In response to "A New Horror" from the Escapist Forum: The things that Dear Esther and Korsakovia did right made me more upset about what they did wrong, really. Dear Esther would've benefited greatly from allowing me to sprint (I ended up jumping around, as the Source engine lets you a limited bunnyhop), and there were times where music and dialogue ran over each other; Korsakovia really ran into some bland level construction and unfair combat later on.

That doesn't take too much away from their effort, though. I found both Mods to be engrossing and nontypical, and some of the signs in Korsakovia actually made me shudder. I'm hoping that thechineseroom takes what they've learned from their first two outings and does something truly unique on their first independent outing. I think they've got it in them.

- The Rogue Wolf

I was almost done with Korsakovia and about to start Dear Esther last year when the hard drive they were on died, and I keep not getting around to reinstalling them. Maybe this will finally get me to do it.

The introduction of Korsakovia is amazing and probably the best thing (to me, at least) I've seen in any horror game ever. The combat (when there is some) kind of sucks, but it turns out to be relatively easy once you figure out how to hit things. It was pretty frustrating before I got the hang of that, though, but nothing compared to the goddamn jumping puzzles, which nearly got me to stop playing. Those are the main problem with it. They're not fun, and they're not scary, and they're only hard because trying to pretend you're Mario when you're actually Gordon Freeman (not in a story sense; in a same engine, same point of view, same controls sense) just doesn't work, and this is coming from someone who actually thought Xen in HL1 was fun.

If you can get past that, though, the atmosphere is amazing, and the bizarre level design will screw with your head. It's also neat that it's (somewhat) based on a real neurological disorder, and as someone familiar with it and how things like that work, it was pretty cool seeing it handled surprisingly well (if bent a bit for storytelling's sake) in the game, better than most similar things in TV/movies. It's worth checking out just for that and the way it's presented and develops over time. If you have to noclip your way through a couple jumping puzzles (as a last resort, preferably, since sometimes you can't do it just because that's not where you're supposed to go), so be it.

- Nalgas D. Lemur


In response to "Fear Beyond Words" from the Escapist Forum: Very excited by the game. One problem: "Psychological thriller"? Pshh, it's horror. Call a spade a spade. Thriller is the genre Hollywood invented because people started associating "horror" with dumb slasher flicks and body-count porn. But horror's got a much wider and richer history than that, and I for one feel that intelligent and interesting horror should be proud of it's roots.

Update: I had to post that comment before I even finished the article, and I am glad the writer of this article seems to echo my stance. It's not even just Lovecraft (who I think was a pretty bad writer, albeit a bad writer with a great imagination). Anyone interested in the true span of horror should pick up The Dark Descent, a fantastic fantastic look at the creme of the crop in 19th and 20th century short horror stories.

- AgentNein


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