Horror games generally fall into two categories; one being that you are an overgrown meat-head who smashes through the game, the other being that you genuinely feel terrified and don’t know what’s coming next. The creator of The Evil Within likes to focus on the latter.
Shinji Mikami is best known for the Resident Evil series which started strong but in recent years has taken on a much more action-orientated focus. His new game, The Evil Within looks to tread back on familiar ground by putting players in the shoes of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, thus creating true horror and suspension.
Speaking with The Guardian, Mikami revealed that he sees “vulnerable characters” as the cornerstone to the genre. Instead of placing you in a situation where you know you’ll survive, the real fun comes from the unknown.
Elaborating, he says that “death and survival need to be on a constant see-saw,” and that “if there’s a situation where you’re not 100 percent sure that you can avoid or defeat the enemies, if you feel maybe there’s a chance you’ll make it – that’s where horror lies.”
It’s the kind of horror that we enjoy in all mediums, whether it be films, TV or video games; the uncertainty is entertaining. Where’s the fun in knowing the outcome?
Personally I’m all for being thrust into the unknown with very few resources, especially if it creates a game that constantly puts you in a state of panic, that’s what the horror genre is all about!
He goes on to echo the opinions of many who’ve grown tired of the same old formulas being employed by games these days, stating that he doesn’t “want to just stand there shooting dozens of enemies.” Pop up shooters are a dime a dozen, but intelligent games that actually challenge you to survive an encounter are a scarcity.
What do you think? Do you like the idea that every situation could be life-or-death? Or do you like feeling powerful by being able to take down anything that comes your way?
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