Let’s Talk About…: Surviving Horror

We’re back with our “Let’s Talk About…” series! Check out the previous chats here.

Let’s Talk About… Until Dawn

A little preemptive to talk about it really, because I haven’t played it, yet. I really, really want to, though.

Image result for until dawn

I mean, we all know that horror isn’t really my thing, but I will occasionally attempt to try and entertain the idea of possibly playing a horror game, if the right one comes along.

This is one of those games. Well, of course it is. A good story, moral choices attached to a timer, and butterfly-effect mechanics? Sign me up. And then please pay for my electric bill for when I don’t sleep for a week. No, but seriously.

Image result for too scared to sleep

Anyway, in regards to horror, I think “survival horror” is probably my favorite type of horror, especially if it mimics the “psychological horror/thriller” of other media. I really like the idea of using more than blood and guts to disturb someone, because I am a big believer in the idea that the worst monsters are the ones that we could become. In typical therapist fashion, exploring (safely) the darker (and more repressed) parts of people’s minds is something I find clinically fascinating.

And then there is just the intrigue of trying to figure out along with the characters what is actually going on. Of course, as the player/audience, it’s more fun because we aren’t in any real danger, so the thrills and chills disturb but don’t hurt us. They make us tingle with a delightful amount of fear before we turn off the television, close the book, and laugh with a friend about how scared we were.

Of course, what we all don’t want to admit is that we wouldn’t be any more adept than the story characters in those situations, but that’s a chat for another day…

I’ll be talking more about horror all this month, so I’m glad this is the post that will kick that all off!

What do you think about survival or psychological horror? Is it fun? Terrifying? Not worth the time? Have you played Until Dawn? What other survival horror games are “must plays”? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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38 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About…: Surviving Horror

  1. I agree with you in that psychological/survival horror is better than gory horror. I think it makes for a more interesting plot and the scariness is more likely to stay with me than anything else. I’m going to download the Amnesia collection on PS Plus this month but I’m most likely not going to be able to play it because I’ll be too scared!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It definitely makes for more interesting plot.

      Ooo Amnesia is a game that I’ve also stayed away from. My friend’s boyfriend was pretty into it, and he seemed to like it. It was hard to tell if he was scared because he’s a pretty laid-back guy, but I think it was unnerving for even him haha. If you play it, let me know what you think!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to say… this game was fantastically awesome. I loved it. I am generally not into horror games either but this one called to me because my choices and reactions actually DID make a huge impact and I just –
    It freaked me out. Not going to lie. There was one section where I just failed at buttons because I was so nervous. ANd had to come up with strategy for somethings. XD
    But it was brilliant.
    Again, I am normally not for horror games. Like, the ones that freak me out and make me toss my controller? Until Dawn was a great mix of both a bit – Nevermind. I had to play in parts, because I got freaked out. And my husband had to be with me. XD So I won’t do another horror game for a while – but Until Dawn was worth it. But I will probably keep away from them zombie games and other ones that seem to be popular. xD

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah I’m beginning to think this is one I’ll have to play with someone…. I’ve been distracted by Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, but this one is still lurking on my to-play list.

      It sounds like the game was quite an experience for you! I’m glad you were able to get through it, even if it entailed a little panicked button-mashing 😉 I’m sure I won’t be any better! haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love horror games most of all, but it’s incredibly rare for any of them to actually induce any fear in me. I’m pretty desensitized to fictional violence and horror of almost any kind (but I can’t stand the sight of real blood and etc). The closest a game ever came to being scary for me was Resident Evil 7 in VR, because it was the closest to stepping over that line between fantasy and reality. I often wonder what will happen in another 10 years or so when graphics become photorealistic and VR is even more advanced. Will I still be able to handle it? Will anyone? Guess we’ll see!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s not a bad problem to have. I think all that fear you don’t have finds its way into my brain during horror games (haha). But seriously, being able to clearly draw that line between real and fiction is a good thing! I’m not going anywhere near RE7, but that’s what I’ve heard about the VR experience. If that’s the wave of the future, though… my gaming days might be numbered! I like my video games safely behind the glass of my television haha

      I’m trying to find articles about VR, because I saw a sensational news story about blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, so in all seriousness the questino of “will anyone” be able to handle it is definitely a good one!

      Like

  4. I finally got around to creating a username/gravatar thingy (I just had to use a different email, so, goodbye old Fern11 handle).

    This game was excellent. I had the advantage of playing it with my cousin, so whenever either got too jittery (and you do get jittery), we’d let the other take over. There is one part near the end of the game where you really need to stay still if you want to survive and it was THE WORST. Yet once everything was over, I came to see it as one of the most inspired things in the game.

