Run for your life from the thing. Shoot the thing. Don't let the thing see you or the thing will thing your thing.
These are all great concepts for horror games, don't get me wrong. They're staples of the genre, and without those same basic premises used over and over again, we wouldn't HAVE some of the greatest games out there.
However, there's something we're kind of ignoring.
Something that would crank the suspense and panic up to 11 and rip the knob off...It was born and died here:
Buy this crappy game... if you hate your kids.
While largely unremarkable in terms of both enemies and gameplay, Friday the 13th became somewhat famous/infamous due the fact that... well... parents didn't really want their children playing with a masked serial killer.
That's what most people remember about this game. The controversy.
That's not the part I want to highlight, however. Take a look at the image below and tell me if anything sticks out to you. Something so "wrong" and "creepy" that you'll be astounded it hasn't been featured in a ton of horror games since F13 launched...
No, it isn't Crissy's huge '80s hair.
Still not seeing it? Here's a subtle hint.
That's right, lest we forget -- you are
a camp counselor. The entire point of the game is to protect those children from getting brutally massacred by an undead serial killer
. I repeat, CHILDREN. The tally could NOT be more specific.
When you're out fucking around, Jason is sneaking back to those kids. When he arrives, the tally GOES THE FUCK DOWN because those "Children:" are DYING. Forever.
Now, granted, as a kid this essentially registers as nothing more than "Oh shit, that number is getting low and I might lose!" However, this is something that could've been brought into the horror gaming genre in a BIG way.
Hate "Escort Missions"? Fine, leave the scientists back in a barricaded lab and obsessively check the "SCIENTISTS:" tally as you explore the zombie-ridden complex. Out trying to find, I dunno, eight pages? How much more intense would it be if you didn't know whether that tall white dude who can't jump is after you
or your four children
? Better go back and make sure that flood light is still running, eh?
I'm not talking about "find the cure or your kid dies", or anything like that. I'm talking about straight-up keeping as many of these bastards alive as possible while making decisions that will save the most while possibly allowing some to be lost.
The maker of Five Nights at Freddy's announced that he's working on a sequel. This would be a perfect fit, don't you think? Same basic set-up, there's a birthday-party-load of kids locked in the freezer. When should you power the freezer so it stays locked? For how long?
Oh, shit, the "CUSTOMERS:" number is dropping, it's getting too cold in there!
So yeah, there's that. Do that. Someone start doing this. Everybody do it until it loses all meaning. I'm ready.
If you're not a fan of horror, however, there's no real reason to be afraid. Here's the moment when we find out Jason has been Homer Simpson all along...
I strangled the boy and things started going downhill from there...