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The Revival of Horror in Video Games

What happened to bring horror out of the grave it was in?

Resident Evil is a long-running horror franchise that shifted away from horror towards the early 2010s. This shift was one of many things that led to a horror video game drought. Eventually, Resident Evil made their triumphant return with the 7th installment in the series. It was a return to survival horror, and it sparked people to play more horror games again. There are a lot of horror games, and anyone could've played them this whole time. However, finding a good one is the problem, and that is something that Resident Evil 7 executed perfectly.

Jack Baker (left) relentlessly pursues Ethan Winters (right) through the dark corridors of the house.

Jack Baker (left) relentlessly pursues Ethan Winters (right) through the dark corridors of the house.

A History of Horror

Horror video games have been around for decades now, and it seems impossible to find out what the first horror game was because everyone seems to have a different answer to it. However, the most iconic horror games are undoubtedly Silent Hill and Resident Evil. With both of them seemingly disappearing for the latter half of the 2010s, it's easy to see how good horror became scarce. The Last Of Us, The Evil Within, Alien Isolation, and more games came along to compensate for the loss of new games in the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises. However, each of these games had short lifespans because they were single-player experiences that didn't offer much replayability, and they were more meant as one-off games that did what they wanted and are now done. Modern-day horror sees the return of Resident Evil and the many side projects Capcom is bringing with it such as RE:Verse, a free for all third-person shooter. According to Google, there were a total of 8 new horror games in 2016. In 2017, the year that Resident Evil 7 released, the number of new horror games more than doubled. This trend even shows in this year. There are projected to be 20 new horror games throughout 2022. So, in conclusion, horror went through a rough patch for a few years and now it seems to have recovered rather well.

The 7th Entry

As shown above, Tim Villasor at mp1st.com said that the 7th Resident Evil game revived the franchise and the horror genre as a whole. This game was a return to form that also showed itself as a model example of what a horror game should be like. The game has an entire family of antagonists that you have to face one by one in each of their distinctive areas. I won't go into detail here so as to avoid spoilers, but the game is a house of scares up until the very end. That is how horror made such a large comeback.

The Resident Evil 3 remake is an example of a game that most likely wouldn't exist without Resident Evil 7's success.

The Resident Evil 3 remake is an example of a game that most likely wouldn't exist without Resident Evil 7's success.

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