Survival Horror


Early this year, Bioware’s Mass Effect saga came to five year run. Rest aside the ending; the series is one of the most complete trilogies in video game history. There are two aspects that Mass Effect nails perfectly. The series was first to interweave choices all the way through the third and final installment captivating fans from start to finish. However, you can’t tell a great story if you forget to create the atmosphere for your game to breath in. The music in the game really doses shape Commander Shepard with it having one of the best scores in gaming, but do people notice? Do people look at soundtracks as a whole or as background noise?


Electronic Arts never fails to showcase a strong array of third-party titles for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as other consoles each year they attend E3.  Last year was a huge highlight between such games as SSX and Mass Effect 3, but what does the company have to lean on this year?  Well, besides big sports hits like Madden NFL 13 and the upcoming Overstrike from Insomniac Games, we’ve got a few ideas as to what the company should officially announce at the show.  With that, here are our suggestions…


There was something about the Fatal Frame games that was utterly spectacular.  The series, which ran on PlayStation 2 across multiple releases, raised some genuine scares while avoiding the pratfalls of most survival/horror games, arming you with a special camera rather than a powerful array of weaponry.  The concept worked quite well over the years, prompting Tecmo Koei to give it another shot, this time on the Nintendo 3DS with the mostly unrelated Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir.  It was a great idea, but from the first moment it tries to take advantage of the system’s built-in augmented reality, things fall apart rather quickly.


Over the weekend, Nintendo held an event at San Remo Hotel in San Francisco showcasing there upcoming handheld title, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. Spirit Camera is a new horror – themed game for the Nintendo 3DS, which integrates the 3DS, full capabilities into this horrifying adventure.


When Konami released Metal Gear Solid HD Collection over the holiday season, I was thrilled by the treatment they gave the classic games.  Sure, there was no sign of Metal Gear Solid, the game that started it all, but the other three – namely Peace Walker – were given the kind of respective revamping they truly deserved.  It made me excited for collections to come, particularly Zone of the Enders Collection, which is coming later this year.  In the meantime, here’s Silent Hill HD Collection, a game that brings back two of the more popular chapters in the series, redone for today’s gaming consoles.  While it’s sure to attract fans of survival horror, we can’t help but think that the scares are coming from the wrong place.


Deadly Premonition is one of those weird cases in the game industry.  There’s some stuff that just doesn’t make sense about it, and its production values aren’t as high as other games you’ll find on the market, but somehow you just can’t help but be mesmerized by what it has to offer within its strange little world.  It’s been a huge hit on Xbox 360, and now, according to news we’ve stumbled across at the Game Developers Conference, PS3 owners will soon get a turn.

If you went ahead and looked at the release schedule for 2012, you would notice that the entire year follows one particular theme - comeback. Franchises that haven't seen the light of day for years or even entire genres are making their way back for at least one more foray before this console generation concludes. We've already seen Twisted Metal bring the car combat genre into the fray, and even today marks the return of SSX. While it is nice to see these games come back after a long hiatus, there are other genres that could also use a comeback of their own.

Every Tuesday, Sony brings its PlayStation faithful new content, add-ons for your favorite games, Themes and avatars for your PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. Again another standard week of PSN goods you can get, but for the most part the main draw are going to be demos. Twisted Metal is finally going to hit store shelves and the fans of  the series will be eager to get their hands on the multiplayer demo now available.  


There's a rule of thumb that if you make a good survival horror game, you set the standard for what future types of games should follow -- and that's been proven with Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Dead Space and so forth.  But it's also said that an awful one can set its own standard, one that developers should avoid at all costs.  And sadly, we already have such a game two weeks in 2012 with AMY, a game that gets absolutely everything so wrong, dying seems like a better alternative.


When Dead Island came out a couple of months ago, it introduced gamers to an entertaining new splatterfest from a first-person perspective, and proved that all the hype the awesome trailer provided had a solid game behind it.  But it doesn't look like the development team at Techland is done yet.  Reports have indicated that a new trademark has been filed for an upcoming project called Dead World.  Sequel?


Tecmo's Fatal Frame series hasn't been given a fair shake as of late.  The announced Fatal Frame IV was denied a U.S. release, despite high demand for the title; and no new versions have been announced for other consoles as of yet.  There's still other titles to turn to, though, including a new 3DS clone that uses the device's cameras in a unique, inventive way.  And guess what -- the Fatal Frame team is working on it.