The Evil Within Director Shinji Mikami On The Importance Of Graphics

By Sato . July 30, 2013 . 2:25pm

The Evil Within is an upcoming survival horror game developed by Tango Gameworks, and led by director Shinji Mikami, known for creating the Resident Evil series back in his days at Capcom. In a recent PlayStion 4 Creator’s Interview, Mikami talks about the importance of keeping up and adapting with not only the latest hardware, but the tools and engine to go with it.



Mikami starts the interview by reiterating that The Evil Within will be a game that focuses a lot on the fear and horror aspect of the survival horror genre, as previously reported. According to the director, a feeling of fear running  throughout your body will be sensed as you grip the controller, especially for the PlayStation 4’s evolved controller, which Mikami has grown fond of.


“Our goal is to bring a bodily sensation to the players through the controllers,” says Mikami. “For example, a nervous feeling that will make you panic, or say ‘Please, somehow just die…’ as you do your best and try to shoot them down.”


Mikami adds, “The PlayStation 4’s resolution is very high, so the picture is gorgeous. In regards to lighting, the parts that were rather sketchy in the past, can now be done with much more detail, which I believe is a big part of the evolution.”


He also shares his idea that when there’s room to improve smaller details, as long as you give it your best, they all eventually add up and make the entire picture’s grade much higher. This not only applies to the amount of lighting, or parts focusing on horror, but also the change in detailed space, by adjusting them all to increase the overall grade, even if it’s by a miniscule amount.


“The density of our pictures is very high. Particularly the parts that connect the game play to the cut-scenes,” says Mikami. “It goes straight in (the cut-scene) and straight out, smoothly. By properly splitting the data throughout the chapters, it is hard to differentiate when the game play starts and when the cut-scenes start. We’re putting plenty of attention into the adjustments of room space, positional relation between you and the enemy, sense of depth, and sound volume. The seamless tying of it all is coming out very nicely.”


Mikami continues: “Rather than the evolution of hardware, personally, I believe that the evolution of engines and tools are very important in the developmental area of today. The PlayStation 4’s evolution is impressive, and as a framework, it’s great. However, I believe we’re entering an era where it’s very important to have the tools and engines to properly keep up with the PlayStation 4 itself.”


Mikami concludes, “In the end, it’s the ‘hand of people’ or craftsmen who create the ‘quality,’ and as the hardware evolves, the demand for the craftsmen’s environment and abilities increase that much more in today’s era, where I’d like for us to continue producing well. The PlayStation 4’s new specs , such as the ‘detailed expressions,’ are a crucial part in creating an atmosphere. We’re doing our best in those regards, along with its overwhelming realism, so please look forward to it.”


The Evil Within is slated for release in 2014.

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  • Unlimax

    This is >> CURRENTLY << the only game that gives me some faith in gaming .

    • abysswalker

      Across all genres?

    • SpectralRaiden

      Thats actually pretty sad that you believe that–not trying to knock your opinion or anything, but if you feel that this game (no matter how good it will be) out of the “potential” 100s of next-gen games is the only one that will be worth it, then I’d rather not invest anything into the next-gen:-(

      • Unlimax

        ಠ_ಠ . . .

        Of course i’ll hold my expectation for the next gen lol .. i’m talking about the >> current << gen the whole time guys don't get my comment wrong i love some games this gen but i'm talking about the missing games in this gen like Onimusha , Dino Crisis , and other Survival-Horror titles :3

        The point is ..
        i was referring to the Survival-Horror genre that's all !

        Oh and The last of us was a masterpiece tbh ~

        • SpectralRaiden

          Oh, my bad; I took your “currently” to mean “your preference at this time in disregard to a specific gen”–I really didn’t know they were also releasing this game for current gens too:-P

          And I really have to commend you for not losing your sh!t like most people would have (even though there was no reason to); People can fly off the handle too easily nowadays-_-‘

    • Brutal2D

      That’s a pretty small scope you’re wearing.

  • NewestType

    I am going to give this title the benefit of the doubt by prefacing my statement withI hope the video quality is bad. Personally, I am seeing nothing in this video that could not be done on current gen consoles.

  • shuyai

    i think it is super hard to make a game that actually scare you, i mean when you see skull, dead bodies, zombie and ghost in game etc i usually think “ha thats cute” the only game i find scary is silent hill and fatal frame(the Japanese female ghost screech chill your soul XD)

    Hopefully this game stay true to the horror part instead of “scary” game like dead space

    • X_Bacon

      Amnesia scared me pretty hard too. And Eternal Darkness, to some extent… mainly the sanity effects on my first playthrough, like when the game tells you all your savefiles were deleted by accident (now THAT is some scary sh*t).

    • Shorty20122012 .

      Have you played Outlast? Try it if you haven’t.

      • Sion12

        i did actually, i was really scared for the first 10 min or so game play(till i finish the basement generator part) then i was like oh they are just psychopath and it wasnt scary at all for me after that that

  • Wouldn’t mind seeing a Wii U version of this… hint, hint.

  • d19xx

    Boy Mikami sure has skinny arms, but his face is huge…

    Regarding the article. I want Japanese developers to at least achieve what Naughty Dog has done in terms of character animation. Like when they’re standing near a wall or a railing, the characters would actually touch it or lean on it.

    Lighting and shadows can only do so much in terms of IQ, but natural movements goes a long way.

  • brian

    He’s too focused on technical things.
    I’ll paraphrase something a friend told me about DmC and MGR:
    [Too many games focus on graphical fidelity, it eats up their budget and they end up being only 5 to 10 hours but still $60.]
    This seems like it happened with Vanquish, and it was pretty fun but I really doubt I’d play it again any time soon even though I beat it a year or two ago.
    It looked “real” but I stopped noticing it after 10 minutes, so even at $20 it felt like I spent too much on it for an fun (brief) game with “real” graphics.
    Back to this, horror never needed to look even remotely real realistic, for example Silent Hill using fog to hide its graphical flaws.
    Despite not being a horror game, Ico makes me terrified each time I’m about to get a game over, even though it looks slightly cartoony.

    • Armane

      I’ve never seen a post more backwards.

      None of those game focused solely on graphical fidelity. Action games are around 10 hours as standard (and should always strive for a 60 fps frame rate), the idea is you play them again to improve your score or unlock additional features. DmC focused on environments, making the world shift and change. MGR is a special case as it was made in a year. And Vanquish had quite a low budget to begin with.

      ICO pushed what the PS2 could do, and Shadow of the Colossus even more so.

      Silent Hill used fog, like a lot of games of the time, so it didn’t have to draw anything beyond a certain distance, so it could look better.

      • brian

        I never implied they focused only on that, but it just seems to me that developers will keep trying to outdo each other until they can’t and people start expecting too much from them.
        But after a certain point even the most lavishly produced photo realistic games will look “dated” to an average buyer.
        Then companies will probably scale back to reduce risk (because so much of their audience feels like those big budget games are too dated) or some huge franchises will go under, maybe taking their publishers with them.
        I got an impression that those games just didn’t feel like they had much replay value at all, I’m not really sure though.
        The point about Ico and Silent Hill being that I really doubt many people would’ve noticed their graphical flaws to much extent because they were well hidden.

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