It’s not hard to make a scary game these days. The recipe is pretty simple; a pinch of dark atmosphere, a sprinkle of ghosts here or there, mixed together with something jumping out from behind a corner. A lot of those techniques have been done to death already.
After checking out Deep Silver’s upcoming survival horror game, “Cursed Mountain” for the Wii, there was one aspect of the game that I just couldn’t shake after walking out of the demo. It wasn’t the Himalayan mountain setting, or the ghosts of Monks that prey on anyone that ventures on their sacred ground, or the fact that the game pulls from Tibetan and Buddhist folklore to create something that could have actually happen. No, it wasn’t any of that.
It was the fact that the “Cursed Mountain” developers set the game in the 1980s to intentionally strip the game’s main character of modern day technology, and that, scared me more than anything else I’ve ever seen in a game. Think about it; you’re trapped on a “haunted” mountain, miles away from civilization, looking for your missing brother, and you don’t even have a cell phone to call for help when a giant bird starts attacking you. Yeah, that’s scary.
In case you’re not convinced yet, here’s a short list of modern day conveniences that the characters in the game wouldn’t have available to them:
- Laptop Computers
- Google Maps
- The Internet
- Portable CD Player
- The NEC TurboExpress
Sure, there have been other survival horror games that are set in different time periods, but “Cursed Mountain” made a very conscious, definitive decision about their setting, and that brings a distinct level of authenticity to the game.