Games have "gotten away from genuinely scaring the player," and Half-Life, whenever it deploys its next episode, needs to get back to doing just that, the game's boss said.
Gabe Newell, the Valve honcho, was asked if the game's tone has matured along with its audience's over the past 12 years. He told Edge Magazine that the game's writers hadn't necessarily proceeded in that direction, although if the game's themes had changed it was because "simply repeating the past isn't going to have the same impact now as it did then.
However, "I feel like we've gotten away from genuinely scaring the player more than I'd like, and it's something we need to think about, in addition to broadening the emotional palette we can draw on."
And Newell knows exactly what pushes those emotional buttons. Asked what scares Valve's gamers the most, he replied: "The death of their children. The fading of their own abilities."