The Balance Of Action And Horror

(Discuss the game)

The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 14, 2014 3:35 am

"Pure Survival Horror"

That's how Mikami described this project since it was revealed as "Project ZWEI" in early 2012. Ask what "Pure Survival Horror" means and everybody will tell you it's about low resources, overwhelming enemies, etc... Y'know, the usual answers.

...But that's not how Mikami defines "Pure Survival Horror".
According to him, what defines that term is actually the Balance between Horror and Action.

Mikami said that focusing too much on the Action aspect will make the game less scary (RE4), on the other hand focusing entirely on the horror aspect will make the game less fun/entertaining. What the team at Tango is striving for is to strike a balance... A sweet spot that will make a game scary, but fun at the same time.

There's a lot of lazy comparisons between this game and RE4, but it's actually not very similar when you take a closer look at the gameplay...

For instance: The Gunplay... At first glance, it looks similar to RE4... OTS view, Headshots focus, etc...
But I can see how the team added some elements hoping to strike a balance between the action and the horror aspects, for example:

- Wobbly & Wide Crosshairs: Even when standing still and aiming, the Crosshair wobbles a bit... Not to mention, the aiming reticle is relatively "wide" compared to RE4's laser... This means little for close targets, but for targets far away, it's very disadvantageous. Contrast to RE4's laser sight which lets you accurately aim at enemies' heads from far distances. People wonder why they went with Crosshairs instead of a laser sight with TEW, I think this reason is very convincing.

Image

- Unpredictable Enemies: From what I've seen, some enemies will take three shots to the head before they die, while others will only take 2 shots to the torso. So as the player, you will never know how much bullets it takes to kill an enemy, adding a sense of accomplishment once you pull off a headshots...Perhaps the team could be after a similar feeling to classic RE games when you pull off a random headshot.

- Relentless Enemies: Something else I noticed is how some enemies just keep rushing at you even after you "Stun" them (Using RE4's terms) (Check at: 8:59and 26:00) ... Whereas in RE4 that basically stopped them in their tracks, ready for a crunchy Suplex.

Image

- Intervals Between Shots: This is something Mikami is bringing back from classic RE games, these short intervals between shots are supposed heighten the sense of fear when you are approached by an enemy. This is probably why Mikami said there won't be a Machine Gun in the game, because rapid fire negates that sense of fear. I don't need to point out how different that is to RE4.

These elements makes me feel that Mikami is trying to make me dread fighting these enemies, as opposed to RE4 where fighting them was desirable. Yet, the Gunplay still looks fun, so I can see how they struck a balance between Action and Horror in regards to Gunplay.

As much as I enjoyed Amnesia, it wasn't a very fun game... I've beaten it once and that was it. Great experience, but it's not something I'd think of replaying. So I'm very glad Shinji Mikami is aiming to strike this balance... I don't want a scary game, I want a fun, scary game.


Thoughts on "Pure Survival Horror"? How do you think Mikami is applying this balance between Action and Horror?
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby ghostcall » Jan 14, 2014 1:25 pm

Didn't mikami refer to games like Amnesia as Pure horror game which I agree it had little to do with survival besides running and hiding.

phpBB [video]

Alphaomegasin sum it up.
User avatar
ghostcall
 
Posts: 445
Joined: September 2013
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 20 times
Favorite Title: Resident Evil

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 14, 2014 4:39 pm

ghostcall wrote:Didn't mikami refer to games like Amnesia as Pure horror game which I agree it had little to do with survival besides running and hiding.


Amnesia naturally doesn't fit into Mikami's definition for Survival Horror...

" My definition of Survival Horror is that first of all it has to be scary. And then you have some kind of scary creature, and you get a rush from blowing it away. A good balance of those two things is what makes Survival Horror."


