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Survival Horror

WayForward photo

One of WiiWare's best games is now on mobile

WayForward's Lit is back on iOS, Android
Oct 29
// Kyle MacGregor
WiiWare may not be fondly remembered by many, but for years Nintendo's old digital platform was one of my favorite places to discover hidden gems. In fact, some of my favorite games from the last generation (Lost Winds, ...
Outlast II photo
Outlast II

Looks like Outlast II will have a religious theme

Fall 2016
Oct 29
// Jordan Devore
After the critical and commercial success of Outlast, it's only natural Red Barrels would want to continue down that path with a sequel. The first teaser for Outlast II debuted today, and its religious subject matter already seems more intriguing than the nightmarish asylum of the first game.
Alien: Isolation photo
Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation gets a Game of the Year edition, but it's named correctly

Alien: Isolation - The Collection
Oct 27
// Brett Makedonski
Xenomorphs are resilient little buggers. One year removed from the release of Alien: Isolation, we thought we had done away with the titular alien. Nope. It comes back to haunt us today because a flamethrower isn't hint enoug...
Fatal Frame V photo
Fatal Frame V

Despite all the hubbub, I'm still getting Fatal Frame

May I live to regret it
Oct 26
// Jonathan Holmes
Our own Zack Furniss had a pretty bad time with Fatal Frame V, as detailed in his excellent review. Having just finished the hour-and-a-half long free demo for the title myself, I completely understand where he's coming from,...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2's Gunslinger weapons revealed

Summon your inner Ocelot
Oct 25
// Zack Furniss
I've been a bad, busy boy. As the self-appointed Killing Floor 2 and Dungeons & Dragons guy, I've failed you, my friends. There just aren't enough hours in the day. But now I'm back! Tripwire Interactive has bee...
Resident Evil 4 photo
Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 is coming to Wii U next week

At least in Europe
Oct 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition might not be the prettiest version of the game, but is by far the best. The Wii U faithful (the European variety, at least) will soon have an opportunity to see why, as the Capcom classic is launc...
Resident Evil HD photo
Resident Evil HD

This Resident Evil HD mod brings the original's campy dialogue back

Wesker is a crazy man
Oct 21
// Chris Carter
When Resident Evil got a facelift on the GameCube, the dialogue was inherently upgraded -- and subsequently carried over to the new HD re-release. It wasn't a major fix, but it was far less campy than the original ...
Fatal Fame Wii U photo
Fatal Fame Wii U

Fatal Frame localization removes smutty outfits

Enjoy those Nintendo costumes instead
Oct 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Just as some corners of the Internet feared, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water's newly-revealed Princess Zelda and Samus Aran outfits have replaced the skimpy attire from the Japanese release. Nintendo, placed in a no-win si...

