I Need These Horror Games!
The time to delve deep into the macabre is upon us. In the month of October, we celebrate horror icons that offer a sadistic slice of violence to quench our bloodthirst. While several legends of the genre have been featured in games such as Mortal Kombat and Dead By Daylight, only a handful have received their own video game. So join me as I explore our morbid curiosities to see which horror movies need their own game.
Nightmare on Elm Street
Let’s start with the GOAT, Freddy Krueger. After his debut in the 1989 NES game, the Springwood Slasher has been relegated to cameo appearances and DLC. Surely, he is due his own game but how would this translate to the medium? A survival horror where you fight fatigue would be a great basis for a game. You could collect resources and set traps throughout the day in an attempt to take on Freddy when you succumb to exhaustion.
One of the most genuinely terrifying antagonists is Pinhead. His iconic design has been ingrained in the minds of horror aficionados since he graced the screen in 1987. Due to this, it’s shocking that the hell Priest and his Cenobites haven’t had their own game. Whether based on the reboot or the originals, the premise of the narrative is perfect for a video game. The atmosphere and design that resides in the franchise perfectly lend themselves to the medium. As a survival horror, it could lean more into the puzzle aspects which is a common thread throughout the films and would make this a nerve-wracking experience.
Michael Myres is one of the most iconic characters in the history of film. His unnerving William Shatner mask and boiler suit are synonymous with the genre yet, he hasn’t been given the royal treatment he deserves. He has appeared in a bunch of fan-made games, a horrific Atari title based on the film and even Call of Duty but none have captured the spirit of the films. John Carpenter expertly made a tense-filled, anxious experience which was partly due to Michael being ever-present. Alien Isolation achieved this with the Xenomorph and Creative Assembly could do the same with the Halloween franchise.
Jack Torrance is a fascinating character. He spirals into madness as the film progresses and this journey to the end is truly terrifying. Games have played with the idea of sanity before but the implementation of this in Eternal Darkness was masterful. Silicon Knights were able to break the fourth wall by tricking the player to question themselves. This left-field approach is what would be needed to successfully interpret the themes from The Shining to the interactive sector.
Train to Busan
Films don’t always need to be complex affairs. A strong premise, interesting characters and a ton of action can be the perfect combination, which is certainly the case with Train to Busan. While Samuel L Jackson fought off snakes on a plane, in this South Korean classic, Gong Yoo fights zombies on a train. Although there are plenty of zombie games on the market, this could find its niche by combining difficult narrative-based choices similar to Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, complex combat in the style of Sifu style and some Assassin’s Creed-esque parkour. This amalgamation would make for an incredible experience that would faithfully communicate the varied elements of the film.
A handful of games were influenced by found-footage films like The Blair Witch Project and Rec. Even though the DNA of the Spanish zombie flick is evident in titles such as Outlast, the potential of the concept hasn’t been fully realized. In order to make a successful transition from screen to video games, a hybrid approach would be required. Sam Barlow has shown incredible ingenuity with how the medium could use found footage with Her Story and Immortality. The non-linear approach to narrative helps the audience piece together the plot in a way that is unique to them. Combining this method of storytelling with the in-camera segments of Outlast would be a wonderful way to re-imagine the franchise.
The fiendish Pennywise has reached soaring heights of fame due to the 2017 reboot. Now striking fear to a new generation, the clown has firmly solidified himself as a key figure in the genre. So, it is quite strange that there is a lack of games that feature the devious character. As he uses fears to get a psychological advantage over vulnerable victims, this could be an interesting mechanic for a game. Presented as a multi-strand narrative, you could select particular fears that are then used to form the story. Similar to Road 96, you would encounter these narrative segments in a random and procedural manner but the segments themselves would be methodically planned. This tied with the weak and powerless protagonist would make this a unique entry in the genre.
So there you have it. This is my list of films that need the video game treatment. Did I miss your favorite horror film? If so, what is it and how would it be adapted to the interactive sector? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for some great video game content.
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