Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil series is making a new survival horror game, The Evil Within. You've seen the trailer, now let's see what the man behind the madness has to say about it.
The Evil Within – titled Psycho Break in Japan – will supposedly be a return to the more "horror" side of "survival horror." Mikami spoke with Japanese gaming magazine, Weekly Famitsu, about the upcoming game and gave some hints to what players can expect from it.
One of the focuses in the game looks to be the disempowerment of the protagonist. Unlike the Resident Evil series, where players took the part of special forces members trained in the use of firearms with machineguns and rocket launchers, the main character of The Evil Within will be a detective, Sebastian, out of his element in a strange and twisted world. "The game is less about searching for a culprit, and more about being hunted and trying to find a way to survive." Mikami explained. Mikami also pointed out that while Sebastian would have a gun, it would not be the focal point of his survival. "There are a multitude of traps set throughout the game, so players will be able to use those traps as well in order to defeat enemies. You can use you gun of course, but the game is set so you don't have much ammo. I want players to think up strategic ways to survive using traps and their surroundings instead of just wiping out enemies with guns."
The survival horror genre has changed from the days when you would shoot a zombie and have to wait to ready your gun for a second show while the zombie would continue to lumber towards you – an intentional game mechanic of the first Resident Evil that was developed to add tension. Through the years, a focus has been placed on the action and entertainment elements of survival and less on the fear. "To be honest, survival horror is difficult to establish as a game." Mikami said. "Do you emphasize the entertainment and focus on the enjoyment of defeating enemies? Or do you emphasize the creeping fear? It's a genre that's difficult to balance out, but for [The Evil Within] we're focusing on the portrayal of 'horror' in our development."
Of course, a non-stop barrage of fear and scares can make a game less enjoyable to play. One way around this drawback of horror is to add an element of exploration to the world. "The story starts in an asylum. You wake up wondering 'where am I?' And from there, the player has to solve the mystery by their own hands." Mikami explained. "The game will have the enjoyment of exploring the world. There are situations where you start out in a hallway, but end up in a different world. This sort of world that changes in real time serves to haunt the player.
The Evil Within is slated to come out for the PC, the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 4. It will most likely be made available for the next Xbox when more details on that system are released. The game is expected to come out in 2014. According to Mikami, the bulk of the game system has been completed, so hopefully it won't be too long before we have a playable demo to check out.
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