The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Horror From Beyond Time

If you’ve played any recent games touted as ‘survival horror’ you have almost definitely played Dead Space 2 or Resident Evil 5, or if you’re a big indie player you may have played Amnesia: The Dark Descent.  If you played either of the first two you’d understand that, while those games make you jump in your seat, you never had a lasting impression of fear.
A lot of people have been whining about this fact for a while, and it makes for good writing, but I thought that instead of whining about it the same way that everyone else in the world of game writing does, I would give you a few older games you could play instead, and still get terrified by.

Clock Tower: Playstation: 1996

There was once I time I would have laughed in the face of the thought of a man with a giant pair of scissors chasing me down a hallway and into a bathroom, but then I played Clock Tower, and now I can’t look at hedge clippers without wanting to make a beeline for the door.
One of the most tense moments in my gaming career was leaning down to inspect a hiding spot, inside of a coffin, to see if any objects were there, when Scissorman rose up and I was forced to madly tap the panic button to fend him off.
The feeling is difficult to describe, but the game had such a strong sense of tension to it, that you felt intense fear at every moment walking through the game.

Silent Hill 2: Playstation 2: 2001
This one is just obvious, honestly, if you have yet to play this game you can’t actually call yourself a fan of survival horror, I’m pretty certain that it’s a law somewhere in Portland.
The game is a treat, and a horror, to play.  Everything is based around the neurotic mind of James Sunderland, one of the most well-built characters to exist in gaming.  The entire game is designed around his fractured mind, and it creates a deeply nuanced gameplay experience.
Pyramid Head is also possibly the most terrifying, and psychologically damaging, horror antagnists ever.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem: Gamecube: 2002
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be completely insane, I recommend playing the only good game Silicon Knights has ever made, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.

This game was so insane, that it had a meter to measure just how crazy your character was at any given moment, and that would cause different things, maybe a painting waving at you if you’re at ¾ths, or ghosts walking by you if you’re at ⅓.

However, this game did something different than anything else.  It broke the fourth wall so hard that it punched you in the face while you played.  It was actually simulating audio and visual glitches, to make you think that the game had just looped, or screwed up in some way or another, the first time was a harrowing experience.

Condemned: Criminal Origins: Xbox 360: 2005
While I’m not quite enraged at you for not having played this game, I’m not happy about it.  It was a fantastically made game, though it got a little bit easy near the end, it was quite well made.
It had a great feeling to it, in that it was a stealth game, where combat was clunky and difficult, meaning you dreaded even being near a combat situation.  It washed this feeling of horror over you, shock, terror, whenever you came across combat through your own fault, screwing up a stealth action.
At the climax, there is a brilliant scene of you trying to escape the Killer you trace through the whole game, through dimly lit hallways of a house, and if that doesn’t scare you then you may be immune to human feeling.

See, there’s a good lesson in this, mainly that the world is much better than you might think, if you look past what is being released today, and are able to get past graphics from the early 2000’s, you will find yourself enjoying all the beauty and fear that is innate in the survival horror genre.

Honorable mention goes to The Stanley Parable, but since it doesn’t count, really, as any genre, it was disqualified, but you should still download it on your PC right now, since it’s free.

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Horror From Beyond Time