Both games, in their own way, challenge players to quell their disbelief to the point of believing they are directing the outcome of cinema-inspired horror scenes, whether by pressing a single button The Quarry or by engaging in direct, timed battles as one of them evil Dead‘s survivors or demons. And both use different approaches to game design in their own way to capture the experience of watching a horror movie.
Games have tried to achieve this goal in different ways over the decades before. Survival horror releases of the kind that have become famous resident Evil and silent Hill used an intentionally cumbersome control scheme (the so-called tank controls) and a lack of ammo and healing items in the 90s to model the fear of being outnumbered and overwhelmed by monsters. This, combined with the drugged feel of maneuvering a character into a position to flee from or fight an enemy, worked to reproduce the nightmarish helplessness of a horror film. Amnesia: The Dark Descent took a different approach to modeling impotence, forcing the player to explore scary locations and hide from danger without even having access to weapons.
In short, designers have always been interested in finding ways to make the vicarious thrill of watching a horror movie more intimate – to make players feel like they’re not just watching, but actually participating in the experience.
Both of the above design ethos remain popular, but they are linked by The Quarry and the more passive genre to which it belongs, as well as games like evil Deadthe latest in the “asymmetric multiplayer” horror subgenre, which also includes Dead by daylight and the Friday the 13th Adjustment. The common thread that ties these horror releases together is their use of role-playing as a vehicle for audiences to become immersed in various aspects of the horror film experience.
Something interesting happens while playing The Quarry, for example: the player doesn’t make decisions as if he were the character involved, but instead acts from the perspective of a director – or perhaps more accurately, from the perspective of a plot-influencing superviewer who isn’t yelling at the TV to go alone to a Investigating that strange noise can actually change the course of things. An understanding of genre tropes informs these decisions. When a cast member is attacked by a bizarre monster and develops a strange infection from a leg wound, another character’s suggestion that the limb be amputated shortly after black fluid is discovered at the edges of the wound seems more reasonable than it should be. The player knows that something bad is inevitable due to the story they are witnessing, but due to their familiarity with the logic of horror movies, which dictates how a mysterious injury inflicted by a monster will result in its sufferer turning turned into a monster again, they could try to save the injured player by evaluating the situation based on genre rationale. The Quarry encourages its audience to play a horror movie viewer instead of a horror movie character.
in the Evil Dead: The Game, players take on roles on screen more directly. As a demon, you are forced to think like a supernatural predator and do whatever it takes to kill the other players. As survivors, they are destined to save their lives and those of their companions. The abstraction of the genre is stripped away to encourage the fight-or-flight behavior that slasher films are primarily trying to capture. A layer of signifiers is removed, leaving something closer to the true emotion a slasher is trying to convey to its viewer—or the player in this case.
That evil Dead There’s more to movies, and horror movies in general, than aesthetics of suspense, fear, and violence. The Quarry and Evil Dead: The Game both understand this in their own way, modeling the vicarious pity and guilty joy that comes from observing events in slasher films. Their approaches to design may take different forms, but they work towards a similar goal: to take movie monsters and those who frighten them a few steps off the screen, so that their fate, however it may be, can be placed in our hands .