Survival Horror Games  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Survival Horror Games  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Capcom Recruiting Resident Evil Fans to Test New Game Fri, 02 Aug 2019 15:59:11 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Capcom seems like it could possibly be gearing up for some kind of Resident Evil announcement in the coming months.

Resident Evil fansite Biohaze came across and translated a posting from Capcom Japan asking the Resident Evil fan community (Biohazard in Japan) to sign up for a round of testing related to an upcoming game. Since Capcom is specifically asking RE fans, we can reasonably assume the game being tested is connected to the series.

Here's the announcement in full:

To all Resident Evil Ambassadors,

Thank you for your patronage regarding the Resident Evil series.

Today, we are letting you know that we are recruiting testers for a game that’s in development!! [sic]

We are interested in incorporating the feedback of all Ambassadors into our development, so please read the details below and, if you are interested in participating, click the Entry button.

Of course, with Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 coming to the Nintendo Switch this October, it's always possible this testing could be connected to those releases.

If so, it might even serve as a reward of sorts for loyal fans. Biohaze also mentioned Capcom held a meeting with the Resident Evil Ambassadors in late June, meaning the company could just be taking a greater interest in taking notice of long-time fans.

Then again, it's also possible Capcom is preparing another new game in the series or another remake.

Chatter started swirling earlier this year, shortly after the Resident Evil 2 remake released, when Capcom released a survey asking what fans wanted in a new game, and it's been a while now since the much-needed revitalization that was Resident Evil 7 launched.

There's always the possibility that we might see a Resident Evil 3 remake after all, or the long-awaited Resident Evil 8 could finally be moving forward.

Only time (or an official release) will tell. 

Daymare 1998 Early Impressions: Classic Survival Horror Is Back, Just Not as Scary (Yet) Mon, 01 Jul 2019 14:05:15 -0400 Ty Arthur

If you're tired of the seemingly constant barrage of first-person horror games where you have to run or hide and can't shoot anything, you aren't alone. Indie developer Invader Studios is looking to resurrect the classic survival horror feel of yesteryear, but with a revamped interface that appeals more strongly to modern gamers.

After previously working on an unofficial Resident Evil 2 remake, Daymare 1998 is an original creation currently brewing at Invader, and we got the chance to play through the first two levels as development tracks for a 2019 release.

Here's what we thought. 

Old Feel, New Mechanics

Everything about Daymare will feel familiar at first. Something has gone terribly wrong in a research lab (seriously, why do we even have research labs when we know they will always get filled with infected zombies?!?), and it's up to you to find out what happened while trying to contain the situation.

A steady stream of nods to the genre's origins will pop up you're a HADES team member instead of a STARS team member, for instance but the story diverges a bit from what you might expect.

This time, we're dealing with the resurrection of a bioagent the Japanese had intended to use to wipe out America after we dropped the atomic bombs at the end of World War II.

In terms of actual gameplay, Invader nailed the feel of early survival horror in this early access demo, especially in the inventory combination mechanics, level layout, and slower gun battles replete with very deliberate reloading animations. 

Instead of a simple copy-paste job, though, there are some much-needed quality of life upgrades here that will make your playthrough a bit easier.

We all tend to think of the classics as infallible, but the fact of the matter is that the original Resident Evil is borderline unplayable these days with those awful camera angles and unbelievably clunky controls.

Thankfully, Daymare 1998 updates those elements without losing the classic feel, somewhat like the Resident Evil 2 remake. Controls are smooth, but still very clearly influenced by the original RE style. Bullet inventory management is complex and inefficient on purpose; it's all to make combat more frantic and difficult. However, it isn't so hard you'll just give up.

Of course, some modern players who never experienced the original games may be a little frustrated. For those used to vaulting over any obstacle or climbing up every ladder to explore hidden nooks and crannies for a combat advantage, Daymare could be frustrating. 

Aside from the faithful old-school inventory and U.I. updates, I was particularly impressed with the game's puzzle design in these first two advanced levels. This isn't "take the red key to the red door" type stuff; instead, you have to actually remember information you saw on a computer screen or on a note and then use it to figure out how to advance later on.

The end result is a steady stream of challenging sections that will make you think but aren't impossible without a guide, just like any good puzzle should be.

Tantalizing Teasers

While the gameplay had me wanting to see more of Daymare beyond the first two levels, one little secret, in particular, has me intrigued. It all stems from the level of effort put in by the developers.

Early on in the first level, I found an Easter egg that can't actually be accessed yet, and I am now highly keen to find out how it will interact with the full game.

While sweeping through the Aegis lab, our spec ops agent, Liev, runs across a random URL for an in-game company. It's at the end of a document that's easy to miss. I immediately Alt-Tabbed out to open Chrome and lo and behold, the site exists!

Unfortunately, you can't actually enter in a username or password yet, which has me wondering just how this site will interact with the game and if it will be necessary for completing puzzles, finding extra collectibles of some kind, or perhaps rounding out the story.

Things Were Scarier In 1998

We've been over the good, so let's take a moment to consider what might take Daymare off your must-buy list as a survival horror fan.

If there's on major flaw here, it's the lack of a big scare factor. It's hard to say if that's because we've all grown up or gotten used to the standard horrors of the genre, but the low-key scares are a problem here.

There are times where you can tell you are supposed to feel that "Oh, shit, Nemesis is here and I need to run!" sensation, but it just falls a bit flat as of now. Nothing in these levels brings about that jarring feeling you get when the dogs first jump through the windows in Resident Evil, either.

That issue is exacerbated because the main character in these levels isn't particularly likable, and I was never all that concerned if he made it out alive. I remember being absolutely mortified the first time Leon got chainsawed in half in Resident Evil 4, but I didn't feel anything like that when this random civilian-killing special ops guy gets eaten.

To be fair, Daymare does a better job handling scares than certain other indie games in recent years like Phantaruk or Perception, where the monsters just flat out failed to evoke any sort of visceral response.

While the camera is updated from the awful early Resident Evil days, with the focused combat style of classic survival horror utilized here, it is easy to get into a situation where you miss an enemy coming from behind.

That style makes some effective jump scare moments just during normal gameplay, completely independent of any sort of scripted events where the horror would normally be placed.

The Bottom Line In Early Preview 

While we only got to see two levels and one out of three main characters set to appear in the game, the degree of quality on display with this advance preview is unexpectedly high for an indie release.

Simply put, Daymare nails the old school third-person survival horror feel, and it features enough twists on the style to be worth playing even if you've already fully explored every last title in the genre.

In fact, that's one area where Daymare really excels, as it seems like the full game will be quite varied based on these advanced levels. I'm hoping more variety is in store when the full game arrives later this year.

10 Dormant Resident Evil Plots Waiting to Rise From The Dead Fri, 08 Mar 2019 15:58:30 -0500 Thomas Wilde

On March 22, we’ll be celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the original Resident Evil. That game’s release began an unexpected franchise for Capcom, which went on to span seven direct sequels, 14 spin-offs, and three computer-animated films set in the same universe as the games.

Over the course of those two decades, Resident Evil has become justly infamous for its story. Even the simpler games in the series tend to be a hodgepodge of betrayals, conspiracies, secret government organizations, evil corporations, surreal architecture, mad scientists, and, of course, exploding helicopters.

Explaining the overarching plotline of Resident Evil often sounds like you’re talking about a lost season of 24 that involves a zombie outbreak. It's all further complicated by Capcom's history of, let's say, interesting storytelling decisions.

Surprisingly important background details are often thrown in a file that’s deliberately hard to find, locked behind collectibles, or stuck in Japan-only supplemental materials that don't get officially translated for years afterward, if at all. It’s a degree of deliberate, unnecessary complexity that you usually don’t see outside of American superhero comics.

Much of the time, this goes back to several behind-the-scenes issues at Capcom, particularly early on:

  • many core games go through multiple wildly different versions of themselves during development
  • RE’s head writer, Noboru Sugimura, passed away in 2005
  • the somewhat acrimonious departure of series creator, Shinji Mikami, in 2006
  • multiple creative teams and writers, many of whom don't last for more than one game

Because of the chaos around the series, Resident Evil is littered with abandoned plot arcs, forgotten characters, canceled projects, and untold stories.

However, in the last few years, Capcom has made a distinct effort to mine that history through the newer games in the franchise. Resident Evil 7, in its final couple of hours, connects its storyline to a mysterious organization that was last mentioned in 2000’s Resident Evil: Code Veronica. 

2015’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2 features Moira Burton, who first appeared as a child in an obscure file in the original 1996 Resident Evil, and while 2012’s Resident Evil 6 was a mess, it brought back Sherry Birkin after 13 years.

It’s been a little over a month out from Capcom’s successful remake of Resident Evil 2, and the rumor mill has begun to churn regarding what’s next for the series.

With that in mind, here are 10 of the most potentially interesting plot hooks that could appear in future RE titles, including Resident Evil 8. These are plot points that Capcom has introduced, then proceeded to leave alone for at least a couple of years, if not a decade or more.

Naturally, this article involves major spoilers for many of the games in the Resident Evil series. 

10. “Jenny K”

The first four games in the Resident Evil series are all about dealing with the underground activities of the megacorporation Umbrella, which was a billion-dollar drug company by day, weapons manufacturer by night.

After all four of those games ended with characters walking off into the sunset, promising to bring down Umbrella, it was eventually taken out by a government lawsuit, rather than one last heroic adventure, according to the opening text crawl of Resident Evil 4.

Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple, and several later games dealt with the events that surrounded Umbrella’s closure.

Near the end of Resident Evil 5, you can find Spencer’s Notebook, a file that discusses the measures Spencer took to protect his interests after Umbrella was shut down, which included having the rest of Umbrella’s executives quietly assassinated.

There was one exception: “Jenny K,” who disappeared without a trace.

Every high-ranking Umbrella executive we’ve seen in the series so far has been a billionaire psychopath with a plan for world conquest. Jenny K, whoever and wherever she is, is the last survivor of Umbrella’s original upper echelon, and she could show up again at any time as a new, major player.

9. The Raccoon City Testing Ground

2003’s Resident Evil: Outbreak was at least a few years ahead of its time. It was a four-player cooperative survival horror game, which was mostly held back by the PlayStation 2's technology barrier and janky matchmaking.

Outbreak wasn’t confirmed as part of Resident Evil canon until relatively recently, when a few references to it appeared in RE7, the RE6 prequel manga Marhawa Desire, and the 2019 RE2 remake. Now that we know it definitely is canon, it means that one strange scene in Outbreak is suddenly relevant.

After you complete "Decisions, Decisions," there's a bonus scene after the closing credits. It shows that, a month after the bomb dropped at the end of Resident Evil 3, an unspecified agency has set up a laboratory in the ruins of Raccoon City.

Whoever the organization is, it's conducting tests and has gone to the trouble of making sure its lab doesn’t show up in aerial photographs of the area. As the setting for a back-to-the-beginning plot, this has a lot of promise, particularly since we don’t know who or what was running the lab.

8. Steve Burnside

2000’s Resident Evil: Code Veronica is an interesting sort of mess. It came out on the Dreamcast after a troubled development history, and has a lot of weird quirks that are particular to that period of game design.

Among all of its other missteps, like that glass cannonball "puzzle" near the end, its biggest is arguably Claire’s NPC sidekick, Steve Burnside. A trembling ball of Matrix shout-outs and adolescent angst, with the most Canadian accent this side of Bob & Doug McKenzie, Steve creates almost exactly as many problems as he helps the player solve.

In the end, he’s infected by the ant-derived T-Veronica virus, mutates into a lizard monster, and dies in Claire’s arms.

That’d be it for Steve, except his body is subsequently stolen by Albert Wesker, who tells Claire that there’s a chance Steve might come back from the dead someday, just as Wesker himself had.

That was 19 years ago. Since then, Steve’s name hasn’t come up outside of a flashback level, set during the events of Code Veronica, during 2009’s Darkside Chronicles.

It’s probably safe to assume that Steve got thrown into a meat locker somewhere and forgotten. That being said, HCF, Wesker’s mercenary squad from the same game, was mentioned in Resident Evil 7, and that's far more obscure than Steve was.

It’s also worth mentioning that Steve was infected in late 1998 with a virus that, according to the main plot of Code Veronica, takes a full 15 years to mature, and it’s been longer than that in-universe. Not only could Steve still come back at some point, but he could have bizarre new powers and abilities when he does.

Steve Burnside riding back into the series on top of his giant ant steed, firing a submachinegun into the air with either hand, might be the kind of crazy nonsense he needs to overcome nearly 20 years of fan jokes about how awful he is.

7. Corporate Masterminds

It’s been a plot point in the series for a long time that Umbrella was the leader in the bioweapons industry, but wasn't the only company in the business. There are multiple other companies working with the T-Virus, and their version of corporate warfare usually involved mercenary squads and quiet assassinations.

A lot of these companies have popped up in the series over the years, and they usually end up somehow dismantled by the end of their first appearance.

