Remember when horror based games actually tried to scare the player instead of being as action-packed as possible? When the term survival horror actually meant trying to stay alive whilst being scared at the same time? The genre has taken a hit lately because of the demand of more action oriented titles, but with the release of The Evil Within imminent, let’s look at five games that prove that survival horror is here to stay.
1. The Evil Within
Shinji Mikami is best known for directing the first instalment of the Resident Evil franchise, giving birth to the survival horror genre, but the series has abandoned its horror roots lately in favour of loud, dumb action. Mikami returned to direct what is often cited as his magnus opus, but has been absent from horror games since then.
The Evil Within marks his belated return to the genre, and not a moment too soon. Detective Sebastian Castellanos (Jackie Earle Haley) is drafted into a multiple murder investigation before realising that there are much more sinister things at stake. Evil indeed.
With Resident Evil 4 Mikami essentially invented most of the conventions of modern day third person shooters, such as the use of the over the shoulder camera and quicktime events, so no doubt the master will introduce more ways to innovate in The Evil Within.
2. Silent Hills
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro working together!? What would possibly be more awesome? The latest instalment in the series will see both the geniuses working together to create what sounds like it could be the best one yet. After Del Toro’s game InSanity was scrapped, it looks like he could finally be making his way into a field that has yearned for him for so long.
Although plot details are currently scare, expect more of the creepy shit that made the first Silent Hill such a classic and less of the dungeon crawling in Silent Hill: Book of Memories.
3. Fatal Frame V: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden
Since Nintendo purchased the rights to the ghostly Fatal Frame franchise, none of the instalments have been released outside of Japan, and insult is added to injury by the fact the the fourth instalment was CO-directed by the legendary Suda 51.
The reason seems to be that although Nintendo are fine with having third party M rated games on their consoles, they are hesitant to publish them themselves, a likely reason why Disaster: Day of Crisis and Dynamic Slash were never released stateside. With the release of the Wii U, however, they seem to have relaxed that policy, publishing Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Bayonetta 2 and an enhanced version of the first game, and the upcoming Devil’s Third on the console, so hopefully the creepy Fatal Frame V: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden could see an international release.
Techland seem to want to atone for the disappointing Dead Island series with a new IP about the denizens of hell rising up to destroy the Earth. Set in Medieval Europe and played from a first person perspective, the game has been delayed by more than two years, as was Dead Island, so hopefully Hellraid won’t continue Techland’s tradition of spending a long time getting our hopes up then disappointing us.
5. Aliens: Isolation
The recent Aliens games published by Sega have been disappointing to say the least, but Aliens: Isolation looks like it could fix all that.
The Creative Assembly are best known for their acclaimed Total War series, but most of their other games, such as Stormrise and Viking: Battle for Asgard, have been hits and misses. Aliens: Isolation looks like it could be their finest work yet, not lease because it uses the term ‘survival horror’ literally. The game features only ONE(!) Xenomorph throughout its entire duration, which cannot be killed and must instead be avoided at all costs. Featuring no heads up displays and a first person view to literally place the player into the story, the game will be entirely devoid of action and instead focus on getting the player to use all their wits to stay alive. With sci-fi master Dan Abnett onboard as writer, this will probably be the best Aliens game ever made.