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Survival Horror

Looking for a survival Horror group? I was as well. Looking to reminisce about such classics as Eternal darkness, Resident Evil and Silent Hill? Why am I asking so many questions? Well then this is the group for you my friend!

Shinji has come to save us

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  • I can't quite control the excitement I'm feeling for this recent reveal regarding Shinji Mikami's(Creator of RE)new horror title, and yes, it most certainly looks to be a horror title. Even from the few shots released so far, it looks to be dripping with atmosphere. Something missing from most modern day Survival Horror(Horror Survival if you're Russ)games, the most recent RE included.

    We don't know much about the title, other than it's being published by Bethesda(Published, not developed, there was some confusion among some people)and developed by Tango Gameworks under the direction of Mikami. Now, if you have even a passing interest in the SH genre, that should get you excited.

    Looking at this particular screenshot here, it looks like we'll finally be getting the spiritual successor to RE4 that we've all been waiting for. And not just that, but Shinji seems to be taking a que from his REmake days......

    ......and making the game absolutely terrifying. Like I said, we don't know much at this point, but if the feeling present in these few screenshots and artwork is any indication, I think we're in for a treat ladies and gentlemen.

  • This looks really amazing. I saw the live action trailer earlier, but I had no idea there screen shots. Looks kinda like a mixture of RE4 and SH. Do we know what exactly the monsters are?




  • Masterassassin:

    This looks really amazing. I saw the live action trailer earlier, but I had no idea there screen shots. Looks kinda like a mixture of RE4 and SH. Do we know what exactly the monsters are?

    No, I wish we did. They did say that we will get to see gameplay Monday. I also came across the website for it, and it had a synopsis.


     - When Detective Sebastian and his partner rush to the scene of a gruesome mass murder, a mysterious, powerful force is lying in wait for them. Witnessing the killing of fellow police officers one after another, Sebastian is then attacked and loses consciousness. Waking up in a land where monsters are wandering about, Sebastian has to fight his way through a world of death and its close friend madness in order to understand what's going on. Sebastian has to face his fears in order to survive on a journey to discover what lies in the shadows of that mysterious force.

    The following is an excerpt from Tango Gameworks:

    As a master of the 'survival horror' genre, Shinji Mikami is committed to making a game that is the realization of pure survival horror, an experience which he defines as one that pushes the limits of fear and exhilaration. He and his team at Tango are committed to attaining this vision."

    "I've found my focus and once again I'm striving for pure survivial horror. I am being very hands-on to see that the quality is there. Rest assured." 

    - Shinji Mikami - 

  • It sounds really awesome. There aren't enough survival horror games these days, which makes this even more interesting. Can't wait to see the gameplay Monday!




  • It's times like this I wish I had a time machine.

  • Actually looks really good lets just hope it stays on the true survival horror path

    You too will come to understand fear, as I have. - Pious Augustus

  • Edward Roivas:

    It's times like this I wish I had a time machine.


  • MasterBrief:

    Actually looks really good lets just hope it stays on the true survival horror path

    I hope so as well. If I'm being honest though, I'm pretty certain I'm going to love it regardless. I've yet to play a game that Shinji directed that I didn't absolutely love.

  • MasterBrief:

    Actually looks really good lets just hope it stays on the true survival horror path

    Shinji Mikami is the founding father of the Survival Horror genre so the fact that this new IP is being done by him will help me sleep at night. I don't know if there is a better man who you can trust to put together a new Survival Horror game.

  • Aaron:

    Edward Roivas:

    It's times like this I wish I had a time machine.


    So that I could just go a few years in the future, buy a copy, then come back. 

  • First look from IGN.



    It looks absolutely dreadful (in the best possible way). I can't wait; hopefully it features slow, heavy pacing.


    Fear My Strings. Fear them.



  • @Everybody currently in the thread - Thanks for popping in and discussing. I was hoping to get some more of the regulars in here(what the hell guys! Shinji Mikami we're talking about here)but I'm glad we've got a few of us discussing it.

