originals\ Jun 22, 2012 at 10:49 am

10 things survival horror games should remember

There are certain themes and aspects of survival horror games I’ve been noticing over the last few years, mostly negative.  I would like nothing more to play the ultimately terrifying, relentless, and unforgiving game of all time — sort of like a survival horror Dark Souls.  In this article, I list the top 10 qualities game developers shouldn’t forget when making a survival horror game.  This list also functions as what would make a perfect survival horror game in my own personal opinion.   

10. No Universal Ammo

If a horror survival game even has ammo, make it scarce.  If the monsters are something that can be easily fought, no matter how hideous they look, you are losing an essential fear element of the game.  Those four shotgun shells you found should be held onto tightly, like a loved one for that exact time you need them.  With that said, the idea of universal ammo in this sort of setting is insulting.  If you have multiple guns and you are trying to survive, making ammo universal takes the whole ‘stockpile’ aspect of the game away.  Most likely you will use the best gun you have for almost every situation.  When it comes to ammo, it should be about what you have and not about convenience.

9. Variety in Gameplay

It seems that a lot of survival horror games have a niche in their ‘fear’ mechanic, and they don’t really move on from that one thing.  So the first few times you experience it your heart may beat out of control, but towards the end of the game it has lost its allure; there are only so many creepy hallucinations you can witness or times you can hide in a closet before you become immune to it.  What I’m saying here is keep a variety in gameplay — keep the player guessing.  Horror games shouldn’t fall into a niche in their fear techniques.  As soon as a player adapts, the scare element will drop dramatically.

Dead Space 3 takes up universal ammo

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About The Author
Andrew Clouther Human, historian, teacher, writer, reviewer, gamer, League of Pralay, Persona fanboy, and GameZone paragon - no super powers as of yet. Message me on the Twitters: @AndrewC_GZ
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