Shinji Mikami: Atmosphere Is At The Core Of Horror

Shinji Mikami: Atmosphere Is At The Core Of Horror

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Franchises don't do horror gaming any favors, says the man behind The Evil Within.

Shinji Mikami, hard at work on The Evil Within, managed to pry himself away from his desk long enough to say a few words to OXM about horror, gaming, and whether or not his latest is anything like The Ring. It is, you'll be pleased to hear, and its reality-bending aesthetic will have you wondering whether you're looking at the real world or its shadow. But, says Mikami, the core of horror is atmosphere, and that's something The Evil Within will have plenty of. Just don't expect any flamboyant visuals. "We don't need flashy for horror games," says Mikami.

Franchises don't do horror much good either. Mikami's deliberately avoiding the Call of Duty approach with sequel after sequel, since repeats can't ever capture the essence of the original shiver show. People get used to the concept, the fictional world, and before you know it they're laughing at the monsters, or - even worse - getting bored. Mikami's clearly feeling his way with The Evil Within; he's still not sure what to do with Kinect, online connectivity, or the Xbox One's new triggers. He's confident that he can make this one as scary as his best, maybe even more, "but I don't think I would be able to beat every aspect of them," he admits. He wants to drag in as many new players as possible, but knows that if he's to reach that goal "the game has to be really, really scary."

The Evil Within is Mikami's next generation survival horror title, and his shot at becoming the scariest creator in horror gaming again. Cross your fingers, and keep your four leaf clover close. This might turn out to be a lot of fun. It's due for PC, current and next generation consoles in 2014.

Source: OXM

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Looking forward to it, atmosphere is more than some flicking lights and sounds of footsteps in the distance. In a horror game, creating sense of dread works wonders in the games favor, not feeling safe is key.

Who was Shinji Mikami again?

RJ Dalton:
Who was Shinji Mikami again?

You blasphemous, blasphemous heathen! How dare you! If I weren't at my computer and you at yours, I'd give you a sound drubbing! Damn kids...

In all seriousness, Shinji Mikami is the father of survival horror, the man who made the genre we know and love, and was the creator of the Resident Evil series. If he says this game's going to be scary, well then I better start stocking up on Depends.

Mikami says atmosphere is important in horror, news at 11.

Seriously, we have known this for years. According to Nemoinis, he was the creator of Resident Evil, so apparently he only recently learned this fact, since RE 1-4 all focused on jump scares. Although the chainsaw bastards in RE 4 instill fear in me a few times, but that was because how unpredictable their range was.

I don't know about you, my good pony-liking friend, but I found the old RE games (including 4) rather creepy and atmospheric. And jump scares aren't bad unless they're just used every five seconds to the point of becoming rote and expected (see most horror movies these days). Hell, there was a part here or there in the more recent games that were atmospheric...a bit. But since these days the only games with atmosphere are things like RE: Revelations, The Last Of Us, and (hopefully sooner rather than later for this PS3 owner) Lone Survivor, I cannot wait for The Evil Within.

 

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