History of the genre of horror games. Part two (Topic)

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History of the genre of horror games. Part two


In the last part of the article, we looked at exactly how horror films were born, what path they went before reaching a mass audience. Today we will tell you how their golden era began.

The beginning of a golden age in horror history

And now we come to 1996. This revolution started with Resident Evil. Having figured out that many mechanics have already been used and invented in Alone in the Dark and Sweet Home, the question arises, what was Capcom's success?

Resident Evil

Firstly, it is "cut" that is officially considered the first game of the survivel horror genre and this is a key clue. The creators took existing mechanics and elevated them to absolute, polished and added new ones. Only after her such pillars as strong monsters, riddles and a minimum of supplies became an example to follow, and seemed to shout: “Did you see what we did? If you can't repeat even a little bit - don't even try! ”

However, this is not the main thing, the success of the series also came for other reasons. Briefly about the plot. Murders have begun to occur in the vicinity of Raccoon Sitti, and a special STARS squad is sent to investigate them. The first group of the squad disappears, and the second is driven into a mysterious mansion.

Resident Evil

The second innovation in the genre was zombies, which fit perfectly into the concept of the game. "Reza" has combined not only horror, but also mysticism with science fiction, where the living dead harmoniously merge with underground laboratories for research of viruses and secret experiments.

We could also choose characters, which changed the narrative. And do not forget that the graphics of the "cut" was then revolutionary. Combining all this, the game went out to the masses and became a classic.

Sanitarium followed after Resident Evil. Adventure with the first setting of a mental hospital (yes, imagine when that could surprise). To the music oppressing the psyche, we solved puzzles, plunging more and more into the madness of the protagonist. Even today, some gamers call it the scariest gaming experience.


And then came 1999 and saw the light of the most famous horror, which became the main competitor of Resident Evil - Silent Hill. In the story, you are the writer Gary Mason, who came with his daughter to the small town of Silent Hill on vacation, but as it turns out the city is empty, fog hangs over it, and the main character's daughter mysteriously disappears and we must find her.

The game had all the makings to become a cult - prescribed heroes, the darkest atmosphere, symbolism, references to religion and allusions to the sinfulness of the heroes and, of course, the unique music of Akira Yamaoka, which we wrote about separately. Silent Hill is a psychological trailer. He frightened with abstract things and fears themselves, when "reza" did it with zombies, tennacles and viruses.

Sillent Hill 2

The beginning of the 2000s: new features and cult sequels

The history of horror games continued with the fact that Capcom and Konami sawed sequels to their games, while new studios inspired by their example were doing their projects. One of these is Fatal Frame.

She was not afraid to use all the most terrible methods of intimidation, from a twisted mystical plot, ending with a frightening atmosphere and such a new feature as screamers.

Playing as a girl, we walked around the house and photographed ghosts with a pinhole camera. The game mixed all the best that was in the genre and added the setting of the existing Himmur mansion, in which atrocious sacrifices took place, which in total gave an excellent Japanese horror movie.

Then there were several interesting projects like Undying, a game based on the film of the same name The Thing, the dark horse of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Also in 2001, the sequel to Silent Hill 2 was released, two years later Silent Hil 3, and another year later Silent Hill 4: The Room (we will talk about the games of this series separately). At the same time, the sequels of Resident Evil were released (and about these too).

Resident Evil 4

In general, since 2000, a lot of great games began to come out that would not fit into one material if analyzed. The main thing is that they will be remembered by us with new mechanics and innovative approaches, as well as entering the world stage.

What we are used to seeing today or how boring the genre

Fast forward to 2005 for the release of the fourth part of Resident Evil, in which the concept of the original was largely changed, and after it the series never became the same. However, becoming an example of how to make a horror with elements of a third-person shooter.


In the same year, FEAR was born, which took the place of the standard horror shooter. The game was frightening with its level design, as well as its antagonist, the girl Alma, who tore the soldiers apart. Also, artificial intelligence was highlighted in the game, which is still considered the best today.

And now we come to the project that marked the end of the golden era of horror - Dead Space (2008). A game about the struggle for life against necromorphs (who does not know, the developers created them based on photographs of mutilated human bodies after car accidents) mechanic Isaac Clarke. It had the perfect balance between classic survivall horror game mechanics, action and meat. There was a lull after it.

This is not to say that the genre has outlived its usefulness, no. It went mainstream and faced what others are facing - content overload. If earlier there were few horror films, but they were of high quality, now there are a lot of indie fakes with screamers, and it is more and more difficult to find pearls. Amnesia, The Evil Within or Outlast comes out only once or twice a year. However, horror history continues to be written.

The Topic of Article: History of the genre of horror games. Part two.
Author: Jake Pinkman