I’ve been talking a lot about Dead Space lately, and only because I’m so excited to be scared. I remember the first game that truly scared me, Silent Hill. While the Resident Evil series was spooky, nothing put the fear of God in me like walking down a street covered in fog while hearing nothing but ever loudening static from my pocket radio to warn me of an enemy’s approach from an unknown direction. To take full advantage of the scares Silent Hill presented, I played in my basement with the sound all the way up and the lights all the way down.
In recent years few developers have tried to bring that level of terror to this latest generation of games. Only Condemned and Condemned 2 have taken advantage of the visual and audio capabilities making the sights almost real and the sounds, with the help of Dolby Digital, so real that you will catch yourself looking behind you. I know I did.
Taking full advantage of the visual and audio capabilities of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the team behind Dead Space has promised to scare the crap out of us. To do it, Dead Space will follow in the footsteps of films like Aliens — that came out almost 30 years ago and to this day is still scaring the crap out of people — by playing on some of people’s biggest fears like the unknown, and being the only person left to fight that unknown.
To highlight the important role audio plays in the delivering of a truly frightening experience, EA has released a new developer diary focusing solely on the audio of the game. In the diary, the team talks about how movies and games without the right audio are not scary, so getting the sounds right is of the utmost importance. It’s really interesting to hear about how the most benign of sounds can be turned into the squeal of a horrid monster, I shall never look at a baby the same way again.
[See also: Dead Space gallery]