Resident Evil 5's Tricell is officially dead by the time of Revelations 2, which is set two years later, and the vaccine manufacturer Wilpharma goes out of business after the events of the 2008 film Resident Evil: Degeneration.

Currently, the last identified corporation in the bioweapons black market is a Chinese company called Shen Ya, which was introduced in the 2015 Heavenly Island manga. It had a well-funded paramilitary force working for it, as well as a particularly dangerous undercover agent, although none of them survived the events of the manga.

With mainland China in bad shape following the events of Resident Evil 6, the time may soon come for Shen Ya to consider expansion. There's also the Connections, the criminal syndicate responsible for creating Eveline in Resident Evil 7; "Blue Umbrella," the original Umbrella reincarnated as a black-market weapons dealer, as seen in the notoriously poor Umbrella Corps; and whatever other companies might still be waiting in the wings.

6. The Remnants of the FBC

The Federal Bioterror Commission was the American organization that predated the BSAA, Chris Redfield’s anti-bioweapon task force that first appeared in Resident Evil 5.

In 2011’s Resident Evil: Revelations, it's revealed that the original version of the FBC was basically one step up from park rangers, and was virtually powerless. To fix that, the FBC’s commissioner, Morgan Lansdale, purchased a handful of bioweapons on the black market and duped a small-time terrorist group into using them to take out an entire city in 2004. A year later, and thanks to the ensuing panic, the FBC is a well-funded and respected international task force, with Lansdale as its dictatorial leader.

Thanks to Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, this is eventually brought to light and Lansdale is sent to jail. The FBC’s assets and personnel get folded into the BSAA, which turns it into the international organization it's become by the start of RE5.

However, in 2015’s Revelations 2, one of the major twists is that Claire’s friend and boss, Neil Fisher, is still loyal to Lansdale. Fisher has a plan to set off another large bioterror event in order to bring back the FBC, and it fails spectacularly.

There’s every chance that Lansdale, wherever he wound up, has a few more obsessed underlings out there, and any one of them might be willing to start another serious outbreak in order to prove that Lansdale was right, bringing about another interwoven plot for a future Resident Evil installment. 

5. The Other Wesker Children

2009’s Resident Evil 5 told the origin story of the series’ primary antagonist, Albert Wesker. It turned out that he was one of 13 children who were products of Umbrella’s secret “Wesker Project,” which was named after its chief researcher. Its goal was to create a more advanced breed of human through a winning combination of brainwashing, child endangerment, and genetic engineering.

The other 12 Weskers were named in RE5’s Lost in Nightmares DLC, including Albert’s “sister” Alex, who would go on to be the villain of 2015’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2.

Since both of the Weskers shown in the series so far are brilliant mad scientists with personal body counts like a natural disaster, it could be inferred that the other Wesker kids would be similarly gifted and/or damaged.

According to Revelations 2, however, the other 11 Wesker kids are all dead. Although that information comes from Alex, a somewhat unreliable narrator, one of the primary characteristics of Weskers is that they don’t stay dead.

After all, Albert famously got his spine clawed out by an angry Tyrant in the very first Resident Evil, and Alex dies twice in Revelations 2.

Therefore, any time Capcom feels like it, they’ve potentially got another 11 backup Weskers on deck, ready to continue their family legacy of smugness and murder for another console generation.

4. The Family

One of the more infamous details of 2012’s Resident Evil 6 is the existence of “The Family,” an international conspiracy that draws its influence and power from financial manipulation. Its primary goal is maintaining the global status quo for the sake of continued profit.

Derek Simmons, one of the major antagonists of RE6, is a member of The Family, and considering the organization’s stated goals, he couldn’t have failed harder on a bet. Not only does he have the U.S. president assassinated as part of a major bioterror attack, but Simmons' girlfriend Carla Radames nearly ends the world just to spit in his face.

The Family is barely a presence in RE6 outside of Simmons, Carla, and a couple of stereotypical Men in Black (the conspiracy-theory version, not the ones from the Will Smith movies), one of whom shoots Carla dead near the end of Chris' game.

As a theoretical “final boss” for the Resident Evil series, however, you couldn’t do much better than The Family. The series has run heavily off of conspiracies and underground organizations since nearly the beginning, and The Family, which is basically the Illuminati with its serial numbers filed off, is depicted as the ultimate conspiracy.

3. The Biosphere

The setting of Resident Evil is an Earth a lot like our own, with much of the same history and culture, a few different nations, a couple of extra cities, and a biosphere that is intensely warped.

From the very first game in the series, the T-Virus has been capable of infecting just about anything organic. We’ve seen it turn humans, crows, dogs, crocodiles, sharks, spiders, insects, bats, elephants, lions, tropical birds, and even plants into zombies, mutants, and monsters.

In1998's Resident Evil 2, there are several files explaining that the mansion from the first game was located in the middle of a national forest. As far as the T-Virus is concerned, that’s one big infection vector, conveniently located somewhere in the American Midwest.

In subsequent games, there have been biohazard incidents involving the T-Virus or one of its derivatives all over the world. Here are just a few instances: 

  • Resident Evil 6 ends with a massive bioterror attack with the C-Virus on the Chinese mainland
  • An ocean liner full of infected humans goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 2002’s Resident Evil: Dead Aim
  • The wreckage of Terragrigia in the Mediterranean Sea is still heavily contaminated at the start of 2011's Resident Evil: Revelations 
  • the T-Veronica virus is let loose in the South American rainforest during the main story levels in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

There’s even a handy map at the start of the Degeneration movie (see above) that highlights 27 separate bioterror attacks spread out across six continents, all before 2005, when the movie takes place.

What this means is that in the Resident Evil universe, the T-Virus and a couple of its later derivatives have been loose in its biosphere for years. Capcom’s already laid the groundwork for monsters or outbreaks to show up virtually anywhere on Earth at any time, without any need for a villain to set them loose.

2. The Umbrella Archives

Several of the scenarios in 2007’s Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles are about Albert Wesker, as he tries, initially fails, and eventually succeeds at stealing the only remaining backup of Umbrella’s cumulative research data.

The next time we see him in series continuity, Wesker is incredibly rich — he has his own personal stealth bomber in Resident Evil 5 — and has been quietly selling bioweaponry to dictators and lunatics around the world.

After his death, however, it’s never been established what happened to Wesker’s archives. This includes the single most valuable thing in Wesker’s arsenal, the P30 drug, which is about as close to an actual super-soldier serum as the series has ever had. It’s why Jill is a mind-controlled superhuman assassin on Wesker’s team in RE5 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. P30 in particular would be the most valuable bioweapon in the Resident Evil franchise, and it isn’t even close.

The hunt for where Wesker stashed his personal research archives could be fuel for a world-spanning adventure, trying to keep his most dangerous secrets out of the hands of the last people who should have them.

1. Natalia Wesker

Even in the “good ending” of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Alex Wesker has technically won. Her plan throughout the game is to "test" various survivors to see who would make a good host for a copy of her memories and personality, allowing the terminally ill Alex to cheat death.

While it doesn't quite go according to plan for the original Alex, she does manage to capture 10-year-old Natalia Korda and imprint her personality on Natalia's brain. Six months later, Natalia already has abilities and memories she can't explain, and two years after that, in Revelations 2's epilogue, it seems as if Alex has begun assuming full control.

This plotline would provide the series with a new primary antagonist in the wake of Albert Wesker’s death, and one who’s been growing up in Barry Burton’s household for the last few years. Not only does that imply she'd have a lot of weapons training now, but it means that she's already undercover.

"Natalex" prepared for all of this six months beforehand. She also has substantial financial resources, a brilliant mind, and no scruples whatsoever. Forget all of the conspiracies and monsters: the scariest thing in the Resident Evil franchise as of right now could conceivably be a teenage girl.

Of course, Capcom might decide to ignore any or all of these for another decade or come up with something entirely new. What's impressive, however, is the sheer amount of potential that's still left in the series after all these years.

8 Best Mods For The Resident Evil 2 Remake Fri, 15 Feb 2019 22:41:15 -0500 Ty Arthur


With the RE2 remake still a fairly new release, we can expect to see many more mods arrive in the coming months. This brief list is just the tip of the T-Virus iceberg.


What did you think of these picks, and have you found any other must install Resident Evil 2 remake mods? Let us know what we missed in the comments section below.


If you're wondering, yes, the nude mods have started arriving, but we generally keep those articles separate. You can take a gander at what's available so far over here.


Fixed Camera Angle Mod (Unfinished)


This is an unfinished mod that isn't quite ready for public consumption yet. When completed, it will be another way to bring some of the classic Resident Evil 2 feel to the remake, switching to the old school fixed camera angle.


Personally, I always felt the fixed camera angles of the early RE games were more of a hindrance to be overcome than a desirable aesthetic we should return to. To each their own I suppose...


Swap Mr. X With Nemesis (Unfinished)


Oh boy, this one is just going to further fuel many fans' strong desire for a full fledged Resident Evil 3 remake. Sadly, it is currently a work in progress that can't actually be downloaded yet, but the promising preview video shows Tyrant, the infamous Mr. X, replaced with a skin of Nemesis from RE3.


Hopefully, this mod doesn't turn out like the horde of super awesome looking Fallout mods that never seem to ever get finished. If you notice a download link finally go up for the Nemesis mod, be sure to leave us a comment.


Classic Claire


Not too keen on some of the updated character models and outfits? A handful of classic themes are returning now through mods, including this one that gives Claire her old red outfit back.


This mod is still a work in progress, as most of these early mods are. As such, you may notice some issues occasionally with weapons clipping oddly in the new model.


Vignette Removal


If you hadn't noticed, the RE2 remake features a heavy vignette effect that darkens the edges of the screens like an old photo. While that looks cool for a while, it also makes it difficult to see certain details.


If you'd prefer more clarity, this mod simply removes the effect. It gives you overall brighter and lighter visuals that are easier to make out while running from horrible creatures.


VHS Filter


Another one clearly inspired by segments of Resident Evil 7, this mod simply makes the game look more old school by adding in occasional VHS tracking lines. This makes it feel more like it came out in the '80s or '90s before the advent and widespread usage of disc-based technology.


This mod is simple, but it is effective in changing the tone of the game. Furthermore, when it is combined with the first-person mod, it becomes very clear that we need a VR rendition of Resident Evil 2 post-haste.


Classic UI


The whole point of a remake is to bring a classic game up to modern standards, but some players may still prefer elements of the original RE2. That's where this mod comes in, changing many of the remake's upgraded UI elements to those from the classic, old school release. 


Just want some of the changes but not all of them? A future update to the mod is expected to bring a toggle option so that you can choose which classic elements you want to keep and which to jettison.


First-Person Mode


Did you love the first-person view of Resident Evil 7 and want to see it return in the RE2 remake? That's a lot easier than many would have thought, as this nifty little mod shows.


Surprisingly, the first-person mode is mostly seamless, with just a few hiccups here and there. If there's a top candidate for something from the mod community that the developers need to make official, it's this one right here.


X Gon' Give It To Ya 


Let's start off with the best mod hands down — one in which a Resident Evil 2 meme becomes reality. Yep, you can now hear DMX's X Gon' Give It To Ya, rather than the original soundtrack music, every single time Mr. X chases you around the mansion.


This one requires a good deal of work, as it isn't available as a straight mod through any of the usual sites. Instead, you've got to download it through a file hosting service and then manually make changes to get the song to play.


The links and files have been removed a few times already, but they keep popping back up. This is why we've linked to the instructional post above instead of directly to the mod.


You had to know it was coming. Now that the Resident Evil 2 remake is finally here, the avalanche of fan made mods has begun to arrive.


Sadly, there's no Steam Workshop support yet, which mostly limits the options to the big sites like Nexus Mods. Despite that limitation, there are already some mods that you simply have to download to enhance your experience when returning to this classic zombie shooter, and some, like this Dino Crisis mod, that are just dripping with nostalgia.


In the following slides we round up the best options currently available, including a handful of mods that make the game more like the original '98 version — which is kind of ironic, but sometimes nostalgia gets the best of us. These mods also cover major UI changes, such as adding in a first-person mode.

Chernobylite Is A Survival Horror Game Set After A Nuclear Disaster Sat, 09 Feb 2019 10:53:24 -0500 William R. Parks

The extraordinary success of the recently released Resident Evil 2 remake has established just how popular survival horror games continue to be. While some players may still be attempting to escape the terrors of Raccoon City, a newly announced title, Chernobylite, looks to offer fans of the genre more thrills later this year.

As recently announced by The Farm 51, the developers behind 2017's Get EvenChernobylite is a science-fiction survival horror title headed to PC and consoles in the fall. Taking place 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the survival-horror game focuses around a physicist who returns to the horrifying site to find a lost loved one.

Of course, this task will not be easy, and the situation at Chernobyl has not improved since the preceding nuclear catastrophe. Pollution levels continue to rise due to a dangerous substance that emerged from the explosion, and stalkers roam the irradiated zone, telling tales of strange occurrences in the area.

In order to survive the horrors that populate the world of Chernobylite, players will need to carefully prepare. This includes making use of the game's crafting system in order to build up a cache of helpful gear and supplies. With these tools in hand, players can freely explore, hunting for clues that will unravel the mysteries of the zone. 

