Category Archives: Horror Done Right

Horror Done Right: Resident Evil: Code Veronica as Perfect Cult Horror

I may be the only one in the world who thinks this, but I’m just going to say it: Resident Evil: Code Veronica is one of my favourite games. (I expect RE6 will take its place, but nostalgia and Claire Redfield are … Continue reading

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Horror Done Right: Alan Wake, Language, and Control

by Kyle Carpenter Alan Wake is an interesting game, one that received largely favourable reviews from critics but never seemed to quite find its audience. When people criticize the game, it is largely because of gameplay issues; most laud the … Continue reading

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Horror Done Right: Being Gordon Freeman

by Karl Parakenings “…His figure is synonymous with the darkest urges of instinct, ignorance, and decay. Some of the worst excesses of the Black Mesa incident are laid directly at his feet. And yet, some continue to imbue him with … Continue reading

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Horror Done Right: Identifying The Player in System Shock 2

by Karl Parakenings These days, it’s probably better known as the spiritual influence behind the Bioshock series, but in its heyday it was one of the first 3d games that used the technology for immersion and tension instead of showing off hardware. The first game, the eponymous System Shock, detailed the creation of a rogue AI gone bad, SHODAN, who was so evocative that she now serves as the shadow behind many of gaming’s better-known moments and villains. In the second game, you are given the choice of defining your character, up to a point: after walking into a recruitment centre on Earth, you’re asked to run through a series of training programs related to the tours of duty you’ve chosen. You can become a marksman, a psionic expert, or hacker par excellence, and after running through your training regimens, you’re sent off to the Von Braun for a supposedly-routine Continue reading

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Horror Done Right: Horror as a Pejorative

“…there are all these games in which your health regenerates after a while but they aren’t about finding shelter or moving from one point of cover to another. they’re just there because they’re cruft that’s been accumulated. a lot of what contemporary video games are is the accumulation of that cruft. it’s all borrowed material that’s been completely divorced from its original context. we’re not looking carefully at our history, we’re just taking the shiny thing and running with it.” -Anna Anthropy, interviewed at ctrl-alt-defeat May 1st, 2012 A great deal has been made lately of ‘evoking emotions in players’ by game developers and the writers who love the games. The recent Lone Survivor by Jasper Byrne spends a fair bit of time trying to get under your skin in familiar ways. Players commonly remember Silent Hill 2 and 3 as the last great horror games, with pretenders such as F.E.A.R. and Continue reading

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