Fatal Frame Behind The Lens: Recalling A True Horror Classic
Fatal Frame is now available in downloadable form on the PlayStation Network as a PS2 Classic, and that's an appropriate label.
Back when horror was indeed horror (before the necessity for action in all products prompted a genre shift), Fatal Frame was frightening, thrilling and unique. And to celebrate its return, the PlayStation Blog played host to reminiscence and various thoughts from series director Makoto Shibata.
It's definitely worth a read. It's interesting to learn that the title was initially given the "Project ZERO" code name when the PS2 development tools first came out. Shibata had already worked on the Deception games (those with a focus on setting traps and surviving), and he wanted to create a "new, yet complex game system" that would broaden the player experience. So while the PS2 gave them the chance to create better graphics, the team took a different approach by keeping everything simple. They wanted to "reach out to players and them to feel things they cannot actually see on screen."
See, that's the crux of true fear, which developers of "horror" games (and movies) don't seem to understand today. Added Shibata:
"In other words, my experience of seeing things that weren’t actually there — or noticing abnormal things around me — were some of the fear factors I thought would appeal to the emotional side of the player, if we were able to embed them on top of the adventure side of the gameplay."
The PS2 hardware let the team recreate some of the ways he had experienced seeing "things" in real life, and he also cited Silent Hill as an extra influence. For true horror aficionados, remembering those days must be bittersweet because horror did indeed feel like a separate, distinct genre. Now, we mostly just have scary third-person shooters.
Related Game(s): Fatal Frame
5/1/2013 9:07:12 PM Ben Dutka