Video Games

The Evil Within – Modern Horror Fails To Scare

The Evil Within – Modern Horror Fails To Scare

The Evil Within has described by a number of sites as ‘terrifying’. A game that shakes the player to the core with fear, a true horror title…yet from what I’ve played it’s not even slightly unnerving. If there’s one thing The Evil Within does well, it’s represent the state of modern horror. ‘LOOK AT THIS, IT’S VILE!!’ seems be the games theme. Gore, gore and more gore. Gore is not scary, sure it’s a little jarring at first, but it’s never scary. The Evil Within leans onto gore far too much, and the horror is lost in a shade of pink mist. Disgusting imagery, blood covered visuals, this is not fear inducing. The best horror video games (and films) work for their scares. Tension, atmosphere, a sense of dread, all of this is crafted and earned. The Evil Within reeks of a game trying too hard to scare. While the scenery and Imagery does unnerve, the rushed attempts to scare cheapen the overall product. There’s a difference between fear and panic, the latter is mostly the emotion felt throughout the game. Does this make the Evil Within a bad game? No, of course not. While the desired scares are not present, the game still provides a pretty loose horror feel. The problem is, The Evil Within has been marketed as a scary experience. The target audience has already seen everything The Evil Within has to offer, right down to the last drop of blood. Heck anyone who played Dead Space 1 & 2 has seen everything The Evil Within has to offer, repetitive events are not scary, just predicable. The lack of consequences attached to the main character is also a major con. Not being truly attached to a sense of reality within the game results in death feeling rather trivial. The fact the protagonist rarely questions anything, or even reacts for the most part, result in the game feeling rather hollow. The failure to scare may not be entirely down to the developers. Modern horror is far more of a spectacle, a much more rushed affair. Slow build ups are replaced with sharp musical score, people see everything, nothing is left to the imagination. While there is shock value, at least briefly, to modern horror, it’s hardly anything that truly scares. The best scares aren’t done visually, they’re done by going passed visuals and into the subconscious. A great example of modern scares is P.T. It may be brief, but it builds up tension, creates a atmosphere, suckers the player in and then starts to play with them. The Evil Within is still enjoyable, it’s just a shame it’s not the horrific experience it could have been. A example of modern horror and all that is wrong with it, nothing but spectacle. Times may change back to where horror becomes more of a result of craftsmanship rather than gore. For now, all we can do is wait, wait and support titles like Alien: Isolation that earns it’s scares.    ...

