The Hunt for Fear

The Hunt for Fear
As a gamer, I have explored many genres to discover what fits who I am. It started out with RPG’s and nothing above a T rating, because god forbid my tiny child mind gets corrupted and my sleep ruined by a zombie (and it did regardless). As I started sneaking in some of the more mature games, I started opening up my mind to the thrill of fear. At first it was overwhelming because as a child I had an overactive imagination, I was pretty convinced Freddy Krueger was going to give me death in a Johnny Depp fashion till I was about 8, so playing something scary kind of made my mind explode.
One day when I was about 15, I went into EB games with my mom, and my eye caught just a quick glimpse. I walked over and picked up a copy of Fatal Frame II for the PS2 and we both looked at it and decided to give it a try. We got home, shut off all the lights, and loaded it up. The mood, the sound, the setting, and the ghosts set fear so deep in all of us we could only play for maybe twenty minutes or so. After that night, I came back the next day, picked up the controller and began a journey that I am continuously on today…to find the next great scare.
I have played so many major and minor series of survival horror-Dead Space, Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, Amnesia, Resident Evil, Outlast-and many others, and each has impacted me on varying levels of fear. I have also seen some decline in the series’ that I enjoy because they seem to begin losing that ability to thrill after game two or three. It is not that the stories are bad, but they aren’t hitting that core, raw feeling that I strive for. The main series I am targeting this feeling at is Silent Hill. After the 3rd game I was still interested but the thrill wasn’t as prominent and I kept buying the games hoping that the next one would be different. I basically gave up after playing Shattered Memories last year and rage screeched at my controllers because it wasn’t a remake and it just sucked. So when the news that there was going to be a massive reboot in the series began, I rolled my eyes and waited.
Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro had proposed this reboot and that caught my interest on a serious level because they are both quite amazing. When the P.T. demo just surfaced with their names on it with no warning, it got everyone’s attention (and Norman Reedus of course). I didn’t have a PS4 when it came out so I had to utilize YouTube. I never get super freaked out watching others play scary games but this one really started hitting the chord in me that had been somewhat dormant. I recently bought a PS4 about a month ago and the first thing I did was download P.T. I spent two hours basically in a half panic and sweating profusely because I was so scared. Not knowing what exactly was going to happen and when had me on the edge of the seat and my sister laughing every time I shrieked and mumbled to myself about not trusting anything. Might be me, but I haven’t felt like that playing a game in a long while. If I wasn’t excited about a reboot before, I was thoroughly convinced this was going to give the fandom a much needed recharge in believing Silent Hill can be successful again.
I would say ‘imagine my disappointment when’ but I don’t think I need to point out an obvious feeling that everyone has right now. Waking up and peeking at Twitter and the first thing I read is that Silent Hills is cancelled. I blew it off with a yea right because, really? That is a step that Konami wants to take with a fan base that is already on the rocks about their work with Silent Hill? And then the news got worse from there. Kotaku, IGN, Polygon, all the gaming news reporting that it is legit cancelled because of this mess with Kojima. Not only that, but today was the last day to download the P.T. demo, so there are many individuals who are going to miss out on at least tasting the fear on their own.
Gamers have been hyped up for reboots and continuously disappointed and I think that it hits hard with the survival-horror genre because we are anticipating something different, that moves forward and does what its previous games couldn’t do or weren’t allowed to do. For me, P.T. was that taste of what Silent Hills could truly be. Though Konami has said that they will still work on the franchise, they won’t do it the way we were shown it could be done. Regardless, my hunt for fear continues as do many others. The question is “when will that company stand up and give fans what they are looking for?”

-Opinion Article by Meghan Rodriguez (twitter: @collins_m81)

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