We all can agree that survival horror gaming hasn’t really been living up to the potential we all expect especially after the immense uptake in the genre through the late 90s and early 2000s. Videogame franchises such as the Resident Evil series decided to try to venture into a more action orientated path with Resident Evil 5 and 6, and the whole shot at eSports with Umbrella Corps was pathetic. Yes, Resident Evil put out a game that was meant to become an eSport, and very few people remember it because it was so bad. However, with the recent resurgence in games such as The Evil Within and the newly reinvigorated Resident Evil 7 have exhausted a fresh breath of air into a genre that has taken the backseat to the action heavy videogames the newer generation of gamers become so found of. Therefore, I want to try to promote a way in which I personally think the best can be brought out in a horror survival game.
I know I have brought it up nearly a dozen times on the site and podcast Not Another Gaming Podcast , but I will forever defend the belief that a TellTale gamesesque form of a horror game is the best application. The Walking Dead brings forth the inherent terror of a zombie apocalypse, The Wolf Among Us has delved into the fantasy background of the Brothers Grimm, but why haven’t we seen a full blown monster movie TellTale Game? I’ve mentioned how I think John Carpenter’s The Thing would make for an amazing game in this style, but even beyond that, take A Nightmare On Elm Street for instance. What is a better way to craft a game around that mythos than with a beautifully cell shaded, narratively driven episodic series where your decisions in each episode effect the outcomes of the following episodes. For example, say in Episode 1, you and a group of friends have the same nightmare and show up to school the next day and explain it to each other, you might have to try to convince one of your friends that there is something bigger than just a coincidence at play here. If you don’t achieve it, maybe that person dies at the ends of Episode 1. I think it would be brilliant to create a protagonist view swapping segment in the game where you take the viewpoints of each person in the group. At the end of Episode 1, you take the viewpoint of one member in the group where you have to make split second decisions to stay awake, as you’re slowly nodding off and slipping in and out of consciousness Freddy Kreuger starts tearing apart the bed sheets. As your sanity dwindles, the time to make decisions to stay awake shortens and if you ultimately fail, you fall asleep and end up in the Dream World. Episode 1 ends, and you pick right back up in Episode 2. Your decisions effect who survives in the end, and how each member of the group views each other, kind of like the team dynamic in the Mass Effect series.
To go even further with what I want to see in a new form of horror survival game is to take the narrative driven story telling from a TellTale Game and implement it into the actual survival mechanics in a game such as Resident Evil 7. Let’s all toss on some lab coats and craft piece together a Frankenstein’s monster for this game. We take the narrative driven story from TellTale Games, the survival mechanics and resource management from Resident Evil 7, throw in the view point swapping like in GTA V, and add the decision making consequence system from Mass Effect. It can honestly be made in any visual style necessary really. This can also be implemented into any previous horror franchise that is due for a good, updated videogame adaptation. There you have it folks, Dr. Bob Frankenstein’s hopes and dreams for a well crafted horror videogame we all need in our lives. Let me know in the comments what Horror franchise you would want to see make a videogame comeback or in what style you’d want to see it.