I'm reposting this thread slightly altered because it was taken down for Rule 3 before.
My infatuation with horror games started around when Amnesia: the Dark Descent became very popular. I had a shitty laptop and could not even play it, but it seemed very fun to me to play a genuinely frightening game. Up till then games had not really been able to frighten me very much. The idea of only being able to run and hide, and the way the reviews described it as the scariest game out there made me want to try it very much.
I was however able to run Penumbra 1, so I bought this and tried to play it. And holy fuck I could just not deal with it. The feeling of entering a dark, desolate place. The ambient noises. The darkness everywhere and the feeling that something is constantly out there to get. I had to stop at the sign of the first wolves because I just could not deal with hiding/running from them.
I could barely even deal with Slender when it was a trendy thing because it just freaked the hell out of me way too much. I remember seeing PewDiePie playing Slender: The Arrival and the level where it was dark and the grudge girl chased you while Slender chased you at the same time made me think "holy fuck, this game would kill me".
Skip to 2014 when I finally got my first computer, and I was finally able to try out some of the recent horror games. The first one I bought was actually Outlast. Again the same story. My stress levels start out high, and then as the game introduces itself and I gain control it spikes. Then I encounter the first real enemy and I just open up the main menu and quit.
It's always been like this for me with these games. I just absolutely cannot play them because my stress spikes so much that I'm not even having fun. I almost feel in pain from how scary it is. I've never beaten a single horror game.
Recently however, I got a new computer. I wanted to try Amnesia: Rebirth, so I bought it and thought this time I'll play it like a normal game, and if I die in the game I'll just deal with it and keep trying. But it's just too much for me again. The freaking mines and going into a dark, cold tunnel. The uncertainty of all the sounds I'm hearing. The light management system. It's all just too much and I had to quit before I even saw the first monster.
Does anyone else have such a huge issue with playing horror? I can't even play the 30 minute long scary games. If you do, do you feel you have more trouble playing a horror survival game where you can't fight back compared to one where you can?
Personally, I liked Resident Evil 4 a lot and The Evil Within, and I've never really had trouble playing any games with horror elements that don't have that creeping feeling of something lurking around. I enjoy being scared/creeped out by Bloodborne's atmosphere a lot for example and despite finding Resident Evil 4's surprise encounters very scary sometimes I found them enjoyable overall and found myself able to deal with the stress quite a bit more adequately.
I had trouble playing Resident Evil 2 Remake though. It was even 3rd person and with the ability to fight back, but I got really creeped out in the second section with the dogs. I think the reason this creeped me out so much but RE4 didn't was maybe because of two things:
You can fight back in RE2, but ammo is quite scarce so it comes closer to say Penumbra's system where you can hit things with a wrench and try to fight back, but it's not very effective at all. In RE2 you can fight back very reasonably, but your ability to totally deal with every threat is reduced quite a bit compared to RE4 because you're actually supposed to just walk past/run away from many of the enemies.
I found that RE2 had an atmosphere sometimes that reminded me more of survival horror games that usually scare me too much. For example the dogs in the cages are a thing that plays up your fear through imagination of what will happen once they get out, and Mr. X is constantly hunting you.
I think in the end what possibly drives the stress up too much to me is the use of the unknown and ambient noise as well as the stress when any monster is actually hunting you. I just can't stand the stress of knowing I may have to be fast and run away any second and try to hide. I fear being caught way too much.
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