left longtime fans feeling confused and betrayed.

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It isn't just Silent Hills that we're upset about: it's Konami.

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The fact that a company could put together such a perfect storm for the horror genre, with titans like Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, demonstrates something wildly ambitious - a now-vaporware game that would have, without a doubt, gone down as a fan favorite for countless gamers. But instead, what we have to look forward to are pachinko machines and a company that is clearly disinterested in what fans want.

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Why are you still upset about the Silent Hills cancellation? Let me know in the comments below!

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2. Kojima and del Toro were a match made in heaven.
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This was a game that had something for everyone. Even people who might be disinterested in the Silent Hill franchise, or just horror in general, had some incentive to check this game out, and one of the most significant reasons was undoubtedly the big-name team-up of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro.

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It's rare in the video game industry for directors' names to be such a huge pull, and I think part of what made Silent Hills such a magical idea was the fact that, even though we knew so little about the nature of the game itself, we knew the names behind it, and they were names we could trust.

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This was the sort of horror game that would have had veteran direction and masterful storytelling quality.

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3. Horror master Junji Ito was part of the team
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While this was not readily apparent to some, as more information came out of the woodwork about the development of Silent Hills, it was confirmed that the manga master of horror, Junji Ito, was working alongside the more well-known Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima.

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Known for his surreal horror manga riddled with outlandish scenarios and nightmarish imagery, Junji Ito is responsible for infamous and grotesque cult classics such as Hellstar Remina, Uzumaki, and Gyo. Seeing the unique spin on horror that Ito could have offered Silent Hills would have been revolutionary, and while I still hope we can see him playing a role in the development of a horror game some day, the fact that it isn't a project this ambitious is a shame. 

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4. It was both a worthy successor to Silent Hill and a welcome breath of fresh air for the horror genre.
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In a world full of half-completed "Early Access" horror games that rely on cheap jump scares, the classic Silent Hill games stand out as shining examples of what the horror genre should be. Unfortunately, the newer Silent Hill games have failed to live up to those expectations.

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Silent Hills appeared to be the first game in a long while to give us that glimmer of hope that we were in for something truly horrifying, and for horror enthusiasts such as myself, the fact that we lost what might have been the pinnacle of the genre is a tragedy.

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5The demo was awesome.
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The first demonstration of what Silent Hills would be was a digital download of a demo cryptically titled P.T. Free-to-play on the PS4, the simplistic structure - exploring a house with an immensely terrifying atmosphere - really caught on and drummed up unbelievable amounts of hype. Even now, with the demo having been pulled, PlayStation 4 consoles with the demo installed are being sold at exorbitant prices. It was so good, in fact, that fans have decided to create a spiritual successor to Silent Hills with a premise similar to the home exploration of P.T. 

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It's no surprise that the cancellation of Silent Hills has left gaming enthusiasts feeling more than a little burned by Konami - the fact that I'm writing this article six months after the heartbreaking announcement is a testament to that.

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In light of Del Toro's recent outcry that it "makes no f*cking sense at all that the game is not happening," it seems appropriate to look back on what could have been, and why it still hurts after all this time.

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Why is it that so many people were excited for this installment of a franchise that seemed to be going downhill? After all, a simple search on Metacritic shows some not-so-positive reviews for more recent additions to the franchise like Silent Hill: Downpour and Silent Hill: Book of Memories.  Well, we're going to explore the perfect storm that Konami created, hyped up, and then threw away.

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Guillermo del Toro says Silent Hills cancellation "Makes no f**king sense" https://www.gameskinny.com/brht1/guillermo-del-toro-says-silent-hills-cancellation-makes-no-fking-sense https://www.gameskinny.com/brht1/guillermo-del-toro-says-silent-hills-cancellation-makes-no-fking-sense Thu, 15 Oct 2015 06:50:51 -0400 Robert Sgotto

When Konami canceled Silent Hills, it was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

We felt like something terrible had happened.

Guillermo del Toro certainly feels that way. Entertainment website Bloody Disgusting sat down with the movie mastermind to find out that, yeah, Konami’s decision was pretty nuts.

“The thing with Kojima and Silent Hills is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular,” he said.

And he was probably right. Last year at Gamescom, Hideo Kojima stated, “Originally, we were thinking of making a game that would make you pee your pants.” But after further collaboration with del Toro, Kojima’s outlook changed. “We are aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants.”

The faces of true terror.

Everything pointed to a fantastic new entry in the Silent Hill franchise.

Unfortunately, somewhere down the line Konami decided Silent Hills wasn’t worth it anymore, canned the game, and left a lot of fans confused.

Even del Toro has a hard time understanding what went wrong.

“We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs,” he said. “Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like The Last of Us, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction.”

