Shinji Mikami has said there are very few true survival horror games any more, and that’s why The Evil Within won’t hand you an assault rifle and let you mow down your foes.
“My definition of survival horror is that first of all it has to be scary. And then you get a scary creature, and you get a rush from blowing it away. A good balance of these two things is what makes survival horror,” Mikami told IGN in a video interview.
“For combat, of course, you’re shooting guns and using knives and axes and orthodox weapons like that, but you can also place traps to ambush enemies.
“We don’t intend to give the player and super extraordinary powers. However, if there’s no way to fight back, no way to attack that gives that little thrill, then it wouldn’t be survival horror. So we’ll give the player the weapons they need, but we’re not considering any heavy weapons like machine guns.”
Players will have access to stealth and tactical options like throwing a bottle to distract a foe. They will only have a limited amount of ammunition and will have to be skilled at action sequences if they want to fight their way through the game, something Mikami seems to find quite satisfying.
“Sometimes you have to run away because your ammo is low, and you’re like, ‘die already’ – and you pull off a headshot,” Mikami added.
“The monster is bearing down on you and bam! You hit it with your last shot. You feel relief and a sense of exhilaration like ‘yes!’ I think that really is the easiest way to describe what’s best about survival horror.”
Nevertheless, in a preview feature, Mikami went on to suggest that an emphasis on action has taken some of the thrill away from the genre.
“Survival horror has been drifting away from what makes it survival horror. And so I want to bring back survival horror to where it was.
“There are a lot of survival horror games nowadays, but the thing that I want to focus on is having the perfect balance between horror and action.”
Mikami said that the team’s goal is to have players feel that they haven’t played a game as scary as The Evil Within in ages.
Other details revealed in IGN’s preview include Tango’s heavy modifications to id Tech 5; a low, cinematic camera angle; a unique gameplay gimmick which seems to transport protagonist Sebastian back and forth between worlds; a restrained HUD; emotive character animations; and plenty of plot and enemy information. Hit the link above to read up, or view the full video interview feature.
The Evil Within is due on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and next generation consoles in 2014. It’s the first game from the Bethesda-owned Tango Gameworks.