6 Horror Games And The Studios That Should Make Them!

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Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can bring new and interesting perspectives. When you look at the same thing for so long, it can get difficult to see its flaws, and while this can be said for many things, it’s especially true for video games. Getting a fresh perspective can be a great way to make sure a series stays engaging, to keep it from becoming stale and predictable. Franchises like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have each had games developed by studios other than the one that created them, and while the results have been a mixed bag, some of these partnerships have led to incredible games.

With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of six game developers that I think are universally great and matched them with a horror franchise I feel they could make an incredible game for. Check out my picks after the break, and feel free to comment with your own dream matches!

Ninja Theory – Silent Hill

I wish Vatra, the studio that developed the fantastic Silent Hill: Downpour could return to the franchise, but I can’t see that happening any time soon. I also don’t see Konami picking up the reins again, so that leaves us with the only other option: a new studio. My pick? Ninja Theory, of course, and here’s why.

When you think of the staples of the Silent Hill franchise, the visuals, music, and characters are the first things that come to mind, right? If games like Heavenly Sword, Enslaved, and DmC: Devil May Cry have proven anything, it’s that these departments are areas in which Ninja Theory excels. They’ve brought us some of the most beautiful games of this generation, colorful games that aren’t afraid to be vibrant and different.

I’m also a huge fan of their ability to create emotional, realistic characters.. Nariko and Kai, Monkey and Trip, Dante and Kat — their characters are unique and the relationships are genuinely interesting to follow. Of course, a Silent Hill game isn’t a Silent Hill game at all without twisted, nightmare-inducing creatures for you to fight, or perhaps more often, to run away from. Some of the enemies from DmC look like they could’ve been starred in a SH game. There’s one boss in particular that’s essentially a giant, bulbous baby monster with its mom attached to it by an umbilical cord. It’s gross, and awesome.

Naughty Dog – Resident Evil

This was a difficult pairing to make. I mean, on one hand, I’d like to see Capcom develop a good Resident Evil game, because they’ve proven more than capable of successfully rebooting their franchise before with Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately, I don’t think Capcom understands horror as well as they did ten, or even five years ago. The “scares” in Resident Evil 6 are sloppily set up and the characters aren’t interesting enough for me to care about them.

This is why I believe Naughty Dog could very easily be the dream studio to breathe new life into Capcom’s ailing franchise. For one, as they’ve proven over and over again in the Uncharted trilogy, they understand action. They understand spectacle. They also know how to make simple characters interesting. Nathan Drake isn’t particularly deep, I mean, he’s supposed to be a likable guy, and I might’ve been able to fall for that if he didn’t spend a majority of the game murdering hundreds of men. The Uncharted games are serious, but they have a light side, and adventurous side. Resident Evil needs that.

Arkane Studios – Condemned

First off, if you haven’t played Dishonored, you should really get on that already, because once you do you won’t even need to read this to know why Arkane would make an intensely good Condemned game.

In case you didn’t know this already, Arkane already has some experience in the horror genre, as they were the studio behind the cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 4, better known as Return to Ravenholm. When I imagine what RtR could’ve played out like, the images that come to mind are very similar to Condemned. Dark alleys, tall buildings obstructing a night sky, visceral in-your-face combat, an ear-piercing scream that comes from somewhere, but you can’t tell where… that would’ve been great, right?

Arkane made one of the best first person games of the year; they understand how your character should move, how they should fight. At its core, Condemned is a first person brawler. Whether you’re beating down crazed hobos, malevolent ink monsters, whatever — if it didn’t feel good to slam that guy/thing’s face into the wall before you curb-stomped it (for good measure), then it wouldn’t have been a good game. Dishonored has many of the same mechanics, and more than that, it had a brilliantly crafted world that was full of details and stories that only the most observant players would’ve noticed.

Grasshopper Manufacture – F.E.A.R.

Admit it, F.E.A.R. is wacky as hell. It started out serious and gruesome, but that was back in 2005, and since then, you could say it’s gone off the rails. A pregnant psychic chick whose contractions send shockwaves throughout an entire city? Your dead, superpowered brother who helps you out even though with that velvety voice of his he’s be better suited as a radio host? The weird hell monsters that enter the real world via some sort of hell dimension? The soldiers who have technology that allows them to use lightning to teleport in reinforcements? If you had listed those back in 2009 and told me they’d appear in the next F.E.A.R. game, I would’ve asked if you had F.E.A.R. confused with a Platinum Games title before burning you at the stake for being a time witch.

