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Survival/Horror Rejuvenation: Proof That Gamers Were Heard?

Many gamers complain that developers and publishers don't listen to them.

But even if this is true - at least to some extent - it doesn't mean widespread complaints are being ignored by all designers. Perhaps a good example of this is the recent survival/horror resurgence.

We're starting to see more titles that actually fall into the pure survival/horror genre, a category that had been shifting more and more toward action. We don't know what happened to Silent Hill and Resident Evil simply isn't the franchise it once was (in terms of content, structure and quality). Therefore, those who crave the classic horror adventure have been pining for something new.

Well, they're kinda getting it. There are multiple examples of developers acknowledging this fanbase's desire for true survival/horror. Take the recently released and absolutely terrifying Outlast, for instance. All you've got is a camera and the will to live. Doesn't get more "pure" than that, right? Furthermore, later this year, we'll get the eagerly anticipated The Evil Within from original Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. Now, did he undertake such a project simply because he wanted to get back to his roots, or because he also noticed that there was a demand for that?

I think it's a combination of both explanations. And what about Daylight and DayZ? Okay, granted, there's more action involved in both, but they also contain very distinct elements of the once-ailing genre. Lastly, one should also point out an overlooked fact: The game many consider to be 2013's best, Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us, has distinct survival/horror elements. In fact, many will maintain that it's closer to an actual survival game than an action/adventure game. Last I checked, that production did very well.

Therefore, considering all this, isn't it safe to assume that complaints from gamers helped spark this mini-resurrection?

Tags: survival horror games, survival horror genre, scary video games

2/24/2014 10:21:45 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

556pineapple
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 10:44:32 PM
Reply

The Last of Us, to me, felt like more of a survival horror game that had great action sequences. Not as terrifying as the original Silent Hill or Resident Evil games, but it's a game that you definitely had to ration your supplies and ammo.

If any of you are PC gamers, the survival horror genre is thriving on there. Outlast is available on Steam as well, along with the Amnesia games (can't play them more than 30-45 minutes straight, as the the horror aspect is too stressful) and free games and mods such as Slender. I'm enjoying this rejuvenation very much.

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duomaxwell007
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 10:55:53 PM
Reply

I wouldnt call one game a "revival" (im sorry but i dont count those indie/pc game ports)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 10:59:45 PM

Outlast should count for anybody, it's top grade sh*t all around.

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SaiyanSempai
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 12:27:45 AM

I just couldn't get into Outlast, personally. It was ok, but why the trend of everything being from the first person view? Outlast and Daylight seem to take this route.

Hopefully The Evil Within will be more to my liking.

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Mdash0009
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 10:20:56 AM

@Saiyan, because first person doesn't let you see what's directly behind you, adding to the thrill/fear. I don't see what your problem with first person is.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 10:27:12 AM

Actually you can look behind you while you run and the lunatics pursue!

But there is a history of first person horror and it works quite well in these circumstances where you are there to feel the fear close up.

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SvenMD
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 1:08:29 PM

I agree that Outlast had to be first person - that's the only way to make it like you are in the game. Having those maniacs come directly at you and smack you in the face is absolutely terrifying and it just wouldn't work in the 3rd person viewpoint.

And running at a full sprint looking over your shoulder is quite fun!

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Draguss
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 6:27:32 PM

I don't know about outlast. I was actually able to finish that one, which would imply it gets less scary as it goes on. The first amnesia on the other hand was a waste of money for me because I am never finishing that or even bothering to reinstall. It's too bad that never got a console port.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 10:58:40 PM
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It's possible someone saw a hole and wanted to fill it, but it's probably just a coincidence or even developers are FPS/Actioned out.

Outlast really scratches the surv/hor itch and I'm gonna jump on Evil Within. I'd love to see Silent Hill return, Downpour had some great upshots but wasn't what it shoulda been.

I hope devs are paying attention to the, ahem, attention games like Bravely Default are getting and we can get a JRPG resurrection on too.

True turn-based JRPGs: the games you can continue to play calmly while the cat walks in front of your TV.

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berserk
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 5:02:28 PM

I hope so too , i miss turn base rpg so much ( finding it real hard not buying a 3ds just for bravely default ) .

So glad i got south park and child of light to look forward to at least .

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Knightzane
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 11:04:11 PM
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I would say its a little of both.

But no matter what it be, I'm just happy some true blue horror games are coming out. I really can't wait to see what else there's going to be.

It's been way to long since I was scared out of my mind by F.E.A.R 2.

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cLoudou
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 11:47:27 PM
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Great time to be a survival horror fan, a new Fatal Frame would be nice too.

Last edited by cLoudou on 2/24/2014 11:48:05 PM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 11:50:05 PM
Reply

yeah TLOU was a great survival(/horror)games and i loved it i think the genre is bk and alive and well on PC and playstation alteast the xbots are still shooter nuts

happy gaming =)

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 12:03:03 AM
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Survival Horror games have been all over the PC, it's about time PS4 is getting some love from those devs. It's the indie folks that have been bringing back the horror games not the mainstream companies.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 10:28:53 AM

We need those dudes like Red Barrels to show mainstream companies what's what.

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matt99
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 1:55:31 AM
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Outlast is freaking terrifying.

It's also so different from what we're used to that I have to make a conscious effort to change how I play since there is literally no combat. It's quite a nice change of pace.

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PC_Max
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 8:38:54 AM
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Survival/horror has been a love hate relationship for me. I was not a Resident Evil fan because really.. I did not find much horror with the games but it came down to just surviving... the game.

Silent Hill just freaked the heck out of me first time I played it. The was survival/horror at its best with a twisted, sometimes confusing story, that at times made me feel like I was safe, but knowing that death could be just around the corner or behind the door. Silent Hill 2, although shorter, continued the freaking out especially with the zombie-like nurses and the infamous Pyramid Head.

All of those above are fantasy themed. In other words, for me Silent Hill was a survival/horrow series but really no what I call realistic in real world terms. More ... cerebral like a really bad nightmare.

The Last of Us is a survival game, with some horror put in places expecially when dealing with clickers and bloaters and such. But majority of the game is pure survival. Whether human or infected. The thing is, Last of US is a survival/horror game but put in to realistic or real world environments where it could be possible that it could happen. Focus was more on character storyline and survival.

Needless to say, Last of Us is a breath of fresh air in a genre that has been lacking in years. Gore is fine with zombies if thats your thing, but its old.

Dead Space has an honorable mention as well. I like to refer to it as the Silent Hill in space.

Keep playing!

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Cole
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 9:36:20 AM
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Hmm.. I don't know.. I think developers are still struggling to find a balance between both the survival and horror elements.

A game like TLOU for example has good survival elements but too much action , lessening the impact of the horror.

Something like Outlast has good horror, but the combat free gameplay means survival ends up taking a back seat.

If the genre is going to come back in earnest, we need at least one solid entry that successfully combines both survival and horror.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 10:28:03 AM

That made no sense, the combat free gameplay means survival is the only thing that matters.

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Cole
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 1:14:20 PM

Survival refers to a struggle to stay alive. When you are completely defenseless ,as is the case in games like Outlast , that struggle is effectively removed from the equation. Without some means of fighting back, there is no survival. Which is why I think of those games as being strictly horror. Not survival horror.

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telly
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 3:54:40 PM
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I seriously cannot handle Outlast. And I'm tough! And I love horror games and movies! Short doses only.

And I'm still hoping for that Resident Evil reboot...

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