You’d be surprised how hard it is to make a truly terrifying horror game. It’s more than just scary images and jump scares; it needs a slowly built atmosphere, suspense, and terrifying consequences, not to mention, some scary elements. Looking at some of the greats: Silent Hill, Dead Space, Resident Evil & Amnesia: The Dark Descent, you’ll see what I mean.
But not every attempt is successful. Oftentimes, a developer will rely on too much gore, camp, poorly rendered graphics and bad mechanics, and all of a slugger, the game becomes less about scaring the player, and more about being terrible to them.
And a shitty game is a terror that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
The premise of this game is pretty simple; raise a child with psychic powers and help her get out of a zombie infested city.
Except the AI is so busted that Amy is practically suicidal. She’s annoying and so incredibly dumb, that she’ll do anything and everything to get eaten. Toss in some frustrating controls, annoying stealth sections and mediocre graphics, and this horror game just becomes horrible.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
You can usually count on the Silent Hill franchise to offer some genuine horror and chills. But not this one.
Someone had the genius idea to make it a Diablo clone, and have you take on the scary creeps in a top-down, isometric view.
It’s a blatant re-skin of a shitty dungeon crawler game, and not worth the money or time.
Resident Evil 6
This game reeks of “let’s get this to market asap while the iron is hot.” The previous two game in the franchise were stellar. This one, not so much.
On one hand, the storyline was spit up over 3 separate campaigns, and a secret and pointless fourth one. All of them tried to cram in as much zombie-killing mayhem, evil corporations and difficult bosses. But what was missing was the ‘survival horror’ part of it all. There are plenty of 3rd person, action shooters out there. This didn’t need to be one of them.
To top that off, all the characters had no personality or storyline, or their individual story was contrary to the character development the 5 previous games had. It was just huge slap in the face for RE fans.
This game somehow takes a promising premise and makes it painful to play.
The goal is to play as a lost and amnesiac should, who’s trying to escape from hell; a place where the walls are made of guts and gore, naked female demons are wandering everywhere and there’s violence and blood everywhere. But that’s it.
It’s got painfully slow and boring puzzles and you spend a long time hiding from enemies. While the game looks visually dark and gruesome, it somehow just becomes background noise and turns it all into a boring setting for your frustrations to come out.
It’s not easy to make naked demons and hell boring, but there you go.
Back in the 90’s, this game caused a huge controversy, because it depicted violence against women. Except, there’s the thing; none of the people complaining about the game, actually ever played it.
The game involved the player watching full motion videos of girls visiting a house, and triggering traps to ensnare anyone who tries to harm them. Sure, it’s voyeuristic, but also very annoying. It’s hard to keep track of these girls, and when they were finally captured by random vampires, you were relieved that there was one less girl to worry about. Seriously.
It was a badly acted and poorly conceived game.
Friday the 13th
Making a horror game out of this slasher franchise, for the NES was a huge mistake. It’s not the right demographic, and there’s no true “horror” to be seen.
Plus, rendering Jason with a purple jump-suit and blue mask, and have teens just wander up to be slaughtered, doesn’t really make a good game. That, plus Jason was nigh-hard to beat.
You’d spend hours trying to save campers, avoid Jason and his mom, only to die for some frustrating reason in the forest. I’d rather take on the real Jason, than play this.
This was a voice-controlled PS2 game that was killed by technological advancements that just didn’t work.
There you were, locked in a space hotel’s control room, and trying to control your character with your voice, and the voice recognition system in the PS2 just doesn’t understand basic English.
So you end up screaming and rage quitting a game, that you haven’t even physically touched. And when the scariest part of a horror game is how stupid your character is, you know that’s hitting a new low.
An amusement park filled with monsters and traps sounds like a fantastic horror game premise. So why is this one so fucked up?
Well, because it’s so tedious. You need to check every step for traps, ensure that you have enough bandages, a low enough heart rate and the right weapon, before you can enter an area or trigger a trap.
Rather than just stumble blindly into things and figure shit out as you go, this game requires you to be prepared for everyone, before even taking a step. It’s far too bureaucratic and organized to be fun
This game so desperately wanted to be controversial, but was limited by the graphics of it’s time. This was an arcade game that involved you driving a car-shaped object and trying to hit a person shaped stick figure, that was supposedly an evil “Gremlin.”
Then, once you hit them, they turned into tombstones, thus cluttering up your playing field. While controversial for 1976, it’s just a frustrating game that has no true horror elements, other than the picture on the side of the arcade cabinet.
Druuna: Morbus Gravis
This game was based on the sci-fi/fantasy comic book character of the same name, and has really no redeeming features, other than if you get off on busty sprites and monsters.
Sure, Druuna’s busty and hot, but she’s also top heavy and cumbersome. A survival horror game that relies on physical attributes makes sense; lose a limb, break an arm and it impacts your movement makes perfect sense. Failing to jump because your tits are too big, is just idiotic.
Then, there’s the save feature. If you save your progress, it damages your health. So you’re forced to play and hope you don’t die (but you will), or save the game and move forward with 50% of your health intact.
The entire game is just a bad choice.
This game is just wrong on so many levels. It’s about killing helpless and innocent torture victims, as slowly as possible, with 16-bit gore.
Frankly, the only scary part about the game is that anyone would want to play it, at all. Anyone who’s not a complete psychopath, that is.
Ju-On: The Grudge
While the box says “Haunted House Simulator,” it’s not even anything close. Sure, you’re in a dark maze and there’s a ghost, but this game is hamstrung by being on the Wii. You use the remote to control a flashlight, but also, the direction that you point it, is the direction you walk in. But if you stay in one place too long, the ghost appears. That’s it.
According to all the reviews, the graphics suck, the controls are abysmal and the premise is just bullshit. Best to avoid this game.