The Roots of all Resident Evil

Friday 23rd September 2016. EGX. National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. This is where I was when I first got a taste of Resident Evil 7. I was waiting in line for a go on the soon to be released PlayStation VR and I was a bit cheeky – you were supposed to wait in line and get pointed to whatever VR game was available at the time – but I had other idea’s, I knew that Resident Evil 7 was one of the playable games so I asked if I could play that specifically. After a weary look from the person signing us in, I was told I could have a go at Resident Evil 7 – something that I knew would make my wife very jealous! Especially after texting her to gloat about it!!

So, my very first experience of Resident Evil 7 was absolutely brilliant, I spent much of the demo hiding away from a demonically evil lady who I later found out to be Marguerite Baker who seemed to want nothing more than to eviscerate me if she saw me! The experience was tense and with no weapons at this point in the game did make me think a little bit of the similarities between Resident Evil 7 and Outlast (a game covered here on an earlier post) but I’ll come to that in a little bit. My VR Resident Evil experience ended with being captured by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque Baker family and subjected to atrocities including (but not limited to) limbs being cut off and food being force fed to your character. I actually felt sick at the end of it but that was more to do with my body’s inability to cope with the motion sickness induced by VR – a long sit down and a Subway meal sorted that out!

So fast forward to Christmas 2017 when I received Resident Evil 7 for the festive period. Non VR version this time! Although the immersion of VR had gone, the enjoyment of the game did not dip even a little bit, the storytelling is good, the graphics are great and what’s more the game itself has gone right back to the roots of the series for this one.

You begin by seeing a video message from the wife that your character has presumed to be dead so naturally you follow the leads and wind up exploring the grounds of what appears to be a rundown house. It’s only when you get inside that you discover that all it not well with this place – but come on, you didn’t expect that it would be ok did you? Wouldn’t be much of a game really would it?! You find your wife pretty much right away (never a good sign in a video game!) but something is wrong with her and she attacks you and ends up cutting off your hand! You are then captured by the inhabitants of the house (The Baker Family) who look all set to torture and kill you before you escape and all shades of hell break loose.

Bringing it back to the comment I made about Resident Evil coming back to it’s roots, the house that you explore is the centre of the whole game just as the Spencer Mansion was in the original game all those years ago. Make no mistake though, the Baker house is no Spencer Mansion – it looks like a tumble down shack from the outside as opposed to the grandiose splendour of the original mansion – however, the place has just as many secrets to discover and places where unmentionable horrors lurk. The emphasis here is on exploration rather than Resident Evil 6’s constant unrelenting action and the tension is ramped up a few gears because of this. You always expect there to be something around the next corner or in the next room and when there isn’t anything there you are relieved but actually it just serves to make you dread what is coming even more – for any fan of survival horror, this is a very welcome return to the genre’s top form.

As you further explore the house and the grounds (of which there are plenty!) you begin to encounter gradually more and more unsettling things and the first part of the game is played pretty much completely without weapons which as I alluded to earlier makes it easy to compare the game to something like Outlast and indeed the tension is similarly palpable in these parts. However, the game will not stay like this all the way through, it is very much a 3 act game and all the better for it I think. The first act concludes with you confronting and seemingly killing house patriarch Jack Baker and it is throughout the second act that you begin to find weapons, some of them good, some of them not so much but all of them are useful for defeating the enemies you start to encounter and without question, all weapons can be difficult to find ammo for which still ramps up that tension even when you have weapons available.

Stepping on Lego pieces can be pretty painful.

It is through this period that your house exploration uncovers a huge underground area with new mysteries, new enemies and new members of the Baker family, notably the unhinged psychopath that is Lucas Baker – as bad as Jack was, Lucas is somehow worse and he always seems to operate with a smile on his face too!

I don’t want to spoil the outcome of the game for anybody who is planning to play this but I will say that it is surprising what you start to find when you uncover the underground parts of the house and just how vast these areas are. You never feel like you’re lost or don’t know where to go but there is a lot to explore for those of you ready to put the time in to look around these area’s.