However, there is no time to dally, as each day in the game will add to the
"ever-increasing severity of your current situation." Players are advised to plan their strategies well if they wish to elude the adversarial military personnel and supernatural forces that inhabit the zone. 

Chernobylite is currently in development, with a Fall 2019 release date. It utilizes Unreal Engine 4 and employs Reality 51's scanning technology to create a "horrifyingly accurate 3D-scanned recreation of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone."

While the release of Chernobylite is still months away, the announcement of the title is certain to pique the interest of many genre fans. Fortunately for these players, the upcoming post-launch content for Resident Evil 2 remake means that there will be no lack of horror to enjoy in the upcoming months.

More details on Chernobylite can be found on the game's website.

Resident Evil 2 Remake and How Capcom Found Its Way Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:24:03 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Resident Evil is a series with a curious history marked by many highs and lows. However, the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake looks to keep things consistent, continuing what Capcom established with its excellent Resident Evil 7.

After catapulting to fame during the era of the original PlayStation, the Resident Evil franchise plateaued with the smash hit that was Resident Evil 4. Despite being well-received at the time, this entry showed signs of the series rapidly moving away from what initially made it great.

This continued with Resident Evil 5, which prompted some fans to reflect on the franchise’s move away from survival and horror towards something more akin to Call of Duty, though the entry was also well-regarded after its launch.

Resident Evil 6 followed this trend and failed miserably as a result— at least in terms of satisfying critics and consumers — but there’s more to its failure than just a move away from survival tension. The series had become bloated by that time, with grandiose storylines and farfetched plots that asked players to suspended their disbelief without offering a rewarding return.

The Revelations spin-offs tried correcting these problems, but they still struggled with convoluted plots and mixed gameplay styles.

Finally, Capcom listened to players and delivered Resident Evil 7, the critically acclaimed return to Resident Evil’s survival-horror roots. It’s a fantastic game that manages to recognize the turns that the series took in other entires without being crippled by them.

This led to a self-contained, nail-biting thrill-ride from start to finish. That's a good thing for classic Resident Evil fans, because without the success of Resident Evil 7, there probably wouldn’t be the highly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake.

Halcyon Days


The first three Resident Evil games weren’t exactly unique in the survival genre, but it’s the survival elements that make them stand out and propelled the series to fame.

Limited saves, limited space for items and weapons, and very limited ammunition create an incredibly tense atmosphere where players have to weigh each action carefully as they plan for some unknown and deadly future. At times, the games are downright brutal.

It’s a clever method of immersion, making the player think like the character they control. But the old Resident Evil games throw all of that at players at once, and they have tank-like controls that require players to rotate in order to change directions.

Were it not for Capcom executing the atmosphere (complete with excellent pre-rendered backgrounds), horror, action, and survival so well, the controls could have completely ruined the experience. However, as it is, they add to the tension and setting, and they are a significant part of why some fans consider these three to be the best Resident Evil games.


Any good horror experience requires just enough story, sprinkled with tantalizing mystery, to keep audiences invested and present a good reason for why the events are happening. While tension is really what makes the Resident Evil series scary, the stories they tell offer exactly that.

For example, while Chris and Jill investigate the mysterious Mansion in the original release, they slowly uncover clues as to why these hideous monsters exist to begin with.

Crimson Heads and Cerberus fiends get the blood pumping when they chase your poor tanky characters down a long hallway, but it’s when you figure out that Crimson Head used to be a human experimented on that it all gets a lot creepier, especially when players encounter Lisa Trevor. It’s no Silent Hill, but it’s disturbing nonetheless.

As the series continues, so does its horrifying plot. For instance, events spiral out of control in Resident Evil 2 when the entirety of Raccoon City becomes contaminated, leading to the eventual destruction of the city in Resident Evil 3. All of this death, tragedy, and destruction centers around greed and the desire for power.

Fantastical as it is, the story passes muster because it combines just enough humanity and reality with the obvious video game elements, and, more importantly, it keeps everything under control. The three games take place over a roughly six-month period, and Umbrella and the government take pains to ensure everything remains completely unknown outside the few survivors of the Raccoon City Incident.

A Turn for the Worse?

And then we come to Resident Evil 4.

Leon Kennedy survives chaos and destruction, like any good hero, and he now works as a special agent investigating the kidnapping of the president's daughter by some Spanish cult. Resident Evil 4 turns the series into a kind of James Bond meets the Da Vinci Code plus zombies affair.

The survival is still there, of course, and exploring abandoned, ominous huts and creepy cathedrals has a nice effect. But the plot is a mix of derivative and overly-complicated, introducing a new type of virus (that does the same thing as the T Virus), a new mysterious rival organization (that does the same thing Umbrella did), weird cults, presidential kidnappings, and more.

Resident Evil 5 tries to pick up Resident Evil 4's plot threads and link them to earlier hints at Umbrella’s activities overseas, but, in doing so, it abandons the essential survival element that made Resident Evil, well, Resident Evil.

Sure, the action is exhilarating and lore fans will appreciate the plot expansion, but Capcom got the wrong message here. The company believed fans wanted action games, and it lost sight of its artistic vision.

Pursuing profits meant creating material fans never really asked for to begin with — at least not from Capcom. Innovation took a backseat to pandering, and the company's reputation suffered from it (and from a certain controversy associated with it).

Resident Evil 6 is the culmination of that misguided pursuit. Thematically, it’s a mess, with the four diverging plotlines each using different gameplay styles. None of these offerings are fully developed, and there is very little in the way of horror, grotesque monsters, or puzzles (outside of Ada’s campaign). Basically, it's not even a Resident Evil title.

The plot is even more unbelievable than you’d expect from a horror title. Raccoon City was destroyed, so no one knows what happened, but it’s not very likely that all of the passengers on flights will turn into zombies while multiple international governments collude on some obscure weaponry plot without at least someone getting wind of what’s going on. Not to mention that a president’s daughter turning into a zombie and eating her father is bound to get some attention.

And there’s always that slight impression in the back of your mind that Tom Cruise is going to jump out and save the day during the next cutscene.

Back to Basics

But oh, how Resident Evil 7 changed things.

The game was developed concurrently with the remake of Resident Evil 2, though, of course, 7 came first. That two teams worked on two similar, back-to-basics titles strongly suggests that Capcom got the message about what fans want loud and clear, but without 7’s success, one wonders whether the company would have seen the remake of through to the end.

Longtime fans probably have an idea of why Resident Evil 7 was so successful, but it’s worth breaking down anyway. The most obvious reason is the return of the survival and horror elements, and while inventory management might not be as brutal as before, you still must think carefully about what you’re doing, especially since everything wants to kill you.

Furthermore, Capcom likes to experiment with camera angles, but choosing first-person for 7 was vital for the game’s atmosphere and creating a unique experience. Exploring 7's plantation mansion in third-person — even in HD—would be far too similar to exploring Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero’s mansions, and it would have repeated Resident Evil 6’s mistake of recycling the Raccoon City Incident.

First-person also increases the horror factor exponentially, both because it’s a new approach and because it makes 7’s setting more intimate.

That level of closeness is what really makes 7 so great, as it creates an overall scarier experience. Wandering the plantation house and grounds while knowing that no one can hear you or save you makes for an incredibly tense experience.

It’s even more tense when the stakes are so personal, with Ethan’s wife’s life in the balance and the terrible choice between Mia and Zoe that players have to make. It's a return to the style of the original three games, as it emphasizes the human element, particularly when players learn how the Molded came to exist and what (and who) Eveline really is.

However, it also allowed Capcom to ignore the tangled mess the House of Umbrella created. RE7 is very much tied to the Umbrella saga, and there are nods to the stories in other games, what with Chris’s connection to Blue Umbrella, but all of that is literally miles away from Ethan.

As with the original, all the player knows is what’s going on in front of them, and the story unfolds as Ethan learns more about Eveline and the Bakers. It doesn’t preclude a grand tale, but it does mean the game is a lot more focused and can tell a better story through its gameplay.

The Next Logical Step

How does that relate to Resident Evil 2’s remake, you might ask? In several ways.

First, Capcom learned to balance innovation with tradition. 7 showed just how much fans wanted survival-horror to return to Resident Evil, and now Capcom seems to understand it’s okay to give horror-driven gameplay back to fans on a regular basis.

It makes sense then to go back to RE2 right afterwards, and it shows fans that the company is serious about what the series will be about from here on. It also offers a chance to expand once again on the formula that made the first (and seventh) so successful: survival.

Notably, 2 is even more of a survival-horror game than 7 or the original Resident Evil, offering higher stakes, more claustrophobic environments, and an ever-present sense of panic about what’s going to happen to the city. Certainly, Resident Evil 2’s remake will pull in even more fans because of this approach and its expanded environment.

Then there's the lessons in gameplay innovations that Capcom learned from 7. Successfully implementing camera and control changes in that entry means that the company now knows how to navigate the difficulties of re-creating Resident Evil 2 for modern players.

Additionally, it also makes it okay for Capcom to reinstitute the third-person angle without feeling like something drastically different had to be done. Innovation can be small-scale and still have impact, and knowing this likely influenced Capcom’s decisions to faithfully reproduce RE2 while making only necessary changes.

7’s story made returning to 2 feasible as well. While engaging, there’s no denying RE2’s plot is a lot simpler than later games, which could have seemed like an odd jump if players went straight from 6 back into 2.

Instead, it’s a logical step, allowing new fans that were drawn in by 7 to uncover the origins of Umbrella and its mutants without having to venture back into the more recent games. The stylistic differences could cause them to completely lose their taste for the series.

Whether the remake would have happened anyway, there’s little doubt that 7’s success ensured Capcom would put as much effort into recapturing the dark grandeur of the series as possible.

Looking Ahead

But then there’s the question of where the series heads from 7 as well, with some fans wanting it to expand like the original release of Resident Evil 2 expanded on the first Resident Evil. Capcom is reportedly keeping an eye on fan responses and is toying with the idea of using urban settings again instead of sticking to exotic, far-flung locales.

That makes RE2 remake an ideal experiment for seeing where the series can go next. Should fans love Raccoon City as much as they once did, it’s likely we’ll see an even better city setting next time.

Regardless, Capcom has learned its lesson. What fans are likely to get from now on is a combination of what sells and what the company wants to create.

It’s a fine line to walk between caving in to consumer demand and still giving developers room to create, but with the Resident Evil 2 remake setting the tone for future installments by leaving Capcom in no doubt as to what sells (and what developers should create), the monster of greed and innovation has, hopefully, been tamed for good.

Most importantly, Resident Evil 7 ensured the remake would be a success from the get-go. Longtime fans might have bought 2 to experience what they once loved, but without 7, it’s unlikely many new people would have given it a try, especially knowing it’s a remake of an older, clunkier game.

Instead of being a one-off return to the glory days of old, the Resident Evil 2 remake is set to take a position as the herald of greater things to come. It marks the transition of one of the best horror game series around back to more horror, more challenges, more intrigue, and most of all, more fun.

The Most Anticipated New Horror Games of 2019 Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:00:01 -0500 Nick Congleton


The Last of Us Part 2


This one deserves a bit of a disclaimer to start. The Last of Us Part 2 doesn't have an official confirmed release date yet (although it's rumored for March 29. 2019).


However, there's not too much in the way of specifics for The Last of Us Part 2 yet. It clearly follows Ellie, now a few years older, as she seemingly transitions from a mostly peaceful life to one of turmoil and danger once more. Being the sequel to The Last of Us, the hype for this one can't be overstated.




It's pretty obvious why 2019 is looking like a great year for horror fans with games like this lined up for release. Stay tuned for more updates on the titles listed here and much more in the coming months.


Hide or Die


Hide or Die is another innovated co-operative multiplayer horror game. Set in a dark and atmospheric world that's procedurally generated each time you play, Hide or Die sets you and 14 friends on a mission to survive, or give in to the darkness and become the enemy.


Unlike many other asymmetric multiplayer horror games, Hide or Die has created its own unique rules for character progression, advancement between levels, and survival. It also has interesting mechanics like light towers, that give survivors a reprieve from the encroaching darkness.


This indie title seems like one of the most innovative in a gameplay style that's just getting on its feet.


Metro: Exodus


There's some debate on whether the Metro series qualifies as horror. It seems like exploring a world of dimly lit tunnels and vicious nuclear mutants would be pretty terrifying, so for this article, it definitely counts.


Metro: Exodus follows the same story of the first two installments in the series. This time, you'll be venturing out of the tunnel system and into the wastelands of the open world. That means you'll encounter new threats, both from different and dangerous groups of humans and horribly mutated monstrosities. Metro: Exodus looks like it's set to live up to everything fans of the series love.


Someday You'll Return


Someday You'll Return is a psychological horror game that puts you in the shoes of a father who's daughter has run away under strange circumstances. She's disappeared into an ancient forest, the exact forest that you've sworn never to return to.


