This was the birth of the game “fear emitter,” which is simply a first-class game object that designers can place in the world or attach to other objects, most notably, the enemy alien creatures. Fear emitters are simply a “sphere of influence.” However, with this one tool, we can affect a myriad of audio sources, such as music, streamed ambience, adaptive ambience, reverb control, general mixing parameters, or whatever. But… of course, the devil’s in the details.
And here’s a little bit of Dead Space gameplay video to give you an idea. It starts with action, but moves to an exploration sequence where you can get a sense of these horror emitters.