The survival horror genre’s taken a fair battering over recent years. You won’t find many gamers who’d disagree that its best days have long since past. Oh sure, we’ve got titles like Amnesia and Slender popping up to remind us all that games are still capable of scaring the shit out of you; but obscure wee indie releases like that are few and far between. It makes you yearn for the golden age of the genre, when Japan seemed to pump out the next best thing in horror every second week. When actually scary games were major console releases, selling millions of copies.
And what are the two big name franchises in survival horror? If you said Clock Tower and Fatal Frame then… Well honestly I admire your taste, but really it’s Resident Evil and Silent Hill, isn’t it? However much you want to argue that both have lost their way a wee bit in recent years (and they sure as hell have), it’s undeniable that back in the day they were both pretty unbeatable. And as with most rival franchises, you’ve always got fans willing to argue that one is better than the other.
And with Halloween having crept up on us again, I’ve been thinking about this. They both offer something a little different; Silent Hill’s sheer psychological terror versus Resident Evil’s B-movie jump scares. That’s not easily comparable, but y’know… Silent Hill really is the more effective horror series. It knocks Resi into a pyramid-shaped hat. The first Resident Evil might have invented the term “survival horror” back in 1996, but it was Silent Hill that perfected it. Don’t believe me? Here are ten reasons to convince you.
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This article was first posted on October 31, 2012