Review: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Oct 19 // Zack Furniss
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (Wii U [eShop only])Developer: Koei Tecmo, Nintendo Software Planning & DevelopmentPublisher: NintendoReleased: October 22, 2015MSRP: $49.99 This time around, the ghost-infested location is Mount Hikami, which is a stand-in for Aokigahara (worth a read if you want to hate trees), the real-life Suicide Forest. Initially, this feels like the perfect environment for Fatal Frame. A series that deals with ancient, forbidden rituals in Japan should feel at home in the suicide capital of the world. Unfortunately, the setting feels wasted as soon as you start playing. For the first hour and a half, you're locked on a ridiculously linear path. A supporting character gives you a tutorial on how to use the camera and explore your environment, and you can't do anything except what she tells you. "Let's go upstairs," she monotonically asserts. If you try to go off the path, the camera forces you back around. If this segment was a few minutes long, it would be forgivable, yet this feeling of restriction creeps back in sporadically throughout. Want to go down that road in the forest? "You must find Fuyuhi," the dialog box insists, as you're pointed back towards your current objective. Objectives are another unwelcome addition. Instead of having to explore Mount Hikami, you can almost always hold a button to watch a ghostly image of whoever you're trying to find appear, heading in the direction of your objective. Although past games in the series have erred on the side of obfuscation, the areas you wander about are mostly small and confined. Having a constant push in the correct direction feels obtrusive, as if Maiden of Black Water doesn't trust its own visual cues to convey your intended destination. Using the GamePad as the Camera Obscura should make up for the lackluster exploration, but the control scheme fails to feel intuitive in any way. Be prepared to keep the pad at eye-level at all times, since pressing the camera button in your lap will make your perspective start at your crotch. You can either choose to use the gyroscope and analog stick or just the analog stick, and I would recommend the latter after the novelty of the GamePad wears off. The main problem with the gyroscope is that you're required to rotate the controller to take certain pictures, but when combating spirits you still need to use twin stick movement to avoid attacks. Even when the pad is completely vertical the sticks don't compensate, so you still have to hold forward to move forward, which sounds rational but feels awkward as all hell in practice. If you're like me and invert your Y-axis, good fucking luck making this work. You'll still have to turn it like this with the gyroscope turned off, because Fatal Frame really wants to justify its use of the GamePad. Koei Tecmo didn't think we could handle puzzles this time around, so the next best idea it had was that some keys could only be found by taking pictures with a correctly oriented camera. It's not difficult, but it never goes beyond feeling like an afterthought. Even simple movement can be frustrating; occasionally, turning around becomes more arduous than fighting ghosts. Battling ghosts with the Camera Obscura is relatively similar to past iterations, which the exception of tilting the camera to get portrait shots. Ghosts now have small fragments that float around them, and if you can take a picture with five targets, you'll do more damage to them. There are also three different characters who have their own abilities with the camera, like charged shots or chains of 8 rapid-fire photographs. You can also upgrade the camera's stats, improving its damage or the lenses that you find throughout Mount Hikami. Snapping photos of the ghosts with these lenses is cathartic, and it's heart-warming/chilling to hear that old Camera Obscura sound. That catharsis doesn't remain for too long, since you'll be encountering enemies about every two minutes. Tension never has a chance to build since there's always a specter ready to pounce at you. Instead of dreading ghosts because they're horrifying, you'll dread them because of the repetition they bring. Pacing was not a priority here. In keeping with the aquatic theme, there's a new "wetness" gauge that fills up when you're running through rain or attacked by certain ghosts. If you're thoroughly soaked, you'll take more damage, but your pictures become more potent. This risk-reward system could have added some much-needed adrenaline to the combat, but the change in damage values is negligible. The wetness gauge never goes beyond an excuse to ogle a bit of rain-soaked bra strap. There's also an abundance of healing items that render both this status effect and any damage you receive toothless. Tell-tale shiny glints betray herbal medicines and better film hidden all throughout Mount Hikami. This becomes increasingly far-fetched as you explore each area in the game entirely too many times, yet the items are always replenished. I'm usually not one to point out clichés, but Maiden of Black Water found a way to make items infuriatingly annoying. Y'see, you don't just press a button to pick something up. You have to hold a trigger to slooooooooooooowly reach out towards the object while a bweeeeeeeeyooooooooo sound rings in your ears. Each time you do this, there's a ~20% chance that a disembodied ghostly hand will grab your wrist, weakly shaking you and doing a minuscule amount of harm. It happens often, is never scary, and will make you angry. I can't fathom why this mechanic was even considered, as it murders any semblance of pacing left in the game. So many horror games are given passes for poor controls and mechanics if they manage to raise your heartbeat. Maiden of Black Water fails even in this regard. The aforementioned pacing is the crux of the issue, but unimaginative enemy and location designs are also to blame. While I can remember most of the enemies from the previous games, I'm having trouble remembering all of the ghosts from the one I just played. You'll fight a bunch of shrine maidens and one memorable guy with a big knife, and one woman who convincingly moves as if she's still hanging from the rope that she used to kill herself. The rest? They're...people, I guess. Nothing as good as the Broken Neck Woman, or the Woman in the Box, or the Kusabi. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water seems so, so tired. Maidens, rituals, sacrifices, suicides, water, black hair growing and covering every surface...we've seen all of this done before and with more skill. Two small moments offer an enticing glimpse at what could have been: a short trip to a cable car station and a short episode where you're monitoring surveillance cameras. The second I got to the modern-looking cable car station, I realized how much this series needs to go to new places. I was wrong about Aokigahara, it was more of the same. That surveillance episode subverts the camera theme, making you helplessly watch as phantoms slowly encroach upon your friends' rooms. If new concepts like these were used throughout, this could have been something special. At least there's a hefty amount of game here. My first playthrough took about 13 hours, and there's a bonus episode where you can play as Ayane from Dead or Alive. It's not great, but playing Fatal Frame stealthily is at least a novel idea. There's also the Nightmare difficulty and the bonus costumes you can unlock for further replayability. It's too bad that most of that is backtracking through the same areas time and again. I experienced four freezes in my time with the game. I'd recommend not looking at your photo list to see your recent pictures, as that's what led to each freeze. The only way I could get out of the menu was by doing a hard system reset. That I wasn't able to look at pictures in a game about taking pictures is a fantastic summation of my experience. Off-TV Play made too much sense for Koei Tecmo to get it right; it's playable, but whether you're using headphones or not, you can't hear any of the in-game voices (dual audio, by the way!) or music. You need the TV for that. Nintendo seemed hesitant to bring Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water overseas, and I'm sure it'll be monitoring how it sells to gauge interest. Twelve-year-old me would be upset with this review, and he'd blame that asshole Zack Furniss for condemning the series to death with a damning review. He'd be in the comments below telling me that I wasn't playing it right, or that it wasn't my type of game. All I would have to say to him is this: If this what Fatal Frame is now, I don't want it anymore. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Fatal Frame review photo
Treading trashwater
I was on the cusp of adolescence when I first played the original Fatal Frame. My friend Richard and I spent many a summer night with eyes wide from the horrors we had witnessed in the Himuro Mansion. The sequel Crimson Butte...

