Friday, January 20, 2012

Survival horror died for a reason

I'll be blunt - the only good Resident Evil game is 4. It took what I considered to be a mostly crap genre and made it actually playable. However, that isn't to say that I hate the idea of survival horror - I just hate the execution, more often than not.

The idea of survival horror is that you're surviving while being scared out of your wits. That usually means you're either running away from your killer (Clock Tower) or you're conserving your supplies (Resident Evil), and to accompany it is an ambient soundtrack and dark visuals, to give you the feeling that one false move will get you killed by a maniac with hedge trimmers or zombies. This is what I wish every survival horror would have, at least, because those are the first things I think of when I think of survival horror.

The execution, more often than not, just leaves me wondering why people want these kinds of games back. It tends to involve tank-like movement controls (which you can get used to) and bizarre camera angles. In games like Resident Evil, you are given the option to shoot, but you're not given the option to move and aim. Now, let's head back in time to when this was released - the PS1 controller didn't have analogue sticks; just a d-pad, and a d-pad is terrible for movement ala Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie (ask Crash Bandicoot). Okay, fair enough. But a year later, Sony designed a controller with dual analogue sticks, probably to combat Nintendo's controller that had one (very fucking flimsy) stick. One year after that, Resident Evil 2 was released, and... it still has those pre-analogue stick controls. Well, in their defense, the dual analogue controllers probably weren't selling that well or maybe not everyone had them, and maybe they had to rush Resident Evil 2 out. Okay, I could go with that. Nearly two years later, Resident Evil 3 is released, and... what, we play it like the first game!? Fuck off!

And that's pretty much my problem with survival horror games. To anybody who says "survival horror is dead", I say "thank fuck". Survival horror is shit and I'm glad it's dead. Survival horror was less about surviving and more about how shit you can make your controls and camera angles. That said, Silent Hill 2 is a fan-fucking-tastic game and if you haven't got it, then there's an HD collection coming out, so wait until March 6th - until then, play some other game(s)! Maybe the ones we('ll) recommend?

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