The Evil Within is "pure survival horror" says Bethesda VP Hines

Patrick Carlson

Bethesda marketing vice president Pete Hines has been making the interview rounds at E3 to talk about work on The Evil Within , an upcoming survival-horror game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. In a new Rev3Games interview , Hines throws out some intriguing new details about the development process, Japanese versus Western games, and as well as what it takes to scare people in 2013.

The Evil Within drops you into a scenario where a police detective, Sebastian Castellanos, gets knocked out and wakes up hanging upside down in some kind of terrifying meat locker. This is Mikami's vision for "pure survival horror," according to Hines. "It's a desire on his part and the team's to take survival horror back to its roots," Hines said. "So it's not quite so action heavy and about guns and mowing down legions of things, it's more about scarcity of resources and balancing action with other things, whether that's storytelling, or simply survival...solving puzzles."

Hines also put into context how Mikami's previous work on the Resident Evil series may or may not influence the new title. "It's one of those things," Hines said. "It's really hard, if you're Shinji...how do you not have some of the influences of stuff you have made show up in the next thing you make. This is his ultimate survival horror game. "

But what scares people has also changed and the game design will reflect that, according to Hines. "Honestly, things that scared people 10 years ago, like blood and guts, don't scare people anymore," he said."...You can't rely on that anymore."

A cleaner display, a new aspect ratio, and other changes to the way players perceive events in the game are all used to heighten tension and fear, Hines said. In addition to the technical and graphical choices made by the development team, Mikami has also been strongly influenced by his association with Bethesda and its various design studios, some of whom also offered feedback on The Evil Within, according to Hines.

"[Mikami] recognized that look, as a Japanese developer, there's things about Western games which are becoming so much more popular and prevalent, and kind of dominating the industry that he wanted to learn about and understand more," Hines said. "...'How do I make a game that appeals across a wider audience, that appeals to more people and not just a Japanese-centric audience.'"

The Evil Within is set to appear sometime in 2014.

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