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  1. #1
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    Default Do horror fans really want survival horror to make a comeback?

    I was wondering, do you as horror fans want old school survival horror to come back? Or are you happy with the direction of action horror the genre has become today? Do you feel fully 3D environments and 360 degree camera controls are a necessity in this day and age? Or do you like the suspense added by not being able to look round corners? While 3D environments are cheaper to make, is that what you want from "survival horror?"

    I will post my opinions later, but I'd be interested to hear what you actually want from survival horror in this generation of gaming...

  2. #2
    #16 Eliminator Kei_M's Avatar
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    I don't think a successful horror game needs to have fixed camera angles or limited ammo. I think what we need, more than a return to past success, is new blood with new ideas to bring horror in new exciting ways.

  3. #3
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    So if you could make your perfect horror game, how would you do it? What is it that you want besides innovation? How do we make it new and more exciting for you? The direction we seem to be headed in today is that we need more zombies, more guns and more ammo. Dead Rising has done well to add layers of fun and comedy to the genre, but that actually goes back to old ideas from the old days of zombie movies. Left for Dead or Nazi Zombies has given us more more more, but it's not necessarily scary or more fun than other zombie games. Resident Evil seems to be doing a similar thing, making the games fast paced requiring quick thinking and reactions to form suspense. It's my personal opinion that more isn't always better and that atmosphere creates suspense without overloading the player with zombies, guns and ammo. This is kind of why I ask because there's only one of two ways to take the genre, I know what I want, but I really don't know what other people want. Dead Rising is a kind of zombie sand box where you can chill and have fun, Nazi Zombies is extreme and you have to be constantly on your toes, typical survival horror like Resident Evil or Silent Hill falls somewhere inbetween, if we were to take it further what can we really do?

  4. #4
    #48 Executioner Zombie_X's Avatar
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    I would like to see a return to Survival Horror, but I know a true experience like the past RE games won't happen.

    • I think the game should be 3rd/1st person, 3rd person being the general view of the game from behind the back, then 1st person would be a toggle option for exploration.
    • Fighting with enemies would be a mix of 1st/3rd person where it would switch the 1st when a zombie attacks and grabs you, then after you push them off it will be 3rd person.
    • I would say enemies would be stronger/weaker/faster/slower depending on their size, rate of decay, and sex.
    • Some areas would have a forced first person exploration view where in which you can hear yourself breathe, feel your heart pounding, here your avatars inner thoughts (maybe).
    • The more anxious or nervous your character is the more clumsy and less accurate they will be with navigating, aiming their gun, and fighting.
    • You can create a diversion for zombies by tossing an item past them and let them be drawn to the sound, that way you can slip by.
    • More emphasis on physical and close quarters combat and less on shooting. Gun shots can draw the undead toward you because of the noise, so a blunt object and a quick kill are best.
    • When you have no weapons you can resort to using hand to hand combat, but the risk of getting bit or attacked is much higher.
    • Environments will vary from dark and light areas, day and night, foggy and clear visuals.
    • Lighting will play a large part to the game play. You can see the shadows of zombies or other enemies being cast on a wall or the ground. Then again they will see your shadow as well, so think carefully where you tread. Also the use of flashlights, lanterns, and lights in general will be discouraged because it can alert the enemies to your presence.

    Just some ideas I have.

  5. #5
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    I get where you're coming from with that. Sounds like you're quite happy with the 3rd person perspective we see today and would like it to be improved on from what has already been built, I.e RE4 style? Me personally I like the look of REmake, as nice as 3D graphics are I like the fixed backgrounds with dynamic camera angles. I guess for me horror games are more of a visual experience than an action based experience, I like the environments more than the gameplay elements them selves. Of course you can't have a game without decent gameplay elements, but they don't define the experience for me, part of the horror is actually feeling like I'm there in the picture. When things are whizzing past you and you're too busy thinking about how to kill the next zombie it kind of takes away from those visual experiences, if you just look at some of REmakes backgrounds it would be hard to make them stand out so much when everything moves so fast. Like in RE4 I didn't take note of many of the environments, all I saw was wood, trees, grass and stone, nothing really got stuck in my mind. With static backgrounds every piece of art is unique and beautiful in its own way, that's what I really appreciate in the horror experience.

    UC and DSC are probably my favourite post CG era RE games, having the first person viewpoint really helps you immerse your self in the world, I don't like it as much as static backgrounds but I feel having no control over the camera makes scenes far more memorable to me.

  6. #6
    #48 Executioner Zombie_X's Avatar
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    True, I just find this style a bit more fitting. I don't like the RE4/5 camera style that much though, it's too close to the character. Maybe have it zoom out a bit but still have emphasis on the player?

