Every great game tries to inspire emotion. Sometimes it’s joy, excitement, or even sadness. But other times, that emotion is fear. Developers have been trying to scare us as long as video games have existed. And it’s fair to say they have gotten pretty good at it over the years.
The development of the horror genre, as we know it today, hasn’t been without its twists and turns. But while Resident Evil may have been the first game to coin the phrase “Survival Horror,” the ideas behind it have been around a lot longer than that. From the earliest movie-inspired experiments, to the more modern, atmospheric thrillers, certain threads have run through the horror genre. Some of the very first horror games saw you running for your life, trying to escape a monster you couldn’t fight, and sometimes couldn’t even see.
As games became more complex, developers introduced more action. That gave us, first, Resident Evil. But then it eventually led to Dead Space, Fear, and other games that began to branch further and further away from that simple, terrifying core. With the advent of indie titles though, that pure principle of fear is making a comeback, and even big titles like Resident Evil 7, are showing it’s effects.
The Game Café is Gamespresso’s weekly podcast where we discuss some of the games industry’s most interesting questions and issues. For the show’s seventh episode we take a look at how horror games have changed and the state of the genre now, while also asking the question, what makes a good horror game? You can find the episode on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher. Or you can listen to it right here:
Resident Evil 7 is a return to the roots of the series and a major shift for the franchise going forward. Are you glad to see more of a horror focus? Would you like to see less action in the horror genre as a whole? Let us know in the comments. If you like the show, please subscribe. Last week we looked at the Nintendo Switch and the history of Nintendo, going back all the way to the company’s days making playing cards for the Yakuza’s favorite game. Until next week, thanks for listening.