The Dark Descent before Resident Evil 2 Remake – review

We recall what scared us the most in the 2010s.

About nomination

Horror is an extremely heterogeneous genre. Here you can meet first-person shooters, and stealth-action games, and quests, and interactive films, and RPG, and even car simulators. One thing unites them: they are created in order to frighten. And game developers have advanced a lot in this skill over the past ten years. Cold sweat, trembling hands and a pounding heart are all about them, the best horror of the past decade.
10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

Nyctophobia is one of the oldest human fears that we inherited from our tailed ancestors. And therefore it is not surprising that darkness is a mandatory attribute of almost any horror. That’s just until Frictional gamesIt seems that no one has yet tried to turn the fear of the dark into the main gameplay element.

When is Daniel Amnesia: The Dark Descent wanders through the corridors of the castle, drowning in darkness, he is really scared – and the player feels it in his own skin. Fear literally interferes with the passage: from horror, the main character begins to see and hear what is actually not there, and we already have to deal with these visions. In addition, Daniel is weak and unarmed: he does not know how to fight, and can only hide from monsters in cabinets and other dark corners, which scare him almost more than the monsters themselves. There is no way out of this vicious circle – that is why Amnesia keeps unremitting tension to the very end. And this, you see, is not enough for any horror.

Before Amnesia, Frictional Games had a cold Lovecraftian Penumbraand then deep, psychological SOMA. But it was The Dark Descent that became the most original and at the same time the most terrible project of the Finnish developers, for which it was honored to open our top ten.

Ninth place – Outlast (2013)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

Abandoned psychiatric hospitals are enviable among horror screenwriters, well ahead of abandoned shelters and abandoned family nests. Every month in Steam there is a scythe dozen absolutely identical indie horror films about the mental hospital, but in order to stand out from this mass, the studio Red barrels just one gameplay solution was enough. They took the weapon from the hero and gave a video camera instead.

The fourth wall thus becomes dangerously thin: we, like the main character, the journalist Miles Absher, are separated from the local monsters by the camera screen only. It works both as a video fixation tool, and as a flashlight, and as binoculars – this gives the ordinary, in general, horror amazing effect of presence. At Red barrels it turned out a naturalistic game that relies not so much on aesthetic psychological horrors as on quite ordinary fears: darkness, death, physical pain, ugliness. Outlast all the time balancing on the verge of a trashy body horror, but manages not to step over it, remaining one of the most terrible and atmospheric horror films of the decade. Alas, the second part was already far from being so balanced.

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

A vivid example of how a damn scary story can be created even with a minimum of funds. IN Five Nights at Freddy’s there is no twisted plot (and almost no plot at all), no bright characters with complex fates, and the cat wept for special effects. At your disposal are only monitors of a video surveillance system, incredibly ugly animatronics and many, many screamers.

All that the player does here is switching from one camera to another, anxiously awaiting the moment when the monsters finally get to him, and slams the doors in front of them. Like crying angels from Doctors Who, these creepy life-size puppets move only when you don’t look at them, so single author Scott Cowton saved a lot of money on animations. But even without it, Five Nights at Freddy’s scares much more than most horror blockbusters from major publishers. And by popularity among let’s players it leaves far behind all competitors.

Seventh place – Until Dawn (2015)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake
When announced Until dawn, few people expected that a small studio, which before that made mostly mediocre toys about dinosaur walks and additions to Littlebigplanet, will be able to create something outstanding. The result was even more surprising: up to Supermassive games nobody used interactive cinema in the format of the purest youth slasher – a genre as stupid as it is fun.

The task for Until Dawn is about the same as for movies like Friday the 13th or “House of Wax”: not so much to scare as to entertain. And the game does its job perfectly. Here are collected and stereotypical types of heroes, and all the possible cliches from teenage horror films: another abandoned clinic, an old damned cemetery and, of course, the holy “let’s split up and look around the house”. How quickly and correctly you make decisions and live through the QTE depends on whether the characters live to the end of the story. And you can come to the finale both with a full set of characters, and empty-handed. It is unlikely that they will be able to save everyone on the first attempt, but even just watching how nasty students fall into the trap of a maniac one after another is damn exciting.

Not the most sophisticated, but definitely the most fervent horror of the past decade.

Sixth place – Dead Space 2 (2011)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake
Come out first Dead space not back in 2008, but a couple of years later, in this list, most likely, it would have turned out to be just her. However, the stars are so formed that we recall the sequel … and he really deserves it!

With all the accusations of “poppy” that rained on Dead space 2 after its release, it’s still a very angry, dirty and scary game that not everyone dares to go through to the end. The main mechanics of the original – the “strategic dismemberment” of necromorphs with a laser saw – changed little, but in almost everything else the second part turned out to be larger, better, more diverse, more spectacular and dynamic than its ancestress. In the corridors of the space station, it is now more difficult to get lost, and monsters to mix up with each other. In addition, the main character learned to use jet engines built into the suit, and flying in zero gravity became a full-fledged element of gameplay – very unusual for horror, albeit science fiction.

A brilliant action movie with a Hollywood production and just an exemplary sequel.