Destiny – A Few Minor Changes, For The Greater Good

Destiny – A Few Minor Changes, For The Greater Good

With sometime passing after Destiny’s launch, after many hours put into the game across various planets, strikes and loot caves, it seems like it’s a good time to reflect. Destiny may have a number of issues, chief of which being a lack of matchmaking and varied content, it’s time to focus on the smaller issues. These issues aren’t exactly major, but would improve the game enough to be worthy of mentioning. Destiny plays, sounds, and looks fantastic, but these are few changes I’d like to see just give the game that little extra quality.   And no, matchmaking will not be mentioned, it’s already been discussed here.     More varied Weapon Skins/Sounds -   While Exotics all look unique, and rightly so, the lesser quality items all look far too similar. It’s a truly minor gripe but it has a profound effect on the game visually. Getting your grubby hands on a Legendary just to see how similar it looks to a rare weapon is a little soul destroying, even more so when it’s a weapon earned via reputation and marks. The lack of variety in weapon sounds is also a nagging complaint. It would be nice to hear how heavy certain guns sound, listen to them bellow out proudly. These issues could easily be fixed as time goes on and more content/items are added, here’s to hoping that proves to be the case.   Clans -   Clans/guilds have long been a staple of multiplayer games, and Destiny includes them..kinda. Players can join clans by visiting Bungie’s site and signing up to clans via their pages. There is little to no clan business in the actual game bar the name appearing on the players banner. It’s a little confusing that a game with a focus on joining other players to tackles tasks has basically no clan options. Simply adding a list of clan members in the in-game menu would at least allow players to see whose online and what they are up to. The addition of in-game clan list would also help form fire teams, feeding into the social experience Destiny flirts with. A simple issue to fix, but it does beg the question why didn’t it ship with more in depth clan features.   Communication -   At the present moment, players are restricted to either dancing, pointing, saluting or sitting as a means to communicate in game. With no voice chat, or quick text, there’s no way to talk to other players within the game. Players often bump into each other in wild, they exchanges glances, awkwardly selecting a emote, and then they move on. A local proximity voice chat would be a welcome addition to the game. ‘Hey are you doing this mission/bounty? Want to party up?’ the game suddenly becomes a much more social experience instead of a lonely existence that happens to feature some voiceless faces. Not all players will want to voice chat, making the voice chat a opt in/out option would be a safe bet to keep everyone happy.   No More Defending Ghosts -   Destiny plays extremely well, it’s gameplay is on point. The problem is, the mission structure does very little to make the most of the silky smooth gameplay. From the first hour till the 200th hour, players are sent to go to a object and deploy their Ghost, every time. It would be nice to have some variation put into the missions, be it story or patrol. While shooting waves upon waves of enemies is fun to start off with, after all new guns freshen it up, it becomes a little dragged out after a while. This is another issues that will probably be fixed with the expansions. It’s hard to see Bungie coming out with two new batches of content all featuring the same mission structure, or at least one would hope so.   Let Me Know More About Me -   The character page is a little lacking. While it looks nice and neat, the lack displayed stats and faction reputation is a little bit irritating. Destiny features a strong focus on grinding in it’s end game, be it reputation or marks. It boggles the mind why a player’s current reputation with a faction is not displayed in the menus. The act of flying back to the tower just to see your reputation becomes extremely drawn out. Instead of players finding out their reputation at vendors, put it on their character sheets, add it as a experience bar. It’s a quality of life addition that makes it a lot more easier to plot faction progression.   Customization -   Amour, sparrows, space ships, weapons, the players closest friends in Destiny. While this is mostly a wish rather than a realistic change, more customization options would be brilliant. From my experience, a lot of players are starting to look the same. There’s only so many times you can see the same helmet and armor combinations before thinking it’s a uniform. The ability to customize amour (beyond shaders) would be a nifty little touch. Adding marks to armor, showcasing that players experiences and achievements, seems like a no brainier. Changing up the visual looks of ship and sparrows would also be a welcomed addition. Beat Vault of Glass? Why not show off the fact by adding a design or trophy onto the ship/sparrow?      ...

The Appeal Of The Amiibo – A Success Waiting To Happen?

The Appeal Of The Amiibo – A Success Waiting To Happen?

