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Ketchaval

reverse survival horror?

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What if instead of being the humans in Survival Horror games you were the monster (or the first monster) and you were trying to survive and breed and you are facing the most dangerous race in the universe mankind. What are Claws and Fangs against brainpower? We've seen something like this in that Zombie game, Stubbs the Zombie? But that doesn't sound like it is based around fear / horror. What if you were the equivalent of a "biological horror movie > ie David Cronenberg" or StarCraft zerg and had to lay eggs/ take over different parts of the base to gain power and control. There could be strong elements of stealth, where you have to avoid being detected by the human side, and only pick off the lone sentry / person going into the dark basement on their own (ie. all the horror movie cliches). As you get more powerful you would gain more abilities, but you would still be weak when compared to organised teams of humans. The same could be done with the slasher movie genre, but it would be more reasonable if the monster was non-human. Scream meets Alien meets Shivers?

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There's been mods for games like this (Natural Selection for Half-Life and Gloom for Quake 2) which I've liked, but without somebody to play them with, they're no fun.

I'd personally love to see a game where you could be any monster (werewolf, zombie, vampire, demon, harpie, dragon, giant blob, whatever...) and kill humans while still sticking to some story, rather than the mindless violence the mods produce. Yes, there's strategy involved, but that hardly counts in terms of a story, and the background story is just that, a background story - the story never actually continues.

If a game managed to pull this off, while still maintaining a story and a realistic 'lurking in the dark' feeling, it'd be great, but so far, I haven't seen anything come close ('specially with the horribly bright maps in Natural Selection).

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Take a look at the white wolf pen'n'paper rollplaying games (Vampire: The Masquerade, Wraith: Oblivion, Wherewolf). They are exactly about beeing the monster.

Also the Legacy of kain (Blood Omen 1, blood omen 2) computer game series is based on the theme of beeing the monster.

PS: I don't know about the new white wolf series. They seem to have completely discontinued the old one. But you should be able to find so info on the net.

edit: added clicky.

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Quote:
Original post by nefthy
Take a look at the white wolf pen'n'paper rollplaying games (Vampire: The Masquerade, Wraith: Oblivion, Wherewolf). They are exactly about beeing the monster.

Also the blood omen computer game series is based on the theme of beeing the monster.

PS: I don't know about the new white wolf series. They seem to have completely discontinued the old one. But you should be able to find so info on the net.


I was just thinking about V:TM after I wrote that post. That was a good game, but it still lacked the beastly qualities of the vampires (at least to me). Then again, it is a fairly old game, so throwing people around while still having it look moderately realistic, wasn't really an option (and it still required you to be good (although it was funny to see your character go berserk and kill everybody around him)).

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I read a cool comic last summer, about a guy that dies and becomes a zombie, except that his girlfriend doesn't want to leave him.
The thing is that in this version of Earth, authorities have taken a draconian approach to zombies, by having death squads on permanent stand by, ready to destroy any "newly dead".
Sure enough, our hero survives (well, doesn't get destroyed outright), and realises that unlike what the government has been saying, he isn't turning into a blubbering, crawling, raving flesh eater.
It's all very cool, with a zombie refugee town, and a plot twist when the hero discovers that the dreaded death squads are in fact zombies free lancing for the government (after all, they _do_ need to eat flesh, so why not help the community as well).

If that doesn't sound like a cool game, I dunno what does :-P

Oh and I second nefthy, if you want to read about the psyched of "being the monster". The World of Darkness is the place to go.
Wraith: The Oblivion was particularly cool, as you played ghost [grin].

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I'd suggest those interested to check out Alien vs Predator (the first game, not the Monolith one, that one doesn't scare a soul), specifically the Alien campaign. Civilans freak out and you do all kinds of creeping and crawling around.

In LAN matches my (personal)goal as an alien was less of winning the match and more of freaking out my marine mates. nothing more satisfying than dropping from above and headbiting while you hear a loud YELP from across the room :)

And yeah, the predators weren't scared cause they were so goddamn unbalanced that dropping in front of them was suicide.

You may find it in bargain bins.. it's oldish.

In AVP2 the chestbursting sequences were fun, but too cinematic-ridden. Once you become an adult alien you might as well be a predator, the feel from the original AVP is completely gone.

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Alien Vrs Predator: Extinction for PS2 may be a better example of what your looking for.

I have mixed feelings about AvP1, it used the same excessive use of inexcuseably poor lighting for shock value as Doom 3, mixed in with Insta-gib, pre-set savepoints and unbalanced classes, come to think of it its just like the Aliens movies. XD

It did presented a steep learning curve though which could potentially easily frustrate people and turn them off to it.

