One important genre for me in gaming is horror. I love the idea that something can immediately make me feel something, fear even if it usually only shocks and scares. I can always rely on it to thrill me instantly if it is expressed in unique and fun ways. When it is conveyed to you in a way you can genuinely react to, it can cause you to feel many different kinds of fun! Whether it is causing you to rush away from an ambush by monsters or villains in the game, or being forced to sneak up to resources and risk harm. After playing Resident Evil 4 Remake multiple times upon its release, I wanted to talk about the fun I have with horror games.
Horror and the Themes that holds Me
One thing I love about horror games is the themes they rely on. It’s so fun to play games like Silent Hill, which relies on the psyche of the main characters to create a unique experience. In all of the franchise, unique and amazing monsters are created using these themes.
The designs in most of the games in the franchise always surprise me, as well as how well they build off of the themes in each game. I love how masterfully each game focuses on the designs, as things like these add so much to the themes attached to them. This can make a chase scene exciting or a dramatic moment impactful. These kinds of things can bring out so many emotions just from the theming behind all of the designs to create great moments. Now, on to gameplay.
Backroom Gameplay that Excites Me
One example of fun horrific gameplay to me was “The Backrooms 1998,” which I reviewed here. Developed and produced by Steelkrill Studios, this game relied not only on themes but also on gameplay designed to scare you into screaming, as making too much noise would cause the main monster to track you down! “The Backrooms 1998” has randomized jump scares that make every playthrough different, so you can never predict what will happen beyond a few scripted events. The developers put in very immersive ways to scare and terrify anyone who plays their game, from hearing ghosts and monsters whispering in your ear to being screamed at by other monsters. All of this cohesively comes together, making not only the game mechanics a focus but also your mental strength to not scream on a mic and alert the monster.
Music and it’s Undertones
Some of the music in horror games can enhance much of the experience that you and I can love in horror games. One such game is Resident Evil 1, whether it’s the remake or the original, it has good choices of songs. One example from RE1 is “Cold Water,” which is a very uneasy and subtle melody. It plays on your paranoia while you try to avoid harm and need to use resources you barely have. I feel like some horror games require more of this. Even in a silent game, the subtle noises or tunes you hear add so much to the fun. Even better is when the music sounds like noises, to the point where you can’t tell if something is near or if it’s just an instrument playing on your nerves. That being said, let’s talk about an example that combines these factors.
Little bit of Horror in Everything
Little Nightmares 2 is one game that applies all that I’ve expressed in this article so far in nice amounts. It has great thematic expression, very good monster designs, and nice music that builds subtle tension. All of this is shown to you, never told, which adds to the fun and surprises. Literally everything is only shown and experienced; if you blink, you miss much of the fun. Topped with good, simple music and fun environments, you can only look at the art style in awe or savor the thrilling scares and fun chases as you try to escape. It also has set pieces that captivate me in more ways than one. Now, for my final thoughts on these views I have.
I’ve loved a lot of horror games ever since I played some on my PS1. I enjoy playing Clock Tower 3, Silent Hill 2 and 3, and many other games on multiple consoles and platforms! Each one offers tons of fun variety in style, art, music, and gameplay. It’s never a bad experience unless I have a game with bad game design. Everything expands my tastes to where I just have fun and new experiences to get excited over. I’ve also been exposed to many great franchises, as well as indie horror games like Claytown Horror and The Mortuary Assistant, and many other fun games. I hope that some of these, and many other games, have captivated you as the reader too! That said, if you enjoyed my opinion piece, feel free to check out more here.