So we live in a generation of the First-Person Shooters, where everything is all explosions, chase scenes and loud noises; Call of Duty, Halo, Killzone, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, and Resistance to name a few. While this may be the generation of the shooter, one thing I have noticed is that we have plenty of racers (Need for Speed, GT, Forza) and we have plenty of RPG’s (Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout) and even plenty of fitness games (Dance Central, Just Dance, Wii Fit, Your Shape), but where did all the scary games go?
Sure, there are a couple on the market. You have Dead Space; the first one was damn right twisted, tormented and terrifying. The second one was probably on the same level as the first game, and the third one… well by the looks of the E3 demo, I have no clue what kind of a game Dead Space will be any more. I mean sure, there are games that will give you a bit of a heart-pounding buzz like Alan Wake. Alan Wake is one of my favorite games of all time, and whilst it will give you a chill and make your heart pump faster, it’s not “massively scary”, but I appreciate Remedy trying.
Now I know what you might be thinking if you’re still reading this: what about Amnesia? You’re absolutely right. Amnesia is damn right terrifying if you play at the right time of day and you let it get into your head. There are, of course, people who choose not to do that (wimps). Amnesia is a pure example that you just don’t need guns, explosions or any form of combat to have a scary atmospheric game. Just throw under-pressure puzzles followed by a dark atmosphere and you got yourself a scary hit. The reason why Amnesia became a hit was because it was one of the very few games that actually tried to scare you. And most of the time it did. And gathering from the trailer of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the sequel looks like it’s going to set the bar on scary games yet again.
The point of this matter is that all the franchises that used to scare you years ago such as Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, Silent Hill, F.E.A.R and Condemned… they no longer exist. Dino Crisis seems to have gone off the radar, Silent Hill seems to suck with every game, and Resident Evil stopped being scary after Nemesis.
So in the hope that I will be doing some good hear, let me tell you about a new game coming out by an indie developer that seems to have taken it’s inspiration from Frictional Games (the developers of Amnesia). May I present to you a game called Among the Sleep developed by Krillbite Studio. You’ve seen the films light Poltergeist and Paranormal Activity 3 where children tend to have encounters with the spirit world. Well in this game, you literally play as a 2 year old child, meaning you actually have a reason as to why you can’t have combat (although I’m sure a toddler could try). One night you are put to bed, only for strange things to happen in your house. You escape from your crib, where the tense mystery begins to unfold. Now you’ll actually get to be in the mind of a two year old when the child’s imagination takes hold, where something friendly and harmless could become something more. You can watch the gameplay preview here… be sure to have your sound up.
What most games fail to do (which Krillbite are doing) are taking risks. I honestly get the feeling that one day, the media may bash the game for cruelty to children, but honestly, some developers dare to go where many fear to tread in order to create something atmospheric, tense, horrifying and damn right shocking. I wish we could go back and live in the horror generation (the PS1 generation). If a game developer is reading this… stop doing what everyone else is doing. Make something that will shock us; scare us; make us want to do a “Lets Play” on because it’s a funny kind of “scared”.