Nintendo’s Amiibo figures represent a interesting period for the Wii U, not just in terms of video games. Their impact on gameplay, and indeed the games, remains to be seen, but it’s the figures that have me intrigued. Nintendo, out of the ‘big three’, have always had a bit more of ‘collecting’ feel to them. Be it Pokemon, Club Nintendo goods, or even their original card game, Nintendo have always had a collecting feel to a lot of their business. The amiibo could easily be the next big step for Nintendo. With the success of Skylanders and Disney Infinite, it was only a matter of time before more companies jumped on board. While both games were aimed at the younger audiences, they both garnered a more adult following. The quality of the games play a fairly large part in why more mature people flocked to the product, but the concept of collecting was a major draw. From a adult point of view, collecting is kinda awesome. Most of us have went through a stage in a childhood where we collected, traded. ‘Got , got, got , got, need, got, NEED NEED NEED’ was often the song of collecting. Skylanders, Disney Infinite, and now Amiibo, brings some of them memories back.   The start of the trend was thanks to Skylander, a range with a vague connection to semi-popular franchise. The look and feel of Skylanders made it instantly appealing to youngsters, a great gateway into video games. As the range expanded, the collecting focus grew, and kids lapped it up. The high quality models started to call to the adults, and Skylanders crossed over from it’s target audience. Disney Infinite took things once step further, mainly due to it’s licenses and global appeal. Suddenly the market blew up , people could now collect their favorite Disney stars AND play them in a game. The appeal of Disney, the sheer range of characters under their banner is staggering. Disney truly has no limits when it comes to it’s demographic, even more so with the acquisition Marvel and Star Wars. It’s rare you’ll find a fully stocked shelf of Disney Infinite figures, and it’s not due to lock stocking. People are eating up the product, from all ages. Nintendo, like Disney, are pop culture icons and this gives their Amiibo line a huge leg up. Everyone knows Mario, Lugi, Princess Peach, be it a young child or a mature adult, they know Nintendo’s poster boy family.   With Nintendo riding a wave of success at the moment, thanks to Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros and a strong end to 2014 on the way, it’ll be interesting to see how they market Amiibos. Skylanders and Disney Infinite came out across all three major platforms. They did not face any limitations in terms of how big of a potential user base they could target. Amiibo is only set for two systems, one of which is still struggling to truly break into ‘mainstream’.With that being said, the Wii U’s user base is expanding and Amiibo could easily ship more systems, especially in the holiday season. The Amiibo figures themselves look fantastic. Colorful, vibrant and interesting to look at, they genuinely look like collectables rather than video game peripherals. This makes them stand out, bringing in potential customers to at least browse at the product. The fact the Amiibo’s work with the likes of Smash Bros, Mario Party and Mario Kart is a huge plus. The ‘party’ like nature of these games feeds into the collecting buzz. ‘Bring your pads and your Amiibo!’ While all this remains as speculation, it’s hard to see Nintendo’s Amiibo’s failing. The potential audience is so large, the games supported are already hugely anticipated. The stage is set for Amiibo to be a big success. It’ll be interesting to see how the range is launched, promoted and how it impacts sales of both the Wii U and 3DS....

Shadow Of Mordor’s Nemesis System Is A Game Changer

Shadow Of Mordor’s Nemesis System Is A Game Changer

Death has become a little bit of a joke in most modern video games. Quick saves, lacking of challenge, the threat and consequences of death are simply not taken into account any more. Sure there’s rare cases of death being seen as a threat in the likes of Dark Souls, Zombie U and Alien: Isolation, but they don’t effect the game world. The concept of the players death effecting the game world is intriguing, this is where Shadow of Mordor comes in. Death is simply a event, it’s a game changer. The Nemesis system gives the act of dying a sense of real impact, the game is getting harder, the enemies are becoming tougher, death has genuine consequences. Being slain by a enemy, seeing that enemy earn a promotion for the kill, becoming more powerful, it’s a oddly giddy experience. There’s a morbid curiosity to witnessing how the players death affects the game world.   The Nemesis system install a organic sense to Shadow of Mordor, almost to the point where it feels like a reactive world. The player simply isn’t there to interact with their surroundings, they’re there as part of a progressing universe, a cog in the system. The fact enemies can grow and improve by killing the player, gives each battle a sense of risk, making it a much more intense experience. In the grand scheme of the Nemesis system doesn’t just focus on the player. There’s a deep rooted civil war that sees the game in a constant state of change. Taking out a captain open ups a gap for a new captain. When the player is killed, a new captain is created who in turn brings his friends into the other vacant roles. This kicks off a chain reaction or power struggles and recruitment attempts, a truly organic system changing the games world. The players death is always a huge event in the game, and the knock on effect can be felt for hours of in-game time.   Shadow of Mordor should be praised to the high heavens having such a brilliantly devilish system at it’s core. It’s rare that modern video games tries something truly new, something truly game changing. Similar systems could easily be put to use in other genres, such as sports and racing games. The concept of a rival remembering the player, improving from their last encounter, is mouth watering. The Nemesis system could usher in a new bloodline of video games where the worlds feel more organic and reactionary. Here’s to hoping that this is the first step into a whole new video game world....