The whole “creepy unkillable little girl with the black hair draped over her face” bit was inspired by the Onryō, a terrifying legend taken from Japanese folklore, so why not give it to a developer that understands those legends better so we can try and make Alma scary again? Now she’s just a creepy rapist — yeah, in case you forgot or your mind tried to block it, she forces herself on you in Project Origin. Grasshopper loves making strange, yet somehow brilliant games, and they’ve even tackled the horror genre, albeit lightheartedly with Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw.

Telltale Games – Alone in the Dark

Telltale Games made The Walking Dead: The Game, and while I’m sure you’re well aware of this by now, I loved that game. I don’t know what they’re planning on digging into next, outside of an all-but-confirmed second season of TWD, but I’d very much like to offer an idea: how does an old-school Alone in the Dark game sound? The last game wasn’t very good, but I don’t want to see the forefather of the survival horror genre to fade into obscurity (though, sadly, I think that’s already happened) and I know a studio like Telltale would do amazing things with the series.

I imagine it’d play much like their Walking Dead game. Hell, I’d even prefer a digital-only episodic structure, the latter of which the failed reboot introduced to the series back in 2008. There wouldn’t be an emphasis on combat, it’d be more about story, survival, and exploration — all things Telltale does extraordinarily well.

Honorable Mention: A Telltale developed Clock Tower, and much like Alone in the Dark, I’m talking about the original Clock Tower. You know, the one where you’re helpless and being chased by a mad man with an horrifying pair of shears.

Remedy Entertainment – Fatal Frame

Honestly, what I want from Remedy is a sequel to Alan Wake, and I want that right now. However, I’d also take a Remedy-developed Fatal Frame. Remedy did something really interesting with its Alan Wake series by turning something as simple as light and making that the basis for a video game. Light plays an important role in every aspect of Alan Wake, from the story (light vs dark/good vs evil) to the combat (flashlights, flares, the darkness shrouded possessed townfolk, etc.). If any studio can turn Fatal Frame’s major element, the camera obscura, and make it interesting, it’s Remedy.

But seriously, Remedy: give me Alan Wake 2.

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.

 
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000031803851 Gavin Dobbs

    You know… once you get past the entire “nostalgia” thing on the Ninja Theory produced DmC… it’s actually a pretty damn good game. Much better than 4 or 2. I’d say 3 still ranks as the best, 2 for introducing us to Dante, and then DmC for the reboot of awesomness.

    But yeah, I’d totally do a NJ Silent Hill. Gods know the the Nurses already fit their MO. //ducks

    • Adam Dodd

      Agreed. DMC3 was amazing, though personally, I prefer the reboot over them all. I’ll admit that’s mostly because I’m awful at these types of games and this one wasn’t quite as punishing as its predecessors.

      • zaglewiz

        DMC3 Punishing my ass!!! That game was the Antichrist of hardcore games and is the reason I’ve went bald. When you threw that one on Hardcore it wasn’t fucking around. I literally on the normal difficulty had to replay the first level over, and over, and over again just to level up to even progress in that game.

  • Blood-Sicles

    Konami has officially given Kojima the option to produce the next Silent Hill, so I’m torn. Ninja Theory is pretty awesome, but I’d murder to see a Silent Hill run on that sexy Fox engine.

    • Se_7_eN

      I too am really hoping Kojima san decides to work on the next Silent Hill.
      He did state about a month before being asked how “I don’t like being thought of as the Metal Gear guy. There’s a lot more I can do.”

  • Se_7_eN

    Adam your articles are really picking up. Nice work, these would all be great to see!

    I don’t know about Ninja Theory and Silent Hill though… I would personally like to see what Mercury Steam or From Software would do with it. (If Kojima declines.)

    • Adam Dodd

      Aww, shux. I have NO problem with a From Software developed Silent Hill game, I didn’t even think of that! I feel the same way should Kojima decide to tackle the series, that’d be nothing but good news.

  • AfterTheAsylum

    Without a doubt in my mind, my choices for Silent Hill would be Quantic Dream or SCE Japan (Team ICO). I think Quantic would make an amazing, amazing SH title. For Resident Evil, I think Naughty Dog would make a great RE title, but it would continue the stylized action path. I’d much prefer Redwood Shores/Visceral.

    • Adam Dodd

      I’m hitting myself for not giving a game to Quantic Dream, I have full faith in them after the fantastic Heavy Rain (Beyond looks great too). As for Team ICO, they need to hurry up with The Last Guardian. It’s been quiet for so long, I’m afraid it might’ve been canned.

      • AfterTheAsylum

        Last Guardian will come out. I think that the departure or Ico’s head heavily delayed it. I’m pumped for Beyond: Two Souls. Quantic Dream is so talented and they truly know how to make deeply emotional games. Quantic doing SH would be earth shattering. Hell, could you imagine Quantic doing Rule of Rose or Haunting Ground? I actually wish Capcom would buy the rights to Nightmare Creatures and Cold Fear.

