Horror games live and die by their atmosphere. Jump scares, monster closets, and creepy enemies are all well and good, but if that tension is only felt in brief bursts, well pack up skippy because horrorville ain’t for you. Constant claustrophobic and hair raising tension is what turns a good horror game into a great one. We need to feel like we are under threat of attack or psychological torture at every moment while we’re playing. If I’m not sweating within five minutes of playing a horror game, something isn’t working right.
A great example of this kind of atmosphere is the classic Silent Hill games. A more recent example would be Amnesia: The Dark Descent. These games place you in dank environments that seem to constantly close in around you like a dilapidated anaconda of pure, unadulterated fear. Given these requirements for a great horror game, Forgotten Memories is looking to be quite the experience. When a gameplay trailer less than two minutes long gives you a great feel of atmosphere and tension, then you know the full game has some serious potential. Be sure to check out the trailer, embedded in this very article.
Paying Homage to the Greatest Horror Games
Let me be very clear about something: there’s a distinct difference between paying homage to something, and just straight ripping it off. Example? Well, Darksiders is a great homage to Legend of Zelda. Any and all Zynga games are blatant ripoffs of something too small or indie to defend itself from being utterly eviscerated and given a Farmville skin. Okay, now that we’ve made that distinction, Forgotten Memories is a third-person survival horror game that pays homage to classic horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
It combines action, atmosphere, and aggressive combat with exploration and reflection to form a cohesive and unsettling package. The developer, Psychoz Interactive, bills the game as:
“[Forgotten Memories] relates the horrific plot of a missing girl through the eyes of Inspector Rose Hawkins. The troublesome case leads her into Walker psychiatric hospital, abandoned years ago for obscure reasons, where horrible things await. It is by confronting her own weaknesses and fears that it will be possible to get forward into this morbid adventure.”
Sounds like the plot of a Silent Hill game to me, but again, this isn’t a blatant stealing of the concept, more so a replication of the same feel and sense of dread that makes horror games so horribly appealing. There appears to be a psychological twist to the horror as well, focusing on how reality is viewed through the eyes of different people. The game is seeing an episodic release on iOS devices soon, with plans to come to Wii U and Vita next. Don’t worry though, the PS4 version is also slated to hit this year.
This Is One Memory I Won't Be Forgetting
This game looks like a nice indie answer to the powerhouse that is Silent Hill, and I for one welcome it with open arms, and a steel pipe resting just behind me. For insurance purposes of course, I don’t plan to hit the game over the head until it turns into a psychotic demon. While there isn’t a ton of information on the game, we know that the setting of the Psychiatric Walker Hospital is going to be a dank and eerie environment filled with stained walls, deadly traps, and plenty of mysteries to uncover.
The game implements both classic and modern aspects of survival horror. A fear system is in place that modifies your perception of the world around you based on how you interact with your surroundings, protect yourself, escape danger, and more. This allows the experience to change ever so slightly each time you play.
Needless to say, I was sold when I saw the gameplay trailer. I like episodic games, I just hope this one keeps to a good schedule. Beyond that small concern, I think we have quite the little gem coming to PS4 this year, so keep this memory at the forefront of your mind.
What are your thoughts on the game? Does it remind your Silent Hill? What are you favorite survival horror games like this one? Tell us in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 9/15/2014