The games third act does eventually see you move away from the Baker House and provide you with another big area to uncover, it comes just at the point that you think you have completed the game and so completely surprises you when you discover that there is actually a whole other area to explore. And the enemies in this area? Some really tough MF’s reside in this area – a couple in particular take a lot to get rid of and STILL keep on coming back.

I think Resident Evil 7 does end with a few questions unanswered but you get the feeling that these answers may come in subsequent instalments. It is undoubtedly a great game and one that I would recommend to anybody but it is difficult to see exactly where this fits into the overall Resident Evil story. There are mentions of Umbrella throughout and the ending of the game suggests that they may be a wholly different company these days than they used to be but then…there is the fan theory. The fan theory that Wesker is not actually dead and he may be about to return in the next instalment. The theory is sparked by a YouTube video which shows the end of Resident Evil 5 in which you seemingly kill Wesker with a Rocket Launcher but the video slows down the supposed moment of impact and it is revealed that the rocket actually doesn’t hit Wesker at all but explodes behind him. Now, this could just have been a glitch on the PS3 version of the game but if so this doesn’t explain why the same ‘glitch’ would be in the PS4 remastered version (I recently replayed this). Could just be laziness on the developers part but then Wesker is mentioned during the course of the Umbrella Corps game as being alive. Of course this all depends on the timeline of that game (I never played it so can’t claim to know this) but it does throw up some interesting possibilities for any sequels.

Overall, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is about as good a Survival Horror game that you will play on PS4 and I would definitely recommend it – I hope I have done a good enough job of not spoiling it for anybody who has still to play it. I would like to leave you with one last conundrum though. As Resident Evil is called Biohazard in Japan and Resident Evil 7 came with the subtitle Biohazard – is the Japanese version called Biohazard 7: Resident Evil?!

All Things Elm Street

It seems that this blog page is quickly becoming all about Freddy Krueger (hence the headline!) given that the last article published was also about Elm Street – moreover the future of the series and the following article is no different. I’ve chosen to include these due to A Nightmare on Elm Street being a hugely popular franchise within the horror community and the one series that horror fans want to see back on the big screen – if it is done properly. The following article was originally published by Bloody Disgusting and here it is it’s original form – I will comment on it at the end;

Outside of Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th franchise that’s trapped in legal hell, the big horror bads are all making a big comeback.

Bloody Disgusting broke the news of Michael Myers and Halloween‘s escape from Dimension Films, which resulted in Blumhouse aligning with Universal and Miramax to bring the Shape back to the big screen. We also were the first to tell you that Leatherface and the Sawyer family will return in a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre from Legendary Pictures and Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez, who will both produce. Bloody also revealed first to our readers that Spyglass is developing a brand new Scream that will resurrect Ghostface.

But what about Wes Craven‘s other horror icon?

We exclusively told you two months ago that the U.S. rights to A Nightmare on Elm Street have reverted back to Wes Craven’s estate. This also included its red and green sweater/fedora-wearing dream demon, Freddy Krueger.

Now, Bloody Disgusting can also exclusively report that Craven’s estate has begun work on resurrecting Freddy as they are actively taking pitches for a new A Nightmare on Elm Street. While we don’t know exactly what the estate’s plans are – or if they have any distributor/financial deals in place – we have heard that they are looking for both feature film pitches and also concepts for a possible HBO Max series. Again, we do not know the extent of their plans – and it’s also entirely possible they don’t know what they want either.

Let’s talk about this for a second.

The Elm Street situation is less complicated than that of Friday the 13th in that Craven created Freddy Krueger and wrote the original screenplay for the New Line Cinema-produced/released A Nightmare on Elm Street. In layman’s terms, Wes Craven’s estate is the sole owner of the U.S. rights to Freddy and NOES, while New Line Cinema continues to own the international rights.

