Responses to Media Products

By Alex Toner

Task 1

Survival horror

Survival horror is a subgenre of video games inspired by horror fiction that focuses on survival of the character as the game tries to scare the player. Although combat can be a part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less powerful than in typical action games, because of limited ammunition, health, speed, vision, or other limitations.


The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas, and solve puzzles at certain locations. For example Outlast makes use of strong the horror theme, and the player is often challenged to navigate dark maze-like environments, and react to unexpected attacks from enemies. Outlast also has a photo-realistic visual style thus making the play feel more involved in the world, giving them a more terrifying experience.Survival horror is a subgenre of video games inspired by horror fiction that focuses on survival of the character as the game tries to scare the player. Although combat can be a part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less powerful than in typical action games, because of limited ammunition, health, speed, vision, or other limitations.
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Action Adventure

The action-adventure game genre is a video game genre that combines elements of the action game and the adventure game. It is perhaps the broadest and most diverse genre in gaming, and can include many games which might better be categorized under narrow genres.


The Action Adventure game was effectively created by such titles as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid back in the days of the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. These two titles are recognised as archetype of the genre, and since then, the Action Adventure has expanded to include games in a wide variety of thematic genres, as well as appearing on every video game platform around. The essential traits of an action adventure are considered to include reflex-based gameplay, an action game element, combined with item collecting, environment exploration and puzzle solving, which are associated with the adventure game genre. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Action Adventure is sometimes used as a catch all for games that do not overtly suit any one genre but still have a plot, a usage which some consider erroneous.

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Content

Survival Horror

Within survival horror games, content usually follow the same theme. For example characters in survival horror games have dark characteristics, such as black clothes sometimes with hoods or masks to hide their faces to create horror for the audience. Representation in Horrors vary because there is so many different types of horrors, for example on game could be in space with aliens trying to find you and another could be in a hospital and you're investigating the disappearance of missing people.


The way writers use Characterization in games is details, their backstory, traits, personality, looks, abilities. These are key to giving life to a character, its what makes characters great icons, its what gives us a reason to like them. It allows the player to connect with the game more, as they could possibly relate to the character or simply just enjoy how the character behaves.

Action Adventure

In Action Adventure games, the content within them varies from the objects to the world that the objects are in. Two examples of action adventure games that differ from each other are assassins creed and the Bioshock. These games are both action adventure however the worlds are completely different. Rapture, the setting of Bioshock, is in the time period of 1946. An is an under water city. The Assassins creed series follows a accurate depiction of the time period its set in, usually set in the past.


Representation in games has many different aspects such as Characterization, Characterization is the where the writer reveals the personality of a character. Characterization is revealed through direct characterization and indirect characterization. Direct Characterization tells the audience what the personality of the character is.

Compare

Action adventure and Survival Horror can be similar in some aspects such as the world they are set in or even characters. However there is also some very large differences between the two. Another major difference in the content is locations of horror games usually take place in an abandoned or derelict place thus giving the impression you're alone. Action adventure location varies however they are usually a real place.

Visual Style

Survival Horror

Visual Style is important in any game because it sets the theme and determines the effect on the player. They're different visual styles that are used for different games such as a cartoon style suits a children's game.


Visual style in a horror is crucial if not the most important genre to get the visual style correct, this is because most horrors are photo-realistic and if they were not they wouldn't have the same effect. For example if a horror had a cartoon style it wouldn't necessarily be as scary.


Emotions being portrayed in a game that is photo-realistic works extremely well on a player as they feel as if they can understand what the character is feeling, and it is an excellent way to influence a players decisions in game. This is used in Horrors for example in Outlast, players get immersed which helps because when there is a jump scare or just a scary part the player will be scared.

Action Adventure

Action Adventure games most of the time have a photo realistic visual style, however some have a cartoon art style or other styles. Most action adventure games use this style because it allows the player to be immersed in the world. Also the photo realistic visual style is used because most action adventure games are set in a a modern time period.


The action adventure genre usually consists highly detailed scenes that are packed full of action that are usually photosrealistic. However some action adventure game goes for a more cartoon art style and the camera angle varies as well, giving a completely different feel to action adventure that uses either 1st or 3rd person camera angles.

