Remember those awesome survival horror games on the playstation? Resident evil, Alone in the Dark, Fear effect, Silent hill and Dino crisis! Definitely my favorite game genre on the game console.
One of the key gameplay elements of a survival horror game is progressing through the game by exploring the environment and surviving dangerous obstacles and enemies. Important features that makes this game genre unique are:
A Scary atmosphere: A dark and interesting atmosphere combined with scary sound & music design.
Puzzles: Solving puzzles to progress to the next room, the player needs a sharp and clever mind to overcome innovative puzzles.
Getting Lost: You could often get lost, finding your way back on track was a key element of a survival horror game.
Making choices: So you can actually survive the game, like saving ammunition and health packs for bosses near the end.
Fixed Camera perspectives: The point of view was pre-set by the game designers. I really enjoined playing from different perspectives and for me this was more relaxing for the eye.
An actually interesting story: Survival horror games always offered a good story which kept the player driven.
So what happened to that exiting game genre?
Key features disappeared and the genre became more suited for casual gamers. The so called survival horror games these days look pretty scary but it’s not about surviving and exploring anymore. You don’t need to be smart or make clever choices, you only need a good aiming skill set and you finish the game in no time.
Lots of games these days are converted to shooters because marketing stats shows that first-person-shooters sell really well. The problem is that we get less diversity in our games and all games will eventually look, feel and play the same.