The survival/horror genre is kinda teetering on the brink of oblivion, especially with the upcoming Resident Evil 6 looking all sorts of action-y.
The recently released Silent Hill: Downpour was definitely survival/horror, but it wasn't quite up to snuff. Now, Downpour associate producer Tom Hulett says the days are gone when the genre really "clicked," and now the future is a little hazy. In speaking to Strategy Informer , Hulett made it clear that clunky gameplay really can't continue to be a "staple" of the series. After all, that's a flaw, not a trademark.
"Survival Horror is in an interesting spot these days. I think the genre was lucky, to an extent, when it started out. A lot of horror elements “clicked” such as clunky combat, confusing cameras, and so on.
However, shoddy gameplay can’t be a feature forever, and so everyone fixed the combat—resulting in action games with creepier monsters. If Horror games are going to be 'scary' in the future, it’s going to take careful game design to do it. It can be hard to convince people to spend money/time on 'scare design' since it doesn’t show very much progress until it’s final and working perfectly… but it’s vital."
Hulett added that if you have "tense, frightening gameplay happening naturally," you could have a "very memorable horror game." But don't worry about the Silent Hill series embracing full-on action elements; the franchise should remain very distinct.
"I think Silent Hill has established it’s own unique subcategory of “Psychological Horror” within the Horror genre. Silent Hill was a pioneer in 1999, and still remains true to it’s roots with Silent Hill Downpour."
He says other franchises can go the action route if they wish, but he doesn't want to see that happen with Silent Hill . Well, if they could just fix the gameplay and technical issues that are definitely outdated, we have no doubt we'd be interested in a new entry. For now, I Am Alive just hit the PSN – and that seems very promising – and let's face it: The Last Of Us may have very significant ties to the unique survival/horror genre.