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What Makes a Horror Game Scary?

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  • What Makes a Horror Game Scary?

    I came across an old thread here with the exact same discussion, but it was closed a few years ago.

    Now that it's been a few years I thought it would be great to bring this discussion back.

    A lot happened in these few years, and while Alan Wake wasn't the most scary game made, I honestly thought it had an amazing atmosphere that kept me in the edge of my seat while playing. Also, if you check on ScaredToPlay's Scary Games database (I linked it below btw), the game doesn't have a huge popularity, but definitely has some good horror scores such as 51% in Scary.

    What do you think what makes a scary horror game good?
    Looking for scary games? We are the biggest horror games database for any platform including Scary PC Games, Scary PS4 Games, Scary Xbox Games & more!

  • #2
    IMHO, what makes a good scary horror game is the atmosphere above anything else. The vast majority of games nowadays only want to throw things at your screen with high-pitched noise blasting through your headphones, games like 5NAF, Daylight, Sister Location, Emily Wants To Play and etc. are killing this genre. Once the player gets used to it, the jump scare factor becomes nothing more than your eyes hurting or your ears bleeding...

    But games like Outlast, Alien Isolation, Alan Wake, Silent Hill, ObsCure, Eternal Darkness, Fatal Frame... those are games that REALLY can and will scary you forever, not only because there's something terrifying in front of you, but because you can feel the atmosphere in various ways, in the OST and ambient sound, the level design...

    And you start to feel fear in every step you take, fear that something horrible and unthinkable will happen just before your eyes and you know that you can't run of it. That's a good scary horror game, one that will haunt our nightmares forever.
    "Now I am become Death, The Destroyer Of Worlds"


    • #3
      I call game a horror game if I feel tension all the time and not to be scared by some cheap tricks. Few games can do that. Early Silent Hill's and Resident Evil's did that for example. Music is also very important in making feel tense. Alan Wake uses elements of horror and it uses them wisely as a good background to tell a story. There's always a tension, someone lurking from behind...


      • #4
        Originally posted by WakeLestat360 View Post
        The vast majority of games nowadays only want to throw things at your screen with high-pitched noise blasting through your headphones
        Exactly, I'm a huge fan of horror games, but I hate when they throw things in your face. In some situations, it can be very nice. (Like in FEAR for example). But most of the time, like the poster above stated are just "cheap tricks".