I’m attracted to horror games from a distance. Truly, I am. I just don’t enjoy playing them, and this is pretty evident with the fact that Silent Hill 2 still remains unfinished despite Tara keeping me company through all the fog and static-laden radio noises and creepy monsters that want to spray me with their evil juices. I love the atmosphere and story and crazy enemy designs in horror games, but I just can’t handle the packed-in stress, the long stretches that build between scare A and scare B, the way tiny sounds like turning a doorknob are deafening and that general feeling of utter helplessness.
Also, a quick gander at my backlog confirms a solid lack of horror videogames. Yes, there’s BioShock, which I played and completed, but struggled with for awhile, often just standing still for long periods of time thanks to a “turn invisible when not moving” Plasmid and listening to my surroundings. I’ve dipped my toes into the terrifying pools called Penumbra: Overture and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but have no desire to go swimming. And in my younger years, yes, I played a few Resident Evil games, but those were social affairs, adventures that my best friend and I would go on together, with chips and drinks and puppy dogs at our sides to make the real world as safe as possible in lieu of the dangerous digital version; the vivid memory of a licker bursting threw a one-sided mirror still makes me tense up.
That said, after a busy day of drawing journal comics every hour on the hour, I downloaded the demo for Resident Evil: Revelations on my 3DS–yes, the system now supports demos; praise be to the Maker, it must be the year 2012–and give it a whirl. To clarify, the last Resident Evil game I played with passion and purpose was probably Resident Evil 2 though I did try a demo for Resident Evil 5, which was lame.
Firstly, this is a gorgeous-looking game. The graphics definitely show off what the 3DS can handle, and the 3D slider flicked slightly up creates a fantastic look, really drawing me in, as if I’m walking right behind Jill as she badly shoots zombies on a haunted cruiser ship. Well, no. Not zombies. Scary, mutated monsters. Secondly, without that crazy Circle Pro Pad attachment, this game controls horribly, especially during the moments when quick, precise turning is needed. You know, like when a monster is trying to eat your face off. See, without a second circle analog pad, you both move Jill and move the camera at the same time with the one circle pad you got. It’s horrible; I’d switch over to first-person shooting mode to pop a monster in the middle of its temple only to have my aim swirling around out of control. Thirdly–and lastly–this game can manage scares just fine. You’d think, being on a brightly teal-colored handheld device, which has a number of lights on at any given time, it wouldn’t be able to create such an atmosphere, but it does. One monster jumped down from the ceiling, and I emitted a sound. I will not describe it.
And then I ran out of ammo. And then I died in a foggy room filled with scary things. I exited out of the demo and saw that I now have 29 more chances to get scared. No thanks. But I can see why many would like Resident Evil: Revelations: high production values, quality scares, beautiful graphics, and an actual story to follow. Alas, this type of game is still not for me even when playing safely under the blankets with warmth, cats, and a wife to keep me safe. Oh well. Good thing for demos.