Fatal Frame costumes photo
Fatal Frame costumes

Zelda and Zero Suit Samus costumes in Fatal Frame

Less spoopy now
Oct 16
// Darren Nakamura
Being a young girl whose only defense against ghosts and vampires is a camera can be quite spoopy, so for those who want to feel more empowered, how about putting on the suit of a renowned bounty hunter, feared across the gal...
Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Here's when you can play the next Dying Light expansion, The Following

Will you be expanding?
Oct 16
// Vikki Blake
Dying Light's next expansion, The Following, will release in Q1 2016. Producer Tymon Smetakla announced the news via a "special video". “So since Gamescom 2015, we revealed quite a bit about our upcoming expansion: the vast countryside map, the customizable dirt buggy, a new story and more," said Smetakla.
Spooped myself with fear photo
Spooped myself with fear

Nintendo labels new Fatal Frame trailer 'extremely spoopy'

Nintendy has the dankiest of memes
Oct 13
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo has taken a page out of Sega's book and proved that it is hip, cool, and totally down with the jive slang and dank memes of the internet today by labeling the new trailer for Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water "...
Friday the 13th photo
Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th game comes to Kickstarter

For once, copyright works out
Oct 13
// Mike Cosimano
The Friday the 13th game announced back in January has been fully revealed -- it's the game formerly known as Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp, by Breach and Clear developers Gun Media. With the help of TV's Adam Sessler, the...
Survival horror photo
Survival horror

Allison Road leaves Kickstarter for a publisher

It's joining the Team17 label
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
Last month, Lilith brought its home-based horror game, Allison Road, to Kickstarter. The fledgling studio asked for £250,000 in crowdfunding to create what many have called a spiritual successor to P.T., the lead-in to ...
Fatal Frame Wii U photo
Fatal Frame Wii U

Oh right, a new Fatal Frame comes out next week

Sneaky Nintendo
Oct 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is creeping its way to North America next week. Literally. Nintendo of America hasn't been terribly gung-ho about promoting Koei Tecmo's latest, despite the fact it's one of this autumn's mo...
The Park photo
The Park

