Jeepers Aren't Giving Creepers No More
Why is a horror game scary? What makes something creepy to the average person? The most direct answer is experience, or rather the lack of experience. Horror is what it is, because it is the unknown or the threat of a known danger provided in an unstable environment. It's elusive only until its finality, and its appearance impacts the senses.
Resident Evil's creator Shinji Mikami spoke about the difficulty the sequels gave the horror entertainment genre. "As a horror game [series] continues, you begin to know who the enemies are going to be. Just the knwoledge naturally makes the game less scary."
It's More Bang-Bang For Your Buck
Latest trends in video gaming have taken terrific and awe-inspiring horror games and put the fright-fest in the back-seat in favor of a faster-paced and sometimes multi-faceted action-packed adventure, such as with Resident Evil and Dead Space, and while these games still have those moments that irk and disgust with vivid graphical scenes and definitely vile abominations and villains, it's not merely facing the evil that provokes real 'terror.'
It's before its arrival and the existance of its threat that its unknowingly beshadowed presence provides the player with real anxiety. Coupling this with a real sense of powerlessness, facing an enemy which truly cannot be fought, drives that much harder the threat and its realization.
What game most scared you during the nights of your youth?