Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Proof of being alive topic time!

So first off forgive the lack of any articles, but ive moved house, had to deal with a lot of crap to get the net hooked up and now im in the final month of my film degree.

but ive been playing some horror games on and off, namely semi recent releases like F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin and Resident Evil 5. Though ive finished nothing of late so i dont think i can warrant a good article on any games ive not seen the credits roll on. 

However the last few months have seen the net crawling with threads on forums debating if resident evil 5 IS even a horror game at all. In my personal opinion it is an action shooter with horror overtones, it doesnt intend to scare any more than gears of war does but there are mild jumps and rushes of adrenaline from certain set pieces though the soundtrack has greatly shifted from action and suspense to action movie music. -and i have said often that music is a key ingredient in a successful horror piece. But!, on the flipside of this we have fear 2, which literally has a shock a minute to the point where my controller was almost consistently on rumble and you were turning clone soldiers and the homeless creatures from condemned into clouds of so much red matter. this was so over the top i quickly became desensitized to any and all attempts to shock me or instill fear as i played. Plus if any fast moving or stealthed enemy showed up i simply hit the time freeze button and shot them in the head.
but this is getting into a ramble and those are topics for much longer posts at a later time, what i wanted to comment on was the current parting of ways between to series that have gone hand in hand as the two leading sides of the survival horror coin, and thats resident evil and silent hill.
Or more specifically Resident evil 5, and Silent hill Shattered memories.. For those wondering what im on about dont feel stupid, this games been prettty under the radar thus far. Its a re-imagining of the original silent hill on the wii pc and psp, developed by Climax studios, again taking over for team silent on this wii centric remake with a twist ill get to in a second.
So first off lets look back at the mid 90's resident evil and its "stylish but shameless rip off" as it was dubbed at the time silent hill have just been released. Both archetypal horror stories, you play a person in there 20's looking for missing people they know in an isolated location where unnatrual events have come to fruition pitting the player against a menagerie of monsters, either science or supernaturally based. Each have there charms, great memories for the game enthusiast to hang onto, yet remain distinctly different regardless of there obvious first glance similarities.
Now jump a decade on and we have a great divide between the once all too similar franchises. Resident evil is a new type of creature altogether, finishing the transition to full 3rd person shooter it began in resident evil 4. its still at its heart the same franchise but the essence of the game contains a little more in common with gears of war and other bloody shooters pitting your against humanoids with guns and weapons and large behemoth creatures to take down as you progress. Basically it lost the survival. when you had to survive in the early games thats because there was not enough ammo to take down everything, you had to survive by dodgeing the lurching zombies as you ran through the tight corridors, in 5 you have rocket launchers by level 3 onwards and hardly anything is greater than an equal threat.
Though silent hill appears to be going the other way, the remake is focusing on combat evasion rather than a rambo style "turn everything organic into a red paste" shoot off. tie this into the freezing environment replacing the rusty , fiery hell and i think its the one franchise of the two that is sticking to its roots, albiet in new and interesting ways and i for one am really looking forward to the new silent hill far more than i did for resident evil 5 and i dont think i'll be the only one.

So there my point, ill cut my ramblings off before they get to tangential, but there you have it folks, taking the fight to the majini guns blazing as the special forces chris or hiding in the frozen hell of a new silent hill as disturbed writer harry. i know which one of the two id call survival horror, but whats our view?, discuss.