Compare

The visual style of both genres use a similar technique however the styles are very different. Both genres use photorealistic visual styles, which in my opinion suits the genres however there are some games that are either Action adventure or horror and pull of the style very well such as Zelda. There is still a difference between both genres style that use photorealism.


In a Survival horror game there will probably be a darker theme, for example there might be objects such as knifes, axes and various dangerous objects. These objects make the player feel like they're in danger, this effect can just as easily be created by a simple wooden chair in the middle of an empty room. This darker theme is usually in most horrors as appose to the often a light and realistic setting of the action adventure genre.


Most action adventure games have a photorealistic style, this makes the often real settings resemble the actual places they are based on making the player emerged within the game. The genre often uses explosions and collapsing objects like buildings or bridges this works well when combined with the photorealistic art style.

Cultural

Survival Horror

Most Survival Horror games, have aimed at people of the age of 18 and over this is because of various factors that are usually in horror games, such as blood and gore, strong language and violence. Most horror games are aimed globally available, depending on different counties laws and regulations.

Action Adventure

With the Action adventure genre, the general audience for the game varies because some action adventure game such as Zelda, don't have the use of strong language and blood and gore thus making it acceptable for use by children. However a lot of Action adventure games are aimed at 18 years and over because of the use of blood and gore, strong language and violence.

Compare

Survival Horror and Action Adventure have controversial cultural aspects to them. This is because both use different forms of violence and destruction that results in the game becoming an age rating of 18. Survival horror has a high age rating because it uses blood and gore and often strong language. Strong language in horrors is a lot less than in Action adventure games however you will find that most horror games have more blood and gore than Action adventure games.


Personally I think that survival horror usually have an older target audience than that of an action adventure game audience. This is because the younger enjoy large explosions and big weapons that cause said explosions, however they may not find the scary and dark theme to be as entertaining.

Technical

Survival Horror

In the survival horror genre, the use of camera, lighting and sound is massively important. Survival horror games mainly use lighting to make the player nervous because they do not know what is around them because they cannot see everywhere. The lighting is used to scare the player as well, for example in some games there is no light however the player is given a flashlight and only can see a limited amount.


Camera is used in most genre to further the horror effect in the game, this is done in most survival horror games. A good example is the use of first person in most survival horrors, this is because this gives the player a limited view, a lot like the lighting in the genre. The less you

Action Adventure

The action adventure genre, uses lighting to create an immersive experience for the player, this is done by using lighting that represents and simulates reality. The use of lighting can vary however there are a lot of games that add natural lighting such as, sunlight. The bright light from the sun, shining through trees and grass creating shadows make the photorealistic visual style accurate and believable.


Action adventure also makes great use of the camera, its because of this that some action adventure games have sold so well. An example of this is the Batman series, the combat within the game uses the camera to emphasise each punch, by following his arm with the camera.


This genre makes an incredible sense of reality using sound, this is mostly when there are explosions, gun fire or even sword fights. The sound, often sounds recorded from a real life version allows for an incredible experience and combines with the camera and lighting

Compare

The technical side to horror and action adventure games have some similarities but use these similarities in a different way. Horror has very little lighting and leaves the player to slowly work their way through a dark room building tension with the distant sound of footsteps. Action adventure, uses lighting and sound to its advantage however it uses it in a different way. It has loud and immersive sounds such as a jet flying over head, or a bright fiery light of an exploding grenade in front of you.

Task 2

Uncharted Series

The Uncharted series is an action-adventure third-person perspective shooter video game that is developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and is exclusively made for PlayStation consoles. The series follows the treasure hunter Nathan Drake otherwise known as “Nate”, his mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan, and journalist Elena Fisher. Along the games Nate and his followers encounter numerous secondary companions whom they meet and recruit as they travel around the world to uncover various historical mysteries.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Trailer

Meaning of the Text

In the Uncharted 3 trailer the first scene shows a table with books and journals containing maps and symbols, also there is a compass, maps, passport, guns, bullets, coins/ notes and a knife that looks like a relic of some kind. These signified that there is research into locations that are possibly hidden and dangerous because the maps and compass highlight that someone is looking for something and the bullets and guns on the table highlight that fighting will be involved to get there. Also it looks like the location will contain items of high value because of the relic like dagger and coins on the table.


