Erie Achieves Eerieness Through Sounds, Not Visuals
The majority of the game, which lasts roughly a half hour, is spent fleeing in terror. But of course, to escape the facility, there are things you have to accomplish, with doors to unlock and special generators to shut down. Being able to get back to where you were, unmolested, is as important as getting away in this case. You have to run for your life, but you have to be smart about it if you want to live through the events of Erie.
Like the other horror titles we’ve discussed in HorrorScope before, Erie is effective because it understands the ways to make us afraid. An unstoppable pursuer is frightening, but not being able to see it coming is more so — even though Erie doesn’t rob you of the sense of sight, it still makes seeing dicey. And its use of sound is mirrored in all the best horror games: the key is to make the player aware of danger, but not too aware. We see it again and again, in titles ranging from Amnesia and the SCP line to Dead Space and even Resident Evil.
Seeing your enemy in games is never as effective as hearing, because sound leaves filling the rest to your imagination. Fear is built effectively by constraining the amount of knowledge you have and are able to get. The more you know about the threat you face, the better you’re able to deal with it, but in the case of Erie, your information is limited: it’s searching for you, and getting closer.
I highly recommend checking out Erie. It’s a great little horror game (especially if you like running for your life and, possibly, drawing penises on in-game walls). Check out the game’s official website for more details and check out the trailer below to see the game in action.
You can download Erie for free from Desura.