  • (Interview with Shinji)

    Shinji Mikami looks up from beneath the brim of his trademark cap, which sits low, shielding his eyes.

    “Obviously I like horror,” he muses. “But survival horror has been drifting away from what makes it survival horror. And so I want to bring it back. Bring back survival horror to where it was.”

    If anyone can restore essence to the genre, Mikami can. The characteristically subdued Resident Evil creator is returning to his old stomping ground with the debut game from his Tokyo-based studio Tango Gameworks, the third-person survival horror The Evil Within. And while the game may not adhere to all the ideals we recognize from the genre’s golden age – which, let’s face it, were shakily defined in the first place - it’s built around Mikami’s own definition of the genre he helped create.

    “There are a lot of survival horror games nowadays, but the thing that I want to focus on is having the perfect balance between horror and action.”

    That perfect balance, in Mikami’s opinion, is what makes ‘pure’ survival horror.

    is a cliché, but it would be misleading to suggest the game is; the poster for The Evil Within plastered around the colourful walls of Tango’s office depicts a brain wrapped in barbed wire. It’s in this image that its mental asylum spookhouse setting develops new meaning, one more sinister than the threat of things that go bump in the night.

    "Survival horror has been drifting away from what makes it survival horror. And so I want to bring it back."

    “Thematically, it’s less about having twists and turns and more about maintaining an air of mystery,” explains Mikami. “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.”

    The game’s prologue sets up protagonist Sebastian, a chiselled but otherwise nondescript detective called in to investigate a homicide at an inner-city asylum. He and his colleagues – a man called Joseph and a female detective they simply address as ‘Kid’ – arrive late to the scene. The parking lot is littered with police cars. The asylum, all Gothic architecture, looms. The cars are empty, Sebastian notes. There are no signs of violence but every single car is empty.

    Like Mikami’s last foray into the genre, Resident Evil 4, The Evil Within is deeply cinematic, but while RE4 was presented in 16:9 (letterboxed on the GameCube within a 4:3 frame), The Evil Within has a true cinematic 2.35:1 aspect ratio, resulting in a low-sitting camera which displays an enormous amount of the environment at any given time. The camera, naturally, sits over Sebastian’s shoulder.

    “We’re paying a lot of attention to the theatrical and cinematic aspects of the game,” says Mikami. "We want the game to be scary so we want to support that throughout the game experience, but we don’t want to go so far as to impact on the flow of gameplay. We want the controls and the way players interact with the controls and the game to feel scary and cinematic, but not cumbersome. So once you get on more of the action elements you want players to focus on that. So you’ll see something of a wave, you’re drifting from one end to the other end – from cinematic elements to purely gameplay elements and back and forth.”

    Venturing into the asylum’s vast, high-ceilinged lobby, someone remarks that the place “smells of blood.” Bodies of cops, doctors and patients slump on chairs and against walls. Sebastian makes his way into a video surveillance room, where a wounded doctor mumbles something I half missed (although I have a feeling that was the point), “it was him, it couldn’t be,” perhaps. Peering at the screens, Sebastian sees a hooded figure slaughtering helpless police; suddenly, the figure appears behind Sebastian, and he’s knocked unconscious.

    It’s here that The Evil Within proper begins, and I start to gain an understanding of the kind of game Mikami is weaving together: confrontational, gore-soaked and rooted in madness; although whose madness exactly is part of the intrigue. It’s recognizably survival horror, but delivered with a wealth of detailing realized in a heavily modded id Tech 5 engine which Art Director Naoki Katakai (Resident Evil Remake, Okami, Vanquish) calls “Tango-stylized.”  We see every spot of blood, every severed intestine with garish clarity; beautifully disgusting.

    When Sebastian wakes up, he’s hanging upside down in a meat-locker, the lair of a madman, surrounded by victims of a similar fate.  A giant, hulking butcher in a stained wife-beater and apron lumbers in and cuts down one of Sebastian’s hanging fellows, dragging him off to a well-worn butcher’s block to gut him with an indelicate squelch. The scene is immediately otherworldly, a decrepit, blood-splattered alternate asylum lit by a flickering fluorescent bulb, too at odds with the game’s previous environment to be in any way grounded in ‘reality’.

