In your opinion, what are the "main ingredients" to any horror game?
Horror games are supposed to be one of the most immersive and obviously the scariest or unnerving experience out of all the genres. But what makes a game particularly scary, in your opinion?
For me it has to be fluent control (I hate tank controls, as they're not needed to be scary - see Amnesia), amazing voice acting, spectacular story and storytelling, a sense of helplessness (no weapons, only running and hiding) and most importantly, an eerie soundtrack that will haunt you for weeks to come.
I completely agree about the clunky control thing. I hate when a game uses that for cheap scares. I should be afraid because of the danger, not because I'm uncertain if my character will turn in the right direction. For me, a good horror game is all about atmosphere. It's the thing I remember most when looking back on them. When I think of Eternal Darkness, I always remember the church level with brother Francis (I think that was his name). I referred that chapter "monk with a mace". Between the old style cathedral, the rain outside, and the spooky coverup, it stuck with me for years to come. I even wrote a book that was inspired by that game.
I also remember Resident Evil 4 fondly for its dirty, middle of nowhere town. That sequence where you and two other characters try to barricade yourselves into a house is instantly horrifying and memorable. Not to mention a head shot in that game made things worse!
And the last horror game I played with a strong atmosphere was Alan Wake. From the first moments of that game I felt like I was in that tiny lakeside town. Walking into a shadow always got my pulse going.
Atmosphere and suspense are the most important aspects of a truly eerie and haunting horror game, I think!
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