Check out this new teaser for upcoming horror, The Park

Press Right Click to Callum
Oct 12
// Vikki Blake
Funcom has released a behind-the-scenes video showcasing gameplay of upcoming horror game, The Park. Funcom's first foray into single-player storytelling for a decade, The Park tells the tale of Lorraine, a "rough around the edges" mother looking for her missing son, Callum. The search takes her through the environs of a creepy-ass Amusement Park.
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Next Killing Floor 2 map takes us to the Black Forest

You always need a spooky forest
Oct 08
// Zack Furniss
Killing Floor 2's last major update brought two new maps, two new perks, and all sorts of necessary improvements. It's still in Steam Early Access, and each chunk of new content is bringing it closer to full release. So ...
Resident Evil photo
Resident Evil

Capcom: 'Stay tuned' for Resident Evil 7

'I believe we should produce titles that bring out the horror'
Oct 07
// Vikki Blake
Capcom producer Masachika Kawata has asked fans to "stay tuned" for more news about Resident Evil 7. Talking to Dengeki PlayStation magazine (via Siliconera), Kawata said, "We're currently not at a state to talk about it… but please stay tuned."

Underwater VR in Narcosis might wreck my shit

Oct 05 // Zack Furniss
Oculus Connect 2 was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking for me. Sure, I'd be able to step into worlds I could hardly fathom, but one of those worlds was the bottom of the gods-damned sea. Scrambling from a prior appointment to the event's seventh floor, I came across the room that contained Honor Code's Narcosis. Steven and Alessandro had both spent time with the demo at previous events, but it was my turn to explore the depths of his survival horror experience. I knocked on the door, expecting someone named Lawrence (making the rookie mistake of confusing the PR person for the game developer). When an excitable, charismatic Frenchman named Quentin opened the door, I started to apologize and walk away, thinking I had intruded on someone's private quarters. He assured me I was in the right place and led me to a computer, placing the Oculus Rift on my head and an Xbox One controller in my hands. The Los Angeles fire-air threatened to break my immersion from the start, but I wanted to be afraid, and I tried to block out my surroundings as best as I could. Another developer from Honor Code, the measured and engaging David Chen, came in as I was adjusting to the controls. They both made sure I understood how to maneuver my diver and then respectfully remained quiet as I made my way through an aquatic facility. Since you're wearing a helmeted diving suit, the Rift feels thematically appropriate. Having this gadget on your head is less distracting and more of a natural extension. Being able to lean forward and see oxygen gauges just beneath your eyes helps you accept you're really in this environment. I was peeking around corners as I approached them, sure that some ungodly being, whatever was responsible for the flooding of this base, was going to drag me even further into the depths. My demo was largely similar to the one Alessandro saw, though I spent more time slowly wading through a cave infested with long-limbed crabs the size of cars. I launched flares at them, watching them flinch into the darkness. How I hated having to slowly approach them to sidle past them to progress. Wandering around the sea floor is what messed with me most, though. Looking up and having no ceiling (be it cement or stalactites) to protect me was all it took for the stomach-eels return. I could no longer just stare ahead and keep progressing; I was turning around to make sure nothing was chasing me every few steps. Heat-induced sweat on my brow and the acute awareness that I was alone in a room with two men I didn't know was enough to keep me from full immersion, but if I had been at home, I'm not sure how I'd fare. An hour of wandering through sea caves as murderous cuttlefish tried to latch onto my face might be enough to break me. Coupled with the "Narcosis Moments" that the developers mentioned (hallucinations stemming from oxygen deprivation), I might not survive long enough to write about this again. But as much as digital submersion frightens me, finishing these games is my way of conquering this bizarre fear. I hope to play Narcosis when it releases next year for the entertainment, horror, and catharsis it could bring me.
Narcosis photo
Digital submersion is my one true fear
The ocean has never been particularly terrifying to me. Contemplating on a beach and staring at the blue sprawl fills me with a sense of calm, not horror. Snorkeling in a Hawaiian crater was one of the awe-inspiring mome...