    “The mental hospital is a really important key word for us,” says Katakai. “It’s one of the many stages that we have, but it’s one of the more forward facing, symbolic areas. It’s really important to us to design and realize that as a playable area. Visually the sense is that it’s inside of a metropolitan area but it has a feel that it could be urban or maybe rural with some sort of history associated with it. Having said that, through the course of the narrative, it may take on different faces. It may look different ways or have different aspects that come to the fore in depicting what this place is.”

    What happens next is a striking example of Mikami’s grasp of tension; Sebastian must avoid the giant in a long, drawn out, silent bid for freedom.

    “The way the player moves is very important," explains Mikami. “Obviously you’re going round in this environment, but when there are enemies nearby the character becomes very alert, and that’s when you start sneaking and crouching, you can run as well; but depending on whether there’s monsters out to get you or whether you feel safe, the variety and range of motions change, the animations change.”

    It’s when Sebastian accidentally trips an alarm in the corridor that the tension breaks, as the alerted butcher bursts onto the scene brandishing one of Mikami’s trademark weapons, a chainsaw. Our protagonist runs from the encroaching rattle at an awkward gallop, all arms flung behind him, far from graceful. His very human physicality evokes former survival horror everymen – a Harry from Silent Hill or a Leon - and crucially, encourages us to see him as vulnerable.

    “It’s much harder to scare players these days,” says Producer Masato Kimura. “We hope to overcome that, or address that by having a more immersive experience, we want you to identify with the protagonist, with the main character, we want you to feel what he feels. When he’s scared we want you to be scared. When he’s excited we want you to have the same feeling. We’re hoping we can address this and represent this in a way you don’t see in other games.”

    When the fiend doesn’t know where Sebastian is, its movements are erratic and unpredictable; when it spots him, Sebastian must either run or get a chainsaw to the neck (an outcome that Tango kindly demonstrated for us). It’s tense, so tense that when Tango’s representative tries to demonstrate how Sebastian can interact with his environment by throwing an empty bottle to distract the monster, he screws it up; the bottle smashes against the monster itself and it carries on with its relentless search. The rep curses, and laughs. There’s no hiding now; Sebastian must race to literally save his neck.

    Unsurprisingly, this particular sequence ends in a frenzied sprint towards freedom; right after Sebastian leaps into an elevator and safety, the asylum itself begins to crumble around him. He limps past the rusted frames of forgotten gurneys and ancient wheelchairs – the abandoned hospital trope puts us very much in Jacob’s Ladder territory here – runs through the lobby, and opens the door to a devastated cityscape. Police cars lie upside down in a giant crater, and the carnage stretches as far as the eye can see. The prologue ends.

    “It’s just my personal opinion,” says Mikami, “but I’m the type of person, I’m the type of creator that when someone says ‘that’s what I do, that’s my personal thing’ I want to do something different. I’ve done a lot of different things; I’ve done a lot of different kinds of games in my career, but really it always comes down to that – I want to overcome people’s perceptions of me.”


    The second half of our demo dumps Sebastian alone in the dark outside as he makes his way towards an old abandoned cottage. There is no context for where he is; it’s a section intended to demonstrate the ‘action’ part of Mikami’s central pillar. We’re yet to see anything on the HUD, save a single sliver of a health bar at the bottom of the screen, but interactive elements are marked with on-screen prompts. Sebastian has a gun: when he draws it, a small weapon icon shows a limited amount of ammo; a gesture of defence, really.

    “We’re not giving the player really any extraordinary powers,” says Mikami, "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.”

    It’s in this cottage that Sebastian encounters what I can only assume are The Evil Within’s more garden-variety enemies, if such aberrations could be labelled as such. Zombie-like, they shamble towards him with blind bloodlust, but they’re a more unearthly kind of undead; of the first two that Sebastian encounters, one is wrapped in barbed wire, and the other peppered with glass shards. Physical manifestations of their own mental torment, perhaps.