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake
Resident evil – Almost the main series of game horrors, not only in Japan, but also in the world in general. She has largely shaped the horror genre itself as we know it now. And even if not without difficulty, but still survived most of the competitors like Silent hill, Forbidden siren or Fatal frame.

First three parts Biohazard – That’s what Resident Evil is called at home – so loved by franchise fans that Capcomperhaps they could just take the 1998 game, cover it with HD textures, screw in some photo mode and sell it to fans of the original as another remaster. But, fortunately, the political will of the publisher and the talent of the developers were enough to put together a completely new version of the game on the old material. Familiar characters and locations were transferred to a modern three-dimensional engine, mechanics were noticeably improved, the camera was finally hung over the hero’s shoulder, the script was rewritten, and the replicas were re-played without falsity and replay. The result was a game that is easily recognizable by the “old people”, and at the same time extremely modern.

Fourth Place – The Evil Within (2014)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake
Shinji Mikami, the father of the same Resident Evil, in 2014 decided to shake the old days and release a completely new horror series. It turned out something at the intersection immediately and Resident evil 4, and Silent hill 4, and many other classic horror movies.

The author’s style is immediately visible here. The evil within – an extremely beautiful, but at the same time fantastically uncomfortable thing that does not even try to be convenient for the player. Even ordinary enemies are distinguished by good health – what can we say about the opponents more seriously. But the hero, even if he is not completely defenseless, is extremely fragile and weak. Ammo is not enough. The controls are so tight and unresponsive, as if they were wholly taken from a horror hit of the late 90s. The plot is completely delusional, but at the same time torments with questions and does not allow to come off. In general, everything is like in the good old days.

The story of Detective Castellanos turned out to be so thick that you involuntarily get stuck in it, like a fly in tar. And there is no way to get out of there until the very end credits – although sometimes you really want to.

Third Place – Alien: Isolation (2014)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

The authors of horror – even books, films, video games – love to push their heroes with an invincible enemy. The trouble is that all these Tyrants, Pyramids, Seypho-heads, and other Jason Voorhees usually do not sparkle with intelligence. But in Alien: Isolation immortal evil has also become devilishly clever.

Alien – this is not a zombie with porridge instead of brains. Xenomorph is a cunning, cruel and incredibly effective predator, which literally at the genetic level is created to be an ideal killing machine. This sci-fi analog of Max Cady from Cape of Fear guided by its own logic – inhumanly perverse, but very effective. Therefore, when you once again bite your teeth somewhere under a table or in a closet, it’s even hard to imagine that a computer program controls the creature – its behavior seems so realistic.

That’s what happens when the developers of the brainwave global strategies decide to scare people a little.

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

Capcom chose perhaps the best way to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the legendary series: they decisively changed the style of Resident Evil for the second time in history. After a series of militants in the franchise, a slow and torturous thriller came out again.

True, the audit went so deep that if you remove the big name from the title, then in this first-person horror, no one will recognize the descendant of the classic Biohazard. But, fortunately, in spite of the very ephemeral (yes what there – sewn with white thread) connection with the rest of the series, it’s frightening Resident evil 7 not a bit forgotten how.

Yes, the plot in the best traditions of Japanese horror films is very naive, and the gloomy and atmospheric first half of the game contrasts strongly with the second, sometimes turning into a pure shooter. But before us is the same cruel, naturalistic horror with neatly woven puzzles in the plot – albeit from a new team. Moreover, the change of perspective in first-person view has made the game more personal, which means even more scary. Even if you are a burnt cynic and are sure that horror has nothing more to surprise you with, try playing the VR version of Resident Evil 7. Let’s see how long you have enough.

First Place – P.T. (2014)

10 best horror of the decade. From Amnesia: The Dark Descent to Resident Evil 2 Remake

The most paradoxical, original and simply strange horror of the decade.

A playable teaser for a nonexistent game that Sony presented at gamescom 2014 and immediately posted in PS Store, instantly became known thanks to the crowd of streamers screaming from fear. True, at first he seemed to many just an empty demo … until someone went through it to the end – and then the cries of horror gave way to cries of delight. Kojima! Reedus! Del Toro! Silent hills!

The most interesting thing is that in P.T. there was nothing unusual. Similar projects from young, rapidly developing studios are littered with all gaming stores. Glaring budget, sloppy picture, tiny claustrophobic little world – basement, corridor, bathroom and hallway. And a minimum of gameplay: just go over and over in the same circle, notice small changes in the situation and get scared of skillfully made, even vulgar screamers. But it’s worked! The game caused fierce paranoia, and its ending, on the contrary, gave a state of catharsis – that of fans of the Silent Hill series, that of fans of Norman Reedus.

How it all ended, we all know very well. P.T. eventually removed from the store, and consoles with the installed game started selling on eBay for some absolutely indecent money. Hideo Kojima finally quarreled with Konami and took away the whole team of his friends led by Reedus to do Death stranding. Well, we never saw any Silent Hills and never did – and, it seems, we never will. Though… who knows?

No matter what the skeptics say, the horror for the last ten definitely did not stand still and developed – albeit not in the direction that the fans of the classics would like. But what awaits us next? Will virtual and augmented reality technologies, artificial intelligence, and social gameplay elements further advance the art of fear?

We will find out the answers in the coming years – and we hope that they will scare us properly.