In the trailer Nathan drake says "Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity". The denotation of this quote is that people who dream when they go to sleep then wake up to realise that they were just dreaming about themselves with better appearance, qualities, abilities or achievements. Also the connotation of this quote is that people who dream when they sleep have empty minds and because of this they are unintelligent and wake up only to find they were dreaming about being intelligent.

Emotional Theme - Uncharted 3 Trailer

In The Uncharted 3 trailer, music is played throughout. this music is to make the audience feel like they are within the game world. Also At the beginning half of the trailer the character from the Uncharted Series (Nathan Drake) is narrating, this instantly gives people who have played the previous games nostalgia to when they were playing said games. As Nathan Drake is narrating over the trailer, it shows Nathan walking through the desert slowly giving the audience more and more information. As he is walking he picks a gun out of the sand, he then walks past a car in the sand and then a plane. This makes the audience increasingly intrigued by what is to come next, and by the end of the trailer they are wanting to play the game to see what happens next.

Characters

Nathan Drake

Nathan Drake (born Nathan Morgan) is the main protagonist and playable character of the uncharted series. A treasure hunter professional, Nate is described as a "deep-sea salvage expert and action-pro". Since childhood, Nate has held the belief that he is descended from the famous English explorer Francis Drake. Nate was voiced by Nolan North.



  • Hotshot - A reckless character known for taking risks.
  • Gentleman thief - A sophisticated and well-mannered thief

  • Outlaw - A romanticized, often charismatic or social bandit


Nathan Drake is a Hotshot, because he is known for taking risks. For example in the image below you see Nathan Drake from Uncharted 3, he sneaks onto a cargo plane in an attempt to save Sully. However A large explosion occurs on the plane resulting in a massive decompression which tears the plane apart. Falling through the sky, Nate is able to land safely on the desert floor by grabbing hold of a cargo pallet and deploying its parachute.


Nate is a Gentleman thief, this is because he is an intelligent character who is polite to people however he often steals from others. This stereotype fits Nathan Drake very well, this stereotype also links into the Outlaw stereotype.


Drake is considered an "every-man" kind of guy with a dry sense of humor, quick to help others. In his adventures, he encounters large numbers of heavily armed men and is visually not affected by their deaths. However in Uncharted 2, Nate shows that he doesn't like the taking of human life. Nate is known to make sarcastic remarks about a situation he is in, as most would if they were in his situation.

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Elena Fisher

Elena Fisher is an American journalist, TV personality and Foreign Correspondent. You first meet Elena in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune as she follows Nate on his journey near Panama. Nate and Elena dig up a coffin which turns out to be English explorer Sir Francis Drake, Nate's supposed ancestor. Amy Hennig is a video game director and script writer, formerly for the video game company Naughty Dog; she commented that she created Elena to be the "female version of Drake" instead of the "damsel in distress" type. Elena was voiced and motion captured by Emily Rose.



  • Tomboy - A girl with boyish and/or manly behavior.
  • Battle-axe - A domineering, brash and brazen woman


Elena is a Tomboy stereotype because she doesn't act like a stereotypical "women", she is the equivalent to the character Nathan Drake. She is also a counter type for the same reason, she isn't the typical women who needs saving by the strong male protagonist. Although in other video games, a character like Elena would often be just a girlfriend or wife, in Uncharted, Elena is Nathan's equal in every way. She also comes complete with her own back story, and when she first appears, she's a journalist who is just as historically and geographically intelligent as Nathan, and she also can do all the physical activities which most of the time are dangerous.


In addition to Elena being able to call out Nathan on his nonsense and having a fully-developed personality, she also has some serious skills, both as an adventurer and a fighter. Not only can she keep up with Nathan as he climbs mountains, shimmies through tight spots between walls and crawls in tunnels underneath the city, but she also has the ability to pick up a gun and use it to protect herself and Nathan, if needed.

Last Of Us

The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 3 on June 14th, 2013. An updated version, The Last of Us Remastered, was released for the PlayStation 4 on July 29, 2014. Players control Joel, a man tasked with escorting a young girl named Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States. It game isn’t so much special for the story, but in fact the bond between the two survivors. With gut wrenching scenes and a rich world of terror, you really feel like it’s real.

The Last of Us is played from a third-person perspective; players use firearms and improvised weapons, and can use stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures, such as stalkers and clickers. They’re the infected and they’re the result of the Cordyceps fungus.

