I am a huge fan of horror games, but tend to punk out when I am playing all by myself. You clench your teeth, dreading to walk into the other room with uncertainty of what’s coming next. If you’re anything like me, you pause the game right before you feel a big event coming on, the adrenaline begins to build up in your body and you start feeling the anxiety. In my opinion, this feeling is one of the main reasons why I enjoy survival horror games.
There are different types of horror games, but nothing seems to affect me as strongly as a single player, first-person horror game. Silent Hill and Resident Evil are my two favorite series when it comes to horror games and I’ve always wondered what it will feel like if I had played the older games with someone by my side. Lately, I noticed the Resident Evil games haven’t been as scary for me because of the co-op/multiplayer option. I’m intrigued to see if there is any horror game that can pull off co-op and still scare the crap out of gamers. There are a few out there, but can they make your hair stand up as much as playing Silent Hill by yourself in a pitch black room on the highest volume?
There were some times during my Alan Wake experience where I wished that I could have let someone take my place online so that I could still watch the game even if I’m too terrified to continue. This would have helped a lot but playing with someone else might have taken away the core experience of the horror game. I believe the reason why game developers have not followed through with adding multiplayer mode to most horror games is because these games were never intended for that mode. The idea of mixing multiplayer with horror sounds a bit crazy but could it ever be accomplished?
A few years ago, Konami decided to give it a shot by adding multiplayer to Silent Hill: Book of Memories. The reviews concluded that the game was recognized as an adventure game rather than horror. Will there ever be a day where we can play a game like Fatal Frame with another player and still be afraid to go further in the game? I would like to see someone pull off a horror game with multiplayer, other than infected/zombie games, and still have the ability to terrify the players. According to Steve Papoutsis, producer of the Dead Space series, co-op and horror is possible. Papoutsis quotes during an interview with PlayStation.Blog:
I also think there’s a lot more to horror than things just popping out at you. There’s the atmosphere, the sound, the events, the things that you see in the environment – those all have different impacts on people. You can still have all that when you have two people walking around the environment.”
Maybe it is possible, but who can pull it off other than Dead Space?
Do you believe the gaming industry will try to introduce multiplayer options to more horror games or does it defeat the purpose of enjoying the experience knowing that you’re not alone? The idea is intriguing, but could it ever be pulled off successfully?
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