How Horror Can Enhance Non-Horror Games For The Better

Horror video games are a few of gaming’s finest experiences, however just for these that may tolerate and sit via them from begin to end. But those that don’t play within the horror house can nonetheless get their fill in in any other case non-horror video games as a result of horror, regardless of which style it’s in, can improve a game for the higher. 

Horror is extraordinarily affecting. The leap scares that trigger adrenaline spikes, the sweaty feeling of barely avoiding loss of life, the persistent dread that slowly rises to a climactic rush – these feelings have an effect on everybody in several methods. 

At the guts of these feelings are the identical emotions present in haunted homes, curler coasters, skydiving, and extra: the sensation of getting as shut as potential to loss of life with out really dying. The horror that will get us near loss of life is efficient in books, tv, films, and even video games because of this. Game builders are conscious of this, and it’s why horror finds itself sprinkled all through all genres of video video games, though typically one should look slightly more durable to search out it. 

One of the very best examples of that is Fullbright’s Gone Home. 

Gone Home is a superb game – read why Game Informer gave it an 8.5 out of 10 here – however merely studying a plot synopsis or gameplay breakdown wouldn’t essentially reveal that. This is as a result of a part of what makes Gone Home so nice is the entire issues it’s not. When the game begins, you’re determining get into a big spooky home on a stormy night time. When you enter the house, you discover that it’s empty however not deserted. Your household is just not there, however their packed luggage are, and it’s essential to decide why. 

Right off the bat, the game presents itself as horror. There’s the ambiance of a stormy night time, a big, darkish, and spooky home, and a thriller throughout the house’s partitions. It’s basic horror stuff, and this stuff come collectively to inform you, the participant, that issues are slightly scary proper now. As such, your palms would possibly grow to be slightly clammy, and your heartbeat would possibly rise a contact. These emotions persist with you all through the game till you attain its ending and understand it was by no means a horror game to start with – it was a love story and a fantastic one at that. 

It paints a blanket of dread over a narrative that retains you engaged and transferring ahead (the faster you permit this spooky home, the higher proper?). It’s a wise option to maintain gamers enjoying till the very finish the place the aid they’ve been looking hours for arrives, and Fullbright will get to disclose the reality of what’s occurred within the Greenbriar house. 

Another non-horror game that makes use of horror in a strong means is Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red’s newest RPG is loads of issues, nevertheless it’s decidedly not horror. However, there’s a aspect quest accessible halfway via the story that’s probably the most horrific issues I’ve ever skilled in a game: assist (or stop) somebody crucify themselves on digital camera. It’s fairly graphic and very darkish, naturally, nevertheless it additionally offers a glance into Cyberpunk 2077 not seen anyplace else. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is about Night City’s seedy underbelly and the best way the corporate-overrun capitalism of the world has affected these not aware about that wealth. The crucifixion aspect quest makes use of the horror of witnessing an actual crucifixion to indicate the participant how far individuals will go to redeem themselves from the deeds they’ve dedicated to be able to merely survive in Night City. It’s a strong scene made much more highly effective by the truth that you straight management the way it performs out.

For some, house by itself could be fairly scary, and Outer Wilds preys upon these pure, space-based fears to inject horror into an in any other case non-horror game. In Outer Wilds, gamers should decide why everyone seems to be in a loop the place the solar explodes each 20 minutes. There’s an argument to be made that dying each 20 minutes it doesn’t matter what you do is frightening in and of itself, however Outer Wilds presents itself extra as a sci-fi thriller exploration game than one thing match for Halloween. 

As you discover unfamiliar planets – discovering historic relics of these earlier than you, discovering warnings of what’s to come back, and dodging waterspout tornados or lethal angler fish – you’ll end up squeezing the controller tight in hopes that you would be able to survive for only a minute longer. Outer Wilds preys on our most elementary intuition in life – survive – to nice impact, particularly in the best way it ramps up your adrenaline solely to deliver it again down once more each 20 minutes. 


Some builders use horror sequences as a option to shift the kind of terrors being skilled in-game. Take The Last of Us Part II, for instance. Some would possibly name it horror, however I doubt most individuals would outline it like that earlier than third-person shooter or action-adventure first. Regardless, the occasions of the game could be fairly traumatizing. Even the best way Ellie kills enemies typically is straight out of an R-rated film. 

Naughty Dog presents a singular “level” within the second half of The Last of Us Part II that not solely provides gamers the possibility to expertise a brand new sort of scare for the sequence however seemingly nods to the horror style that clearly impressed the game. As you enter a hospital’s decrease flooring, you’re met with a darkish ICU-like unit full of cordyceps-covered doorways and extra. You discover, trying to find a means out, and that’s when the Rat King, as Naughty Dog refers to it, reveals itself – it’s an enormous, overgrown ball of contaminated that desires nothing greater than to take you out. 

The sequence feels extra at house in a Resident Evil game than it does in The Last of Us, however Naughty Dog makes use of it to up the ante of every thing we’ve already skilled. In one 10-minute gameplay part, Naughty Dog reveals that the world of The Last of Us has much more monstrous enemies than beforehand thought and that the sequence might simply slide into horror if it needed to. It additionally takes the strain out of the human-versus-human battle on the middle of the game and reminds you that you’re really very fortunate to nonetheless be a human on this world. 

While horror’s not for everyone, builders acknowledge the highly effective results it could have on just about anybody. That’s why horror has oozed its means into principally each facet of media. It’s common in that everybody is fearful of one thing, however distinctive in that we every have our personal fears and haunts dwelling in our brains. And a lot in the identical means video games have an effect on everybody in a different way primarily based on what we personally deliver into the expertise, horror, too, shapeshifts to appear like the monster we every image in our head – it’s as much as builders, although, to find out which style that monster will skulk in with each new launch.

For extra about these video games, try our ideas on Cyberpunk 2077 in Game Informer’s official review after which learn Game Informer’s Outer Wilds review. Check out why we gave The Last of Us Part II a 10 out of 10 after that after which learn Game Informer’s list of horror games you should play this Halloween season. 

What’s the scariest a part of a non-horror game you have performed? Let us know within the feedback under!

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