Strange Scaffold founder and narrative design extraordinaire, Xalavier Nelson Jr has joined NME staff for a special Halloween playthrough of Phasmophobia, where the trio discusses why horror games work so well.
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Jake Tucker, editor of NME Gaming, alongside staff writer Andy Brown, joined Nelson to play through Phasmophobia, the investigative paranormal game from indie developer Kinetic Games.
Utilising a plethora of tools to help identify the type of ghost haunting a spooky mansion, the trio soon gathers photos of items the ghost had moved while Nelson identified the room the creepy spirit was inhabiting after a close call which saw his heart rate soar.
“You said we had to talk about how horror games work, this is how they work,” yelled Nelson, after being creeped out by a horde of hooded figures whispering to one another around a summoning circle.
Later on, after losing two party members to the ghost’s hunt, Nelson ventures further into why horror games work as well as they do.
“I also love how this game steps into the dynamic of one of my favourite games, Bloodborne,” Nelson said, “Bloodborne is a game that is explicitly about confronting you with horrific things and you have to confront it to the face. The easiest way to die is to flinch backwards. You have to, in the face of the infinite, confront said infinite and move forward.”
Bringing the comparisons back around to Phasmophobia in particular, he said, “With that in mind, Phasmophobia using blue collar tradecraft language says ‘You have to go back in there because you haven’t really proven anything.”
“What makes a good horror game is, because horror is not a formula it’s a spice, it can be applied to any genre and transform it into something new, it’s kind of everything,” Nelson concluded.
In other news, Black Adam will join the MultiVersus roster today (October 31).