Aftermath photo

Want to play a zombie game by Romero? Check out Aftermath

The other Romero's son, that is
Sep 25
// Vikki Blake
Romero's Aftermath, George. C. Romero's MMO survival horror game, releases today in open beta. Film director George C. is the son of George A., who you'll know from feisty romcoms like Night of the Living Dead. The game offer...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Make somethin' purdy in Killing Floor 2 and maybe win $1500

Make a gun skin! Or a dumb hat!
Sep 23
// Zack Furniss
Tripwire Interactive is hosting a Killing Floor 2 competition via Polycount called Guns 'n Gear. Anyone interested can create a cosmetic item or gun skin and attempt to win money/dosh. This contest began on Septembe...
Binary solo photo
Binary solo

P.A.M.E.L.A. looks like a beautiful yet depressing robotic future

Mass Effect + BioShock + Ex Machina
Sep 23
// Jed Whitaker
P.A.M.E.L.A. is the hot new indie game taking Steam Greenlight charts by storm, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Surprisingly the game has a grand total of six artists working on it, according to this in-depth intervie...
Kickstarter photo

P.T. lookalike Allison Road turns to Kickstarter

Fingers crossed
Sep 21
// Jordan Devore
There's a chance Allison Road can fill the heartbreaking void left by P.T., and I sure am rooting for it. But it's going to be a real challenge for the small team at Lilith to meet such lofty expectations. The game's Kickstar...

Review: SOMA

Sep 21 // Caitlin Cooke
SOMA (PC [reviewed], PS4)Developer: Frictional GamesPublisher: Frictional GamesRelease Date: September 22, 2015MSRP: $29.99 In SOMA you play as Simon Jarrett, an unlikely fellow trapped inside a deep underwater facility named PATHOS-II. The machines are strangely talking like people, monsters wander the corridors aimlessly as if looking for something or someone, and most of the systems are completely shut down. The complex is clearly in disarray, and it’s up to you to make it through alive and discover what caused the collapse of the facility. There is little guiding Simon in his exploration through PATHOS-II save for Catherine, a scientist you find via a comms link. She is virtually the only guide you have in the game, explaining what you need to make it through to the next area. However, most of SOMA rests on your ability to parse through notes and other aspects of the environment to discover what might need to be done next.   The environment is highly interactive with lots of care in the details -- practically everything can be examined, from sketches and magazine articles to ancillary objects, all of which give more flavor to the atmosphere and in some cases provide hints for how to move forward in the game. Simple controls also make it easy to focus on the story and interactivity of the world, allowing you to hone in on your ability to discover and learn bits of what happened to the facility. The general flow walking through the facility is very natural, and despite the story and gameplay being fairly linear, it never actually feels forced in this way. There’s no journal, written objectives, or anything of that kind -- exploration (and sometimes Catherine’s guidance) grants you more insight into what you need to do next. Maps are only provided in some larger areas, and are fixed in one place, so relying on memory is key -- especially when hiding and running from monsters. SOMA has no combat, but this doesn’t mean that it lacks action. The game finds clever ways to make your brain work, from solving interesting puzzles to having you navigate maze-like environments filled with monsters -- or sometimes both at the same time to keep you on your toes. Puzzles err on the side of being a bit easy, but are integrated seamlessly within the plot and environment (via old computers, mechanics, and other elements), so nothing seems out of place. Monsters are carefully placed in certain areas and are typically one-offs -- i.e., you’re only dealing with one at a time. If you run into one (or if one runs into you), Simon will instantly pass out and wake up in the same location, sans monster, but with an impairment that renders your screen dizzy and altered. There are several “healing” points throughout the levels that can remedy your dizziness so you’re not shambling around for too long. However, if you’re still dizzy and don’t avoid the monster safely the second time, it’s game over and you’re back to the beginning of the area. [embed]311740:60456:0[/embed] The monster designs are unique and frightening, ranging from human-like robots to creepy underwater disco-ball-headed humanoids and twisted abominations, each having their own patterned behaviors and rules. For example, some monsters are blind so sneaking around is possible, but for others, looking straight at them will cause an instant death. Thankfully, there is  a way to detect them -- if any monster is in close proximity to Simon (even through walls), your screen starts to distort and turn to static, and will grow worse as they get closer. Save for one particularly nightmarish portion where you are trapped in an extremely dark maze full of monsters chasing you about, SOMA has a good balance between exploration, puzzles, and these monster bits. I was however a bit disappointed that there were only a few monster types in the game, and most of them only make one appearance. I liked that they kept things new but would have preferred to see some re-appearances down the line, especially because the monsters were so creative in their mannerisms and design. It's delightful they didn’t overuse the whole “run away from the monster” shtick to boost tension at every given turn. Sometimes just being in a desolate, dark environment surrounded by water and metallic-sounding creaks is enough to cause fear and tension in itself. The atmosphere does plenty good on its own creating jump scares from utilizing lighting, sounds, and other ambient elements. The man vs. machinery theme is also extremely unsettling -- often times creating disturbing images of human bodies being leeched. SOMA is executed extremely well across the board from the plot, to the ease of gameplay, all the way up to the voice acting. I felt immersed and anxious the entire ride, and although the story isn’t 100% tied up or concrete by the end, it leaves players some room to interpret what may have happened and what’s to come -- and what is right or wrong. It pushes you to think about the nature of being human, and at a few points forces you to make tough decisions based on your morals and what you believe to be right. The beauty, however, is that nothing is right. No matter how you proceed, there’s always a piece of you left wondering if you chose correctly. SOMA gets everything right about the the survival horror genre. It’s like someone created the perfect video game mixtape -- a little bit of abandoned underwater atmosphere from BioShock, detailed environments a la Gone Home, and (of course) the frenzied monster mechanics from Amnesia. Even if you dislike non-combat-oriented games, I dare you to give it a try.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
SOMA review photo
Sci-fi excellence
What makes us human? Is it our physical body, our intellect, our spirit -- or all of the above? These questions permeate an underwater world where everything’s gone mad. The machines have lost it, taking over all that w...