Craven’s estate can keep it simple and make a deal with Warner Bros./New Line Cinema and keep it all in the family. Or, a slightly more complicated route would be to align with a different domestic distributor (Sony, Lionsgate, Universal, etc.) that would partner with Warner/New Line, the latter of which would handle the international release.

What we don’t know is this: does the Craven estate have a deal in place already or are they taking pitches that they’ll, in turn, develop and use to sell to a distributor?

The good news here is that – unlike Friday the 13th – there’s nothing holding Craven’s estate back from giving Freddy and NOES back to the fans. And by the sound of it, they’re already working diligently to make sure our dreams come true.

Watch this spot for more info as it comes in. What are you expecting/hoping for from the future of Elm Street?

This does come across as very interesting news indeed and will indeed make many mouths water at the prospect of the sorts of pitches that may be coming into Wes Craven’s estate. I’m sure there will be just as many people will be cautious about this news and will have plenty of trepidation over how the character and story will be treated.

In my last article entitled ‘Frodo Krueger’, I mentioned the unpopular 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street reboot and this is a great example of how a good story or character elements can actually not be received that well by the audience. I actually enjoyed how the reboot made Freddy a child molester – this, to me, was the perfect way to make people hate Freddy and make him a villain again. Let’s be honest here, in most of the original sequels, Freddy is the hero of the films really as that is who you want to see which I think is how you end up with Super Freddy and Wicked Witch of the West Freddy in Nightmare 5 & 6 respectively. Freddy should be the antagonist, he should be feared and not revered. I hope that any new film finds a way in which to make Freddy feared again.

There are certainly lots of possibilities for the future of the series and I do hope that Wes Craven’s estate have as clear a vision for the future of the character as Wes Craven himself would have. It was no coincidence that one of the best sequels was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare which in turn spawned the original Scream film (go back and watch the two as a double feature – it’s easy to see the similarities). Time will tell but it is certainly exciting times for any Freddy fanatics.

Frodo Krueger?

A little while back I posted an article relating to some of the legal issues relating to the Friday the 13th series and the Nightmare on Elm Street Series. This article is very much intended to accompany that article and provide an update of sorts to that article.

An unlikely name has emerged as a contender to take on the dormant Nightmare on Elm Street series, during an interview with comingsoon.net, Elijah Wood has said that his production company SpectreVision would love to take on a reboot of the Freddy Krueger fronted franchise.

Listed as one of 5 franchises that he would like to take on Elijah went onto describe a potential Nightmare on Elm Street reboot as a ‘dream project’. He went on;

“It definitely has that aspect of pie in the sky, of getting to play in a certain sandbox, you know? It’s a universe and a character and an idea that would be a fun sandbox to play in. It’s trying to do something different.”

“With a lot of these classic horror films that have seen so many sequels, eventually it sort of plays itself out a little bit,” added Wood.

“It’s also interesting to think about what could we do with a franchise like that which reinvents itself or creates something that is playing with the tone and key of the franchise, but is doing it differently or taking it in a slightly new direction. It’s a fun way to think about those things.”

It is always interesting to get other people’s take on a classic franchise such as Elm Street and the possibilities could be for a new film in the series, especially after the 2010 flopped so much which I always thought was a little harsh on the film, especially when you consider entries in the series like The Dream Child and Freddy’s Dead were so camped up they could barely be described as horror. That could be a subject for a while other article though.

Wood’s business partner Daniel Noah also says, interestingly, that they have been in contact with the rights holders (of A Nightmare on Elm Street) ‘many times’. It is unclear how advanced these talks might have got or even if there is any real possibility of Freddy being resurrected by SpectreVision any time soon it has certainly got people talking and the fact that Wood’s productionb company has already been involved with a number of other well received horror movies (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Mandy) seems to add a little bit of excitement to these rumours too.

I’m sure that there is still plenty of mileage left in the series at the moment and in the right hands we could still have an Elm Street movie that is equally exciting and terrifying, I still have some hope that somehow, someday the fabled Peter Jackson script that was supposed to become Elm Street 6 can still see the light of day as this was a really interesting idea. We will certainly have more on these pages if and when anything else develops from this.