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Imagine playing as the oozing flesh walls in Doom 3 or The Many in System Shock 2 or the Zerg in StarCraft, or the Thing in The Thing?, being something non-human and infact quite disgusting.

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How about Freddy Krueger? Funny how no one has attempted a twisted game where you play a psycho murdering freak show. Maybe the same reason it took so long for GTA to hit shelves.

You could even take guilt away from the player by making his role start out with normal humans trying to kill him/her. Which is probably exactly what would happen in real life anyway. Finding the guts to go hunt down innocent highschool girls might take some true craziness from the player, though. I don't think I could manage it. Maybe if they were cheaply polygonal built and had bad voice actresses saying "what-ever" :P

A game like that might be too ahead of the current time. Humanity hasn't sunk that low yet.

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Quote:
Original post by Gorax
I was just thinking about V:TM after I wrote that post. That was a good game, but it still lacked the beastly qualities of the vampires (at least to me). Then again, it is a fairly old game, so throwing people around while still having it look moderately realistic, wasn't really an option (and it still required you to be good (although it was funny to see your character go berserk and kill everybody around him)).


I mean the pen'n'paper game.

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If you just play a monster and you need to hide from humans and survive, it will be lame. If such a game is made, it should be about tailing thegroup of humans, trying to scare them while remining hidden and such. The human NPC should be afraid of the player monster, not vica versa.

A typical level in this game should look like this:
A group of marines exploring a facility. They are well trained, armed and orginized, and they have sensors. You, the monster, can't attack them all together, because they will kill you. So you hide in the shadows, appearing in their sensors, only to be gone when they check it out. You see that the squad is going to a lab, so you are there before them. You kill all the people there. The marines hear the screams and rush to check is out, but you are not there, and all they can see is the blood and dead bodies of your victims. That way, you build tension and fear within the marines, until one of them breaks and run in terror. Then, you go after that guy, which is seperated from the group, and easily kill him. The marines try to catch him, but when they reach him, he his already dead, and they become more frightened.

In that type of gameplay, the monster is still the scary one, but there is enough chalange and danger. You have to avoid torrents, security cameras, lasers and security bots. You have to find alternate ways to get past the marines. And you have to work fast, before the marines find you and eliminate you.

[Edited by - someboddy on June 24, 2005 8:28:25 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by GoraxI was just thinking about V:TM after I wrote that post. That was a good game, but it still lacked the beastly qualities of the vampires (at least to me). Then again, it is a fairly old game, so throwing people around while still having it look moderately realistic, wasn't really an option (and it still required you to be good (although it was funny to see your character go berserk and kill everybody around him)).


The V:TM cRPGs hardly represent the gameplay of the PnP version.
Yes, they translated the rules system, and that's something I am happy about because I like the Storyteller system, but the problem is that a lot of the cool bits that you get in the PnP version are just too hard to implement in the cRPG without the risk of breaking the game (for instance, in Vampire: Bloodlines, they had to abandon the level 3 Obfuscation power, Mask of a Thousand Faces, which allows you to turn disguise yourself into anyone, cos it was just too powerful for the game).

The atmosphere and the style of games that V:TM and the World of Darkness allow is very much dependent on the quality of the Storyteller.
It's very easy to turn a game into a fragfest with Ancient roaming the streets throwing cars at each other and ripping humans from limb to limb, if you don't have the right players.

That's one of the problems of judging a PnP roleplaying game. It's not so much the rules that make it good, but rather the kind of atmosphere they are designed to create.
In the case of Vampire, it's all about becoming more and more powerful, while simultaneously eroding your soul and turning into not much more than a feral beast in search of blood.

Which is why I think it would make a good source of inspiration.

Wraith the Oblivion would be even better, as the gameplay revolve around you constantly battling your Shadow, while trying to reach Transcendence.
The underworld is a dangerous place, and your Shadow can help you to overcome some obstacle, but ultimately its goal is to corrupt you and turn you to Oblivion. Most of your unlife is spent trying to get back to what you knew, while constantly being reminded of what you lost, what you can never have again. The only future for a Wraith is to finally end it all. Some lucky few find the way to transcend and become God knows what (nobody came back to tell), while most are simply swallowed by the all devouring Oblivion.
It's a deeply psychological game. Probably why they didn't keep it, too.

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Destroy all humans, is a similar concept (although not in the Survival horror mood). You play an alien.

http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox/destroy-all-humans/628712p1.html


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Although not entirely the same vein, Messiah had the same sort of feel. As the cherub you were totally vulnerable but you used the humans to do all of your fighting.

You had to stalk around quite a lot of the time and people would be suspicious if they saw you take over someone.

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