The Scariest Thing About This Dawn Of Fear Trailer Is Its Obsession With Old School Survival Horror

The Scariest Thing About This Dawn Of Fear Trailer Is Its Obsession With Old School Survival Horror
Credit: Sony

Dawn of Fear is a new survival horror game coming to PlayStation 4 next month, though some might contest the use of the word “new.” The game wears its influences on its sleeve, Resident Evil and Silent Hill being chief among them.

It’s like developer Brok3nsite went down a checklist of what makes a classic survival horror game. Static cameras? Check. Sprawling mansion with maze-like hallways and secret dungeons? Check. Inventory management? Check. And while you obviously can’t tell from the trailer alone, it does look like the game might use the classic Resident Evil tank controls. Check out the trailer to see for yourself.

Dawn of Fear is actually a failed Kickstarter from mid-2018. Brok3nsite only managed to raise a little over four thousand dollars of their sixteen thousand dollar goal, so the project was canceled on July 26, 2018. The Spain-based developer clearly found another source of funding and their efforts go live in just a few weeks on February 3.

The game tells the story of Alex, who’s forced to return to his family home after his stepmother takes her own life. What he finds is not his childhood home but “a world of madness and cruelty from which he does not know if he will be able to run away.” The description on the Playstation site is written in pretty rough English, but it definitely gets the point across.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this level of imitation. It’s very much the Quentin Tarantino form of tribute. You don’t do homages, you just steal. All artists steal. Yes, even the great ones, so Dawn of Fear certainly shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand for that reason alone.

If you’re going to make a survival horror game, you really couldn’t have better inspiration. Resident Evil and Silent Hill are two of the greatest survival horror series of all time. That’s a deep well to dip into. Judging by the trailer, however, it looks like Dawn of Fear might adhere a little too close to some outdated aspects of the formula. That could very well be their intention, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to pay off.

My gut tells me that if Dawn of Fear doesn’t work as the developers intend it to, then it might find an audience in the way Deadly Premonition did. While there are some gamers who would place Deadly Premonition into the “so bad it’s good category,” it has its genuine fans who consider it a misunderstood masterpiece. That’s the sort of vibe I get from Dawn of Fear.