    The first person exploration parts would be kinda like Amnesia, while third person would be similar to older RE games, but your character would appear to be more cautious.

  7. #7
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post
    True, I just find this style a bit more fitting. I don't like the RE4/5 camera style that much though, it's too close to the character. Maybe have it zoom out a bit but still have emphasis on the player?

    The first person exploration parts would be kinda like Amnesia, while third person would be similar to older RE games, but your character would appear to be more cautious.
    Kind of like 3.5? Reading your post back it sounds quite fitting of what you describe, not including the first person elements. Never heard of Amnesia :/ will have to check it out z
    Last edited by geluda; 04-29-2012 at 02:58 PM.

  8. #8
    The Zombie Genocider Beanovsky Durst's Avatar
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    A "Survival horror" game, IMO, needs 1st and foremost a great atmosphere. Dead Space could be an example of how to do that on modern gaming. Action elements aside, the dark areas and the fact that a Necromoph could pop out of nowhere could make you uneasy... REmake also had an eerie vibe, the detail on BG was amazing, dark corridors, dim lights. Use of darkness and light is essential for a "scary" experience.

    As for gameplay, it's all in balancing survival and action. Close quarter areas with enemies and exploration/puzzles, fixed camera angles to show clues; open areas with shitloads of action, over the shoulder cam so action sequences can be present... Maybe be a mix of both, a closed space crammed with enemies, forcing you to run since fighting back is plain suicide, that's survival & action for me.
    FPS could work too. While not an actual Survival Horror title, Doom 3 is an excellent display of how to add scary elements on a first person perspective. Enemies could creep out of the shadows, and were hard to see....

    I think SH Downpour had some interesting concepts on how to update the survival horror genre. I liked how it had some "open world" game elements, interesting side missions, which in the end add to the experience.
    "I miss the days when we just cared how cool an enemy was rather than critiquing and analyzing everything to death." - Shield Key

  9. #9
    #55 Oswell E. Spencer Dracarys's Avatar
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    Alan Wake gameplay without the linear level design would do me, a limited openworld would be fine. Give lots of side missions with worthwhile rewards for doing them.

    What I dislike about modern survival horror attempts is most seem to think the combat system has to be clunky and limited. Not PS1 days anymore, wish they would stop trying to play like one, there is a good reason many bomb in reviews.
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  10. #10
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dracarys View Post
    What I dislike about modern survival horror attempts is most seem to think the combat system has to be clunky and limited. Not PS1 days anymore, wish they would stop trying to play like one, there is a good reason many bomb in reviews.
    In what way?

  11. #11
    The Zombie Genocider Beanovsky Durst's Avatar
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    Might be a reference to tank controls on RE5, or the combat system in both Homecoming and Downpour... There are ways to make combat fluid and challenging, without going full CoD mode.
    "I miss the days when we just cared how cool an enemy was rather than critiquing and analyzing everything to death." - Shield Key

  12. #12
    #30 Birkin Type 2 I_Am_Nemesis's Avatar
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    Survival Horror will make a come back, i just dont think they will resemble the survival horror games of old. Dead Space is the perfect example of a modern day survival Horror game, they are now more action orientated, bigger and better production values (voice acting has seriously improved) and much more fast paced. The biggest problem people have with survival horror games is that they just arent scary anymore. This could be due to many different varaible factors, for example were all older now, video games arent as new as they used to be and there for we have already witnessed more or less every type of horror that a game can throw at us. its just like movies, they arent scary any more, even though they more or less use the same formula as before. Alien was once considered one of the scariest films alive, because no body had seen anything like this before. Resident Evil was once considered scary because again, we hadnt really witnessed anything quite like it (of course i know its not the first horror film ever made). Now however when we look back at Alien or Resident Evil we cant help but wonder why we were ever scared in the first place, and now, with the arrival of new horror games, we feel like they havn't brought anything new to the genre other than more numerous jump scares. but nothing that brings about that sense of tension and foreboding. The only game ive played recently that comes close to this is Dead space.

    Basically i think that what im getting at is that, to make a come back, survival horror has to change into something new and unseen. Something thats pretty hard to do in this day and age. I have no idea what this new type of survival horror should, or will be like, im not that innovative.

