Growing up in some of the best times in video game history has granted many great memories, as well as some not so happy ones. This year for Spooptober I felt I’d do the ultimate cliche thing and take a nostalgia trip into the moments where I found myself Super Spooped.
I have rules for these posts, one game per franchise. It has to be innately scary (but I may break that rule from time to time). Also, there has to be more than just jump scares or ‘scary’ monsters, there has to be some sort of substance in which the game has chilled me to the bone. These games or part of them have something particular in which they broke a part of my sanity.
Also, these views are my own, they come from my personal opinion and may differe from yours. Just remember that I may see things a bit different than someone else may. Just take it as pure opinion. Because it is on the internet doesn’t make it true. *gasp*
With that out of the way, let’s get down to Day 11!
Resident Evil and Atmosphere
I’ll be honest, I was late to the Resident Evil party. I didn’t really try the games till around RE3 was out and I started with RE2. Friends of mine had an N64 copy of Resident Evil 2 and finally convinced me to sit down and play it. They knew, better than I did at the time my mentality for being scared was lower than most people. Even as a kid I couldn’t handle stress, anxiety, fear, and anger with any sense of normalcy so I never watched scary movies or played scary games because I knew I couldn’t handle it. However, I decided to dip my toes in the water with the biggest horror survival genre on the market because “Go Big or Go Insane” right?
The result? Let’s just say the images of zombies didn’t initially freak me out. It wasn’t the threat of the walking corpses that put me on edge. It was the rampant destruction caused by these creatures and the subsequent transformation from human to a zombie (or hooman to zombo as I prefer). The opening cutscene, which hasn’t dated very well at all btw, shows just how destructive a bite could be, sending a truck driver who was alive one moment and undead another barrelling towards Leon and Claire. Within minutes, Resident Evil 2, and RE1 does this as well, creates an atmosphere of terror. The idea of the undead rising isn’t exactly terror inducing when they have been overplayed for years (not at that time maybe but still). It was the abandoned streets, the corpses littered on the ground not rising up to eat me, and the carnage caused by these mindless beasts.
Capcom gave you the sense that yes you were surrounded by brain eaters, but that the world had gone to shit. The biggest threat was the atmosphere eating away at your sanity. We knew that the shamblers were the main antagonist but the one thing worse for you was the fact the world went to shit and you have to try to come back from that. It didn’t help it was mostly silent, minus groans, moans, and some musical selections that chimed in from time to time to set a false tone of safety or a true tone of desolation.
The effect of this tonal set put me so much on edge that even the door transitions scared the ever-loving crap out of me. I jumped every time, to my dismay and my friend’s glee.
Games that build an atmosphere, in such a deep way like Resident Evil did for me are the ones that really get me invested, ones that get me extremely terrified when put in such a position. I loved all of the Resident Evil games. minus maybe the Gun Con games, and 6, which I never finished due to time. 5 deviated from the atmosphere of what the games were built on, it was a good game but it couldn’t match the levels of fear I felt just opening doors and searching the Police Stations. I have Resident Evil 7 on my shelf, which I may just play for this month, and as far as I know the atmosphere returns true to form there.
For my first pick of the month, I wanted to start off with a touch on my childhood horror favorites. I love RE2, no idea if I ever went back to finish it but maybe I get a second chance with the Resident Evil 2 remake, I’ll get the chance. How do you guys feel about the series? How do you feel about the atmosphere of the game, what game fits this mold for you? Let me know, here, on Twitter, or even on Facebook.
Stay Tuned for Day 12 where I talk about mostly loneliness.