The game combines real survival elements with the unsettling and horrific, as you search the woods for your lost daughter. The more you uncover, the more you're bound to learn that none of this is really a coincidence. The striking visual and unique game systems make this one of the more promising releases of 2019.


Man of Medan


Man of Medan is the first installment in the Dark Pictures Anthology from Supermassive Games. It's more of a narrative game, beginning with a group of four young Americans looking for a lost WWII shipwreck in the South Pacific. Before long, though, they find themselves trapped on a legendary ghost ship, delving into its nefarious past.


Somewhat surprisingly, Man of Medan is loosely based on real-life mystery involving a ship known as the Ourang Medan, which translates to "Man of Medan." This one arrives for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 sometime in 2019.


Dying Light 2


Dying Light 2 is naturally a follow-up to 2015's Dying Light from Techland. There isn't a ton of information about the specifics of the game just yet but it will be out in 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.


Dying Light 2 does take place in the same world as the first game, set further into the zombie apocalypse. As you explore the open world, you'll notice an advanced state of decay, both in your surroundings and society.


World War Z


The World War Z movie arrived a few years ago with mixed reception, but the upcoming game shares a name with the film, and that's about all. Okay, that's not entirely fair. The World War Z game is set in a similar world with zombies that behave in the same frantic way.


The idea behind the World War Z game is a simple one; create a co-op survival game like Left 4 Dead but in the World War Z world. By all indicators, that's exactly what this one is.


The Sinking City


Who doesn't like a little Lovecraftian horror?


The Sinking City puts you right into the Cthulhu mythos, trying to uncover the mysteries of the fictional town of Oakmont, Massachusetts, during the roaring twenties, which was also the height of Lovecraft's career.


A flood is slowly drowning Oakmont, and you take on the role of a private investigator, there to look into the strange goings on in the town. Only, it's way weirder than you could have imagined. The open world gameplay allows you to get into the mindset of an investigator.


Actually, that's how you progress, through conducting your own investigation, your way.


Days Gone


Days Gone is an open-world game that puts you in the shoes of a bounty hunter trying to survive a landscape filled with marauders and vicious mutant "Freakers." While Freakers aren't technically zombies, they're a whole lot like them. Given, the developers did make a pretty big point of emphasizing that Freakers are alive, so think more "28 Days Later." Oh, and it's not just humans. There are some seriously frightening animal Freakers too.


Days Gone is driven by its open and dynamic world. Everything is about options, and the sandbox gameplay lets you spend your time how you choose. If you find the idea of exploring a post-apocalyptic world interesting, this one is worth a look.


Resident Evil 2


If you're thinking about horror games in 2019, there's one title that comes immediately to mind. That's the fully remade and remastered Resident Evil 2. RE 2 is a classic of the genre; when the original debuted in 1998, it introduced millions of gamers to survival horror and changed video game storytelling.


Resident Evil 2 follows a member of the Raccoon City police department, Leon Kennedy, and a college student, Claire Redfield, as they attempt to survive a devastating zombie outbreak. The remade game amps up the atmospheric horror to bring Raccoon City to terrifying life like never before. New technology also allows for camera angles and other improvements to make this classic potentially more horrifying than ever before.


Horror might not be the most popular gaming genre, but it's responsible for some of the most well-loved games and series of all time. Horror games are exhilarating, placing the gamers in the shoes of a survivor struggling against all odds. They're also a unique opportunity for developers to experiment with gameplay and storytelling in ways other genres generally don't allow.


2019 is looking like an exceptionally promising year for horror fans, with both favorite franchises and entirely new games making appearances within the year. Take a look at the most anticipated horror releases slated for 2019.

11 Most Expensive Horror Games of All Time Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:36:16 -0400 Oscar Gonzalez






Silent Hill 2


As seen on this list, certain games increase in value because of their age or lack of availability. However, in the case of Silent Hill 2, the game jumped in value because it's just so damn good.


Silent Hill 2 is not only considered the best entry of the Silent Hill franchise, but many would also argue it's the best survival horror game ever made.


Not only are general game collectors trying to get their hands on factory sealed copies to complete their collections, but Silent Hill fans are also spending big money for brand new copies.


Thing is, finding a sealed copy of the game is tricky since so man people bought the game to actually play it.


The Greatest Hits version of Silent Hill 2 is worth around $150, but a factory sealed copy of the original version of the game sold for $213 this past September.




And there you have it; the most expensive horror games of all time -- so far.


Those who want to possibly dip their toe into video game collecting will have to save up quite a bit of money to complete a collection, that's for sure. The next best option is to wait for the collector bubble to burst and see prices on these games fall to their deaths. 


But that might be a long, long time. 


Let us know if you'd be willing to pay these horrendous prices for these horror games in the comments below. 


Rule of Rose


Rule of Rose is another PlayStation 2 game that is surprisingly rare and could easily be one of the newest games to see a severalfold increase in value since its release date.


The game takes place in an abandoned orphanage in England during 1930. This, of course, means dealing with creepy kids, which is never fun.


Maybe that was one reason why critics didn't care for the game. Another victim of lackluster sales, the Rule of Rose was gutted when it released two months before the release of the PlayStation 3. 


Earlier this month, a factory sealed copy of Rule of Rose sold for $412.


Haunting Ground


With every new generation of consoles comes another generation considered to be "retro." This means PlayStation 2 games are now becoming rarer and increasing in value. One example is 2005's Haunting Ground.


Considering a spiritual successor to Clock Tower 3, Haunting Ground was another survival horror game that saw players controlling Fiona and her brave doggo, Hewie. Like other games in the Clock Tower series, Haunting Ground didn't blow critics away when it came out -- but fans loved it. 


However, because of lower than expected sales, there are not many copies of Haunting Ground floating around. That means prices for the game have surged on eBay.


One factory sealed copy of the game sold for $260 back in August.




In the 80s, ICOM Simulation created multiple point-and-click adventure games for Macintosh computers, which were then ported to the NES by Japanese publisher Kemco. The trifecta of adventure games ported were Déjà Vu, Shadowgate, and Uninvited.


Like many horror games, Uninvited is set in an old mansion. Players search for their sister while trying to avoid an array of traps, ghosts, and other entities -- all hellbent on killing you.


The game will also kill your wallet as a brand-new copy of Uninvited can go for $233.


Enemy Zero


Due to their high quality and low availability, many rare games on the Sega Saturn were among the first to dramatically increase in price following the console's demise. Games such as Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III and Dragon Force soared in price as collector's scrambled to add them to their collections.


Enemy Zero, while not considered one of the best games on the system, became one of those games. 


The second entry in the D franchise, Enemy Zero is much different than the previous game. Here, players have to contend with invisible enemies using only sound to find their location, whereas the original was a more point-and-click affair. 


To get a copy of Enemy Zero will cost approximately $150.


A Nightmare on Elm Street


Before Dead by Daylight and its multiplayer horror action became popular, it was Nightmare on Elm Street on the NES that pitted four players against Freddy Krueger.


Developed by the license shovelware extraordinaire LJN, Nightmare on Elm Street has players control up to four teenagers who need to collect Freddy's bones a la Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


The game itself is nothing remarkable -- as is the case with most games LJN made during the NES era. However, there has been a surge in popularity for speedrunning the game in due to its unique four-player gameplay.


A complete copy of the game can fetch close to $200 on eBay.




Chiller is one NES game that many owners of the console never saw. Originally released in the arcades in 1986 and then ported to the NES in 1990, Chiller is a light gun game unlike any other.


In the console version, players kill monsters in five stages, which is different than the arcade game where players tortured people strapped in various medieval devices. Still, for an NES game, it's quite graphic.


The reason why NES owners didn't get their hands on a copy of Chiller back in the 90s was that it was an unlicensed game, and unlicensed games meant (and mean) BIG money.


A copy of the game with a box, not even brand new, went for $124 last month.


Splatterhouse 3


Another classic series full of monsters and gore is Splatterhouse. Beating demons to a bloody pulp may not seem like a big deal these days, but back when it came out for the Sega Genesis in 1993, the game was controversial and popular.


Unfortunately, Splatterhouse 3 also released just ahead of the Sega 32X in the U.S. and the Sega Saturn, making it a game that was easily looked over. It also didn't help that the marketing behind it was lackluster and any hype it had quickly died off. 


The result is that these days, new copies of Splatterhouse 3 typically go for $150-$200 on eBay.


Clock Tower


Clock Tower on the PlayStation is the second game of the series, but the first to make it across the Pacific. Its localization was likely due to the success of the first Resident Evil, which was released the year before.


Despite its creepy, foreboding atmosphere and terrifying antagonist, Clock Tower didn't wow critics when it came out in 1997, but it had the kind of scares horror fans loved, making it a much-revered cult classic. 


Clock Tower became one of the PlayStation's sleeper games and eventually became (very) hard to find. A collector looking to complete their horror collection today will need to put up some big bucks as a sealed copy of the game went for $500 in September.




Castlevania on the NES is undoubtedly a classic. It was the start of a long-running franchise that would still be in development if Konami was willing to start making new games again (ahem).


But that's not why we're here; we're here to talk about the absurd price this game can fetch on the collector's market.


The first adventure of Simon Belmont had gamers take on iconic horror characters such as Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, and, of course, Dracula himself. That made is a hot commodity then and most certainly one now. 


The original Castlevania is not a hard game to find, but obtaining a brand-new copy is.


A 32-year-old sealed game is worth its weight in gold, especially if it has a horizontal seam, or H-seam. And that's the key; the seam is where the factory that produced the cartridge sealed the package, and it's an indicator of whether a game has been resealed or not.


Unfortunately, some scammers have found ways of recreating the H-seam, thus causing additional concern for collectors.


However, last month, one sealed copy of Castlevania sold for $449.95. And one rare, sealed Dracula variant sold for a whopping $699.99 in 2016. 


Resident Evil: Gaiden


Although it isn't the first survival horror game, many would consider Resident Evil to be the game that put horror games in the public conscious. Starting in 1996, the franchise sold millions of games in multiple console generations and earned Capcom billions of dollars.


However, one game in the series didn't sell so well, making it a valuable collector's item.


Resident Evil: Gaiden came out in the U.S. in 2002 for the Game Boy Color. When it released, reviewers didn't quite know what to make of it and gave it below average scores (we're talking 4/10s, here). This, of course, resulted in the game not selling all that well.


But a game selling poorly is music to a collector's ears as copies of Resident Evil: Gaiden can now go for $200-$300 for a sealed copy. That's a far cry from the original price of $29.99.


There's never a bad time to play some retro horror games.


Instead of listing out the best or lesser-known titles designed to scare, this list will instead shock with the ridiculous prices these games fetch on eBay.


Thanks to an inflated collectors market, vintage games have shot up in price in recent years. Even mediocre games have increased in value several times due to a growing group of individuals attempting to complete their respective libraries. 


Whether from the Sega Genesis PlayStation 2, Gameboy, or Sega Saturn, these are the most horrifyingly expensive horror games of all time. 

The Conjuring House Review: Haunting, But Not in the Way You Think Tue, 25 Sep 2018 03:15:01 -0400 Zack Palm

We want horror games to immediately put us on edge. We want them to make us question every decision we make and ignore almost every fiber of common sense we have. We want them to scare the living hell out of us. 

We also want them to do those things in a logical, engaging way. The Conjuring House delivers on these initial (unsettling) hopes, but they're quickly washed away as annoying bugs and glitches halt forward progress and suffocate any horror that would have otherwise terrified us.

Although The Conjuring House wears the masquerades in greatness, it never fully realizes its potential, becoming not much more than a murky, stumbling mess. 

The Atkinson Mansion

The beginning of The Conjuring House immediately places you face to face with the mansion's supernatural threat, giving you no illusion of what the game's about.

In a cliche that's more and more common, things open with a set up -- a visitor to the house quickly succumbs to the evil within, leaving you little time to assess how all of the pieces fit together. Although you can expect to see the evil force for remainder of the game, everything's a little jarring right out of the gate, especially considering the story elements don't exactly flow from one segment to the next. 

As you cut to a brand-new character -- our true protagonist -- who gets sent into the home in search of a previous paranormal investigation team, things (kind of) come into focus. Kind of.

In true horror form, you'll begin exploring the house to learn more about it and the nefarious forces within. Fully robed characters disappear right in front of you and a demon-woman hellbent on ripping everyone's face off stalks the halls. 

You'll find that the supernatural beings holding you in the confines of the mansion can only be defeated by finding five artifacts -- artifacts a Satanic cult used to summon them in the first place. This sets you on an adventure full of jump scares, death, artifacts, keys, and many locked doors. 

It's all typical horror game fare; most of it's stuff you've seen in other horror games like Layers of Fear and Remothered. In and of itself, the horror found here is decent at worst and scary at best.

It's just that key mechanics and a hefty amount of bugs make progress slow and enjoyment difficult. 

Struggling Progress

The entire first part of the game can take you far longer than you'll probably want it to -- and longer than should be allowed. Because this is a puzzle game, you already know you have to discover several clues hidden throughout the house to move forward. That's a given. And because it's a horror-puzzle game, you're also being hunted by demons and wicked spirits as you search for clues and solutions.

