Quite a lot goes into making a video game these days. It’s changing, gradually, but we’re still firmly in an era of excess. The average video game can take years to make and tens — or even hundreds — of millions of dollars to finish. The standard is unsustainable, and more than that, it’s unnecessary.
The quality of a game doesn’t depend on the amount of time and money that’s invested in it, and it distracts from what’s actually important.
For horror video games, this can be any number of things. I can appreciate impressive visuals as much as the next guy, but that appreciation falls short of what I consider to be more important, such as an atmospheric setting, strong storytelling, memorable characters and frightening enemies.
That last one is an especially crucial thing for developers of horror games to get right, since being scared of a game that fails in this area is damn near close to impossible. Of the games that have been really successful in this over the years, Alan Wake stands tall, like a tower of light that’s been surrounded by darkness. Almost like… well, you get the point.
Now let’s talk about those monsters.