Destiny – The Lack of Matchmaking Is Inexcusable

Destiny – The Lack of Matchmaking Is Inexcusable

There’s nothing worse than seeing a well respected developer lower their standards and begin to produce poor, half finished, products. It’s always easy to pick up on a half arsed effort in any form of media be it music, film or video games. Bungie were once known for producing quality video games, technically accomplished, well rounded, pure quality. Bungie’s fantastic run has been whole heartily brought to end with the release of Destiny, a true example of what happens when you pump big bucks into a game and rush it out to meet a pre-holiday release window. Destiny has been a huge commercial success, this does not reflect the games quality however. Bungie spent a long time promising the world to it’s fans. Explore a rich world, play how you want when you want, a brand new experience that combines the staples of Bungie with MMO themes. What we got was half a game missing a number of key features…and not many people seemed fussed…and that’s worrying. Destiny, in it’s current state, is a free-to-play experience covered in big budget productions. The lack of story, the lack of content, the lack of balance, the lack of basic quality of life features, it’s genuinely disgusting to see mostly online game released like this. The fact that a good chunk of the end game is locked due to the lack of online match making is pretty dire. Would we forgive this in other games from lesser known developers? Hell no. The main problem with Destiny is it feels utterly unfinished and untested. The lack of content is a huge elephant in the room. ‘You can do heroic strikes and raids!’ while this is the true, the fact heroic strikes and raids are only accessible with a group of friends, this content instantly becomes unplayable by large a number of players. The end game is essentially locked away without putting a decent amount of effort into crawling around message boards looking for players (given there’s no voice/text chat in the game player hub ‘The Tower’, a little like a MMO released decades ago. The lack of content is indeed a issue, but the fact some of this content is not realistically playable due to lack of matchmaking feels whole heartily sloppy, perhaps even lazy, on Bungie’s behalf. It’s depressingly hilarious that a game with a budget of over $300 million, and a focus on online/social interaction, ships with zero matchmaking for it’s endgame. It makes the game feel rushed, unfinished. Get the game out, make the money, sort the issues out later…this is does not feel like the Bungie people became fans of. Destiny, as a whole, is full of issues and problems that suggested the Alpha/Betas were purely for PR/Marketing reasons. The lack of balance between classes in PvP, the loot table, bugged bounties, the excessive grinding. These issues can all be overlooked for now, but a lack of matchmaking is truly inexcusable.  ...

Phil Fish Wants You To Hate him

Phil Fish Wants You To Hate him

Fez was decent, least I thought it was, at it’s heart it was a fun title that made me feel kinda happy. Fez was colorful, slick, enjoyable and consistent. I enjoyed the game and looked back at it as pleasant experience. After all was said and done, I decided to look into the games development and see how it was crated, this resulted in me finding one Phil Fish. A talent young man, there is no doubt, but a egoistical fella. There’s nothing wrong with ego, look throughout creative media, sports and various other purists, a lot of the best people have a ego. The problem with Phil Fish is…he seems to think the world owes him something, he seems to think I owe him something and that you owe him something. Phil Fish isn’t a person, but a person consumed by a character.   I came to this conclusion after watching ‘Indie Game: The Movie’, a lovely little number that shed light on the hardships, struggles and high points of creating a vision. While everyone featured in the film seemed genuine, real, Mr.Fish always seemed like he was ‘playing’ for the camera. As time went on, and his twitter account became more and more active, it seemed like Mr.Fish had turned heel, full heel. Why do I use a term generally used in relation to professional wrestling? It’s simple, Phil Fish is acting like a WWE wrestler, a poor man’s CM Punk. The way in which he interacts with people over social media, his trash talk of his peers, the way in which he reacts to criticism, it all screams ‘playing a character’. I’ve always wondered why he acts like this, my only real conclusion is bad press is better than no press. In running his mouth, slagging off his peers, going overboard on current events, he earns himself a lot of heat which in turn gives him a lot of press. Phil Fish could announce any game he likes at this point and the internet would be all over it, social media (within video game circles) would be buzzing. Even when he’s not working on projects he stays in the news, he’s playing the system. Ethically, his recent exploits are a little dark. Requesting civil war and insulting his fan base seem like awful moves, but given he’s turned Heel, it’s a easy way to get gain heat. Phil Fish wants you to hate him, he thrives on it, he works lives on it. While you could argue it’s a clever means to stay relevant, the whole concept cheapens the joys that Fez brought. The whimsical charms of Fez feel slightly corrupted when you take into account the attitude of it’s creator. The real shame is Fish is super talented, and truly talented people don’t come along too often. His obsession with trying to play the bad guy is his main obstacle. There’s a hope that maybe one day he’ll change his focus, he’ll stop playing the villain, but that doesn’t seem likely. Phil Fish wants you to hate him, and he loves you for doing so....