However, this is also the biggest snag in the game. Despite the developers crafting setting out to make a non-linear horror experience, several mechanics refuse to function unless the player interacts with or triggers specific events in the house.

An example of this comes immediately after you're given the flashlight. Right after getting it, you'll find a number on a wall written in blood. This is the first combination to a padlock you need to open nearby.

However, you're then forced to search the entire first area for other lock combinations, also using your flashlight to find them written in blood. However, they don't always trigger. I had searched the entire first area only to come up empty. But when I went down a specific hallway and watched a small cutscene, I found I magically had access to the third and final number of the combination.

The frustrating thing was that I needed another number that never appeared. 

I was forced to eventually stand at the padlock, guessing over and over again until the lock finally opened. Invariably, I was killed by the ghost several times in the process, and I had to consistently memorize what combinations I had already used on the lock.

Because of this particular bug, I even restarted the game several times in hopes the fourth combo would appear. It never did. 

At this point, I know what you might be thinking: I'm just bad at both horror games and puzzle games. However, I spoke to a colleague who was also playing the game, and we discovered the fourth code was almost impossible to discover. We found that it could even be bugged, as we both restarted several times and only he was able to find it after several tries. 

Not only do these hard stops get needlessly frustrating, they also make the game needlessly difficult. Since your flashlight is integral to finding puzzle solutions, you're in a race against the clock since there are a limited number of flashlight batteries in the game. 

Because you can only find a certain amount per area, you're often left searching locations over and over again -- and coming up empty handed, shrouded in impenetrable darkness.  

Glitches Galore

Throughout the game I ran into a number of bugs and glitches, from visual issues with the ghost to certain objects blocking my progress. There were times when the ghost would clip through objects and others where I attempted to interact with an object and couldn't until I restarted the game to try again. 

One of the most troublesome involved the ghost and save spots. To save in The Conjuring House, your character must safely enter a warded area, complete with seals, scrolls, skulls, and perfect candlelight. When the character closes the door, the demon cannot enter. Once it wanders away, then you can save.

However, I had saved a game with the demon nearby, patiently waited for it to go away, and confident I could return to my searching. However, I was shocked to see my character get swiftly mauled by the creature and the 'Game Over' screen pop up.

This happened to me several times. When I spawned on a save I knew I was going to die on, I attempted to run past the demon and go to a new save spot. This worked once, but several of these attempts still left my character dead. 

Sputtering Framerate

The Conjuring House is by no means a high-resource game. However, when you get into larger areas beyond the first few hallways of the mansion, the game noticeably starts to struggle.

I noticed this early on while wandering around a well-lit section of the mansion after I had descended a flight of stairs. The tearing was slow and tedious; to make matters worse, the game continued to struggle throughout my entire playthrough despite certain areas being less "intensive".

Things were made worse when the demon finally showed up to chase me. Running away from her as my game attempted to constantly load was painfully difficult to say the least.

In the off chance stuttering and tearing weren't bogging me down, The Conjuring House looks fairly nice and polished.

Light and shadow work together to produce a nice ambiance and atmosphere, while the visuals creepily reinforce the notion that not a single person has lived in the house for decades.

Taking time to stop and appreciate the eerie setting the developers crafted is certainly worthwhile, and the cut scenes appear polished, too.There's little doubt there was love put into this game.

However, love only goes so far when there's a creeping evil constantly breathing down your neck -- and one you can seemingly never escape from. And I'm not necessarily talking about the ghost.  

The Verdict

The Conjuring House tries to aim for something far more than the traditional horror game within the first few minutes. Sadly, these notes mostly fall flat as the game is haunted by a bevy of glitches and problems that exponentially stack up as time goes by.

Despite the developer saying players can take a non-linear path through the game, you'll still have to trigger the correct events in order to progress in many of the game's key moments. This problem makes the game tiresome and more importantly, it quickly erodes the game's horror elements, leaving a sour aftertaste that will linger long after you've stopped playing.

At the time this review, the developers have release a 2.2GB patch, but they did not note what the patch covered or what was fixed in the game.

I'm not sure if I'll ever know. As much as I hate to say it, I'm glad I'll never have to return to the Atkinson mansion again.

You can purchase The Conjuring House on Steam for $24.99. 

[Note: The developer provided the copy of The Conjuring House used in this review.]

We Happy Few Release Review: A Stealth Survival Diamond In The Rough Thu, 09 Aug 2018 09:50:18 -0400 Ty Arthur

An entire book could probably be written on the winding road that was the development path for We Happy Few -- a game that at one point was hilariously on our list of most anticipated titles of 2016.

Now, finally seeing full release in the summer of 2018, the game's launch version is a drastically different experience from our early alpha impressions two years back -- and that's actually a very good thing.

With refined stealth mechanics, a bigger emphasis on story, and a huge, lush world to explore, We Happy Few offers a little bit of everything.

What Should You Expect?

We Happy Few began life as a crowdfunded and proudly indie title without any corporate overlords, and then suddenly, things shifted gears as Gearbox entered the picture as publisher late in the game's development cycle.

There have been price changes and DLC additions that saw fan outcry, along with major UI and game mechanic overhauls to smooth things over with that same playerbase. The game was banned in Australia and then re-approved in Australia. First it was horror-focused, then survival-focused, then story-focused, then a mixture of all three.

In short, it was anybody's guess as to what we would be getting with the end product. Those who took part in the Early Access betas have seen the game change radically from its earliest stages, and there are still more changes in store with the launch version.

What we're getting now is a game with an incredibly distinctive and unique art style, coupled with a world you won't find in any other title out there right now.

Here's the TL;DR on the story: bad batches of the happiness-inducing drug Joy have been shipped out, and anyone who takes the tainted pharmaceuticals can no longer experience the effects of normal Joy. They become Downers forever, no matter how much Joy they take, and this plague of sorrow is actively destroying a society that was already decaying from within.

The core of the game involves switching between stealth, combat, and problem solving as you seek out different ways to fit in or sneak around depending on what area you are exploring.

You can slum it with the dregs of society eking out a sad and hungry existence, or try to fit in with the "proper" folk in the city, who may actually have it worse.

Different core abilities distinguish the three main characters as they traverse this dystopian world. Arthur, for instance, is sarcastic and repressed -- like a proper Englishman -- but he's also very unassuming so no one notices him if he just sits down and reads the paper (which is quite helpful for escaping angry mobs).

A free roaming mode is slated to arrive not long after launch, so you'll have a reason to keep playing after finishing the story segments for each character.

Like in games such as Dishonored, you will frequently be tasked with finding different ways to approach an area, from disguising yourself to creating distractions, helping out local residents, or just simply busting in and swinging your deadly umbrella with wild abandon.

Wait... a deadly umbrella? You better believe it. The developers absolutely nailed the right atmosphere here, balancing British humor with horrifying dystopian ideals.

Much of the open world exploration feels like a new twist on Far Cry with a big dash of Fallout, from the decaying landscape to the item crafting. I have to wonder just how much the impending Fallout 76 is going to end up feeling like a re-tread of We Happy Few's survival mechanics, especially with this game arriving a few months ahead of time and having been in development for so long.

Some Rough Spots To Iron Out

Despite an extended development time and the addition of AAA publisher oversight, We Happy Few's original indie nature does stand out in some ways, like an extremely long load time to initially generate the open world.

As has become expected at this point with major new releases, the game's Steam achievements are also bugged all to hell, popping at random when you haven't actually unlocked them yet or failing to pop when they should.

Some of the animations could also use additional smoothing. Remember back in the Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 days when the main character skinned an animal, but sometimes the knife and hands weren't quite lined up with the creature's stomach? That's how most of the animations end up here, from picking locks on the ground (where you somehow sink five feet into the dirt momentarily) to using a jimmy bar on open air five feet from your target and somehow the box still magically opens.

The Bottom Line

Those rough spots shouldn't deter you from We Happy Few, however, because this is frankly one of the most satisfying blends of game styles to arrive in a long time.

This was originally supposed to be a horror game, but that aspect didn't get as much press as all the survival elements were added in. I'm very pleased to report the darker elements have made a roaring return, and there are some incredibly creepy moments here in the finished product.

From suicides to mad doctors to a pervasive dread as you realize there are very few children anywhere, WHF doesn't skimp on the more messed up story content.

The exploration and survival elements easily take front and center, however. What you end up with is the open world exploration of something like Fallout or Far Cry, a simplified and refined version of the survival mechanics from Ark, and the creepy, distinctive style of a game like Alice: Madness Returns.

Simply put, We Happy Few is dreary, grim, darkly humorous -- and a hell of a good time.

Agony Review: Hell Awaits... With Bugs & Frame Rate Drops Sat, 26 May 2018 12:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Easily among the most anticipated horror games of 2018, Agony is a game that subverts typical horror tropes with a radical change in setting. Rather than escaping painful death at the hands of zombies, serial killers, or wendigo, the Agony's main character is already dead and has suffered unimaginable torment for an unknown amount of time in the bowels of Hell.

Much like Scorn, the game's primary idea revolves heavily around creating a disturbing atmosphere that you won't see in any other game. Sadly, the actual Agony gameplay experience beyond that atmosphere is quite hit or miss. 

Agony's take on stealth horror truly redefines what NSFW really means, and as a bonus, there's more gameplay elements than what's found in "walking simulator"-style horror games (which seem to have dominated in recent years). For all that promise, though, the game does fall flat in several areas.

  Not a pleasant way to spend eternity
(and just wait until you notice he twitches and moans!)

A Trip Into Hell... And Beyond

Agony combines different elements from across the horror genre for something slightly familiar but still different enough to be worth playing if you can overlook the performance issues.

The hiding and running mechanics from games like Outlast collides with a survival horror aesthetic peppered with Dante's Inferno. An H.R. Giger take on Hell melds with some of the trippier elements from last year's Observer, and it's all rounded out with a dash of Clive Barker.

In all that mashing of styles, there's a whole lot that Agony does right. With headphones on and the lights off in the dead of night, you are in for a blood-curdling vision of hell.

Gameplay sets itself apart by balancing terror with curiosity: you want to see your surroundings in great detail but illuminating them draws horrific terrors bent on torturing you in horrific ways. Hell is disorienting on purpose (there's no mini-map in the abyss) and you can't beat the atmosphere on display while hiding under gore piles, wading through lakes of blood, and so much more we won't spoil here.

The procedurally generated Agony Mode will also significantly increase the game's replay value after you finish the story.

 There's a really effective use of light and shadow in the level design

Horror Battles Annoyance

Genre fans can rejoice: jump scares are few and far between here. Multiple levels of horror are present beyond the obvious gore as the player starts to realize what's really going on and gets an inkling of where the game's raw body material came (comes) from.

Hell is composed of surprisingly varied environments beyond just the blood and bones from the trailers, and the developers have come up with plenty of unique and interesting ways to open up new areas or create easier paths through Agony's maze-like environments.

There's an impressive amount of area to explore in Hell. It might just be creative usage of the landscape to trick the player, but these areas feel larger and more twisty than in games like Outlast. The levels are also fairly freeform, and two different players might take two radically different approaches to reaching th eend.

Notably, there's also far more gameplay elements than many other titles of this style, from hidden collectibles to grab, a mix of combat and stealth, memorizing sigils and tracing them to access new areas, and more. 

 Using the environment and objects to your advantage to avoid killer succubi makes for memorable gameplay

Flying around as a disembodied astral spirit and then possessing other martyrs (or even other demons!) is a major part of the experience. Unfortunately, that's where some of the problems start to become apparent. In one playthrough, my astral body was trapped in the ground and couldn't fly anywhere, so I had to hard restart.

The limited timer on possession and staying in a demonic form also kills a good deal of the fun. That's just the beginning of the technical issues, though. While exploring the corridors and tunnels and orifices of Hell, a major source of unintended agony will be the constant stutters and frame rate drops.

Agony is most definitely an indie experience, and there are some areas where this shows more strongly than others. The level of writing in the various notes and journals found across the underworld leaves something to be desired, and the voice acting is truly hellish (and not in a good way).

On the other hand, the ambient noises are truly chilling. Whoever they got to voice those screams, howls of agony, and moans of pain are all in desperate need of a hug and maybe a visit from the FBI, because I feel like they'e gone through some serious terror.

Hell Is A Lot Sexier Than I Remembered

If you couldn't tell from the game's logo, the vaginal motifs are cranked up to 11+ and are an ever-present theme in Agony. Honestly, I can't even show you the image of the fruit from the tree of knowledge because it is so obviously a moist, pulsating vulva.

There's seriously porn out there that shows fewer scenes of full on frontal female nudity. Agony will soon see some competition there, though, and we'll have to wait and see if this or the upcoming Lust For Darkness outdoes the other on the sexual horror front.

 This is among the most tame images you will see in Agony

Amazingly, some of the content has somehow still been censored slightly on the Steam edition, and I'm having trouble understanding just how much further the game could go beyond what's currently available.

