Well, Halloween is slowly approaching. Soon, the streets will be swarming with kids in spooky costumes demanding sweets and people will jump at the sound of a doorbell just in case they’re not greeted by one dressed up as a werewolf. I jest of course as Halloween is a tradition enjoyed by many and can also be classed as a celebration of the Horror genre. Take games for example. In almost every console there has been an adaptation of a Horror film or a game that uses the genre and while I don’t like watching or playing Horror games and films because I am a scaredy-Yoshi who just falls apart at even a simple jump-scare, even I understand how important the genre has been in video-games.
There have been many game series that use the genre like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Amnesia and new games like Until Dawn and The Evil Within still fly the flag today and that’s because people love playing them. Like it or not, Horror games have a tendency to hook people in and keep them there until they freak out and stop playing and then end it playing it again after a while. A good example of this is Alien: Isolation as you not only have to survive in a abandoned spaceship while only using the stuff you can find including weapons but while knowing that a single alien is crawling around too, hunting you down while you helplessly hide in lockers, vents and basically doing anything to get to the escape pod so you can get the hell out of there.
One of the first known games to give the player a sense that they are not alone is 3d Monster Maze, a Spectrum ZX81 game where the only objective was to escape a randomly generated maze while moving around in a first person perspective. However you are made aware that something else is in the maze as well and is hunting you down and the only clues you have to its position are statements depending on how far away you are from it, “it” being a Tyrannosaurus Rex. While the game pales in comparison to other Horror games the game was a smash hit and is still classed as one of the scariest moments in gaming when you first see the T-Rex appearing when you didn’t expect it, even scaring the programmer Malcolm Evans himself when he was testing the code!
Another reason why Horror games are thriving is because of jump-scares. I personally hate them as I tend to jump at anything but its why games like Outlast, Resident Evil and many more have been successful. After all, Resident Evil had a jump scare that was really memorable and even Tomb Raider featured one. Of course its not wise to overuse jump-scares and some games have been known to do just that but just enough in a Horror game can add to the experience and if you happen to be watching someone play a Horror game, it can also be humorous as well.
Overall, Horror in gaming will always be present in some form and it will continue to scare the crap out of people because well, its what the Horror genre does so well. Of course when it comes to me and Horror games I tend to stay as far away from them as I can and wont even watch them being played as its not my cup of tea to be honest. However like I said before I can see why its become a big part of gaming and even if you’re not a Horror fan like me, you can still respect how much the genre has benefited gaming.