Feel the Fear: Dead Space 2 vs Amnesia: the Dark Descent
Fear is subjective. What scares ones person might not scare another. Horror, as a genre, encompasses a wide palette of emotions, from disgust to fear to unease, and two recent games show just how many chords it can strike.
Let’s start with Dead Space 2. Yes, it’s frightening and horrifying, but it’s funhouse fear and gross-out horror. Like much action/horror, it’s patterned after theme-park rides. Tension is built gradually and then released in sudden bursts. It maintains a giddy intensity by providing a steady stream violence and gore. The ride is wild, but it doesn’t resonate.