The Silent Hill Retrospective: Silent Hill 3

Sep 19 // Stephen Turner
At its heart, Silent Hill 3 is about a girl coming of age. From the opening nightmare sequence, we’re treated to very familiar horror iconography: blood red hues, a fascination with blades, of something foreign inside the body, and a cute mascot in disturbingly lifeless poses, all set in an abandoned amusement park. Heather’s journey home takes her through teenage hangouts and public places, their dark sides brought to the fore, all the way to Silent Hill and deep within. Little Red Riding Hood by way of Dario Argento, if you will. Her survival depends on a reconciliation between childhood and adult life, with her former selves being these literal, separate slices of life. By the end, Heather is not Alessa, nor Cheryl, but its through their remembrance that she ultimately becomes her own person, able to make her own decisions in life. On the other side of the coin, there's Claudia Wolf, the story's misguided antagonist; a colourless imitation of a reasonable young adult, preferring the comfort of blind faith over autonomy. Adulthood, or at least what we find of it in Silent Hill 3, is represented by the messes of men. Douglas Cartland is a walking list of mistakes, whereas Vincent Smith takes a perverse pride in belittling the ignorant few. One seeks redemption, the other deals in exploitation. The cast might be minimal, but it works for the duality on display. Lines are drawn and lesson are learned. Douglas, himself, finds redemption through parental guidance, something he thought he'd lost, a lifetime ago. [embed]311452:60439:0[/embed] As a direct sequel to a fairly obtuse original, past events are recalled and plainly deconstructed. Riddle speak is deftly cut down by barbed tongues, infallible fathers are shown to be weak and vulnerable (breaking down our own hero worship in the process), and The Order is explained in definitive detail. It's this clarity that ends up being vital to Heather's character growth. Particularly telling is how her descriptive texts turn from dismissive to thoughtful, reflective and empathetic, along with the bloodstains that are eventually splashed across her pure white jacket. The Otherworld returns to its original form, now a higher-definition of improbable locations, foetal-like defects and rattling heads (for his final game, Masahiro Ito's designs were part-freakshow, part-macabre fairytale). It's a harsher world, full of abattoir tiles and maddening works of art, an intensity that almost goes overboard in places; bringing back the surface level scares that were missing in Silent Hill 2. It's visceral, but it needed to be that way. The Otherworld doesn't adapt, it grows with its protagonist. And it's most obvious in the way the skeletal walls and beasts of raw flesh develop rippling layers of skin as you progress. The Otherworld is a fearful representation of pregnancy and birth, all of which ends with an abortion of sorts. For a series that prides itself on subversion, Silent Hill 3 is rather transparent with its humanist values. Both pro-choice and nihilistic towards religion, the messages come through clearly at the most shocking of times and even breaks the philosophical fourth-wall when needed (note how Vincent usually addresses the audience through POV angles). At one point, the player is asked to forgive or condemn Claudia's actions, and the answer doesn't lie in the usual act of altruism. Silent Hill 3 will always be most famous for the line, “They look like monsters to you?” but that's always been a sly misdirection at best, or a love letter by a dev team on their way out. Personally speaking, it’s a symptom of why Silent Hill 3 never crawled out from Silent Hill 2's shadow; the constant post-modern distractions took focus away from the bigger picture. But you could also argue that it was down to a waning interest in survival horror, or an emphasis on unrefined combat, badly paced locations, or even the re-use of assets for a quick turnaround. And none of these would be wrong, either. That said, especially after replaying it for this retrospective, Silent Hill 3 is a game in need of re-appraisal. The tired, introspective tone from the developers is actually more relevant now than on release. Heather Mason also manages to be a strong female character, one that earns that title, rather than put on a pedestal from the get-go. And this was in 2003, remember. The Otherworld was as close as we were ever going to get an HD remake, complete with so many hidden details and huge advancement in character design. And it's rarely said enough, the haunted house section is completely underrated in the way it pulls the rug from underneath the player. Hey, maybe, ironically, it's a reconciliation with the past speaking. In any case, no matter where you place it – best, mid-tier, worst (personally, mid-tier) – Silent Hill 3 signaled the dying days of "Team Silent," but there was one more oddity that would send us tumbling down the rabbit hole and into a realm of existentialism that hasn’t been explored in video games since.
Silent Hill photo
'It's about your birth.'
Silent Hill 3 is a mean-spirited game, but then that was always the point. In order to value her future, Heather Mason is dragged, kicking and screaming, through the muck and mire of her past. Yes, she’s given the tools...

