Horror is a staple of entertainment, from books to movies and, now, to gaming. While quite possibly the vast majority of creations miss the mark, failing to produce the adrenaline-pumping tension and frights that people crave, when done well, horror can be the most exhilarating genre of them all.
While gore and creature features have muscled their way into the greater horror space, core horror elements of building tension, suspense, and delivering well-worked payoffs is the art form that takes the most skill. While certain authors and moviemakers have been very good at ticking all of the boxes, gaming offers such a level of immersion and direct input that it could become the best place to experience the genre at its finest.
Already, developers are taking advantage of new ideas and gaming tech to create truly frightening experiences. Still, there’s another popular form of gaming that could also deliver the scares, and it wouldn’t even mean a major change to the current formula.
Horror could be the next big step for live casino gaming
Live casino games have quickly become among the most popular of all of the thousands of online casino games, which is greatly down to the creativity used to expand the offering. As shown by the selection at Refuel Online Casino, for instance, there’s more than just your green felt table games. There’s now Lightning Roulette, Crazy Time, Monopoly Live, and much more, with each title exploring a new theme or deviation from the standard games.
Billed as the most immersive casino gaming experience as it’s played live and in real-time, it seems like the perfect game type to give the horror treatment. Already, the players interact through an on-screen overlay, which could be adapted to start to show increasingly creepy paranormal activity in the background. Or, of course, those hosting the games could, without announcing it, have entities lurking around the game room, as well as wearing scary prosthetics and costumes to add to the theme.
Truly scary experiences sought-after in gaming
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Playing a scary game on your own or in a crowded room can be a tremendously enjoyable experience, with every wrong decision or jump scare feeling more real because you’re so entrenched in the game. Right now, when done well, virtual reality is the best place to get lost in a horror game. Among the most well-received is The Exorcist: Legion VR for its ability to deliver a frightful experience and its commitment to quality visuals.
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That said, even though it’s not strictly a VR game (but can be played with a headset), the relatively new Phasmophobia by Kinetic Games certainly forces you to find the scares, as opposed to hitting you with them at key points. As your job is to investigate haunted locations and decipher clues to decide which entity is doing the haunting, you become much more committed to the side task and completing the mission – making the hunts scarier.
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Of course, traditional, story-driven games have also proven capable of delivering the scares. Resident Evil 2 Remake is the finest example of this from recent triple-A releases. It’s a superb game as it is, but the fact that it can also deliver the horror and tension just makes it all the better. Close behind are the much-loved SOMA, Dead Space, Left 4 Dead games (primarily for the Witches), and several moments in the Metro series.
It’s very difficult to make any entertainment product that will win over horror fans, with several often struggling to either deliver a coherent story or the desired scares. Still, gaming looks to be the medium in which horror can truly thrive, and there are many spaces that it can continue to explore.