A manual installation patch was planned to get the full monty (which in this case is most assuredly not a metaphor), but axed at the last minute. If you really want to see what was culled though, the developers plan to release a video with all the missing content.

While the aesthetics and hellish sexual motifs are absolutely spot on, the overall graphical display isn't much to write home about. The presentation does tend to be better than other crowd-funded indie excursions, but there are noticeable areas that could use improvement.

Backdrops like the giant fingers holding open flesh walls look amazing, but others are quite lackluster, such as the body parts flying out of the soul mirrors -- which are entirely unconvincing.

 So many grasping fingers... and none of them
want to do anything benevolent, that's for sure

The Bottom Line

Agony is pushing boundaries -- there's no doubt about that -- and I've got to give the developers props on that front. They aren't pulling many punches here. There's the gross-out factor and disturbing elements akin to Clive Barker's Jericho but taken to the next level with very little thought twoards toning things down for the easily-offended crowd.

With walls made out of crushed babies, regularly getting consumed by toothy vaginas, and a whole lot of blasphemy towards any given major world religion, it's clear that a large number of people should just go ahead and stay away from the game. 

I'm not one of those people, though, and in general, I find the aesthetic, locations, and general ideas all top-notch. This is the sort of game that I desperately want to love, although the execution makes it seem like the game needed a few more months (or longer) in the oven. 

The atmosphere is top notch, but I'll still have to present a major warning about the bugs and dodgy gameplay elements that may ruin the enjoyment of your trip into the madness of Hell.

Remothered: Tormented Fathers Review -- Fear Is a Fickle Thing Mon, 26 Feb 2018 11:30:32 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Let me start my review with this: I wanted to love Remothered: Tormented Fathers. In fact, I wanted to love the game so much I've been stuck in the quagmire of an existential crisis since finishing it -- specifically because I seem to have had a much different reaction to the game than a handful of other reviewers.

I've even questioned my own sanity, mirroring the torment of the characters trapped in Remothered's psychological hellscape. But ultimately, I've come to the conclusion the game is lacking in a few key areas -- and I just can't get past that.  

Extolled as a love letter to games like Clock Tower and Haunting Ground, Remothered contains doses of what made those games great, but it falls short of becoming a masterful ode to those beloved franchises. Bogged down by convoluted storytelling, monotonous gameplay, and dubious sound design, Remothered: Tormented Fathers doesn't stand out because of what it does right but because of what it fails to accomplish. 

But regardless of the games it's meant to emulate, Remothered's most egregious sin is this: except for the first half-hour segments of Acts I and II, Remothered isn't particularly scary in any form or fashion, whether that be physical or psychological horror. It has the tools to be -- but it just isn't. 

A shame considering its potential. 

Rosemary Reed stands in the garden outside the main house in Remothered: Tormented Fathers

Piecing Together Tattered Memories

The plot of Remothered: Tormented Fathers is simple enough, but it's one full of convoluted twists and turns that leave even the sanest players reeling with confusion. Set up as a psychological horror-thriller, there's no doubt Remothered's plot ought to contain at least several mind-bending revelations. But when you're left reading the game's wiki to clarify beats that should be clear (or the backgrounds of certain primary characters) once the credits roll, it's obvious something important is missing.  

Without going into too much detail, you play as Rosemary Reed, a woman investigating the disappearance of Dr. Richard Felton's daughter, Celeste. In typical horror-movie fashion, curiosity gets the better of the tenacious Reed, and she ultimately becomes trapped in a house of horrors, chased by a deranged psychopath bent on her destruction.  

As you tiptoe around the house doing your best to avoid butchering at the hands of one of the game's three enemies (where only two ever appear on-screen at the same time), your primary storytelling devices are collectibles strewn about in various locations around the house. Whether it be portraits hanging on the walls or newspaper clippings shoved in drawers, these narrative-advancing collectibles aren't all that hard to find. 

Remothered Outside the House on the Porch Early Game

However, the story they tell isn't all that easy to fully comprehend. At some point in the past, there were experiments carried out by an associate of Felton, and those experiments didn't go well. The drug in those experiments led to tragedy, and the drug was recalled. Somehow, that drug totally bakes people's memories, morphing them into murderous sociopaths. Somehow ... moths are involved -- because according to the developers, they represent transformation, duplicity, and death. All themes I can get behind in a horror game. 

Unfortunately, it's the same telling of madness, deceit, and redemption(?) we've seen play out in countless other stories. Sure, it could definitely work here -- if the narrative better aligned the breadcrumbs in a more discernible path. However, when all is said and done, I'm still not sure why any of this happened, who certain characters are, what those characters' connections are, or if certain plot points were even real (or necessary). I can infer, but even those inferences are tenuous at best. 

I've played a lot of similar survival-horror games (Outlast, Amnesia, RE1The Beast Inside), so I don't need every plot point handed to me on a silver platter to piece together what's going on. But even five days on, I'm still scratching my head, trying to figure out all the plot points and connections.

Of course, some of the answers to Remothered's questions could (and probably will) be saved for its two planned sequels (of which you'd only know about if you followed the game's development). But with so few questions answered following the game's climax, I felt left out in the cold, a feeling that continued through the game's hamfisted, weightless ending and into its credits. 

Reed Looks at a desk with a mannequin head on it in the attic in Remothered

A Slow Crawl to the End

It doesn't help the story that Remothered's gameplay is meticulously repetitive. At best, Remothered can be described as a horror walking-sim with QTEs sprinkled in for added gameplay gravitas. 

When you begin, it feels as if Remothered's gameplay will be a slow, terrifying crescendo into a symphony of unforgettable horror later in the game. The fact is ... that kind of happens. In reality, it's a slow burn toward a frustrating finale full of trial and error -- and tantrum-inducing insta-deaths exacerbated by a less-than-optimal save system (pro tip: do not ever quit and assume your autosave will start you where you left off).  

In fact, by the time you get to the game's climactic scene, you've probably gotten bored with walking slower than a crippled snail from one end of the house to the other to find this item or that. Not to mention most of that gameplay consists of constant backtracking. 

You can run, of course, speeding things up. Just expect to be constantly harassed by one of Remothered's three enemies. No matter where you are in the house in relation to where they are in the house, your enemies will find your exact location within mere seconds of you running, making it an irritating movement choice at best -- and a frustratingly deadly one at worst. 

Remothered. Reed looks at a painting in a dark room.

And yes, I know Remothered is supposed to reintroduce classic survival-horror gameplay to a modern audience, gameplay pioneered by titles like Clock Tower, but spending nearly 65% of the game sneaking back and forth along the same exact route can get unbearably tedious. In fact, there's so little variation in setting in the early- to mid-game that you might rather watch paint dry than look at the same bookshelf or desk or lamp over and over again. 

At least RE1 took you outside the house or had greenhouses and gardens you could explore. Remothered made me claustrophobic, but not in a way that re-emphasized the narrative or conceit. 

Considering that, I will say that despite its overall monotony, Remothered's control system is solid and intuitive. Moving Reed about the ostensible hell house is fluid and responsive. I could turn on a dime and dodge enemies effectively. The defensive mini-game (initiated any time you have a defensive item in your inventory and an enemy grabs you) was easy to understand and complete. The only time I died in Remothered was when I didn't have a defensive item or wasn't paying attention to the white orb in the center of the QTE. 

Accessing your inventory to use items also adds a sense of dread to the game. In fact, it was one of the only times I was every really apprehensive while playing Remothered. Two or three other times I was legitimately scared by the game's deliberate horror, but going into my inventory knowing a murderer lurked somewhere behind me gave me goosebumps every time. 

Reed creeps through the wine cellar in Remothered

Gorgeous Environments, Muddy Characters 

For the most part, Remothered is a pretty game. Environments are well detailed and each room is filled with embellishments that make it realistic and believable. Particularly, though, lighting in Remothered is fantastic. The sun creeping through trees in the game's opening is mesmerizing; lightning piercing through half-covered windows in the mid-game is striking; and the shadows cast by your flashlight as you near the climax can make you see ghouls that aren't even there. 

But where the environments do such a fantastic job of drawing you into Remothered's diegesis, the character models often leave something to be desired, especially in 4K. At times, they're fantastically rendered. At other times, they look like something from the PlayStation 3's early days -- muddy or, as is sometimes the case with Reed specifically, strangely cel-shaded from certain angles (let's not even talk about Richard's weirdly fused butt cheeks). 

Sure, Remothered was made by a small indie team, and it's not necessarily meant to be photorealistic -- or even to sport high-end graphics. But it's really the inconsistencies that crawl under my skin and burrow into my bones. At the end of the day, they're immersion breaking, sometimes bordering on the comical. And in a game centered on terror, those issues only stand out more profoundly. 

A Frightening Sonata With a Few Sour Notes

If you're looking for a game that has a moody and haunting score, you'll find what you're looking for in Remothered. Produced by veteran video game composer Nobuko Toda, who has worked on games like The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Final Fantasy XIV, the soundtrack to Remothered emphasizes your claustrophobic surroundings and keeps you planted within the world. It adds a sense of foreboding that would be absent without it. 

The same cannot be said for Remothered's sound effects and voice acting, both of which sometimes border on the atrocious. In the opening moments of the game, voice-overs are especially muddy, sounding unproduced. In some cases, you can even tell the voices are coming from a sound booth in some far-off studio. As the game progresses, there are instances where volumes fluctuate -- and where screams are unbearably loud. 

The same can be said for the foleys in Remothered. Lighting a cigarette early in the game, the striking of a lighter's flint echoes -- but you're standing on the front porch of a house. Walking across leaves overpowers other sounds and dialog. 

But the primary -- and most agonizing -- culprit comes in the form of footsteps. While you're supposed to be able to pinpoint where your enemies are by their footsteps and voices, that's rarely ever the case. Sometimes, footsteps are loud and clacky, as if your stalker is in the room with you. Then you find out they're actually in the room above you. Other times, footsteps and voices are muddled, as if they're coming through a wall -- but your attacker is right behind you. 

It's something that can lead to hollow frights, but it often leads to cheap deaths. All of this gets better as you progress through the game, although I'm not sure if it's because the sound design gets better or if you just get used to it and adjust your playstyle. 

Richard Felton burnt to death Remothered


At the end of the day, I'm being hard on Remothered because it was a game that I was not only very excited for but one that had a ton of potential. It's not unplayable by any means -- or even "broken" in the truest definition of the word. And it really does have some scary moments (specifically in the second act). But it takes so long to get there, has rage-inducing insta-deaths in its end-game, poorly edited subtitles, and inconsistent sound design -- all things that can quickly turn off gamers that would have otherwise loved it. 

If you're a die-hard Clock Tower fan, you'll probably find something to love in Remothered: Tormented Fathers. But even then, this is a hard game to love. Hopefully, the sequels will fix some of the issues found here because the potential of this franchise shouldn't end here. 


DISCLAIMER: Get the Steam Full Release of Remothered: Tormented Fathers. Coming soon for PS4 and Xbox One. Copyright © 2018 Darril Arts. All rights reserved.

Resident Evil 7 - Not A Hero Review: Return of Redfield Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:56:15 -0500 Beckett Van Stralen

*This review contains minor spoilers for Resident Evil 7’s main campaign.

After being delayed months longer than originally planned, and as part of a final gift for an amazing Resident Evil year, Capcom released the first part of the conclusion to Resident Evil 7’s main campaign in the form of the free Not A Hero DLC on December 12, 2017. The player leaves the shoes of the previous protagonist, Ethan Winters, and adopts a more hands-on role as the classic series mainstay Chris Redfield, who is only revealed in the campaign’s final moments. While Chris’s story is a breath of fresh air, it also feels like a missed opportunity. Despite these issues, Not A Hero is still very much Resident Evil 7, and I thoroughly enjoyed my two-hour playthrough.

Not A Hero begins right as Resident Evil 7’s main campaign concludes, when Chris Redfield is revealed to be a member of New Umbrella -- a group of ex-Umbrella employees who created an organization to combat bioterrorism and correct the atrocities committed by their parent company. After tracing leads of a bioweapon trade deal to Dulvey, Louisiana, Chris Redfield and his team are dispatched to deal with the bioterrorism offenders and squash any biological threat permanently.

Chris’s story immediately feels different from Resident Evil 7’s main campaign because the player no longer controls a character that is essentially a helpless civilian. He is a well-trained combat operative, and Not A Hero plays out accordingly. This time around, successful headshots can be followed up with a physical punch attack, sending your enemy flying backwards. Chris also has access to an impressive arsenal of weapons, including a shotgun, handgun, grenades, and a combat knife, to deal with the array of Molded enemies that will mostly be encountered throughout the 2-3 hour journey.


While Not A Hero faithfully gets many aspects of Resident Evil right, its story feels like a massive missed opportunity. Most of the interesting backstory as to where Chris has been since Resident Evil 6, and why he’s part of New Umbrella, are questions that are answered by finding notes and files instead of through cut-scenes. The final showdown with Lucas also left something to be desired -- his boss fight ended too quickly and much too easily. This is likely due to the fact that the default difficulty is Normal, but the same "Normal" for Resident Evil 7 felt like it packed a much greater challenge.


