Fortunately, old-school horror game tropes like tank controls and gamplay glitches are mostly a thing of the past. However, the same can’t be said for the wonky camera angles that continue to plague horror games in the 21st Century.
They were awkward and erratic decades ago, and for many modern horror games, they still are.
Games such as Dead Space and The Evil Within still rely heavily on third-person presentation, which, in theory, should be fine. But in reality, they can be jarring and unpredictable.
Not seeing enemies behind you is one of the core issues with this design choice, however, fixed cameras also come with their own special batch of issues. If anything, first-person seems to be the way forward if Outlast and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard are anything to go by.
Of course, groundbreaking releases such as Resident Evil 4 and Siren proved that camera angles can also be done in a way that allows ease of use for the player while also keeping the tension and suspense ramped up to max. You don’t always need to be unaware of your surroundings to make proceedings scary, and if anything, it could be argued that this is a cheap way to frighten players.
Claustrophobia and frustration don’t always have to go hand-in-hand as we've been taught. Sure, fixed camera shots can provide a certain cinematic quality, and over-the-shoulder angles can certainly make for tense atmospheres, but sadly, neither of them have really been improved upon in the current crop of horror video games.
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