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10 things survival horror games should remember

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8. Memorable Monsters / Events / AI

I know this looks like a weighted point, but all three points tie into one another.  If I say names like Alma, Pyramid Head, or the Gatherers — most likely you are able to place what horror game they are linked too.  These are memorable characters because at one point or another they made you jump out of your seat or curse their names as you run for your life.  We have a tendency to remember the things that make us piss ourselves.  It’s not just the creature though — it is the event that occurs.  When you’re hiding in a closest, hearing the monster tear apart the room searching for you… you remember that.  If the AI of a monster isn’t good, it will take away from the total experience.  If the thing stalking you gets lost easily, runs into walls, or can’t figure out how to enter a doorway, the illusion will be lost.

7. No Free Save / Free Load Function

This may totally be my hardcore opinion, but when survival horror games allow you to save your game whenever you want and as often as you want, there is something lost.  It’s not just challenge; it is a feeling of safety. If you charge into a room knowing you can just reload your game outside of that room, the effect is gone.  I want punishments for players going through the game fast and loose.  In the original Resident Evil, you needed ink ribbons to save your game at certain locations.  If you didn’t have the item on you or if you saved too often, you were shit out of luck.  I like that feeling.  Even saving your game should be scarce and something you may want to think twice about.  It makes for a more ‘survival’ type of atmosphere.

Alma from F.E.A.R.

Tags: Dead Space 3, F.E.A.R., Silent Hill, Amnesia, Resident Evil, horror, survival

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