The Last of Us | Launch Trailer

Meaning of the Text

In the Last of Us trailer, an abandoned city that has been overrun by nature is signified in the first 15 seconds of the trailer. This immediately shows the audience the general theme and setting of the game. After the abandoned city is shown it shows a scene with a dead body that has spider webs on it highlighting that it has been there a long time, whilst this scene is shown a voice says "We wont get another shot at this". This suggests that something of great difficulty or rarity is needed to be carried out.


Then scene another dead body is shown reinforcing the danger there is within the game, and then a different voice says "We aint talking about some walk in the park here". The denotation for this is that the task that needs to be completed isn't an actual walk in the park. And the connotation for the quote is that the task is difficult.


These two scenes link to each other thus reinforcing that a task needs to be completed that you have one chance to complete. That involves danger and difficulty, all of these factors make the audience intrigued. These are cleaver techniques to make somebody interested quickly, perfect for the trailer.

Characters

Joel

Joel is the primary playable character and the protagonist of The Last of Us; he also appears in the in The Last of Us: Left behind DLC. Joel is a survivor of the cordyceps brain infection, which wiped out over 50% of humankind globally. After losing his daughter Sarah in the outbreak, Joel became a ruthless and cynical smuggler who became involved with criminal activity after the outbreak.


20 years after the outbreak Joel is eventually tasked with smuggling and protecting Ellie, a young girl who is the key to mankind's survival. During their journey Joel eventually comes to form a strong bond with Ellie and slowly as time passes he doesn’t want to let her go due to the strong bond that they both share. Joel was voiced and motion captured by Troy Baker who recently worked on Naughty Dogs newest release; Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.



  • Elderly martial arts master - A wise, powerful man teaching his powerful craft to a young student, often needs to be avenge.
  • Knight-errant - A noble Knight on a Quest


Joel is an Elderly martial arts master because throughout the game he teaches Ellie


Joel has been described as a "violent thug, a brutal killer, and a torturer." He is shown to be able to kill his enemies with noteworthy brutality, earning his infamous reputation to those he encounters. David calls him a "crazy man." During the aftermath of the epidemic that struck the country, he has resorted to working in black-market dealings and smuggling items or people of interest through quarantine zones or other designated areas. Because of this, he has accumulated valuable knowledge in regards to surviving the post-apocalyptic environment.

Ellie

Ellie is the secondary playable character and deuterogamist of The Last of Us and the protagonist of The Last of Us DLC; Left Behind. A deuterogamist is the second most important character after the protagonist. Ellie is a fourteen-year-old survivor, she is mature beyond her years, and this is a result of the circumstances of her environment.


Grown up in the harsh world it is all Ellie ever knew. She never experienced wildlife or even the outdoors since she’s an orphan who was raised in a boarding school run by the military within the bounds of the quarantine zone. Inexperienced and curious about the outside world, she is highly capable of taking care of herself and those around her. She also likes comic books, music, and other pop culture, her knowledge base is filled by the remnants of a world that no longer exists. Ellie was voiced and motion captured by Ashley Johnson.


  • Ingenue - A young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome
  • Hotshot - A reckless character known for taking risks.
  • Battle Axe - A domineering, brash and brazen woman.
  • Tomboy - A girl with boyish and/or manly behavior.


Ellie is a counter type this is because she goes against all of society's thoughts of what a young girl should think and act like. The second you meet Ellie in The Last of Us, you immediately notice she isn't like an average teenage girl. When you play through the game and slowly learn more about Ellie as a character, you understand more about how she thinks about the world. For example in one scene Ellie finds a diary of a young girl, similar age to herself. As she reads she laughs and talks about how funny it is that all they had to worry about is what they were going to wear that day.

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Emotional Theme

The developers at Naughty Dog are incredible when it comes to adding emotion into their games. The studio knows how to construct a game and pace it within the interactive environment to great effect like few other studios can. The Last of Us is their latest effort, and like the Uncharted series before it, it shows an incredible attention to detail and character. At the beginning of the game, only about 5 minuets into the game. You're given a scene where a father, Joel looses his daughter. Who has been shot he holds his daughter in his arms as she dies. This immediately sets an emotional connection between the player and the character making the player feel sorry for Joel throughout the game. From personal experience of playing through the game I was thoroughly engrossed by Joel and Ellie’s narrative.