    I agree with your and The Dragon’s Tea Party’s opinion, I prefer survival and psychological horror and suspense to gore. Same goes for other media.

    With the exception of a few games, I tend to like my survival horror super pixelated. I guess it helps keeping things safely fictional. On the other hand,I could never get into playing Silent Hill or Resident Evil, even though it has intriguing plots and ideas. And I’ve seen enough of Bloodborne to know I’d read the hell of it if it was a book, but those Eldritch horrors look actually horrific.

    Recently I played The Witch’s Isle, it is a rather short game, but I enjoyed the puzzles and as much of the story I managed to unveil (the fact that you have to get the best ending to understand what really happened is a plus for replayability).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats! Welcome to the dark side… haha

      Hm… sounds like I should find a friend to play it with. Either that or my electric bill will go way up and my poor teddy bear won’t know what hit him haha

      Eep. I might be playing Bloodborne in the future, so… good to know.

      That’s interesting that you have to get the best ending to understand the story. I’m both intrigued by that idea and a little confused, because I’m not sure how I feel about people not understanding the story just because they didn’t do everything “right.” Anyway, you’re right that it’s good for replayability, and I’m always up for more puzzle games.

      Like

      1. One way to deal with the horror aspects is to pay attention to see if you can catch all the “teen horror film” tropes and cliches.

        Hah, well, the fighting and the mystery bits seem like fun. I watched along as someone else played and a) it was super interesting, but b) they really went all out with the cosmic horror bits.

        Ah, I didn’t express myself well-enough. I guess I should have started by saying there is a memory loss component to the game. So, you (and the PC) know what is happening in the present, but don’t really understand how things got as bad as they did.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m quite a fan of picking out all the cliches and of making jokes during horror movies/games, so this sounds right up my alley! haha

          Oh! I see. That’s a lot better than I originally thought! Interesting…

          Like

  5. I haven’t played Until Dawn as yet. I always remember the original Resident Evils caring me back in the day, RE7 in VR looks like it would be very scary.
    All that being said, outside a few exceptions, I do tend to prefer psychological horror to gore. I want to be creeped out rather than grossed out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m not too big on horror games, I’m too easily scared by them. Although, this may not be a horror game by any means, but it had some terrifying parts that did make she shiver and question whether to progress or not. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It’s not outright horror, but does toy with some aspects and ideas you’d find other such games, and in my opinion, applies them to a more psychological level. It was refreshing to play something like this, since again it’s not a genre I usually take well to.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m too scared to play Until Dawn 😦 It looks fun though! I’ll stick with Hellblade for now. The voices won’t stop!! 😨

    I’m not a huge horror game person. Psychological horror is definitely my preferred type. The thing that terrified me the most in The Last of Us was what humanity devolved into, not the monsters. I also love the Resident Evil series. That’s more survival horror, I guess, but the series has sent me on a few existential crisis trips. That’s why I tend to stay away from horror games, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would like to join in on this with pointing out, that games or movies in horror where the monster is never revealed are some of the absolute best made. Unfortunately, I can’t remember a game right now but it might come to me some time.

      The thing about The Last of Us, was that it greatly showed what happens when the world has turned back into nature and the only way to survive is by sticking together…problem is that Man is always greedy and sinful so it will never work out. Loved that game from start ’til finish and was quite the right on hardest difficulty.

      If I could recommend two horror games, it would be Lone Survivor and Dead Space. Fantastic games, plus both are completely different.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Omg Hellblade…. But yes when I get to Until Dawn I’m sure I’ll be a scared mess afterward haha

      I do like a good psychological horror/thriller, especially when a “point” is being made about humanity. My friend loves Resident Evil, but I never really got into it. I guess it’s more survival horror, from what I’e heard. Horror will do that to you! haha

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a love/hate relationship with this genre, but like you I mostly enjoy the psychological thriller as well. There’s just something about delving into the psyche of both the main character but also you as the player, trying to figure out what is going on within the game’s story.
    Until Dawn was like a love letter to all the cult classics of horror movies, springled with a little mythology and it was a decent game to play. Quite fun when played with friends over a couple of beers.

    Some of my favorite games in the genre is Dead Space, Resident Evil and Silent Hill. There are probably more, but can’t remember on the top of my head.
    Enjoyed the post, was amuzing to read as I have trouble sleeping in this night.

    Stay Cozy and have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’m a fan of psychological thrillers (as you can tell!), especially when they make some sort of “point” about humanity.

