Subcutaneous Magazine Issue 1 - Page 59

Cut to Bits Video Game reviews by Carrington Opper Any true horror aficionado knows that a great horror video game can bring you to a level of fear that most books and movies just can't. In a horror video game, you're not just spectating, you are experiencing it! When we think about the genre, game series such as "Resident Evil" or "Silent Hill" may immediately come to mind and bring a chill down your spine from that first time you picked up the controller. And while these game series are beloved, the amount of sequels, spin-offs, shitty films, or in the unfortunate case of Silent Hills and the spiritual successor "Allison Road" being cancelled, may be lessening the scare future releases can produce. This is disheartening. For those of us who are looking for legitimate horror without it being just cheap jump-scares ("Five Nights at Freddy’s"), a movie tie- in (other than "Alien:Isolation"), or the addition of a zombie mode (every fucking game made in the last 10 or so years), original ideas being matched with decent gameplay is becoming scarce. Luckily, I may know of a few games whose atmosphere and game play can keep you up all night! 5. Zombi/ZombiU Zombie games are a dime a dozen, and most are set apart only by a shitty gimmick. While the usage of a PDA for inventory management is that gimmick, it is a smart and welcomed feature which, for the most part, was implemented pretty well. Another cool feature of "Zombi" is that if your character dies, you spawn as a new individual, waking up in the safehouse and, depending on what killed their predecessor, have to fight the now zombified version of your last survivor in order to get items back. The game uses the now industry standard crafting system to improvise new weapons, and you'll need them -- because a single bite from a Zombie, and your character is dead! For those of you who loved the concept of "Dead Island" or "Dying Light" and wanted a darker and more isolated/claustrophobic experience, "ZombiU/Zombi" is the game for you. If you're going to get this game, I suggest the WiiU or PC versions over PS4 or Xbox One, because zombies don't stop just because you're looking through inventory. Honerable mentions for Zombie games: "Left4Dead" (If online multiplayer is your need), "All Zombies Must Die" (Spiritual Successor to "Zombies Ate My Neighbors"),"DayZ" (an amazingly ambitious open world PC surivival game which strives for realism with the Arma Engine. Please note that it is technically incomplete and as of now PC, but plans to release console versions have been released). 4. Outlast Most horror games give us characters who are capable of fighting back, and in some cases by the end of the game, become a walking army. How is being armed to invade a small country by yourself, while possessing super powers, supposed to make us scared? A lot of the suspense from "Silent Hill" came from your character not being a trained soldier, or in "Resident Evil," where ammo was scarce, and inventory was limited. "Outlast" takes this helplessness to a whole new level! In "Outlast," you can only run and hide from your pursuer, as your only light source and aid comes from a dying Handicam. While this game is jump-scare heavy, its atmosphere and helplessness quickly turn suspense into terror. Failure to deliver: "The Evil Within" (while providing creepy visuals and at times a frantic and suspenseful section, the less than engaging and convoluted storyline, along with shitty controls, leaves for a confusing, and disappointing experience. *Opinions may vary) 3. F.E.A.R (Series) While helplessness can help paint a foreboding atmosphere, sometimes the unknown can make all your training and equipment little more than your childhood blanket. In "F.E.A.R," a paranormal entity makes her presence known throughout the game in a variety of unsettling ways, and did I mention she's a little girl? Why are paranormal kids so fucking creepy? If you are going to purchase this game, the PC version is your best option. The PS3 version has heavily downgraded graphics, which makes the game look like it was made with leftover polygons from "Goldeneye." Spectral Specialties: "Luigi’s Mansion" and "Ghostbusters" (newer games for 360/PS3, the European NES release, arcade, and mobile titles) are great for the young paranormal enthusiasts as well as the easily frightened. "Fatal Frame" may also provide the spirit you desire if you want something darker and less focused on using lead as a way to help the departed cross over! Good look convincing guests that it's just ectoplasm! 2. Layers of Fear This is a game that relies on atmosphere and story telling to keep you nervously anticipating a jump-scare and/ or next disturbing scene. Coming from a model similar to P.T., "Layers of Fear" has you playing an artist who is