  13. #13
    #22 Humanoid Leech WeskerSexyCheez's Avatar
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    Absolutely. I have to admit liking the Dead Space series. It is hard to describe; they didn't really do anything new in terms of horror gaming, but somehow I felt like they kind of refreshed it a bit. I know it was never "Survival Horror" as we know it, with limited ammo and clever camera angles, but it was the old-school claustrophobia that I loved. The first Dead Space may have relied on jump scares most of the time, but then again Resident Evil always kind of has. The feeling of being totally trapped was, however, like being back in Silent Hill in the early days. I still hope for a day when a game comes out that does the following;

    -Makes the player feel truly alone, even with other characters present
    -Encourages the player to plan ahead
    -Uses the surroundings and atmosphere, not just enemies to create fear
    -Relying on silence as much as music to set the scene

    I guess those are just the things I find build tension in me the best. They do not automatically make a good game though, we all know it is more complex than that. I do think that those four things help make a good horror game though.

  14. #14
    #18 Hunter Code_R's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with the current control schemes, the problem is the level of actual horror content. RE5 threw in too many dumb car chases, stupid enemy designs and forced co-op which drains away the creep factor. Dead Space did it right, the sequel kinda lost it though. Not interested in how Silent Hill has turned out since the PS2 days, perhaps I should rent the newest one though.

    What I want from a good horror game is great level design, great sound design and an interesting story. I want to feel immersed. Not too big on puzzles, but why not keep a few in there. There's no need for the 6 square inventory or the fixed perspective tank controls to return, they are archaic and don't really add to the experience that much. I think camera controls you can use mixed with fixed angles for certain areas would work though. Limited items works when you have limited enemies - having those stupid areas where 200 guys chase you with tasers and axes isn't scary or fun.

  15. #15
    #43 Agitator Majini geluda's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree on the Dead Space point, DS2 is by far the scariest game of this generation is the best example of survival horror from present. The section where you returned to the Ishimura was the scariest for me, it was deadly silent and there were no enemies around, I was absolutely crapping my pants because I had no idea what was coming next, all I knew was that I was shitting bricks. Truely amazing game, real horror.

  16. #16
    #30 Birkin Type 2 I_Am_Nemesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geluda View Post
    I absolutely agree on the Dead Space point, DS2 is by far the scariest game of this generation is the best example of survival horror from present. The section where you returned to the Ishimura was the scariest for me, it was deadly silent and there were no enemies around, I was absolutely crapping my pants because I had no idea what was coming next, all I knew was that I was shitting bricks. Truely amazing game, real horror.
    I have to agree that dead space is probably my faveourite horror game of this generation, Infact I thought dead space two was scarier, mainly because of the brief spell upon thew ishimura. The problem I had with the first dead space game was that i found that after a while the game ceases to be scary since you pretty much know what to expect (i dont mean from a story stand point) because the scares and tension get repetitive.
    While Dead Space two had the same issue, I felt the time you spend on the ishimura helped to revive the fear and tension of the game. It was like reliving an old nightmare, and the atmosphere aboard the ship was brilliant, I felt tense every step of the way, the halls were dark and dead, almost unrecogniseable, almost like a nightmare set in a distorted version of somewhere you have been in reality. It was like revisiting old ghosts.

  17. #17
    #33 Birkin Type 5
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    Survival horror can and can't at the same time. it can if it can affect "younger" newcomers. but it won't have any affect on veterans.

  18. #18
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    There's nothing wrong with the current control schemes, the problem is the level of actual horror content.
    This right here. Sound design alone is more important than the control scheme. What the horror genre needs is people who actually have a grasp of how to convey horror. There's more to it than the "magic formula" people who complain about Biohazard keep throwing around. Suddenly bringing back fixed camera angles and tank controls won't suddenly make a game horror-orientated. You try doing that with BH4 and BH5 right now and see where that gets you. Not a single bump up in terms of horror quality.

    Lost In Nightmares is superior to the entire main game of BH5 because it realized this. Attention was focused on exploration and atmosphere rather than action and large-scale, epic Hollywood presentation. Enemy design and behavior was sufficiently creepy and ammunition was fairly limited. There was an actual threat. A horror game needs adequate threats in order to deteriorate the player's sense of security. Putting a machine gun in a game isn't a problem. There was a machine gun in BH2, it didn't become an action fest. That's because there was a very set limit to how much you could use it, and there was absolutely no more ammunition, and the game went so far as to penalize you for taking it (no side-pack) or taking both of them (other character was left with nothing). Enemies had varying strength and were all threats in their own right. Every game in the series inevitably gives you an overabundance of ammunition throughout the entire game. The only way you come out with very little is if you shot everything in sight, and that sounds very much like an action game to me. The player doesn't need a very heavy ammo restriction, what they really need is to have that ammo spread out, and for good variety in enemies which will make them want to conserve ammo regardless just in-case a bigger threat is in the next room.

