Hints and Tips for Survival Horror Fun

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Survival Horror games, where the aim of the game is to literally survive some sort of scary situation, and probably solve a mystery on the way, are some of the most prevalent video games today, with almost every games system having multiple titles that come under this banner. Some examples are Silent Hill, Project Zero, Fear and Resident Evil. This entry offers some tips for heightening the enjoyment of a session of survival horror gaming.

Setting the Scene

As with any horror 'tale', be it a movie, book or simply a story someone's telling you, the atmosphere when you play a survival horror game is important in getting the right feel. It's easy for anyone to scoff and laugh at zombies shambling toward you at noon, but it's another thing entirely when playing at two in the morning with only the moans of the undead and the sound of your rapidly beating heart to keep you company. So play at night with the lights off, or at the very least, draw the curtains

Lighting- As bad as it is for your eyes, playing in the dark is highly recommended by most fans. In the flickering light of the screen, looming shadows suddenly gain a wonderful malevolence that helps immeasurably in creating atmosphere.

Company- Many players report finding that the tension created by the game is often improved if shared with another. From a strategic standpoint it can be good too. The other party can keep an eye on the screen, perhaps pointing out items, enemies or puzzles that you, the player, misses in the course of playing. More than one spectator is ill-advised, however. The conversation between non-players can prove distracting, and detract from the overall experience. Not to mention that people tend to laugh at you if you jump and/or scream when a killer creature jumps or lurches out from somewhere.

Sound- Turn it up loud and keep external noise to a minimum seems to be the general opinion of survival horror gamers. Also please switch off the phone unless you really want a premature heart attack when it rings in the middle of a particularly tense moment! Sound can also give important pointers on what to expect. For example many monsters can be heard shuffling along or groaning long before they are seen, and
yes, that sudden piece of dramatic music probably does mean a boss1and your impending gory death! For the brave, headphones can be used to up the scare factor further.


So you've got the feel right, how do you survive the horrors ahead?

Items- Collect 'everything'. You never know when that seemingly useless chicken egg2 may come in handy! Some items can also be important clues, or treasure to sell for money to buy more weapons and ammunition.

Healing Items You will have a health bar either on the screen or in one of your menus. Keep a close eye on it.
Never ignore a health item even if you don't need it now you will soon enough. Many games have scarcer health items the further you progress into the game. Some items can be combined to make stronger health

Weapons You will come equipped with some weapons and have to find or buy more. Always remember to check dead bodies for extra ammunition as well as clues and key items.

Enemies Look out for a weakness, they all have one. Once you have studied your enemy and know its strong and weak points you will live longer.

Hopefully you will now survive longer and get more enjoyment from your survival horror experience...Enjoy.

1Gamers use boss to describe an extra hard end of level enemy.2In Resident Evil 4 by Capcom you can use chicken eggs as a weapon as well as restore a small amount of your health.

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