The game placed you in a particularly threat-free world; opting instead to create tension through interaction and atmosphere. Simply moving your flashlight across the game's eerily dark setting was enough to place you in the heart of the action; and that sense of place is key to making horror effective in video games.
When I discuss survival horror, I'm referring to the true founders of the genre. Not the action oriented horror titles (though motion controls are obviously successful in a game such as Resident Evil 5) but the more traditional stuff: Alone In The Dark, Forbidden Siren, etc. The games in which you are helpless and on the run. The PlayStation Move could do so much with these settings.
Because the PlayStation Move is a combination of precise motion control and the Eye camera, there's plenty of potential for subtle interaction. Imagine a first-person horror title in which footage of your face is placed within the world as reflections in mirrors and puddles. It'd be a small touch, but it would heighten that sense of involvement within the world.
The Move controller itself could be utilised in a number of different ways too. The most obvious is as a torch, using the peripheral's pointing detection to light up particular portions of the game-world. But imagine if you passed through an area of static, and the torch began to flicker on and off — the Move's lightbulb could flicker on and off; once again putting you in the game-world.
Both examples could be excused as gimmicks, but I think they would really add to the overarching experience. But it's when I think about the Siren franchise that I happen upon my most creative Move ideas. Arguably, the most frightening thing about Sony's horror franchise is the sightjacking mechanic. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, this is where the player is able to see through the eyes of the undead. It proves essential for much of Siren's stealth gameplay; but it's also used in terrifying ways. For example, when on the run, you might opt for a hiding spot within a cupboard. You can then sightjack your pursuer and observe (in first-person, through their eyes) their frantic search to find you. This leads to a number of tense moments in which you watch on haplessly as the Shibito - as the franchise's antagonists are known - happen upon your position and come agonisingly close to seeking you out. With PlayStation Move, what if you were forced to mimic the Shibito's actions? Rather than simply watching what the AI routines, you had to actually gesture their motions.
Allow me to explain. You're on the run, you've found safety in a nearby wardrobe, and your pursuer is heading up the stairs. You know because you're sightjacking — you can see everything through your enemies eyes. He enters the bedroom, and you're forced into making the gesture that opens the door. He looks around and happens towards the wardrobe. You know you're inside, you know he'll kill you if he finds you, but you're forced into following his gestures. You reach forward and open the wardrobe door - and look at yourself, helpless and terrified, through your pursuers eyes. To me, the concept sounds incredibly powerful.
There are issues with the concept. The fear would come from the sense of being power-less; and thus there'd need to be a mechanic that forced you into recreating the gestures. The idea is that you're not in control of the enemy, but you are inside their mind. You can see through their eyes and are aware of their actions. You know that the Shibito's going to discover you, but you have no way of stopping it. You are powerless.
Being powerless and being involved are the two biggest aspects of survival horror. They can be achieved without the addition of PlayStation Move, but physical movement and real-world response can heighten the atmosphere. Surely it's only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of it?
Twiggy is an anonymous PushSquare columnist who has been spotted in three major cities across the globe. Its rumoured hes on the run from the British monarchy who accused him of treason.
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