There are some gloomy times ahead, if you plan on picking up these light shunning games. Do you want to descend the stairs into never ceasing darkness, embrace your inner fear and face those abominations? Then keep on reading about some of what 2012 holds for the dark and fear searching gamer.
Resident Evil: Revelations
I have been a bit worried over the Resident Evil series’ development recently. From the exceptionally brilliant and perfectly mixed horror/action master piece Resident Evil 4 the series has gone on a downward spiral. Resident Evil 5 was quite good, especially if played with someone else, though the game had lost quite a lot in the nightmare department compared to the fourth iteration which was a pity. The coming Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City looks much like a typical shooter game with just the frame set in the same game world as the rest of the games. This path toward a more action oriented game is unfortunate, mostly because the market is already over full with action games and not so few of them have an underlying horror theme.
Now for the good and scary stuff! A game that promises to be scarier is on the way, namely Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS. From the information I have gathered about this game it seems to be less friendly to the player, for example ammunition will be scarce thus making every encounter a possible frightening nightmare when you cannot just pump the evil bastards with lead, but you must also think strategically or flee in utter horror.
The graphics of the game looks promising and the visual style is close to Resident Evil 4 and 5 (the game actually takes place between these two games). A small doubt about the small screen though, but if The Legend Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D can make me immersed on that small screen I have high hopes this game will achieve its goal; too give us the scary adventure we long for.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
The original Alan Wake game had a great story and it was nicely pieced together with a part from horror movies, a big part Twin Peaks and the final part a cool visual style. The action in the game was quite scary and is one of the few games where the actual fighting sequences themselves have given me some degree of the creeps. If you knew that the batteries were running low on your torch and someone was chasing you in the dark but you couldn’t figure out from which direct it might attack you then you had a pretty good setup for scary moments.
This new game, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, seems to be a bit more action-oriented still, which is a bit worrying; for as much as I loved the action sequences in the old one too much action is not good for a scary game. I hope they pay as much attention to the story in this one, but I have faith in Remedy Entertainment, the Finnish studio behind the Alan Wake games.
Metro: Last Light
A game that takes place in Moscow’s subway system, with almost no light and having most doors to the surface sealed, have a big chance of succeeding in sending shivers down the player’s spine. I have read the book that the game world and supposedly parts of the story is based on and if this game can capture a bit of the atmosphere from the book it will surely be claustrophobic and dark.
This is a sequel to Metro 2033, and although I have not played that game, I am really looking forward to this one. It will be interesting to see if they have been able to capture the feeling of complete isolation which the book gave life to; although in the fairly big place of Moscow’s subway system. A big challenge when making a dark game is how to display the darkness in a good way; surely you can just remove all light sources, but giving just enough light to constantly keep the player searching for new light sources and also “guard” the light sources that are around, is a tough task.
Even though this Metro: Last Light seems fairly, to be honest very, action oriented, from what I have seen it also looks quite scary and if they manage to give life to the environments from the book I for one will be visiting this dead forsaken sub terrain system.
Fear not: a report about more light and life caring games will come later!