Yeah, so. Looks like a video game guy! But eh, I mean what would you expect really? He looks fine anywhoo and I like his very classical detective look. Though some of those other recent screenshots shown him without that trench coat of his, so I guess that means we'll have yet another parable to RE4 where your main character inevitably loses his suave coat.
Anywhoo that's also to be the front cover for the latest issue of Famitsu, to which there was another preview that most likely retained a lot of the same stuff that's already circulating the net. And a quick interview with the Mikami himself:
"With this game, we are aiming for a pure form of survival horror," Mikami told Famitsu magazine in this week's issue. "The gameplay you see in the survival-horror genre has changed with the times, and I think right now it leads more towards action than it did before. So we're trying to avoid that. To be honest, it's hard to make survival horror work as a game. Should you emphasize the entertainment aspect and focus on the fun of killing enemies? Or should you try to aim for more of a creeping sort of terror? It's hard to strike a balance, but with this game, we're trying to place our weight primarily on the horror aspects."
The Evil Within (announced this week in Japan under the name Psycho Break) stars Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who's sent along with his partners Joseph Oda and Julie "Kid" Kidman on a call to a mental asylum in the city where they live. Apparently all the patients and employees in the hospital are dead, and things get even weirder once Sebastian sets foot in the facility.
"Sebastian, the hero, starts the game already in pursuit of a brutal murderer," Mikami explained. "However, as he answers the call that takes him to the mental hospital, he winds up accidentally going into this nightmare-like world. We made it accidental because if you had a solid goal and you were chasing down this mystery, it'd stop being scary once you found the truth. I think it's more fun, and scarier, for this detective to get whisked away in this mystery while answering another call. Instead of chasing a criminal, it's a game where you're being pursued and you're trying to figure out how to survive."
Mikami said that he also made the hero a police detective in order to get gunplay into the game, although he emphasized that this isn't The Evil Within's main focus. "There are traps you'll run into in assorted areas, and you can use these traps to defeat enemies," he said. "You can use guns, too, of course, but you'll find the ammo supply to be just a bit limited in this game. Instead of just relying on your firearms in battle, I want players to use the traps and other things in the local area to strategically find a way to survive."
As Mikami put it, too much gunplay would rob the game of much of its horror, something he's taking pains to preserve here. "With Resident Evil," he said, "you're controlling these special-ops guys, and yet they fire their handguns pretty slowly, right? Even at the time, people on the dev team would say 'These guys have special weapons training; aren't they firing a little too slow?' But there was a reason for that. You could shoot a zombie once, but they'd still keep coming towards you, right? He might bite you before you get the next shot off. That's the kind of fear I wanted the player to feel. With this game, too, that interval is really important."
Mikami first announced The Evil Within in April of 2012 under the codename Zwei — the way he framed it in the interview, it's taken this long to get the game firmly off the ground. "Being a completely original project, it's a difficult process, but a really gratifying one," he said. "I love dealing with the problems that crop up every day, and I'm working hard on the story, too. Previously, I always put more weight on the game aspect when working on stories. I'd take a pretty simple approach to building a scenario — maybe there'd be a character who got involved in the story, but really, he's only there so he can give you an item you need; that kind of approach. With this game, the game and the story are much more closely weaved together. The gameplay isn't prioritized above the story here, and we're trying to make this the the best sort of survival-horror entertainment it can be. I'd like to have it so the player can't skip past the storytelling event scenes, so I'm thinking of ways to deeply weave the story into the game so it doesn't affect the tempo."
Right now, Bethesda has a 2014 release planned for the PC and assorted consoles — and Mikami refused to elaborate on that. "I'm sorry, but I really can't answer that yet!" he told Famitsu. "It was a tough trial-and-error effort in the early stages, but things are moving along smoothly now. The basic game system is complete, and now we're all just working hard toward getting the game done. People expecting pure survival horror are definitely going to be glad they waited. We're planning to support next-generation consoles as well, so look out for further updates."
He's certainly saying a lot of what people like myself want to hear, but I'm still trying to keep a wee bit cautious all the same. Tempering my expectations to say the least. Sebastian Castellanos is one fucking fine name for a detective, though.
Also, here's a screenshot Bethesda recently released.
Looks a little... mushy. But whatever, it's no doubt very early in development and I'm still glad to see a little more of what's in store in terms of the environments. Nothing like some eerie and ye olde Gothic architecture I say. No, seriously, for as played out as it is I bloody love that stuff.
Also finally a few more tidbits of info:
- Yes, you will be able to move and shoot. I'm not surprised that Mikami would unleash such details since it was perhaps a question some may have wanted answer pretty hastily given the many similarities to Resident Evil.
- It will be a single-player only game, with no competitive nor cooperative modes of play. Which, hey, that sounds like a damn good start to me. Despite Mikami's relentless 'survival horror' shout-outs (seriously, you could probably make a drinking game for every time somebody says 'survival horror' during the interviews/developer diaries for this game), I'm envisioning this'll no doubt harken to the original Dead Space in a lot of regards. Which in itself was sort of an evolution from Resident Evil 4 anyway.
- There will be no ''machine guns''. Which is no doubt Mikami's way of skirting around the question about what sort of weaponry will exist. No M60s then, but AK's and M4's for everybody!
There's been talk of a scarcity of ammunition to contend with and such recognisable elements of survival horror like using other such means ala traps and melee weapons, but I don't think I'll ever be truly convinced until I play the game proper. Curious to see how the trailers will be handled, too. The teaser trailer certainly evokes an awfully horrific atmosphere, and it's really cool to see Mikami tackling a psychological element of horror along with the extra gruesome imagery he's set at the foundation.
Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see an action-packed gut punch of a trailer filled with fast cuts and heads exploding. But much like how ZombiU was marketed, that could all purely be fluff to entice an audience that perhaps wouldn't try this game out otherwise... It's still too early to start twirling speculation around the room, but Mikami's already got me locked in tight that it's impossible not to! If it is pretty much in the same vein of the first Dead Space, speaking for the balance of atmosphere and action, then I think I'd be OK with that.
Plus with Bethesda behind it all, a company who was willing to fund a relatively 'hardcore' game like Dishonored (and I mean hardcore in the sense that it doesn't follow the norm of a mindless power fantasy), then maybe they'll give Tango the legroom they need to stick to what they truly want to make.
And of course, if something like ZombiU can exist in this era of video games, then there's still hope for something that isn't restricted to the scope and budget of an indie darling. Hopefully Res--The Evil Within will be the one to lead the charge for a new age of horror!..
Until the sequels water it down into another third-person shooter in horror game's clothing.
EDIT: Also here's another piccie sans coat.
As if the name wasn't indicative enough, it seems that Sebastian is perhaps Spanish or Mexican maybe?
Man, these look great. Not so much on the raw technical side, but the atmosphere is pretty striking. I really hope the colouring of the images is representative of how the actual game will look too, as they certainly give off a very bleak appearance. In fact the first one gives off a sort of Grindhouse look to it even.