P.T – A Word of Mouth Success

P.T – A Word of Mouth Success

The popularity of P.T has made me sit back and change my views on a few things. Demos have became a rarity in the modern market, hype sells and thus the big games have no need for a demo. Heck, even the smaller games tend to release without demos, they’ve became a thing of the past. In place of demos, we now have early access, alpha/beta tests and marketing…this is why P.T intrigues me. P.T is part demo, part marketing…a playable piece of marketing…and that’s fantastic. Word mouth of works wonders, and P.T has been doing the rounds as soon as it hit PSN. Given P.T’s length, content and hidden puzzles, it’s perfect to recommend to someone, even if it’s purely to try scare the hell out of them. When people hear how terrifying a game is, they often want to test it out, see if it’s as scary as people say. P.T’s simplicity opens it up to the masses, anyone can play it regardless of skill level or knowledge on what the game is. P.T goes beyond being a demo, the manner in which it popped out of no where, the way it captured peoples attention, it’s a similar impact to that of the original Flash game Slender. Sure it may have some major names behind it, sure it’s part of a major franchise, but it’s the perfect PR move for a franchise that’s been rather out of date for some years. Silent Hill has struggled for sometime now, while Downpour may not of been awful, Homcoming was just ‘okay’ and the Wii titles went under the radar, the franchise on the whole is stale. Announcing a new Silent Hill title wouldn’t of made much of a impact, but with big names such as Kojima behind it…things go up a notch, and P.T took things even further. Given how many variables exist within P.T, and how many things can go unseen on initial playthroughs, people banded together and began to discuss various things they had figured out or differences during their playthroughs. This was yet another means in which P.T became almost viral, it created a active community for a game just announced, bringing a potential base of buyers already.   While Demos may of became a less popular option for bigger games and names, P.T proves there’s still a foundation to be built upon. While it’s unclear how much of a representation P.T is for the final product (one assumes it won’t truly mirror the final release in most ways), the buzz it’s already crated for the game is staggering. A true triumph in using a kinda demo, kinda marketing tool, to inflate hype for a franchise essentially dead in the water.  ...

The Red Solstice – Review (PC)

The Red Solstice – Review (PC)