Maybe it was because their direction wasn’t towards pachinko machines.

“We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about, and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you ask about how things operate, that makes no fucking sense at all that that game is not happening,” del Toro said.

“Makes no fucking sense at all.”

Hmm. Sounds just like Konami.

If you want to read the full interview which also discusses his new movie Crimson Peak, head over to Bloody Disgusting.

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Creators of Worms pick up indie horror game Allison Road https://www.gameskinny.com/iko1u/creators-of-worms-pick-up-indie-horror-game-allison-road https://www.gameskinny.com/iko1u/creators-of-worms-pick-up-indie-horror-game-allison-road Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:46:55 -0400 Robert Sgotto

Allison Road, the game some are calling the spiritual successor to the P.T. demo has recently cancelled their Kickstarter campaign.

It's not often that cancelling a Kickstarter is good news, most of the time it means funding issues or internal arguments and disagreements.

That's why it's a relief to hear Allison Roads developer Lilith Ltd has been picked up by Team17, and no longer needs crowd funding thanks to Team17's indie label program.

Team17 are the developers known for the Worms franchise, and more recently they published Beyond Eyes and The Escapists series.

Yes, that Worms.

"Working with Team17 will give us the chance to make our game unhindered creatively, but at the same time give us the resources, support, and experience that only a 25-year-old studio can give," the developer said.

When the newly founded studio began work on Allison Road, they weren't expecting all the attention.

"We've been completely overwhelmed by your encouragement and huge interest in Allison Road," said the developer.

"We'd love to thank each and every one of you for all of the amazing support you have given us during our Kickstarter campaign and beyond."

Due to Kickstarters policy, the supporters of Allison Road wont be charged any money they donated (only successful Kickstarters charge supporters), but the developer is still looking for new ways to keep the community involved.

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Why I'm still bitter about the Silent Hills cancellation https://www.gameskinny.com/1msav/why-im-still-bitter-about-the-silent-hills-cancellation https://www.gameskinny.com/1msav/why-im-still-bitter-about-the-silent-hills-cancellation Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:04:41 -0400 Clint Pereira

The cancelation of Silent Hills happened months ago—five months and eight days, to be precise—but who's counting?

Honestly, I have better things to do than be mad at Konami. In fact, I already wrote an article on the topic of Konami's blunders. I think I was fairly objective. But I don't know if objective is the way to go anymore. Konami, you hurt me. As a favor to myself and to all the other Silent Hill fans, I'm calling you out.

They're running their company like a cartoon punchline

It's all about the bottom line. Japan's major magazine publication, Nikkei, disclosed that Konami's business tactics include heavy monitoring and punishment of its employees, sometimes for just taking a scheduled lunch break.

I have worked for a company like this. It makes tons of money, but the money all sits at the top and rarely, if ever, trickles down. The newly-hired employees pretty much have to lick boot and strangle each other just for a few extra crumbs. By keeping these new employees frightened all the time, the company can extract a ton of work out of them in a short amount of time before they have a nervous breakdown or the project ends and they are laid off.

In Japan, it works a little differently in that employees are usually demoted to positions like custodian or security rather than being laid off completely. This could be construed as "merciful," though it's hard to call it that when every person greeting you at the doors in the morning is someone who failed at another job. It's just a daily reminder of what could happen to you if you're not working hard enough.

They chased Guillermo Del Toro away from the video game industry

Hollywood director Del Toro's involvement with the game was exciting, to say the least. But at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, he disclosed that he does not plan on working on any other games.

I joined THQ, and THQ goes broke. I join Kojima, and Kojima leaves Konami. I have decided, in order not to destroy anyone else's life, I will never again get involved in video games. Otherwise, I'll join someone and his house will explode, or something.

So, not only is Del Toro backing away from developing games, but he also has built a personal complex around it. Thanks, Konami!

Junji Ito was working on the game

This is the freshest cut to an old wound. Although it's not certain exactly what Ito's role was in production, Del Toro recently announced on Twitter that legendary horror mangaka Junji Ito was involved in the Silent Hills project.

Ito followed up with a tweet confirming his involvement but that he did not say much during the meetings. Still, he is the undisputed king of body horror, so it would have been amazing if his influence would have carried into the monster designs.

With so many huge names working on the game, the game itself could have been terrible and it still would have been a huge deal.

P.T. was the absolute scariest experience I've had in recent memory

I hadn't been excited about a Silent Hill game in a long time, but if P.T. was any judge, this was going to be quite the ride. For me, horror is coaxing someone deeper into a dark pit while still promising that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's one of the most difficult genres to pull off, especially in an interactive medium where getting players to not just throw the controller away is essential. The first Silent Hill games, especially, did it best. They tugged at our heartstrings before inviting us into Hell.

