Cinematic Horror at Gamescom

I just wanted to do a brief aside about two video game previews we had at Gamescom 2014.

First off we have the wonderfully scary and interesting looking P.T demo (which we played on the PS4) for the newly revealed Silent Hills from Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro using the Fox Engine (it’s gorgeous). It’s a game myself and Peter were never 100% confident would ever exist, a new Silent Hill that actually looks like it has some money, care and sense behind it. Obviously, it’s important to stress that P.T was just a demo, and does carefully state that it will not have anything to do with the main game, this reminds me in many ways of the Quantic Dream tech demo that came out before Heavy Rain, way back when in 2006.

And secondly we have ‘Until Dawn’ from Supermassive Games, which uses the also new and shine-y Killzone Shadow Fall engine, and also boasts some big names in its voice/motion capture cast. I actually quite like that it has a slasher movie feel to P.T’s higher end quality. They are both very different takes on the horror genre.

Most importantly I wanted to talk about the cinematic quality. It’s a really interesting shift we’ve been seeing in the video game industry which I think is a great indicator of how serious the industry is now – the big titles haven’t been about kids and family fun for a long time, but about high end design and serious stories. I like seeing the motion capture and care and how they’re starting to get proper actor billing in games, such as in Beyond: Two Souls big casting, all of L.A. Noire and so on and so on. Both these games have this, with proper actors and people involved in making them who also make films. So we’re seeing games that are becoming more ‘Interactive Drama’ in the good sense – a fully fleshed out game that has had care taken with its writing and acting as well as its engine and game play mechanics – rather than one focused on at the expense of another and we pretend that that’s fine because it’s just a game, the whole experience is very well made because these things have such big budgets now.

So, that’s all I wanted to say for now, it’s very exciting to see these kinds of story and genre driven games coming out, and how much horror is still being a more popular genre.

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