      I’ve been distracted by Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, but Until Dawn is still floating around on my radar. I surprisingly never really got into horror genres (well, I guess that’s not surprising), but my friend loves Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

      Glad you liked the post! Hope it helped you sleep! (haha?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hellblade does seem like a game that could be fun to play through, from what I’ve read it’s an experience worth taking just to explore the depth of our main charcter’s psyche.

        Plus we all got something we’re not a fan of, could totally point towards the music department for genres I don’t enjoy 🙂

        Like

  9. Ah, Until Dawn. I wasn’t interested, then watched a Let’s Play of it and got super into it, but then I never bought it because the game is all plot and I just watched a Let’s Play on it so I was spoiled to literally everything. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

    Horror in games…. doesn’t really bother me. I remember years ago, the Resident Evil Remake and Fatal Frame II kept me up at night for a while, but since then, not so much. Most of the horror games I’ve been playing have ended up marred by really poor controls, and that takes me out of my immersion, so no horror in there because I’ve separated myself from the game. I wouldn’t think that would be happening with literally every horror game I’ve been playing though. Maybe I’ve just gotten jaded, but survival horror just hasn’t been as fun for me for a while. It ends up with a lot of games built on making me feel a thing I’m just not feeling like I should be. Even the good ones. I played Amnesia for a couple of hours and didn’t feel anything except bored. It feels like I’m not as open as I once was to it, so I’m missing a vital part of the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah. Yeah, knowing the story twist sort of defeats the purpose of playing the game.

      You’re lucky. I have an overactive imagination to begin with, and there are just some things that “get in my head” and refuse to leave. I’ve gotten better (or more jaded, like you mentioned), but I also think that a lot of horror games focus on the hero aspect (like RE), or the helpless aspect (which can wind up gory), and focus less on the “unnerving” which is what sticks with people. Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality is, in my opinion, what makes certain movies/games/books scary, so poor controls or an overabundance of tropes can really torpedo the experience.

      That’s too bad about Amnesia. A friend’s boyfriend played it and he said it was pretty creepy (so I avoided it). I’ll be attempting to talk more about horror in the coming weeks, so I appreciate your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I both love it and dread it. Existential and cosmic horror are my favorite types, because they’re the most thought provoking. I also want to write a cosmic horror for a number of reasons, but more than likely a major progenitor of that idea is FFVII, which has elements of one. Of course my latest and honestly favorite horror game is SOMA. I can’t even work on its review at night. Most terrifying game ever 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes those are definitely great types of horror, and ones that definitely linger a bit! If you write a cosmic horror story, I’d love to read it!

      Oh, SOMA… I’m so close to the end, and then so much happened and I never finished. I have to get back to it so I’m ready for your review! If it’s that intense, maybe I’ll wait until after I finish Hellblade…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t worry too much about finishing quickly lol. I’m currently reading one of two stories that were recommended on one of the reddit threads I found that have similar themes to the game. I’m also thinking this may be a review done in parts, but there’s SO MUCH to say about the game, and I, one, can only really work on it on the weekend; and two, I need to put it on hiatus even before next month (I’m doing NaNoWriMo), because I now have a collaborative article to write, and it has to be done this month o.O

        Liked by 1 person

        1. o.O You’re a very busy The Shameful Narcissist! Well, however the review happens, I’m excited for it!

          Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I’m still on the fence about doing it this year, myself. But anyway, I’m also pretty hyped abut your collaborative article…. Good luck with all your projects!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I played this a while ago so I don’t really remember much but I did have some problems with the characterisation and plot. The psychopath killer was too obvious in who it was, Sam’s towel has magical adhesive power, the ghost jumpscares that were set up were kind of impossible, Matt’s death by hook was never explained and also kind of unwarranted and the dialogue could use some cleaning up. Seriously. Otherwise, the concept of the game and its mechanics were pretty refreshing but it does kind of take away from the realism when you can see visions from totems (they do heighten tension, though, which is good). Also, there was no way to save Josh and to this day, I’m still not sure what his imagined therapist dude is supposed to do in the game. As for his mental condition, it felt kind of cheap, putting the pig and guts hallucination in the end. Also, the old flamethrower guy’s death was a bit too cliche.

    Other than that, it was pretty good. I would give an 8/10.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thanks for the concise review! I’m a little not sure what to do with some of the information, since some of it seems like you need to play the game to know what’s going on, but 8/10 still seems like a game I’d like to play! And at least for me, a little less immersion into horror scenarios is always appreciated… haha

      Like

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