Survival horror fans will no doubt be waiting in anticipation for Dead Space 2 to scare the crap out of them once more. Lately, the market hasn't been receiving many true survival horror titles, rather trading in the actual survival element and creating just an action horror game. Steve Papoutsis, producer on Dead Space 2, admits that creating a true survival horror game is difficult, but would like to see more games in the genre.
Papoutsis had a lot to say on the revival of the survival horror genre and the difficulties of creating a good one:
"I think it would be awesome to see more games like Dead Space out there, there would be stuff for us to learn from and keep the genre going. I think there are a lot of people that enjoy it and it would be great to see that so I hope that happens. I don't know, it's very difficult to make survival horror games, there's so much that has to go into each moment and planning out each thing, understanding that at any moment a player may not even see what you want them to see, there is a lot of work that goes into that.
Also, I think some of it may even be demand in terms of what games you see that are the big blockbuster games that are selling gangbusters, that may be a motivator. They're challenging, they're not easy games to make by any means. There are twitch action elements that need to be really good, then there's the atmosphere and tension building, story, character design, all those elements that go into it that aren't as formulaic as some other genres of games.
For us, we're doing this game because we like horror, science-fiction, so it makes perfect sense for us but I don't know what other publishers thoughts are on that."
I don't think you could get a more pleasing statement out of Papoutsis. Survival horror was a big part of my gaming library growing up with titles like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and even Fatal Frame. The first two titles have since received "reboots", thrusting the fanchises into an action heavy atmosphere.
The first Dead Space did scare the crap out of me and I was loathe to play it in the dark. The most engaging part of the game was how ill-equipped Isaac was to deal with the necromorph threat and while the sequel is getting a bit more action heavy, it's a natural progression in a way. Isaac knows how to deal with the threat now.
With the inclusion of a multiplayer option and more brutal violence, Dead Space 2 is entering the slightly contemporary genre of action-horror. Not entirely a bad thing, provided the atmosphere and setting remain intact. Obviously, there's a lot of groaning that can go along with this kind of fact, but remember, this is a business about making money as much as it is about pleasing fans.
And just in case you couldn't get your fright fill soon enough, you can check out an interactive prequel comic coming this Fall.