Shinji Mikami Unleashes "The Evil Within" On The PlayStation 4
The Evil Within - PS4
Fans who have been with the Resident Evil series from the very beginning have certainly had a rough time lately. While the initial lure of survival horror quickly roped in millions of fans, the series eventually led away from the horror aspect and jumped headfirst into action gameplay, leaving fans of the classic gameplay style wanting. After what seems like forever, survival horror fans will finally have the opportunity to grab hold of a new breed of evil with The Evil Within.
Shinji Mikami Returns to Horror
The mastermind behind Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami returns to the game development scene after a three-year break with his new studio Tango Gameworks. His first order of business? Announcing his latest project to be third person survival horror game The Evil Within, due for release on the PlayStation 4 in 2014 and published by none other than Bethesda Softworks. In an interview with IGN, Mikami ponders the direction of his new horror title: “Thematically, it’s less about having twists and turns and more about maintaining an air of mystery, so through the story you learn a little bit more, and then a little bit more, but the more you learn, you also realize there’s far more mystery out there to unfold.”
Above all, it seems like Mikami's intent is to put a greater focus on not only the story but the horror aspects of said story, as players will never be quite sure just what they are fighting.. Additionally, the game displays in an interesting choice of wide aspect ratio: 2.35:1, designed for a total cinematic experience. You can view how this aspect ratio will work in the game in the two-minute live-action trailer (seen above) released by Tango Gameworks and Bethesda, featuring a man slaving over a strand of barbed wire as gory horrors rise from the ground. It is interesting that Mikami opted for a live-action trailer; it is reminiscent of the live-action opening scenes from the original Resident Evil iteration.
A True Horror Focus
Considering Mikami's departure from the Resident Evil series shortly after the focus began to turn to action, it's clear that the designer missed the joys of creating true horror for his fans. In his interview with IGN, Mikami states “If players say 'I haven't played a game this scary in a while,' that would make me the happiest.”
In The Evil Within, the protagonist, named Sebastian, will not be blessed with superhuman powers that help him achieve his goals; his greatest weapon will simply be whatever he can come across, which Mikami says will be “appropriate” for the situation.
As far as appropriate weapons go, chances are that this is a reference to the overly powerful weapons protagonists seem to come across in their journeys; after all, when was the last time a local police station happened to have a flamethrower stashed away underground next to a submachine gun and grenade launcher?
“We're not giving the player really any extraordinary powers, but we don't want to go in the opposite direction and not give them any means of fighting back – that would violate the rules of survival horror. So we're looking at appropriate types of weapons with a limited amount of ammunition in order to get them through ... if they're good" Mikami tells IGN.
In addition to limited resources, The Evil Within will rely on a bevy of tricks and traps to always keep the player on his or her toes. Luckily, those same traps can be used on the very monsters who are pursuing you. The Evil Within will frequently require you to use your brains instead of pure brute force if you are going to survive this hellish nightmare.
Luckily, location-based damage looks to be implemented into the game, as gameplay scenes of Sebastian shooting a monster in the leg to cripple him followed by lighting him on fire have been shown. In a game where every bullet must count, players will need to quickly figure out each monster's weak point or lose precious resources and, even worse, their life.
The Evil Within: A Demonstration
Bethesda gave several publications the opportunity to run through a demo of Mikami's upcoming title, featuring Sebastian sent in to investigate an inner-asylum homicide that recently took place. Sebastian's character seems to have no true depth to him; however, his design is intended to enable the player to identify with him, making it easier to become immersed in the environment and truly experience the horrors that await.
Despite it's slow investigative start, eventually the scene changes completely after Sebastian notices a cloaked figure murdering police officers before turning his sights to Sebastian himself, rendering him unconscious. As Sebastian comes to, he finds his world turned upside down as he dangles from a meat locker, only a bloodstained butcher in his sights.
This scene and others like it are all designed with claustrophobia in mind as Mikami hopes to induce true fear and trauma in the players. Mikami states that the game will frequently shift from enclosed environments to wide open spaces, providing relief and then snatching it from the player with no prior notice.
Butchers and cloaked figures aren't the only enemies you'll be fighting; Resident Evil fans will be happy to know that the main enemy type in the game is a slow, shambling creature similar to a zombie.
Fans of Mikami's earlier works are all too familiar with the oft-clunky “tank” controls that generally created their own brand of horror within Resident Evil. For The Evil Within, however, the designer says that he intends to create a new control scheme that helps flow with the gameplay style but without hindering free movement as early Resident Evil games did. It has been stated that movement will be contextual and Sebastian will act different with monsters are around; in addition, Sebastian can also crouch and sneak by monsters to escape from them unnoticed.
At E3 2013, no additional details about The Evil Within were unveiled. While a playable demo was available on the show floor, it contained the same scenario illustrated in the previous paragraphs that most gamers have already seen. However, feedback from the playable demo was very positive, with those who played the game expressing interest in seeing the final product.
Developed with a modified version of the id Tech 5 engine, The Evil Within will take full advantage of the PS4's graphical prowess to scare you senseless.
A season pass has been revealed for The Evil Within, and here's the DLC you'll get for your $19.99:
- DLC where you play as The Keeper, an axe-wielding villain with his own mission structure and storyline.
- A two-part DLC pack focusing on Juli Kidman, Sebastian's partner-in-crime.
The season pass will be available for purchase when the game launches, and no individual release dates or prices were given for any DLC packs.
The Evil Within originally had a release date of August 26th, 2014, however the game was then delayed to October 21st, 2014 in the United States and October 24th, 2014 in Europe. The following statement was released by Bethesda "Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have asked for additional time to further balance and refine the game in order to deliver the polished, terrifying pure survival horror experience they set out to create."
Good news, fans!!! Apparently the polish isn't going to take as long to add as previously thought, with the new release date for the game set a week earlier at October 14th, 2014. Finally a release date that comes earlier than expected!
We'll brave the dark depths of horror for you to bring you any news as it releases, so keep your eyes on PS4 Experts and this page for new information as it arises.
Game Category: Horror
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 04/25/2013
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