Green Screen of Horror

By now I would imagine most gamer’s are at least aware of the existence of Friday the 13th: The Game – the ostensibly online asymmetrical horror game where one person plays as series protagonist Jason Voorhees and 7 other players play as camp counsellors and either get viciously and brutally murdered or manage to escape by the skin of their teeth. But what about the Friday the 13th game from 1985? That got me thinking…what about horror based games in general from that period and on that particular format? Let’s have a look.

Before we get properly into the games, I should point out that the reasons that I have chosen the Amstrad CPC 464 as the format is firstly, it the main computer I had as I was growing up from the age of about 7 right through until I was about 14. Secondly, I thought it would be a bit of fun to look at some horror games in an 8 Bit home computer format as a direct contrast to the ultra realistic horror games you see on home computers and consoles now. So, on to Domark’s version of Friday the 13th.

Safe in your cabin in Friday the 13th

What you are looking at just above this paragraph is an actual screenshot of the Amstrad version of Friday the 13th. I tell yiou this because I relaise that it is not immediately obvious that the screen shown here is actually anything to do with Friday the 13th! The basic premise here is that there are 10 counsellors runnign around the area whilst Jason is on the loose. The trouble is that Jason is disguised as one of the Counsellors so you never know who he actually is unless he a) attacks you b) you see him attack somebody else or c) it comes down to you and one other counsellor and you haven’t found Jason yet. From there you need to locate a large crucifix that has been inexplicably lifted from the church and placed in a random cabin and place it either back in the church or into another building of your choice which then becomes ‘sanctuary’. You then wander all over the map trying to find counsellors before the time runs out or before Jason murders them all, once you find them, you walk over them and they will attempt to ‘run’ to the sanctuary you have already set up.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, the game is terrible and I always kind of thought teh fact that it was a licensed F13th game was almost shoehorned in as when you did finally uncover Jason, he just became a character dressed in black clothes with black hair who would try his best to kill you with a rather large machete! On the plus side though, this game did have the most blood curdling digitised scream that any 8 bit machine has ever managed as well as a cool screen involving a knife to the head when you’ve been killed so at least there was a bit of horror there somewhere.

Oh no! It’s Oh Mummy!!

Ok so you may not think that this constitutes an horror game but this is the 8 bit period so really how frightening was a game ever going to be? For anybody who owned an Amstrad CPC 464 Oh Mummy was an absolute classic! For anybody unfamiliar with Oh Mummy it was kind of a cross between PacMan and Tomb Raider – that’s not even a joke, the basic element of the game includes something missing from a lot of the modern Lara Croft adventures – actual tomb raiding!

So, what you would need to do is go around the Tomb that you presumably have just discovered looking for treasures. The screen would be made up of a 5 x 5 grid of squares which you would need to make your character run all the way around to open the square and find a treasure. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Wrong! Every so often you would run round a square and it would look like a little door was opening and if this happened, you knew you were in for it as a Mummy would pop out and start chasing you. This is the PacMan element of the game as the Mummy’s take the place of Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde (The PacMan ghosts) and chase you around the whole screen – one touch from these bandaged baddies and you have had it! Each level had the same layout and as you went through the levels the Mummy’s would get faster and faster which did get the heart pounding at times to be fair. PS4 remake anybody?! Oh Mummy was one of the games that came free with the computer and what a game it was, certainly right up there with Harrier Attack and Roland on the Ropes. Speaking of which…

Can’t stop that Roland getting up those ropes!

Again Roland on the Ropes may not immediately scream horror game at you but stick with me on this one – this is essentially the 8 bit era’s version of The Descent! As Roland, you find yourself at the bottom of what can only be assumed to be a huge tomb or maybe a pyramid that you have to try and find your way to the top of, using the aforementioned ropes of the title, presumably to escape. I say presumably as I never managed to complete the game – games were waaaaayyyyyy harder back then! Your enemies would consist of skeletons, Mummy’s (again!), scorpions and bats as well as dripping poison from the ceilings so there’s plenty of horror related enemies for you to kill or avoid (some of them couldn’t be killed, only avoided!) and again this was a pretty decent game to be included in the 12 free cassette’s that came with your CPC and provided many a happy hour for my young self playing through this. If dripping poision and bats aren’t enough to convince you of Roland’s merits as a survival horror game then what about throwing a Xenomorph into the mix?