I recently got the chance to sit down and try my hands at The Red Solstice which is a top-down, tactical, squad based survival shooter developed by Ironward. The Red Solstice plays very similar to games like StarCraft in the way of how you control your character. That being said, I had some major issues trying to connect to an online match, but once I did I was greeted with a gameplay formula I’ve been very familiar, and comfortable with since the launch of the original Starcraft in 1998. Plus, it has that whole Starcraft/spacey-wacey shooter vibe going on. So, that helped me get into the game when I booted it up.  Now, to be fair in terms of single-player content I only played the introductory tutorial to get an understanding of the game, plus this game is all about hopping online, starting a squad, and blasting some aliens. From what I got in the tutorial I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. I didn’t feel like the game was offering anything new, or unique. However, I pushed through and played through the tutorial. Most tutorials are fairly meh in games, but I’m going to throw that up to the fact that I feel like this game is built around being in a squad and playing with other people. You’ve got eight different classes to choose from when playing: Assault, Heavy Support, Recon, Marksman, Demolition, Terminator, Hellfire and Medic. The classes are pretty straight-forward, but the shining two classes would have to be Terminator, and Hellfire. And no, we don’t mean the T-800 from The Terminator franchise. So, if you’re one of those people who want variety in these types of games then the class system has just that, if you’re dedicated on ranking up and unlocking these things. Probably my most favorite, and memorable aspect of the game is an ailment system which allows your character to be poisonous or bleeding and various other ailments creating a new and harder aspect of the game. This is pretty great, and can definitely change the flow of the game instantly. I applaud the developers for doing something like this, it breathes something unique and fresh into the game, but also gives us that degree of difficulty that makes these kind of games fun and challenging. From what I got to play of TRS was a fun experience, albeit with some flaws. Connecting to a multiplayer game was quite the task, and when it finally worked itself out I had a blast. The game is also slightly punishing in the way of unlocking classes, and what-not. You have to be good at the game to score achievements and rank-up, they just won’t throw them out to every player who hops in game (which is nice). You need to play well with a team, and actually play tactically. No Rambo fun here, or at least from what I encountered while playing. Would I recommend this game? That depends. I’d say if you were fan of tactical/strategy games like Starcraft then it might be up your alley in terms of enjoyment. But, if you prefer games that won’t require some form of skill, and prefer just to shoot dudes away without any risk of defeat then this game probably won’t appeal to you. It’s a fun game, and for the $19.99 price tag, it’s quite the deal. Now, it is part of the Early-Access program on Steam so that means it’s constantly being updated, and having new bits & pieces thrown into the mix. So, if you’re one of those lads, or lassies who likes these types of games then go gather 8 of your friends together and dive into The Red Solstice. Mars won’t ever be the same....

Divinity: Original Sin Review (PC)

Divinity: Original Sin Review (PC)

The Divinity franchise has been around for some time, but it’s never truly became a house hold name. With various spikes and drops in quality from across the years, the franchise has never truly imposed itself upon the masses. Divinity has earned itself a rather cult following however, but its latest installment, Original Sin, could be the game to truly make a impact…at least on the RPG fan base. Divinity: Original Sin is one of the many success stories of Kickstarter. After going over it’s goal, and garnering a lot of attention, the game went through early access and finally hit retail release. Larian Studios made it quite clear that Original sin was a ambitious project, made by RPG fans, for RPG fans. Their ambition is easily measurable in the sheer amount of content and personal touches burnt into the core of Original Sin.   In terms of role playing games, the genre has been going in the wrong direction of late. Action has began to take over the core elements that traditional RPG games are so heavy on. Original Sin feels distinctly old school from the off, and that is nothing short of glorious. Having the ability to roll a character is such a welcomed feature. The option to select each stat, trait and role is liberating to say the least. Players aren’t restricted to fulfilling a set class with all the expected skills, instead they are given the freedom of choice. Original Sin has a interesting variation on the party system. Players are given two characters to customize and mould how they say fit, these two characters are bound together for the entire game. Both characters act as the main protagonists as they jointly venture through the world. There’s a number of points within the game where the two character can discuss matters at hand. These discussions can depend on various stats and actions the respective character has taken through the game. It’s a neat dynamic that works especially well in Original Sin’s full online co-op experience.   The trend of old school mechanics bleeds into the core combat of Original Sin. Turn based combat, fueled by action points, makes for some truly intense battles. Every action is dependent on how many action points the character has at the ready. Using action points well is the key to victory, strategy becomes a must. Planning how to make the most of each action point is where the game enters it’s true depth. One mistake or waste of action points can lead to a swift defeat. The combat offers a truly intriguing mechanic that gives each battle it’s own dimension, especially in co-op. Spells and skill can be combined to create powerful combos, this expands the scope of each battle, halting any sense of repetition from sitting in. The true joys of the combat come in the shape of using the environment to your advantage. Spells and skills can be used to interaction with the environment, creating opportunities to cause heavy damage to the enemy. Setting alight oils, dislodging boulders are just some of the nifty tricks available at the players finger tips.   The interaction with environment isn’t exclusive to combat. There’s a number of situations in which using spells and skills on the surroundings can aid players in their exploration. Be it a puzzle, a hidden area, or just a simple short cut, these little interactions give the world a touch of life. The world itself is a character, full of curiosities and wonders. The world is huge and populated with some truly fascinating NPCs. The adventures to be had all feel like they have a purpose, be it to make the player laugh or give them that next step up in the various stories dotted around the game. At no point will the player find themselves disengaged or disinterested, there’s literally something to do at every point of the game. While the core gameplay, and all it’s mechanics, are solid, it’s Original Sin’s charm that shines through. There’s a sense of awareness to the game and it’s writing, it know it’s market and it knows how to engage them. Humor is provided in vast amounts, making each quest and interaction with NPCs enjoyable and satisfying, rather than just a means to gain a quest. It’s not uncommon to spend 45 minutes in a new area, purely talking to people. The world has so much charm and character that the players time never feels wasted.   Original Sin’s production values are pretty slick. The visuals are vibrant and reflect the tones of the game nicely. Character modes and environments are packed with detail consistent with the world. When the spells are flying, the visuals take on a new life. Explosives colours burst into life, the audio sings proudly, it all feeds into the end experience. The size and scale of Original Sin is something to marvel at. Creativity, charm, a immersive experience, all with a strong focus on traditional RPG values. The only issues to be found are minor quality of life problems such as inventory management and a rigid fast travel system. The main plot may be a little bit ropey, but the ‘side quests’ within the game offer a number of interesting short stories. Huge in scale, and hugely enjoyable to play though alone, or with a friend. Divinity: Original Sin is one of the best games of the year so far, easily worth the time of anyone looking for a true RPG experience.      ...