Resident Evil photo
Resident Evil

Capcom announces multiplayer Biohazard Umbrella Corps

Hope you like multiplayer in your horror
Sep 15
// Joe Parlock
Capcom has announced Biohazard Umbrella Corps for the PlayStation 4 at the Tokyo Game Show. The game is an online competitive shooter, and it will be released to celebrate the Resident Evil’s 20th anniversary. We’ll give you the trailer as soon as it becomes available. So, a competitive multiplayer shooter to celebrate a survival horror series’ 20th year. Weird.
SOMA photo

SOMA handles horror differently than Amnesia

Frictional compares the two
Sep 03
// Jordan Devore
In June, I told myself to stay away from watching and subsequently covering any more trailers for SOMA. That was going well -- until today. Curiosity got the better of me, but at least this "Environments" trailer is abstract ...
Resident Evil 0 photo
Resident Evil 0

Resident Evil 0's Wesker Mode is absurd

Look at him run!
Sep 01
// Jordan Devore
The Resident Evil series is no stranger to silly modes, and I'm glad to see Capcom continue down that path with Wesker Mode in next year's Resident Evil 0 HD remaster. Uroboros? Uroboros. In the new mode, Albert Wesker fills in for Billy Coen and oh my god, his sprint is hilarious.
Resident Evil photo
Resident Evil

Resident Evil Origins Collection is coming to PS4, PC and Xbox One

Resident Evil Remaster and RE 0 HD
Sep 01
// Laura Kate Dale
Rejoice PS4, PC, and Xbox One owners: Resident Evil Remaster and the upcoming Resident Evil 0 HD are coming to your big shiny gaming machines as Resident Evil Origins Collection. The new collection, which packages the pa...
Until Dawn photo
Until Dawn

Having trouble loading Until Dawn? You're not alone

PS4s are too scared to load it
Aug 26
// Vikki Blake
The PlayStation Network is preventing some early adopters of Until Dawn from playing the game.  According to reports on reddit, most gamers are able to download the game without incident, but on launch, they're info...

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