Like other titles in the series, Not A Hero does offer substantial replayability for completionists. Replaying the game on a harder difficulty, finding collectibles, and performing speed runs all come with rewards for players ready for the challenge. After my first playthrough, I started a new game on Professional Difficulty. I instantly discovered that “Professional” was meant literally, as ammo was incredibly limited and forced the player to utilize the combat knife as well as physical attack prompts to stay alive.


I briefly played Not A Hero in VR and found that it was extremely nausea-inducing within about 15 minutes of play. My VR controls were set for smooth gameplay instead of set angle increment turning, which likely contributed to the motion sickness, but the fact that it felt so different from the main campaign’s VR was unexpected. I had to remove the headset and take a breather because that was the closest I’ve ever come to losing my lunch due to PSVR.


With the release of Not A Hero, the wonderful and overarching campaign of Resident Evil 7 begins to draw to a close. For not meeting the high expectations created by the main game (nor justifying the incredibly long release delay), it was still an enjoyable experience that will undoubtedly satisfy Resident Evil fans -- especially the ones who longed to be in the shoes of a familiar character. While the story is hollow, with many missed opportunities, it’s hard to forget that Not A Hero’s DNA is still very much Resident Evil, and for being a DLC that’s 100% free, players can’t go wrong in experiencing everything Not A Hero has to offer.

Resident Evil 7 - End of Zoe Review: Fists of Fury Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:30:32 -0500 Beckett Van Stralen

*This review contains minor spoilers for Resident Evil 7s main campaign. 

When it came out that Capcom was planning on releasing additional DLC alongside Not A Hero to complete the overall story arc of Resident Evil 7, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It reminded me of when Bioware reworked the ending to Mass Effect 3 after huge fan backlash -- was it completely necessary to put a bowtie on the story of a character we didn’t have a chance to become familiar with? It turns out I was wrong, very wrong. End of Zoe serves as the perfect terminus for Resident Evil 7 and its characters, while managing to provide an incredibly satisfying gameplay experience that begs to be replayed once the credits have rolled.

Cabin from End of Zoe

End of Zoe begins at the point where Ethan decides to cure his wife Mia, instead of Zoe Baker, and leaves her to her fate on the Bakers’ river dock. As Zoe makes her way through the woods, ready to accept her inevitable doom, she becomes calcified and immobile. Soon she is discovered by a bearded man, only to find out that the man is Joe Baker, brother of Jack Baker himself. Seeing his niece in such a state, Joe takes it upon himself to find out what happened to her and to save her life -- if he can.

Typical Resident Evil 7 scene

End of Zoe shows how the development team can flex their creative muscles to make something that feels completely different from the main product, and have it still exist in the same framework.

Like Chris Redfield, Joe Baker has his own particular set of strengths and skills. Instead of opting for a large weapons arsenal, Joe’s main weapons are his fists. Combos can be utilized for quicker or stronger punches, and the gameplay encourages the player to observe the enemy and respond to their attacks, like ducking or dodging side to side. Healing also receives an aesthetic rework; instead of relying on medicinal herbs, Joe lives off the swamp, finding centipedes and bugs to ingest and replenish his health. The bugs can also be combined with chemical fluid to increase their potency. Aside from good old fisticuffs, a limited number of firearms can be obtained, as well as a device that brings punching to a new level of enjoyment.

Picture of RE7's haunting atmosphere

Opting for hand-to-hand combat in End of Zoe allows for the gameplay to feel quite different from Resident Evil 7’s main campaign and accompanying DLC. Due to the fact that he lacks Ethan Winters’ helplessness and fear, the scare factor is slightly reduced because of this approach and is further lessened by Joe’s apparent indifference towards the enemies he encounters. For me, this actually gave me a bit of confidence and allowed me to play the game in a more action-oriented fashion, which was a wonderful change of pace. But, don’t get me wrong -- Resident Evil 7’s slow, deliberate, and tension-building approach is utterly fantastic; End of Zoe just shows how the development team can flex their creative muscles to make something that feels completely different from the main product, and have it still exist in the same framework.

Ghastly creature from Resident Evil

End of Zoe is the final piece of an unforgettable experience that began on January 24, 2017, in the form of the highly anticipated Resident Evil 7. It carves its own identity amongst the large amount of post-release DLC, and manages to come out on top as the most exciting and replayable. The only fault I can point out is that the conclusion comes much too quickly after giving us a taste of refreshing hand-to-hand combat, and introducing us to the incredibly interesting (and slightly comical) Joe Baker. End of Zoe is highly recommended for Resident Evil 7 enthusiasts to enjoy and provides an extremely satisfying conclusion to the game’s overall narrative while leaving a thirst for even more.

5 Snowy Horror Games Best Played During the Holidays Tue, 26 Dec 2017 18:00:01 -0500 bazookajo94


And there you have it. Five wintry games in five freezing places, blanketed in snow and covered in despair.


These games remind people of exactly what it's like to walk in a winter wonderland -- except instead of the sound of sleigh bells in the distance and bright lights fluttering in the wind, players hear the distant sound of slaying -- like, murder, lol -- and broken lights flickering in the breeze.


But, hey, whoever says horror doesn't pair well with Christmas probably needs to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas again. 


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


What would a horror game list be without Silent Hill, the mother, father, and grandfather of all horror games? And what would winter be without snow? 


Konami and Climax Studios's frozen Silent Hill: Shattered Memories brings players back into the town of Silent Hill almost exactly like they did the first time; Shattered Memories is essentially the same as the original Silent Hill with some altered realities and fractured plot points. 


And, clearly, many things are frozen. Snow and ice already have a way of making someone feel alone -- maybe that's why there are so many survival horror games taking place in the snow -- but what else can snow make a person feel in a terrifying environment? 






Stuck, frozen in time, never moving forward? 


No wonder Harry Mason is in therapy.


Until Dawn


But you know what? The holiday season is about spending time together, with other people, so let's step back from all these isolating horror games and take a look at one where there's a lot of people who have the capacity to die, all while surrounded by snow. 


Supermassive Game's choices-matter horror game Until Dawn pits eight teenagers on a frozen mountain against a murderer on the loose and a monster on the hunt. The teenagers have ten hours until dawn, so not only is it freezing (and one character even walks around in a towel after a bath in a house with no heat like are you serious, girl) but it's dark and dreary and nobody is happy and everything is scary. 


But the crunch of snow and the swirl of flakes and the spindly trees swaying in the breeze serve as a nice wintry reminder that at least they're all together in this frozen hell on earth. 




A good way to make a horror game tens times more scary is to say that it's based on a true story. And IMGN.PRO's Kholat took their inspiration from the Dyatlov Pass incident, where nine hikers went missing in the Russian mountains. This true event circulates a lot of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and a certain amount of horror. It's even got a movie based off it. 


And because it's set in Russia, needless to say there's a lot of snow. 


IMGN.PRO took their own liberty on what happened out in those mountains (obviously, since it's still a mystery), but they also have a lot of beautifully dark scenic shots in Kholot, along with some terrifying ones.


But the true beauty of it all? 


Sean Bean is the narrator. 


I can't imagine a greater gift than the gift of Sean Bean leading me through the frozen wilderness and possibly to my death. 


The Long Dark


Sticking with the vein of surviving a long dark winter's night without any food, Hinterland Studio's The Long Dark is another horror game where players have just crash landed in the Canadian wilderness and now they must survive the, well, long dark. 


Taking into consideration not only the need for food, water, shelter, and firewood, players also have to contend with the natural predators that want to kill them, like wolves and bears and hypothermia. 


Though the fear in this game is more psychological than true terror, if anyone is suddenly pitted in a kill-or-be-killed environment with nothing at all except for a vague recollection of the story To Build a Fire by Jack London, they're not going to care how pretty the sky looks or how fresh the snow -- they're going to hear a twig snap and wish that they were at home, alone, watching Home Alone, rather than out in the frigid wilderness, about to die -- alone. 


Don't Starve


Klei's survival horror game Don't Starve is the perfect game to get comfy/cozy with this Christmas because when players aren't huddled by the fire or shaving fur off sleeping animals or slowly starving to death because food is scarce and the nights are long and every two seconds the screen cracks with ice because it's so cold, they're spending the rest of their time in the warm seasons preparing for winter. 


Yes, Don't Starve isn't set in a perpetual winter (unless you change the settings), but if you play the story mode, you can expect at least three out of five chapters to be winterized, and you can expect nothing good to happen to you, ever. 


Suppose that's what winter is all about, eh? 


And what's more, Klei even integrated beloved Christmas nightmare Krampus into Don't Starve -- so if you kill too many innocent creatures, you better watch out, you better not cry ...


Nothing compares to the smell of freshly fallen snow. As soon as you breathe in that brisk air, it's as if the cold works its way through your system and tries to dispel any darkness within your body, leaving everything white and clean and cold.


But when freshly fallen snow is paired with the bleak setting of a horror game, everything feels gray and dirty and frozen. And isolating. There's just something about fields of snow that can make someone feel so entirely alone. Maybe that's why scary games pair so well with the winter climate. 


And if you're someone who's more of a grouch on a couch than an elf on the shelf during the holiday season, maybe horror games are more up your alley -- or, should I say, more down your chimney? 


So here are a few wintry horror games to help you through the long, dark nights of the bright and shiny holiday season -- or to suggest that maybe the holiday season could use a few more scares.

Hello Neighbor Review: Fancy Some Light B&E This Evening? Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:19:43 -0500 Ty Arthur

While browsing through the toys at Gamestop last week in search of Christmas gifts, I couldn't help but notice a Hello Neighbor plushie prominently displayed on prime shelf real estate.

I think it's safe to say that Early Access and crowd funding have made a pretty serious dent in the industry if an indie game that wasn't even out at the time and had only been played in alpha somehow got its own merch in major retail stores.

More than a year and four alpha builds after first getting noticed, we're finally able to get our hands on the full, complete version of Hello Neighbor. The end result is a pleasure for those who have been following this eye-catching game since the early days, and I'm excited to report more of the horror elements have returned after going missing in recent builds.

 When a ball slowly rolls into frame in front of a menacing house,
you know it's about to go down for real

Another Day In Paradise

The art style and color palette may seem an odd choice for the game's horror concept at first, as Hello Neighbor is sort of like a brightly colored, '70s-drug fueled version of Tom Hanks classic The Burbs (which is about to be re-released on BluRay -- coincidence or dark providence?).

That nightmarish Dr. Seuess-on-acid house from the previous alpha build is gone in the full version (well, in Act 1 anyway), replaced by a warm, quiet neighborhood where nothing bad could ever... and oh god we've been kidnapped.

Long time alpha players will be very pleased with the story elements wrapping everything together now, and there's an excellent mashup of style and substance here, like seeing the game world from a little kid's short, slanted, and dyslexic point of view.

Now more than just random breaking and entering for fun and profit, there's a reason for everything going on, with plenty of twists and turns you won't expect. Get ready to jump, scream, and maybe even feel a little bad for the villain.

 Apparently, a bunch of kids have gone missing in the neighborhood...

Stealth And Puzzles

The bulk of the game is figuring out how to work your way past the observant neighbor to unlock new secrets in, around, under, and even above the main house.

There's quite a lot of content to explore in that one location, and plenty of clever puzzles to work out as you try to reach a closed off area, nab a key, access an object, and so on.

While the puzzles can be difficult, they aren't ever completely illogical or devoid of a clear solution. If you take the time to explore and think about how items in the game are connected, it won't be too frustrating to reach the next area.

The opening cinematic for instance actually shows you exactly what object you need to get and how to get there to work through Act 1, but if you aren't looking for the clues, you could easily miss what's right in front of your nose.

 How do we get past this guy?

Many of the same types of puzzles and objects from the alpha builds return, but they are arranged in different ways now so you can't just repeat what you've done before. There's still the magnet gun for instance, and having to use boxes to create ladders or break windows, but the layout is completely different.

Actually getting past the neighbor and unlocking the basement, which was previously the ultimate purpose of the alphas, is now just the beginning. There's much, much more to explore now as the game builds on previous concepts in each successive act.

Along the way new players will have to learn from trial and error how to draw the neighbor away from unexplored areas, using a combination of stealth and speed, and open new routes or close off old ones so he can't catch you as easily.

The whole experience is wrapped up in fabulous sound effects and a wonderfully odd visual style, like Wallace and Gromit collided with We Happy Few. Style is easily the game's strong suit, and it's used to stunning effect in several notable locations.

 A table missing its family, centered around a painting of a mustache with shelves for platforming... that's Hello Neighbor in a nutshell!

The Bottom Line

Having played the game in various early iterations and watched new players give the full build a go, I'm left wondering if those who devoured the alphas will get more out of Hello Neighbor than anyone just now jumping into the fray.

In particular, there's a major sense of satisfaction just in seeing a lot of the concept art come to life in scenes that weren't present in the previous builds. TinyBuild Games also utilizes a really clever use of player knowledge on gameplay mechanics to give you a sinking sense of despair when you reach the end of Act 1. You can practically hear Bender saying “well, we're boned” when you reach the end, and then there's an unexpected twist and satisfying opening to the second act.

