|"The Evil Within is a welcome return to survival horror. It mixes the over-the-shoulder combat (and chainsaw-wielding nutters) of Resident Evil 4 with the grim, psychological horror of Silent Hill, and the id Tech-powered visuals are beautifully atmospheric."|
|First and foremost, Mikami prioritizes the experience of real terror in survival horror titles. He remarked at E3 that players “should experience immeasurable fear [and] also the triumph of overcoming those fears.” These goals are apparent in E3’s live demo of The Evil Within. Sebastian, the game’s protagonist, must flee from a chainsaw-wielding enemy, and this pursuit takes place in a series of narrow and dimly lit corridors, leaving players few places to hide. Eventually, Sebastian manages to conceal himself inside a locker, but even this shelter is not safe. His monstrous pursuer destroys the adjacent lockers before growing distracted at the last possible second. A later segment of the demo finds Sebastian armed but still at a disadvantage. As he wanders down a long corridor, the building’s architecture changes without warning and spawns either a horde of enemies or an abrupt wave of blood a la The Shining. In time, the visions fade to reveal that he has been teleported to an entirely different location, disorienting both the character and the player directing him.|
| Speaking with Eurogamer, Mikami said better graphical quality has the “capacity to make the fear much closer to you,” and the ability to add in more animation can change how a character moves in a certain situation.|
Mikami feels many horror games suffer from sequelitis, and in order to continue, developers just amp up the action instead of the scares.
“Used at the right time and in the right way disempowerment can be the most powerful tool for the horror game creator,” he said. “Sequels are a big problem in horror entertainment. As a horror game series continues you begin to know who the enemies are going to be. Just this knowledge naturally makes the game less scary.
“So to capture a wider audience designers add more action. That further reduces how frightening the game feels. Instead of trying to introduce new ideas I want to return to survival horror’s roots. We’ve strayed from that. I want to explore fear again, and that sense of overcoming fear, one that’s unique to games.
“That’s one reason I’m making The Evil Within. Really, I’m making this game just because it’s fun to scare people.”
|Mikami also revealed at E3 that his latest game will not be plagued by the pesky, button-mashing sprees known as quick time events. This decision seems to be a direct response to how QTE-laden titles tend to veer sharply into action filled territory. The split-second response required for QTEs do make for tense, dramatic set pieces, but they test how quickly a player can press a button rather than challenging players to direct a character in a dire situation. Indeed, the only “quick” decisions in the demo require players to rapidly steer Sebastian around debris or swiftly throw a bottle as a distraction. The result is a more immersive and believable horror experience that is uninterrupted by frenzied attempts to press “X” within an allotted time period.|