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk through an 8 bit version of HR Giger’s mind?

Aliens! Of course, this one had to be thrown into the mix. Aside from being one of my favourite films ever, it was also one of the 80’s biggest Sci-fi/Horror movies and as such various versions of it were inevitably brought to computers and games consoles alike. Over the years, James Cameron’s monster sequel has contributed massively to video games, to this day you still get sentry guns on such a lot of first person shooter games and the fact that this 464 version was also a first person shooter surprised approximately nobody! The way the game was presented was actually a pretty good idea, you chose (or were given) one of the Colonial Marines as a character and you would wander through the Hadley’s Hope colony looking for surviviors to save and aliens to obliterate. You even had to draw your own map as you played the game as there was no radar map in the corner of the screen in those days and it was so easy to get completely lost and not know where you were. It was the execution of the game that was a bit less desirable! Due to the limitations of the system most of the corridors that you would stalk looked exactly the same, they had clearly tried to add some Giger style flourishes to the backgrounds but it just ended up adding to the feeling of confusion as there were very few rooms with any individual characteristics. One positive thing I can say about the game is that whenever an alien appeared randomly in a room you had just entered and started to come right for you, you genuinely would start to panic, you had be accurate though miss even once and chances were you would be devoured by the alien or you would kill while it was too close spilling their acid blood all over your character. I did enjoy this game for a while but the frustrations of the game did tend to come to the forefront.

When will they stop feeding them after midnight?!

Finally, we have Gremlins 2 which I realise was more of a comedy horror but it was still had enough horror moments in the film to warrant inclusion in the genre. The actual game of the movie is an uncomplicated platform game in which you take control of Billy in his attempts to locate Gizmo. You do this by using various weapons to throw at the Gremlins including tomatoes and frisbees – not really sure what the thinking behind the weapons is here but you can kind of forgive it as it is quite an entertaining game in parts. I always thought that it might have made more sense for you to play as Gizmo in the game been as he was pretty much the hero of the piece in the actual film but as I say, it was quite an entertaining game which is more than you could say for some movie tie ins of the time. Alas, this is another game that I never managed to complete as I could only ever get as far as the intermittently appearing girl gremlin who would shoot kisses at you and was bloomin difficult to get past! I would have liked to have seen some of the other Gremlins characters in the game but as I never got that far I couldn’t do it although I’m sure a playthough video must exist on YouTube.

That’s it then, my little round up of 8 bit horror. Hope you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane and if you do have any memories to add, please add them in the comments section.

Art (of) The Clown

In an age where there are no real horror icons left (and some of them are even locked in courtroom disputes) it seems as if it’s the clowns who are providing some of horror’s most frightening moments of recent years!

Pennywise the Dancing Clown is perhaps the most well known mainstream clown character to rise to prominence in the recent two part Stephen King adaptation of IT, which if you haven’t seen yet I would seriously urge you to go and check it out as it is brilliant. However there is a new kid on the block (geek points for the IT reference there?) who has taken the whole scary clown character to new levels. Art the Clown.

You can see him in all his glory in the featured image on this particular article and just to look at him, he looks absolutely terrifying with horrendous teeth and deliciously bright yet devilish make up with his tiny little hat and hook nose to really complete the look. There are some elements of Freddy there in his hideous visage – namely the eyes with evil in the centre of them and the rotting teeth that he doesn’t try to hide away, instead smiling his way through most of his scenes. There is one major difference between this clown and Freddy Krueger however – Art never utters a single word during the whole film!