“To me, survival horror is a balance between a scary kind of gameplay and the challenge of overcoming that fear. You get a sense of achievement out of that. The fine balance between those two is what makes survival horror. We’re starting to see that kind of game less and less, so I wanted to go back and make what I think is true survival horror.”
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby ghostcall » Jan 14, 2014 6:07 pm

Rikitatsu wrote:
ghostcall wrote:Didn't mikami refer to games like Amnesia as Pure horror game which I agree it had little to do with survival besides running and hiding.


Amnesia naturally doesn't fit into Mikami's definition for Survival Horror...

" My definition of Survival Horror is that first of all it has to be scary. And then you have some kind of scary creature, and you get a rush from blowing it away. A good balance of those two things is what makes Survival Horror."


“To me, survival horror is a balance between a scary kind of gameplay and the challenge of overcoming that fear. You get a sense of achievement out of that. The fine balance between those two is what makes survival horror. We’re starting to see that kind of game less and less, so I wanted to go back and make what I think is true survival horror.”


What I mean is:

Pure Horror =\= survival horror.

2 different horror genre.
User avatar
ghostcall
 
Posts: 445
Joined: September 2013
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 20 times
Favorite Title: Resident Evil

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 14, 2014 6:42 pm

^ I know what you meant, I was just elaborating on your point further.
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 16, 2014 12:17 am

Bonus Mikami quote.

"4Gamer was also curious to hear his thoughts on the difference between horror and survival horror."

Mikami answers: “Horror is about being in a much weaker position, while facing a much stronger enemy, and finding a way to save your life. Escaping is the main constituent here. Survival horror is about running away at times but also managing to be on the offense. I think it’s more of a fifty-fifty. To put it simply, when you have bullets everything is good. When you don’t, you make a run for it.

“With that in mind, horror games can be cleared relatively easily if you can overcome the scary parts. However, in survival horror, it’s not about simply fearing the enemy, but you also have a chance to defeat this enemy. This makes it somewhat of a see-saw state from start to finish.”

http://www.siliconera.com/2013/05/02/th ... al-horror/
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby ProgenitorCastle » Jan 17, 2014 9:37 am

“With that in mind, horror games can be cleared relatively easily if you can overcome the scary parts. However, in survival horror, it’s not about simply fearing the enemy, but you also have a chance to defeat this enemy. This makes it somewhat of a see-saw state from start to finish.”
So interesting and I agree. A game like Resident Evil REmake, for example, I find harder to re-play than a game like Haunting Ground because of how the enemies require you to conserve your ammo and are typically tough to beat (especially those god-damn Hunters). I love both games to death, but I can run through Haunting Ground more easily because there isn't the resistance of combat in that game. REmake, however, does have that resistance, and if I die, back to the saveroom. Makes it more challenging to replay...which brings me to an old saying of mine. Survival horror games are the funnest to play on the 2nd playthrough...because in the 1st playthrough, one is still exploring the environments and figuring out how to solve the puzzles...so when the time comes for the 2nd playthrough...one is familiar enough with the game to know what to expect, but because of the challenge of combat in survival horror games...it's still not a walk in the park...which is a part of the reason why I love survival horror as defined by Mikami-san.
User avatar
ProgenitorCastle
 
Posts: 113
Joined: April 2013
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm

^ Absolutely, the recent indie horror games have been like that to me, too... They feel like they're designed for just one playthrough, because the enjoyment from those games doesn't lie in it's gameplay/mechanics, but in the atmosphere, scares, and story.

So I'm glad there's an upcoming game that is trying to bring a harmonious balance between all of these elements to create a scary, atmospheric game with great and fun gameplay.
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby dan76 » Jan 17, 2014 11:07 pm

Rikitatsu wrote:"

- Wobbly & Wide Crosshairs: Even when standing still and aiming, the Crosshair wobbles a bit... Not to mention, the aiming reticle is relatively "wide" compared to RE4's laser... This means little for close targets, but for targets far away, it's very disadvantageous. Contrast to RE4's laser sight which lets you accurately aim at enemies' heads from far distances. People wonder why they went with Crosshairs instead of a laser sight with TEW, I think this reason is very convincing


I think it's a shame we won't have the laser sight and I think that a wobbly crosshair isn't good gameplay wise. It makes shooting less fun, and personally a crosshair looks more out of place in a game like this than a laser sight. It also changes how you aim, as using a laser sight with an enemy slowly moving towards you would change the point if impact of your bullet - a crosshair will always hit the middle of the screen, it's less realistic in third person games.