I Couldn’t Finish The P.T. Demo

I Couldn’t Finish The P.T. Demo

In terms of media, there’s not much that really scares me. Horror films and video game rarely scare me, though some make me uneasy. Big name horror titles from last year such as Outlast didn’t really have much effect on me. I understand how they were trying to scare, but it felt like a haunted house more than a genuine horror experience. There’s a certain craft missing from a lot of horrors, both video game and film. True fear isn’t created by simply creating a ugly image, nor is it created by jump scares. True masters of horror build up their scares, they create tension, they slowly cut into the player/viewer. The P.T demo caught my interest pretty early on. Ignoring the hype, the big names and the brand name, I went into P.T utterly blind. What I found was one small, well crafted, finely tuned experience. The demo starts cold, no trailer, no background, not a single detail…and it works perfectly. There’s a mystery behind P.T that slowly reveals itself, as long as the player is willing to take in their surroundings. Each footstep, each turn of a corner, each opening of a door, it all flows into the creation of tension . The sound effects that inhabit P.T stalk the player making them question and worry. The subtle touches dotted around the demo create a truly uneasy atmosphere in which the player begins to become unnerved…and they cant even out their finger on why. It’s these touches that give P.T a sense of character, a real sense of craftsmanship. *spoilers in video – my live reaction to P.T* The demo had truly sent chills down my spine. P.T shares similar tones to films such as Easerhead and Japanese horror such as Ju-On. It’s all neatly tied together to create a simple, yet highly effective, horror experience that leaves the player feeling utterly at the games mercy. Lighting, sound effects, visual cues, they’re all utilized in such a manner that it leaves the player utterly distraught at what is coming next. P.T managed to do what very few films and video games do, it managed to get into the head, it became more than just a set of pixels on screen. I genuinely felt creeped out, uneasy, vulnerable and scared. It got to the point where I couldn’t finish the demo in fear of waking up the neighbours. If this is a sign of things to come, perhaps we have one of the purest horror titles in video game history on our hands....

Page 1 of 21123»