Maybe The "Old" Survival/Horror Is Dead
Survival/horror aficionados are all saying the same thing, which essentially amounts to the following- "The genre needs to return to its roots."
That's the gist of what most fans are saying, while some admit that adaptation may be essential. But even those in the latter group think games claiming to be "survival/horror" need to be something more than just scary third-person action games. Even so, maybe that simply isn't possible anymore.
Look, video games have gone mainstream. We have to accept that. And when we do, we must further accept that developers and publishers must produce games that appeal to the masses, to the majority of gamers out there. It's what movie makers have to do and unfortunately, there's a general rule of thumb to follow- Faster + Dumber = Successful. Sadly, that is indeed the domain of the mass consumer, which is why the flashiest movies with the least substance typically top box office ticket sales. Thankfully, we've got a lot more than just Call of Duty that sells copies in the game world, but let's face it, nothing is close to CoD.
The bottom line is that a "true" survival/horror game might fail. You can't make it as slow as the classic Resident Evil or Silent Hill titles. The majority of people today have the attention spans of gerbils (thanks, "information technology" age) and they just can't handle such a slow pace, regardless of the thrill payoff. That being said, I do believe there are enough veteran horror fans out there who might support such an effort, but it would have to be on the smaller budget scale. If it's big-budget and it needs to sell millions of copies, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator (most times). And so, Dead Space 3, Resident Evil 6, etc.
I'm certainly not saying those were bad games; I'm just saying they're the new iterations of what we deem as "horror." Now, everyone is hoping Shinji Mikami's freaky The Evil Within will bring back the good ol' days. I hate to burst the optimist's bubble, but this won't happen. All you can hope for is a solid fusion of sorts, and Mikami might be able to pull that off. He has to keep the game moving at a pace that might resemble an action game, but the atmosphere must also deliver. The masters of terror have always understood that what lurks within the recesses of the human mind is always a hundred times scarier that what we can put on a screen. If Mikami understands this, the game could be a fantastic hybrid.
But the days of wandering around with a piece of wood trying to fend off the occasional baddie in Silent Hill...? Those days are over. It might work in the indie scene but if it's a big-budget production, "faster and dumber" must unfortunately be embraced in at least some small capacity.
4/21/2013 10:10:41 PM Ben Dutka