I'm glad that there will be an emphasis on ammo conservation and that every shot must count. But when you are shooting it has to be satisfying. Being hampered with too much artificial wobble ( RE4 had just enough to make it seem organic) might kill the gun play for me.
User avatar
dan76
 
Posts: 132
Joined: September 2013
Location: London
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Favorite Title: Resident Evil 4
PSN: durangodan76
XBL: durango76uk

Re: The Balance Of Action And Horror

Postby Rikitatsu » Jan 18, 2014 3:00 am

dan76 wrote:I think it's a shame we won't have the laser sight and I think that a wobbly crosshair isn't good gameplay wise. It makes shooting less fun, and personally a crosshair looks more out of place in a game like this than a laser sight. It also changes how you aim, as using a laser sight with an enemy slowly moving towards you would change the point if impact of your bullet - a crosshair will always hit the middle of the screen, it's less realistic in third person games.

I'm glad that there will be an emphasis on ammo conservation and that every shot must count. But when you are shooting it has to be satisfying. Being hampered with too much artificial wobble ( RE4 had just enough to make it seem organic) might kill the gun play for me.


The wobble is not THAT bad, it wobbles enough to make aiming at far distances challenging, so I very much doubt it will negatively effect the fun of the gunplay, and I bet you will get more long-range weapons later in the game (Like Hunting Rifles).

The thing with the laser sight in a game like TEW, is that it shows you exactly where your bullet will hit. And since Mikami and Co. are planning on balancing the action and horror elements, they need to added a layer of tension and unpredictability. So that's where the Wide Crosshair comes into play... Since it's wide, you can't always be sure that the bullet you fire will actually hit the target, as evident by the GIF above.

In an action horror game such as RE4, a laser sight might be ideal, but I can understand why they'd choose a crosshair for a Survival Horror game given the reasons stated above.

I won't disagree with you in regards to realism, though.

Personally, what made RE4's gunplay so amazing for me wasn't the precise aiming of the laser sight, but the actual bullet feedback and enemies' reactions, and it seems that TEW will still retains that... Satisfying headshots and all.

Image
Image

For the record, RE4 is my favorite RE game, and I understand why you'd like the mechanics to be similar in TEW... But that's not what Mikami and Co. are aiming for... Could they be sacrificing "Action" for "Horror" ? Perhaps...In the end, I don't really think TEW will surpass RE4 as an action game, since it's trying to be something else. (A Pure Survival Horror Game).

========================================

Anyway, I'd like to correct myself with this point since I remembered important details:
- Spongy Enemies: From what I've seen, enemies take a lot of shots to kill, even if you go for headshots... In one of the gameplay videos, Sebastian had to shoot one zombie three times in the head to kill him. They will probably take a LOT more bullets to the torso and other parts of the body before they can be felled. These are the normal "grunts" mind you, who knows what other types of enemies you will face.


The enemies won't be "Spongy" like I've said, but instead: Unpredictable. What this means is that one Zombie might be killed by 3 shots to the torso... And the other guy will withstand 4 shots to the head. This kind of unpredictability has been talked about since day one. I think they want to bring back the great feeling in Classic RE games when you randomly pull off a headshot. What made me remember this is that I've re-watched this leaked clip *Clicky*, you can see that dude just took 3 (or 2, can't see clearly) shots to the torso/arms before dying... That's a huge difference to that other guy who took 3 bullets to the HEAD.

I apologize for the mistake, will edit.
Image
User avatar
Rikitatsu
Moderator
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 2012
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 217 times

Next

Return to The Evil Within | Psychobreak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot] and 4 guests

cron