    What I would prefer is:

    1) Enemies do not drop ammo, or healing items. They must be found.
    2) Weapons cannot be upgraded.
    3) Less fucking cartoon-level enemy designs.
    4) Better level design, and more interaction with the environment (and more general "jump scares" out of it)
    5) Better music. No more grand heroic orchestra tracks or fast-paced action tracks. The composers have shown they can make good music which amplifies horror. Let them. Otherwise the likes of Masami Ueda and Makoto Tomozawa need to be brought back, as they knew exactly how to match up the music to the game and enhance the horror.

    Fix those and you can at least consider the "survival" aspect back in the game. Actual horror direction is still required, and that needs a team that can co-operate and agree on the direction between sound, level design and "scares".
    Last edited by News Bot; 05-05-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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  19. #19
    #48 Executioner Zombie_X's Avatar
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    x1000

    Horror music does not need to be complex. Something simple like music from The Thing (1982) would fit perfectly. Simplistic tones that help build suspense, like that supposedly leaked "Corridor" track from RE6. That track is probably fake but it sounds perfect!

    Also LIN was far better than RE5 and I do agree. No more ammo/health drops and even a lesser amount of ammo.

    Quote Originally Posted by News Bot View Post
    This right here. Sound design alone is more important than the control scheme. What the horror genre needs is people who actually have a grasp of how to convey horror. There's more to it than the "magic formula" people who complain about Biohazard keep throwing around. Suddenly bringing back fixed camera angles and tank controls won't suddenly make a game horror-orientated. You try doing that with BH4 and BH5 right now and see where that gets you. Not a single bump up in terms of horror quality.

    Lost In Nightmares is superior to the entire main game of BH5 because it realized this. Attention was focused on exploration and atmosphere rather than action and large-scale, epic Hollywood presentation. Enemy design and behavior was sufficiently creepy and ammunition was fairly limited. There was an actual threat. A horror game needs adequate threats in order to deteriorate the player's sense of security. Putting a machine gun in a game isn't a problem. There was a machine gun in BH2, it didn't become an action fest. That's because there was a very set limit to how much you could use it, and there was absolutely no more ammunition, and the game went so far as to penalize you for taking it (no side-pack) or taking both of them (other character was left with nothing). Enemies had varying strength and were all threats in their own right. Every game in the series inevitably gives you an overabundance of ammunition throughout the entire game. The only way you come out with very little is if you shot everything in sight, and that sounds very much like an action game to me. The player doesn't need a very heavy ammo restriction, what they really need is to have that ammo spread out, and for good variety in enemies which will make them want to conserve ammo regardless just in-case a bigger threat is in the next room.

    What I would prefer is:

    1) Enemies do not drop ammo, or healing items. They must be found.
    2) Weapons cannot be upgraded.
    3) Less fucking cartoon-level enemy designs.
    4) Better level design, and more interaction with the environment (and more general "jump scares" out of it)
    5) Better music. No more grand heroic orchestra tracks or fast-paced action tracks. The composers have shown they can make good music which amplifies horror. Let them. Otherwise the likes of Masami Ueda and Makoto Tomozawa need to be brought back, as they knew exactly how to match up the music to the game and enhance the horror.

    Fix those and you can at least consider the "survival" aspect back in the game. Actual horror direction is still required, and that needs a team that can co-operate and agree on the direction between sound, level design and "scares".

  20. #20
    #18 Hunter Code_R's Avatar
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    1) Enemies do not drop ammo, or healing items. They must be found.

    I guess so, and they should be found in logical places not wooden barrels that appear from NO reason.

    2) Weapons cannot be upgraded.


    I don't mind this part. It doesn't really detract from anything.

    3) Less fucking cartoon-level enemy designs.


    Sure. It's sad when the best enemy in RE5 is the Licker from 1998. Tentacles are lame, so are endless villagers. I liked how the Urorobos test subject was before he sprouted into another boring mass or worms, it was more sinister.

    4) Better level design, and more interaction with the environment (and more general "jump scares" out of it)


    Jump scares, files, little descriptions of parts of the scenery. That inner monologue of text.

    5) Better music. No more grand heroic orchestra tracks or fast-paced action tracks. The composers have shown they can make good music which amplifies horror. Let them. Otherwise the likes of Masami Ueda and Makoto Tomozawa need to be brought back, as they knew exactly how to match up the music to the game and enhance the horror.

    There's a part in Silent Hill 2 near the start, where you go into some apartments. There's this track playing, it's not even music and it's so creepy and nothing really happens in that building but it's so unsettling the first time when you see something through the corridor blocked off by some metal bars. This kind of stuff and the old RE2 / RE3 type music is what I like.

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