This is the time of year when I like to break out some of my favorite horror games to help get me in the mood for Halloween. This means games like Dead Space and Condemned 2 that have been collecting dust over the past year finally get some good use, and when I’m not engulfed in the comfy embrace of my Sumo Gigantor you can usually find me in the theatre watching whatever new horror film that just came out.
Now we’re in the thick of it, some of the first major holiday releases are here and I’m sure most of you would like to keep playing Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2 or whatever awesome new game you’re into right now but I’m going to ask that you step away from the game so you can get caught up on all the amazing things you’ve (probably) missed.
After watching Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth a couple dozen times I have faith that guy can do just about anything. He has the miraculous ability to create fantastical worlds that are uniquely his own and his emphasis on a great story and cast of characters would easily translate well to the realm of video games.
Del Toro isn’t new to the horror genre, having directed the truly unsettling horror film The Devil’s Backbone back in 2001, as well as having various roles in Mimic, Blade II, and The Orphanage. His style of horror isn’t the generic “loud sounds and cheap scares” approach, instead he goes for a… wow, I’m getting off on a tangent. Obviously, I’m a fan of his work and could gush for longer than you have the patience for, so I’ll stop there and just say that the idea of him diving into our geeky little world obviously has me a little excited.
Apparently, Del Toro has teamed with THQ to create a series of video games, one of which will be a Lovecraftian (for those unfamiliar, think Cthulu) horror title that won’t be appearing until around 2013. Now, with the possible exception of this game and BioShock: Infinite, I absolutely hate it when games that are several years off get announced. Mainly, there’s little point to revealing a game that we won’t be seeing much of for a few years, but again, there are a few exceptions and this is one of them.
So it’s a Lovecraftian horror game, but that could mean a lot of things these days. Is it more traditional survival horror like Silent Hill, or maybe more action horror like Dead Space, or is it more of an action/horror/comedy like Resident Evil? From the guy himself, “It’s horror…but it’s a very different type of horror game,” the director says. “It’s not survival horror. It’s truly a strange, geeky mix. It’s a Lovecraftian thing. Let’s leave it at that.” I think we can expect a completely different take on the genre we love, unfortunately it’ll likely be awhile before we see anything from the game.
In news I never saw coming, the planned than supposedly canceled sequel to the fantastic action/horror/mafia/shooter hybrid The Darkness might actually happen. The first game had its fair share of issues, most of which revolved around a bizarrely empty world (it takes place in a strangely unpopulated New York City) and an excess of the all too common ‘shoot this wave of enemies and proceed to the next area for another wave’ approach to level design. However, it’s solid gameplay, awesome Darkness powers, and amazing story and pacing more than made up for that.
Apparently, some of the issues are legal ones since the original developer Starbreeze Studios won’t be working on it that leaves the development to an as of yet unnamed studio. Fortunately, the fan demand is there and the first game did well enough to warrant a sequel so let’s just hope that publisher 2K gets their asses in gear and gives us The Darkness 2 quickly.
Try and retain your excitement for now because there are two reasons that make this potentially awesome news a little sad. First, Fatal Frame V is probably going to be Wii exclusive, since that’s the only platform it’s been announced for and that’s the same approach its predecessor took. Secondly, anyone outside Japan likely won’t see it.
I’m not sure what they’re thinking ruining the potential of one of horror’s best series by keeping it in Japan and exclusive to the Wii. I won’t bother trying to understand the decision, instead let’s try and stay positive (glass is half full, right?) Should we have the opportunity to play this next game, due out next year, there’s actually some good news in here.
There’s a chance that it’s a remake of arguably the best game in the series, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. Anyone who played the second game in the series probably recognized sisters Mio and Mayu Amakura from that game, and I’ll be honest here, if this is a remake I now have one more reason to move to Japan. Come on, Nintendo, have a heart and give us the game.
Yes sir! As another shining example of news I never saw coming, there’s rumors about that the controversially reviewed open-world horror title Deadly Premonition might actually become a series. I say ‘controversially reviewed’ because if you look at any review aggregator site you’ll see scores ranging from a glowing perfect score to an awful 2 out of 10, both of which came from highly respectable sites. I loved the game because it had some amazing dialogue, a great cast of characters, and it reminded me of some of the older horror games I’ve played. I may have given the game a positive review but I can certainly understand that it isn’t the type of game for everyone.
That actually brings up an interesting point, because the game received such mixed reviews will the second game (if it happens) cater to a wider audience? Granted, many of the issues reviewers, including myself, had with the game included dated visuals, bad animating, and other technical problems a small dev team might not be able to improve much upon. The unfortunately nicknamed SWERY has said he’s very interested in creating a sequel to the game, “if he gets a chance.” SWERY, you better set aside some time, I want to play Deadly Premonition 2.
Dead Space was, and still is, one of the scariest games I’ve ever played and I’m sure many gamers will agree. That made the announcement several months back that its sequel would be more action-packed than the original a little unnerving, since many assumed there would be less emphasis on horror in the second game.
Luckily, EA was able to take time out of their busy schedule to soothe our worries by confirming there won’t be a lack of scares in Dead Space 2. Instead, they simply meant there would be more action, not less thrills and chills, and improved pacing. I like the idea of more action with equal scares, and add on to that the Left 4 Dead style multiplayer that may or may not be well implemented, as well as the fact that Isaac actually talks in this game and January’s looking pretty damn sweet right now.