David Howard Thornton plays the part of Art amazingly, it is his little nuances that give the clown life and, in turn, give the movie life as he lights up the screen every single time he is featured in a scene. Listening to the episode of Talk is Jericho podcast that Thornton guests on it turns out that one of his main influences for playing this part was the silent movie stars of the early 20th Century – it shows in the performance too. Art’s movement’s are very pronounced and precise and his facial expressions tell you everything you need to know about the villain’s frame of mind too – usually he is delighting in every twisted atrocity he carries out with the exception of one scene where it appears he becomes frustrated with one of his victims and doesn’t seem to take as much joy in killing her as the others and finishes her in a much more direct way than any of his other victims. Thornton plays this exquisitely and it’s hard to imagine anybody else now playing Art even though he actually isn’t the original actor of the role – could there be any more of a compliment of David Howard Thornton’s abilities though?

Terrifier is the name of the movie, quite fitting given the look of the antagonist of the piece, and it does actually live up to it’s name. Terrifier is very low budget but you get the feeling that they spent whatever budget they did have very wisely indeed as Art is just right in terms of make up and some of the kills, one in particular, leave you wincing and wanting to look away from the screen but you can never quite manage to look away as it so engrossing and indeed, gross out.

Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter – the girls in this film are, for the most part, incredibly stupid and go against all horror movie protocol by splitting up! After already seeing the clown too – I’m sorry but I’m pretty sure they would have stuck together – I’m sure we’ve all been on a night out when the entire female contingent of your group disappear all of a sudden when they go en masse to the toilets! That’s without having a killer clown on the loose! To be honest though, if the girls in the film hadn’t been a little bit dim then we wouldn’t have got the thrill ride that this film gave us.

I have to say that I really didn’t expect Terrifier to be as good as it is and quite honestly hadn’t even heard of it until I heard Chris Jericho giving it a rather hearty recommendation on his podcast. I would like to pass on that recommendation too to anybody that hasn’t already seen it as the film and the central character are the best I’ve seen in recent years and certainly one of the best new horror characters that really deserves to sit at the same table as all the horror film icons of the 80’s & 90’s slasher era.

Terrifier 2 is apparently in the works now and if it even approaches a fraction of the deliciously twisted nature of the original then I think we can all be happy with that. Here’s hoping it will get a cinema release too as Art definitely deserves to be on the big screen.

A Nightmare on Crystal Lake?

So, are Freddy and Jason getting together for another monumental big screen fight? Errrr, no not exactly – this time the two horror icons are both embroiled in separate legal disputes and if that doesn’t get you thinking of Freddy shouting ‘Objection…bitch’ then there must be something wrong with you!

As you probably all know by now the Friday the 13th series is locked in a bitter dispute between Sean S. Cunningham and Victor Miller (the screen writer of the original movie) where the latter is attempting to gain back the rights to the original screenplay. That particular dispute has been a very protracted affair and shows no signs of being resolved just yet.

However, what you may not know is that A Nightmare on Elm street has gone down the same route although this one seems to have been resolved quickly and quietly with the rights to the original A Nightmare on Elm Street reverting back to the estate of the late, great Wes Craven.

The law regarding writers claim to the rights of the movies they pen is that after 35 years the rights which may have previously belonged to a movie studio can now revert back to the original writer, thus giving them control of that movie or franchises future, in the United States at least. The problem with the Friday the 13th lawsuit is that Sean Cunningham claims that Victor Miller was just a pen for hire as opposed to Wes Craven who created, wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Quite what this means for the future of A Nightmare on Elm street is a little unclear at the moment but perhaps the fact that the rights to this franchise reverted to Wes Craven’s estate quickly and quietly gives us all more hope that maybe another movie could be in the works over the next few years although who would be writing and directing such a film is not known at present.

Personally, I hope the urge to produce another reboot/remake is resisted as I’m sure that a more original film could be made from the characters created in A Nightmare on Elm Street even if the original sequels end up getting deleted a la Halloween 2018. Surely Robert Englund deserves a proper send off too? Even if he’s not Freddy then surely there could be a cameo for him? Time will tell.

