A blurb I wrote a few days ago regarding a horror game

So how long until we start seeing anti-mental asylum campaigns trumpeted on Kotaku?


No but really, this is a superb article on the state of Horror games and a -very- brief primer on monster psychology. Enough to highlight the deficiencies of standard movie (and now game) boogeymen.

It led me to the TGS footage of The Evil Within, which, upon first glance, is either a tribute to or an amalgamation of every squishy-squelchy 80s horror film. Hell, there’s a fucking Shining reference (with poorly-rendered blood wave to boot. Not to say The Shining is squelchy), so blatant to the point that it’s not merely a reference anymore and you raise your eyebrows and :beli:. Oh, but you’re not supposed to expect true horror from Mikami, the guy who made the RE series. Unlike RE4, this isn’t passable when you realize the game is in turn a pastiche of every recent popular horror game (including RE4). The tank controls are present, the closet hiding is present, the being chased by incompetent lumbering monster with giant pointy thing is present (Clock Tower did it better already), the invasion of your not-so-safe cottage by an angry zombie mob is present. All backed up by some pretty wimpy explosions and starring stoic white brunette #345. Which itself would be fine if it didn’t look like the entire game was built upon these mechanics plunked down in the grimy game world that we recognize from… just about every popular horror game out there. It suffers from the same problem as what we were bitching about with Pacific Rim: if the game is trying to shoutout chees.y Gorror, it’s taking itself too seriously. In a low-budget context that doesn’t care how bad you think the movie/game is and just wants to have a good time, stock tropes can be passed off as acceptable since that’s not the media in question’s focus. In the context of a high-budget game that seriously wants you to indulge in its schlock, shock scares and body horror that bears resemblance to what we’ve already seen countless times loses its edge.

You’d expect a game taking place inside a mental asylum to at least make the player doubt themselves or warp the character’s mind (Sanitarium), which is what I guess the endless corridor is trying to do. I guess. It’s still Evil Dead with polish,  the lack thereof being Evil Dead’s lasting charm.

Watch the landmines explode @10:00.

Those are balloons filled with gas, not jerry-rigged high-grade explosives.

But this is all based off 11 minutes of footage, so who knows. It’s easy for a dude behind a keyboard to spit venom at something he’s never played.

Movies and other popular media are rarely lauded for their objectively ‘fair’ representation of mental institutions and those with mental disorders, but I am interested in seeing in what direction movements such as this (linked in the RPS article) take:


I say this with the knowledge that I lack the knowledge to comment on what twisted notions film and video games give us of mentally ill people.


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