Both Shifted to First-Person View
Sure, Resident Evil 7 and PT/Silent Hills certainly aren’t the first horror games to feature a first-person view, but it’s important to acknowledge that they are both big franchises that have made the shift to first-person after releasing a ton of games that were played out in third-person. While we might never know how Silent Hills was supposed to turn out, PT surprised a lot of players with its reveal because the first-person view was not a feature you would normally associate with the Silent Hill series, with the exception of The Room.
Similarly, when Resident Evil 7 showed off its teaser trailer at Sony’s conference during E3 last week, it was difficult to predict that this would be the new Resident Evil game because of its use of the first-person camera. However, even if the camera style has changed in a pretty big way, both PT and the Resident Evil 7 demo have proven that the first-person view can be used to their benefit. While playing through the Beginning Hour myself, the first-person view allowed me to study every little, rotting detail of the dilapidated house, heightening the sense of fear and tension.
Both Resident Evil 7 and PT also did a great job with the use of the flashlight. When turning the camera to look at something, your view turns towards the intended direction first, but the flashlight takes just a split-second to catch up with you. As a result, you’re left staring into darkness for just a moment before the flashlight reveals what lies ahead of you. It doesn’t sound like much, but that moment of darkness is surprisingly effective at scaring the player into imagining the worst.