Totally new players who didn't puzzle things out in alpha, on the other hand, will probably be more than a little lost. Sadly, there are still some game mechanics not explained well, like that you have to hold E to pick up objects, not just press it, or that the longer you hold right click the farther and harder an object is thrown. 

Some of the controls themselves are also still a bit wonky -- simply figuring out how to jump up objects without bouncing off takes some major effort.

 Your first time carrying boxes up to the roof will be an exercise in frustration

Despite all the alphas and feedback, there are still some bugs as well. For example, if you are noticed and start a chase, but then quickly manage to get in a spot where the neighbor can't reach you -- like up on a segment of roof – the game will crash as the neighbor tries to go somewhere he can't physically access over and over.

Furthermore, there's the issue of game length to keep in mind. Depending on how good you are at puzzle solving (or how often you are referencing guides), we're talking about 5 – 8 hours or so of content. While that's on par with any given shooter's campaign these days, keep in mind there aren't any other game modes.

Replay only involves mopping up remaining achievements you might have missed or trying to tackle the challenges in different orders. The AI does change up its tactics based on how you play, so there's different ways to be caught or successfully hide, but probably not enough to warrant playing through more than once or twice. 

There are plenty of differences between each act's layout and puzzles, though, so its not the exact same experience all the way through and has plenty of variation.

While the game is short and lacking in clear direction, it does excel on nearly every other front. The visual aesthetics are eye-popping, the story is intriguing, and the stealth/puzzle mechanics are satisfying. For an indie excursion that tries something unique, Hello Neighbor is mostly a success, and well worth checking out.

Dead By Daylight Adds Horror Staple Freddy Krueger Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:22:04 -0400 ReadyPlayerPaige

As the roster of the killers on Behavior Interactive's Dead by Daylight grows with the inclusion of Leatherface, Jason, and Michael Myers, there is one more horror icon that has joined in on the fun. It is the man that comes alive in your dreams. A true live wire. Sweater, hat, and 5 finger blades. The face of fear. The demon of Elm Street. Freddy Krueger!

The latest trailer for Krueger has been released online and it looks amazing. The Freddy Krueger in the trailer resembles the one from the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street with Jackie Earle Harley. His character is now available to play. So, gamers, what are you gonna do when Freddy comes for you?

Behavior Interactive has definitely increased the horror and mayhem with their multiplayer online game, Dead By Daylight. Be sure to leave your comments below and let us know what you think about the latest addition to game.

Klei Launches Event Servers Beta Ahead of Don't Starve Together's The Forge Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:45:46 -0400 bazookajo94

Last week, indie-game developers Klei announced the first of several new Don't Starve Together servers called "Event Servers". The beta for the first Event, The Forge, went live this week for developer stress testing before the official release sometime in November. 

These Event Servers, Klei explains, host limited-time special events for owners of Don't Starve Together, giving them a chance to nab in-game items and apparel. These events are free to anyone who owns Don't Starve Together, and most of the items included in the special events will be free, randomly encountered items -- except for skins, which players can buy at $2.99 for one character or $12.99 for all characters.

Exclusive to The Forge, players can expect up to 200 new items, along with a few tweaks to the Don't Starve Together formula, such as how many drop items are in a chest and UI additions to the main menu. 

If you play the beta -- which ends October 30 -- the developers are looking for feedback on usability and general playability. However, be advised that any items you receive in the beta will not carry over when The Forge officially releases.

Klei anticipates a live drop of The Forge about two weeks into November, though no date has been officially announced, and the event will be available to play for three weeks. 

So grab your anvils, paint your faces red, and find some friends, because you're gonna need them to help you survive The Forge. 

Inner Chains Review: Great Potential Shackled by Poor Gameplay Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:45:10 -0400 ReverendShmitty

Inner Chains, the latest work from Telepaths Tree, is a sci-fi horror, first-person shooter meant to be revolutionary in its design and function. Boasting "unprecedented ways of interaction between weapons, their users, and the environment," the game was announced on Kickstarter in March 2016, where it accumulated 906 backers who donated a total of $18,708 -- nearly double Telepaths Tree's $10,000 goal.

And it's a fact that makes me all the more confused by the game's lackluster mechanics and boring story.

Inner Chains' Gameplay is Sometimes Frustrating

With first-person shooters, you can typically expect an identical control scheme from the last one you played. Clicking left shoots, WASD moves, and spacebar jumps. Inner Chains is no exception, but it makes a few errors along the way that make things complicated.

Controls cannot be remapped, something I think every game should feature, especially given the number of disabled and handicapped players in the world. This also means players are forced to hold CTRL to crouch instead of being able to reset it to another combination or keystroke. 

The F-key is also the designated melee button, which is fine, but it does feel weird to use in the game's opening half hour when you have no weapons and all fights are with your fists. Spamming the F-key instead of left-clicking just felt wrong when my hands were literally the only weapons I had. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that enemies near the beginning of the game require upwards of 5 to 6 punches to kill. On top of that, sometimes swings don't even register, so it takes even longer. 

And that brings me to my next issue: the lack of a HUD.

Don't get me wrong, I love immersion in my games, particularly with first-person shooters. But it has to be done properly. Inner Chains, unfortunately, does not implement the system in a logical way.

For example, player health is indicated by an illuminated shackle embedded in your right wrist. This is a great way of avoiding an obstructing HUD that takes you out of the experience, but it is also a great way for you to die. You see, the lights will dim on your wrist, but nowhere else will you carry any indicator of low health. No red edges, no heavy breathing, no fading colors. Nothing. The player character reacts exact same way at full health as he does on the precipice of death.

And when you combine this with achingly slow movement speeds and three-pack-a-day-asthmatic sprint duration, the game simply isn't enjoyable to play.

A Shivering Setting Wasted by a Nearly Hidden Story

In a dark, dilapidated world left to ruin after humans vanished, technology and nature evolved and fused until everything became some form of biomechanical monstrosity. Now returned, humans are at the bottom of the food chain in a world where everything wants them dead. How did it become like this? Where did humanity go?

These questions linger and drive you forward as you play. The intrigue and mystery really captivated my imagination and left me genuinely curious where the game would take me.

Unfortunately, Inner Chains tells virtually none of that story. Dialogue is non-existent, with the few speaking characters talking in unintelligible groans and whispers. The written word is in an in-game language that requires players decipher it by finding stone tablets containing individual letters. This means players are forced to not only find every single tablet, many of which are off the beaten path but also replay the game with this knowledge -- just to get the gist of what's going on.

This lack of story left me progressing through the game blind and deaf, just following along without understanding.


No Can Hear You Scream ... or Walk ... or Breath ... or ... 

When I first jumped into Inner Chains, I immediately noticed the world was silent. Ghastly pale and sickly travelers covered in wounds and filth passed by without a sound. I thought it was poignant and eerie at first -- a striking design choice. Then I came across a gathering cheering at a decoratively dressed speaker, their fists punching the sky.

And still, there was no sound.

That's when I realized this wasn't some artistic decision, but a failing on the developer's part. NPCs, aside from very specific scripted events, make absolutely no sound. No speaking. No breathing. No footsteps. Nothing. In fact, a majority of the world is completely devoid of sound.

Ambiance and music are both fleeting. Sometimes you enter a new area and a creepy drone will echo to remind you this place isn't safe. But other times it doesn't. Sometimes music will climb as you come across a group of enemies bent on killing you. But other times it doesn't. This inconsistency is a grave error given the game's traveling, horror-centric theme -- as wall as its lack of conventional storytelling.

Inner Chains is a Gorgeous Game

For all the bad things that make up Inner Chains, this is where the game truly shines. Created in Unreal Engine 4, the game is a sight to behold. Textures are sharp, character models are detailed, and the environments are breathtaking. Multiple times I found myself stopping to look around and take in the amazing backdrops and wonder how they came up with such fantastic designs.

Architecture, in particular, was amazing and expressed the evolution of the world without a single word. Buildings are both ancient and high-tech, many with organic matter clinging to them and drooping from them. Flames leap off the screen against the dreary darkness of the world and particle effects such as firing the lightning gun send sparks scattering and light up the grim tombs you find yourself in.

Now, there are a few areas and objects with muddy textures that look out of place, but these were few and far between. More important were the numerous graphical glitches in the opening level. Several times I watched the distant background flash and distort into an endless plane of stretched polygons. And while I never encountered this past the opening, this is a fatal flaw to have in the oh, so important opening hour of the game when developers really need to grab the player's attention.

Despite this, I'm amazed an indie developer was able to make such a beautiful game without the use of a cartoony, stylized art style. If there was ever a game to faithfully capture the concept art, no matter how intricate and detailed, this is it.


At the end of the day, Inner Chains is a beautiful game with a promising setting. If you want a short 4- to 5-hour experience with amazing graphics, then look no further. But if you want something deeper and more meaningful to take you on a story-filled adventure, look elsewhere. With a lack of both character development and story progression -- despite its vast potential -- Inner Chains is all flash and no substance.

Perception: Unlocking All Achievements Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:42:31 -0400 Ty Arthur

Exploration horror game Perception offers up a very unique twist on the genre, putting you in the role of blind woman Cassi on a search for answers in the sinister Echo Bluff.

There's plenty of video game standards still on display however, like a series of achievements to hunt after! Most of these achievements can't be missed, and will pop just by exploring Echo Bluff and completing the main game objectives. 

But there are a small number of achievements that require some serious effort to collect. Below, we're going to go over each one and how to get it!

How to Get All Perception Achievements


Find Nanci Chang's takeout menu. This one is easy to miss. In the first chapter near the beginning of the game, you have to go back into the main foyer with the fireplace and the anniversary card on the ground. Head over to the right of the fireplace and snap a picture of the object on the desk. Cassi's text-to-speech program will reveal it's a Chinese takeout menu.


Use the telescope. In Chapter 1 after the bubble room, head up to the second floor beyond a room with a file you can grab to find the telescope.


Meet the best damn bartender. This occurs during the course of the game automatically.


What we do in life... This occurs during the course of the game automatically in the second chapter.

Like It's Hot 1

Found 2 poppets in Chapter 1. Simply be on the lookout for the dolls with gun arms for this and all subsequent "Like It's Hot" achievements. So long as you are exploring each room without drawing the attention of The Presence, these are easy to discover -- and are frequently at eye level on top of chests, drawers, and desks.

Like It's Hot 2

Found 2 Poppets in Chapter 2.


Like It's Hot 3

Found 2 Poppets in Chapter 3.


Like It's Hot 4

Found 2 Poppets in Chapter 4.


The Doll Collector

Found every Poppet in the entire game.

   Poppet On A Shelf

I Hear Things Out Here

Found out what happened to the animals. This occurs automatically during the course of the game

Briar Memento

Found all touch stones in Chapter 1. Like with the Poppets, these are hard to miss. Just be sure to explore each are thoroughly in between escaping the Presence, and you should come across all of them.

Van Hout Memento

Found all touch stones in Chapter 2.

Bosch Memento

Found all touch stones in Chapter 3.

Durham Memento

Found all touch stones in Chapter 4.


Found every touch stone in the entire game.

Master of…

Got the key from the good doctor. This will occur automatically during the course of exploring Echo Bluff.

Behind You…

Turn around... This will occur automatically during a segment when you meet The Presence.

Giddy Socialite

Found Kirby. This will occur automatically during the normal course of the game.


Completed Chapter 1 of Perception.


Completed Chapter 2 of Perception.


Completed Chapter 3 of Perception.


Completed Chapter 4 of Perception.


Completed every chapter of the game and reached the ending.

Tickled Pink

Listened to every Dearest Pinky song. As with the Poppets and touch stones, just be on the lookout for every object you can interact with in the game to trigger memories or start music playing.


Found 5 backer letters. As long as you are looking at the desks, dressers, and floors, finding the letters written by Kickstarter backers is incredibly easy.


Found the backer recording. This is just like initiating any of the tape recordings, but this one is found in Chapter 3.


Listened to all of Cassie's messages. As long as you are listening to each recording, this achievement will pop automatically.

Still Doing This

Is it going to get old? This story achievement occurs as you travel through different time periods of Echo Bluff.


Get every other achievement in the game. This final achievement is only made difficult by Overlooked and and Quiet Knoll (see below).

For Susannah

Found Susanna's Sanctum. This occurs automatically in Chapter 4.


Never captured by The Presence. This is one of only two difficult achievements in the game, and they are intertwined. So long as you aren't tapping, you will very rarely capture the attention of The Presence. There are a few locations where The Presence will try to capture you based off other sounds or triggers though, such as if you don't crouch when coming down the stairs in Chapter 2.

Quiet Knoll

Completed the game without tapping. The only other difficult achievement in Perception, this one requires that you never use your cane after the tutorial segment that makes you tap at the very beginning. You will basically be stumbling around in the dark for four or five hours. Have fun!

Have any Perception tips and strategies for avoiding The Presence or completing the game without tapping your cane? Let us know in the comments below!