P.T. was that sense of horror distilled and distilled until the very act of walking down a hallway became nightmare incarnate.

Katlaborde recently wrote an amazing breakdown of P.T. I highly suggest giving it a read.

Pachinko...

Konami isn't doing anything with the Silent Hill franchise except making a pachinko game.

And I know. I know gambling's a big money-maker. I get that this is a good, by-the-numbers business decision. But the callousness, the quick chopping block preciseness about it still hurts my heart.

Maybe I have to accept it at some point, but I don't have to like it. There are no heroes to root for anymore, at least not inside the once-hallowed halls of Konami. Silent Hill, perhaps once considered a cursed franchise, is now finally at rest.

Image sources: P.T. via relyonhorror.com; Bojack Horseman via imagine.pics and reddit; AP/Chris Pizzello via salon.com; Souichi's Diary of Curses via pascaleandejournalism.wordpress.com; silenthillparadise.com

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Guillermo Del Toro says "No" to video game development after Silent Hills debacle https://www.gameskinny.com/s0x1y/guillermo-del-toro-says-no-to-video-game-development-after-silent-hills-debacle https://www.gameskinny.com/s0x1y/guillermo-del-toro-says-no-to-video-game-development-after-silent-hills-debacle Fri, 14 Aug 2015 07:44:04 -0400 Marshall Jenkins

The award for "Biggest Gut Punch" for fans of the horror genre this year would no doubt go to the cancellation of the Kojima/Del Toro collaboration Silent Hills. The news of a master of horror working hand in hand with a master of video game storytelling sent chills down anticipating fans spines as we all waited for any sign of the game.

When the sleeper release of the game's demo P.T. released last year on the PlayStation Store, it was universally acclaimed and the proverbial hype train was running full steam ahead. 

Nope. Nope Nope Nope. 

It appears that the cancellation of Silent Hills was the final straw that broke the camel's back of Del Toro's video game career. Having previously worked on a game that was similarly cancelled, it seemed that Del Toro was finished with game development long ago, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn about his collaboration with Hideo Kojima.

This time, however, his claims of abandoning video game creation seems to be more concrete. 

In a video interview with Shack News, Del Toro jokingly said that if he made another foray into video game development, "World War III would start." Referencing the downfall of THQ and the separation of Kojima from Konami, Del Toro noted his involvement and subsequent negative outcomes for both companies have put a dark cloud over his aspirations for video game storytelling. 

Hopefully, he will change his mind in the future for our sake. For now, you can look forward to Guillermo Del Toro's next work in the world of film with the release of Crimson Peak on October 16, 2015. 

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Why the Silent Hill Pachinko game made me fly off the handle https://www.gameskinny.com/44qgo/why-the-silent-hill-pachinko-game-made-me-fly-off-the-handle https://www.gameskinny.com/44qgo/why-the-silent-hill-pachinko-game-made-me-fly-off-the-handle Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:11:13 -0400 Duran Boskovic

Edit: Earlier I posted a rant about how I thought Konami was artistically bankrupting itself and were being just being general dicks, I apologise for that knee jerk response and will now try to calmly discuss why this is a bad move on Konami's part.

Konami have released a trailer for the pachinko (it's a form of japanese gambling machine) version of its Silent Hill 2 game, a game widely regarded as one of the best survival horror games of all time. Now when considering Mr. Hideki Hayakawa's background within Konami as the Executive Producer behind Dragon Collection, a widely successful and profitable mobile game, it would make sense that he would lead the company to a field he was confident in. The major issue is not only that Konami is now taking franchises such as Silent Hill and copy-pasting their themes and lore for the western equivalent for a slot machine, but the methods they've used to do so.

It was recently reported that Konami had been mistreating its employees to convince them to resign to bleed out their traditional game development talent in favour of mobile development. Even the conflicting reports still contain allegations of petty and vindictive contempt alongside a corporate structure so rigid and archaic that its employees find themselves lacking the basic resources required to do their job leading to damaging stress.

To me the trailer for the pachi Silent Hill was the smoking gun, the proof that the company I once truly admired really didn't care about the products they were making.

But the really sad part is, this isn't even the first time they've pulled this stunt. Remember Castlevania? Not if Konami has anything to do about it.

Now I'm not an anti-mobile gaming fanatic by any stretch (Fallout Shelter is in my top-5-have-to-play when it comes out for android) but it's not hard to see that Konami has no regard for the products they create. Video games might be a business but it's a CREATIVE business and this souless cash in on franchises that have artistically inspired and brought joy to so many people is just.... dirty and proves that Konami simply does not care, about its products or its consumers.

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