-Voice of JST: Parts 13 & 14- Addressing Spec Ops: The Line, & Criteria for good Horror Games-

No longer able to stand the constant (and unnecessary) stabs at COD in relation to Spec Ops: The Line, I decide to finally address the themes of Spec Ops in comparison to COD and explain to a decent extent how the themes of military shooters aren’t always black and white and how fingers need to stop being pointed at COD. Spec Ops is a fantastic game, a disturbing exploration of a soldier’s harsh decision making, and a look at the gruesome violence that is used for a means to an end, one that isn’t always achieved. I personally believe that context is important and that Spec Ops told a powerful and shocking story but in NO WAY means that it signifies all violence in games to be ‘wrong’, nor is it a complete parody of modern military shooters. Give this a listen and see what I have to say:

After considering a lot of features and mechanics of several horror games, I devised a template for a good survival horror game, not in its fully purest sense but in a synthetic collaboration of old and new features. My 10 criteria are as follows (note, this is merely my opinion and I personally feel that these are features that made some of the best moments in survival horror titles):
-Alone, companions scarce and far between
-Good controls, but enemies must be smart and disturbing, rarely seen
-Player is weak somewhat, barely able to defend yourself, but definitely able
-A look at the character in relation to others and their inner self
-Implicit choice system, enemy strength grows based upon circumstance
-Things always going wrong, hope snatched away every which way
-Dynamic enemy encounter. Scripted sections, but places where any enemy can appear at any time
-Variety that plays on fears: sound, sight, hearing
-Dynamic character reactions, monologues or visual cues
-Ending that leaves questions open, leaves main character feeling battle scarred

Listen to this podcast and tell me what you think:


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