Batteries Not Included

One of the best games that I have personally played over the past few years was the original Outlast. The lack of any expectations of the game may have had something to do with this as I went in a little bit blind to it – all I had to go on at the time was the creepy image that appears above on this blog post. So I took a chance on it, downloaded it from Playstation Store and by God, I am so glad I did.

I don’t mind admitting here that for the vast majority of my time playing Outlast that I was petrified! It made me jump (a lot!), it grossed me out (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever visited the prison part of the asylum and seen the inmate performing an ‘intimate’ act on himself over some corpses!) and it ingrained a persistent feeling of dread throughout the game as you never, ever knew just what was around the next corner or through the next door.

It’s worth saying at this point that I took quite a bit of a risk on this game as I didn’t know anything about it at all other than it was a survival horror game. For some reason I saw the artwork for it on the PS Store and immediately knew I had to have it – this could have had something to do with the perceived horror game resurgence at the time and not having the opportunity to play anything outside of the established Resident Evil series (more on that in another Blog Post!).

Now, when I describe Outlast as a Survival Horror game, this is meant in the purest sense of the term – at no point in this game do you ever possess a weapon! That’s right you heard right, there are no weapons whatsoever here, all you have is your trusty video camera with which you need to log everything and which also has a very handy night vision mode for stepping into completely darkened rooms or passageways. Unfortunately the night vision mode drains the battery of your camera (normal mode doesn’t drain them apparently – if only they made mobile phones this way!). For this reason, wherever you happen to be in the game, you need to scour environments for battery packs which all seems simple enough in theory but when the rooms are dark and you’re being chased by some kind of monster or lunatic they are very easy to miss. Bypass too many battery packs and you’ll be up the proverbial creek without a paddle as you won’t be able to see where you or, more importantly, who is chasing you!

Having no weapons at all to fend off enemies does, in my opinion, really ramp up the tension in Outlast, I found I was getting really tense whenever an enemy appeared on screen as you have to find somewhere to hide pretty sharpish or, in one particular encounter, creep silently around sets of shelves containing bed linen and towels while your enemy is creeping round the other side of said shelves looking for you. My heart would beat so fast in all of these types of encounters that there were times I was legitimately worried that my health was at risk by playing the game! Quite literally not for the faint hearted!

Taking this approach to weapons in the game really helps keep the tension right through until the very end of the game when you’re literally just running to the endpoint of the game as if it was your very own life that was on the line and not just your characters life.

The story element of the game is good too and it takes many twists and turns before you come to the particularly surprising ending. It does use the old video game stand by of collecting audio and video diaries to further the story but as I already mentioned, they do add up to a lot of twists and turns in the story so you actually don’t mind collecting them all to try and find out what happens next.

To me, Outlast must have been one of the surprise hits of 2014 as it has gained many favourable reviews from horror game fans and really refreshed the whole scene to me – it’s no surprise that we had titles like Alien Isolation where weapons were at a premium against an unkillable Xenomorph and even Resident Evil switched to first person view and left you without weapons for a portion of the game. It can be no surprise that Outlast has since become a staple of the horror game community and that it has now spawned DLC for the first game and also a full blown sequel with plans for a third game in the pipeline too. Once I have played through Outlast 2 then you can expect a feature about that one too…not that I love Outlast or anything you understand! Play it! Play it now!!

Welcome to my Nightmare

Hi there, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to my Blog page – here I will be writing about – well – All things Horror! So anything and everything that I can think that relate to horror movies and horror video games which are two of my big passions to write about.

The movies and games that you read about within these pages may not be the latest releases but rather features and memories about my time watching certain movies or playing my favourite horror games.

I am a working parent so I’m sure those of you in the same boat as me will appreciate that to keep up with all the latest news and releases is a fools errand but I hope you will join me for a trip down memory lane or to read about movies and games that you may not have watched or played yet. Either way, to quote a certain Mr F. Krueger, “You are all my children now!”