  • spartan87

    Naughty Dog should absolutely not make a Resident Evil game. To be honest, for all the reasons you listed it should Adam lol. Not trying to be an ass, but the series doesn’t need more action, humor and spectacle. I think the series needs to get gritty, dirty, and terrifying. Less explosions and more tension. Leon’s campaign in RE6 started off on the right foot, but quickly started to deteriorate. As it is the series suffers from Michael Bay syndrome and it’s heartbreaking cause I’ve been a fan of the series from the beginning.

    • ThunderDragoon

      THANK YOU! While I was reading the RE part on this article I was thinking to myself, “Really, Adam?” While I usually agree with him, I STRONGLY disagree on his decision to pair up Naughty Dog and RE. Just as you said, it needs to get gritty, dirty, and terrifying. It needs to AVOID more action. I think isolation is a big key and they need to bring that back to the series.

      • Adam Dodd

        That hurts, ThunderDragoon, it really does. I’m a fragile butterfly, you all know I can’t handle people disagreeing with me.

        I totally understand your reservations with my choice for Resident Evil, but because you two are my fav BD readers (don’t tell anyone I told you that), I’m going to defend it.

        For starters, pure horror Resident Evil is no more. It just doesn’t sell as well as Capcom wants it to, so a purely horror installment in the main RE series (RE1-6+) won’t ever return to the series roots. Action horror is where it’s at.

        This brings me to my next point: have you seen what Naughty Dog is doing with The Last of Us? It’s one of the grittiest and most intense looking games I’ve ever seen. It’s beautiful, unique, has an interesting cast of characters — a partnership too, which would fit with RE’s new direction — and even has zombies (sort of).

        Would I like a survival horror Resident Evil? HELL YES I would. Will Resident Evil 7, which is practically guaranteed to be another reboot of the franchise, be a survival horror game? Not a chance.

        So yeah, that’s why I went with Naughty Dog.

        xoxo
        Adam

        • spartan87

          Ok, touche sir. Don’t get me wrong. I love Naughty Dog, they have impressed me for many years. With The Last of Us on the horizon I can see where you are coming from. But to be honest I can’t really say how they did on it until I’ve played it and can make an informed decision. As you’ve said,(and are dead on about)as long as the series stays with Capcom it’s just going to be a cash-in rehash for every new number they add. For this reason I really dislike Capcom. They’ve given up on what RE originally was about in favor, as I said earlier, of the Michael Bay treatment.

          • spartan87

            PS, I think Gearbox should have a shot at a horror game. But maybe I’m alone in this

  • coldblood

    I always thought that Rob Zombie would be a great director for MANHUNT. And let Lionsgate be the studio.

  • coldblood

    I can’t be the only person who thought MANHUNT was awesome.

    • Adam Dodd

      The first was fun and creepy as hell, but I wasn’t really a fan of the second.

  • mav07

    Bioshock needs to be made, by someone with the funds and the balls to give it a hard R. But thats probably never going to happen.

  • death_by_kebab

    Ninja Theory could make an excellent Silent Hill. I’d dare say if those two bands in DmC – their names escape me now – could do some industrial metal fusion or whatever it was then I’m sure they could capture the terrifying soundscape of silent Hill. Going by what I’ve seen of their work in only DmC, their cut scenes are gorgeous and detailed – to the point where they come alive and you see the slightest twitch of the eye or frown or so on. Imagine that in a psychological horror like Silent Hill. I’m down.

    I think Remedy should tackle Alone in the Dark – they’re right at home with that light vs dark hokum (but it’s a good sort of hokum) and Quantic Dream should hit Fatal Frame, seeing as though that’s about siblings, isn’t it?
    I’ve never played it but I believe they could infuse the horror and flesh out the drama between siblings and make their choice-game in that world.
    All this talk of Quantic just makes me eager for Beyond:Two Souls.

  • coffinbirth

    Have you tried Resident Evil: Revelations? it’s a bit more of a return to form for fans of the older games. It’s slated to be ported over to the consoles sometime this year. There is still hope for good RE games in the future if that is any indication.

  • SIRENfan92

    Ninja Theory could make an awesome Silent Hill. Seeing that DmC was great and the idea of converting SH’s cut-scenes into that of HD quality like in DmC, I would love to see what they can come up with, especially monster-wise. I would love to see Quantic Dream try out Fatal Frame or Silent Hill or even Siren! The graphics from Heavy Rain were great and the story kept you guessing until the very end, which was awesome. So the idea of having that put into an infamous horror franchise such as Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, or Siren is just freaking awesome.
    But I’m mainly focusing on seeing a new SIREN in the works.