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Masters of Fear: Resident Evil

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These were conscious decisions that, when they all come together, can set the player up for some harrowing experiences. Even today, or perhaps especially today, itís amazing to see the grand effects of a few small choices. Sure, they bother me as a player and Iím sure theyíd bug many modern gamers, but they are extremely important for the gameís pacing and scares. Itís really nice to be able to go back to a time when games didnít hold your hand to make sure you could beat the game. For Resident Evil, it was more important that the game be made frightening and stressful than palatable to a broad audience. Funny thing is, Resident Evil moved on to become a giant of a franchise because it worried more about creating a terrifying experience rather than a crowd-pleasing one.

This is how you do horror with guns. This has that helplessness I love. It has that constant danger that you never escape no matter how much power you feel you have. It plays on human arrogance, toying with you just before it gets really hard. Itís also not afraid to just throw something at you, making you jump right out of your seat even if youíre staring right at your enemy. I still got startled the first time an enemy grabbed me, and I still almost dropped my controller when the dogs came through the window. The gameís ugly as sin these days, but everything that made it so groundbreaking when it came out is still valid and functional today.

Every horror game owes something to Resident Evil Ė Every last one of them. If you havenít played it, go do it right now. Get the Gamecube remake if you have to. Whatever you do, make sure you experience the dawn of console horror for yourself.
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About JoelCoutureone of us since 11:26 PM on 05.27.2013



Contributing Editor for mashthosebuttons.com, destitute but determined fantasy novelist & short story writer at joelcouture.com. I wish I was paid for either of those jobs.

I love horror games. If you scare me, I will give you money. I also love terrible games, as it's a lot harder to make a game that's so bad it's hilarious than it is to make something that is just bad.

For some reason I'm not super clear on, I am obsessed with J. Jonah Jameson.