Scary Video Games, What is Scary?

Posted by avatarSilenceOmo7 last updated March 6, 2007 at 11:04 am

Inspired by recent reviews saying Resident Evil 4 is way better than its predecesors, I was wondering what really makes a video game scary. The first 3 Resident Evils (and the games that branch from those games) are filled with lush and atmospheric environments and focus less on mowing down zombies and more on exploration and puzzles. While the atmospheric environments are still present in Resident Evil 4, there are very few puzzles and limited exploration. The fear in Resident evil dosen't come from triggered events that scare the crap out of you. It's the fear of what is in the next room, do I have enough ammo, am I going to be attacked the moment I go inside? Do you really need puzzles to enhance this kind of primal fear? I find Resident Evil 4 to be the better game (probably because I'm too stupid to beat a lot of the neccesary puzzles in Resident Evil 1) when it comes to freaking you out. I loved the new action oriented take they took for the series. I remember coutless times when I had used up all my pistol ammo on the chainsaw grandma, only to hear a scream from behind, turing around I found a large mob staring me in the face. I had no ammo. If running for your life isn't fear I don't know what is. Some people would say the puzzles and exploration make the first three Resident Evils much better. I guess what I'm trying to say is, which is scarier? Exploring a dark hallway filled with corpses and spring loaded traps, or being chased by zombies with nothing but a combat knife? Just to clarify, this discussion isn't about RE, but scary video games in general.