    “With most of the enemies in the game,” explains Katakai, “an important design concept is that they are always victims. Even when they’re evil creatures, there are greater evils still that are impacting on them or causing them to suffer.”

    Like the asylum, the decrepit cottage presents a very linear, labyrinthine environment, although Katakai promises that the game will open up later on.

    “Overall we have both very narrow, confined spaces and larger, wide open spaces – a variety of different types of environments. The idea is to have a wave where the player builds up a lot of tension and feels very claustrophobic and set upon and then they break through that tension and things open up and they feel a sense of relief. Then to repeat that cycle. Also, having narrow stages and having more open stages, it provides more opportunities to have enemies come out in unexpected ways or in unexpected places.”

    In this instance, a wave of enemies – moving in a slow and purposeful  flock very much in the spirit of Resident Evil 4’s Los Ganados – approach Sebastian from outside. Our Tango representative selects a mine trap from his inventory, which Sebastian lays down by the doors; the rest of them are taken care of via handgun as they try to clamber through the windows. Headshots explode brains with a satisfyingly meaty splat.

    Of course, such straightforward run n’ gun gameplay is far too pedestrian for Tango, and it’s here that we are offered a tantalizing glimpse of what Mikami believes will be The Evil Within’s game-changing feature. Without warning, Sebastian’s environment suddenly switches; but not so dramatically that I was sure it wasn’t a glitch, or that I hadn’t, in a split-second, missed something vital. Sebastian traces his steps back, the all-knowing Tango representative mimicking the confusion new players will likely feel. Where did I just come from? What just happened? Where’s the exit? Before we get an answer, a wave of blood tumbles down the corridor and envelops our bewildered protagonist; a set-piece straight out of The Shining. When Sebastian ‘comes to,’ he is back in the asylum.

    “It’s a fundamental setting in the game," says Mikami. “It’s what’s going to make the game stand out and really be unique. It’s going to make The Evil Within what it is.”

    While Mikami didn’t want to provide context for me for fear of spoilers, he did explain that the inspiration for the strange switches in space came from the infamous Winchester House, the architectural oddity that was under construction for 38 years under the unhinged eye of Sarah Winchester.

    “It has doors that open up and suddenly there’s a dead drop or stairs or something like that. It otherwise looks normal but suddenly things change in an instant and you don’t know what to expect.”

    It’s clear that the developers are aiming for a careful balance of not only action and horror, but of the old and the new, weaving classic survival horror tropes with new and interesting psychological horror features. And it’s all wrapped up, of course, in a state-of-the-art package (on both current and next-gen technology), resulting in a game that has that Resident Evil-era Mikami vibe, but feels much, much richer overall.

    “15 or 20 years ago, characters in video games were walking around like robots, and the games were very linear, but now you’re able to put in a much greater detail into the character and it really adds to the immersion,” says Mikami.

    "You don’t require the player to use their imagination as much as you had to in the past. You’re able to show things on a much more granular level. A much finer level of detail. And make things feel that much more visceral to the player. You’re able to impart a much greater sense of space and able to use lighting to your advantage much more than you were able to in the past.”

    Our demonstration ends with a glimpse at a new enemy, which - fittingly - throws up further questions pertaining to the nature of this world and its inhabitants. It's a giant, multi-legged, multi-armed wraith that explodes from a fountain of blood and rushes towards Sebastian at a breakneck clip. As the code resets to the title screen, everyone in the room laughs nervously. It’s an appropriate reaction to such a relentless 25 minutes. While Mikami acknowledges that it’s harder to scare people these days, that laugh says it all.

    “Horror as a genre has a set number of patterns, and the more time you spend with those patterns the more you get used to them. And the more used to those patterns a person is, the harder it is to scare them and do something above and beyond and original.”

    He lifts up the brim of his cap slightly.

    “If players say 'I haven’t played a game this scary in a while,' that would make me the happiest.”

  • I really like how terrifying it sounds. Especially having to hide from the butcher. There's few things scarier then having to hide from a horrible monster, and knowing you're completely helpless if it sees you.




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