Resident Evil’s creator reveals ‘The Evil Within,’ his “pure survival horror” game

The Evil Within

Read our full The Evil Within review.

Shadows of the Damned was a bitter pill to swallow for fans of Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil series. The collaboration with Goichi “Suda 51” Suda and Akira Yamaoka should have been a horror masterpiece. A super group production from the composer of Silent Hill, the warped mind behind Killer 7, and the master designer behind the survival horror masterworks Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4? The grindhouse shooter didn’t quite live up to snuff. It was a good game, but it was too silly to be truly scary, too sloppy to be build a thick atmosphere. So in April 2012, when Mikami said he was going to make a “pure survival horror” game with his studio Tango Gameworks, it was hard to know if he’d make good. Based on the Friday reveal of The Evil Within, it looks like Mikami is back on terrifying track.

“We’re incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within,” says Mikami in the announcement from Tango’s publishing parent Bethesda, “My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action.”

The trailer and screenshots superficially share much in common with Mikami’s past work. The same over the shoulder perspective first employed in Resident Evil 4 is back as the game’s protagonist fights off twisted-looking aggressors in shabby clothing. The game has a far more industrial look than Mikami’s old games, recalling the rusted-out settings of Jacob’s Ladder and even early Silent Hill games. “Highly-crafted environments” and “horrifying anxiety” promised by Bethesda’s glowing press copy sound like vintage Mikami, though the “intricate story” it mentions could cause the wrong type of anxiety for anyone that’s sat through some of Mikami’s sillier stories (go play Vanquish and P.N.03 for a refresher if need be).

The game will be out in 2014 for PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360, another late game release for current consoles alongside others like Dark Souls II. The release does say that The Evil Within will make it to next-gen machines as well, though.

Bethesda is on a roll with new series from its subsidiary studios – Arkane impressed the world with the quality and intelligence of Dishonored last year. Here’s hoping The Enemy Within keeps up the trend.

On another note, The Enemy Within, previously known as Project Zwei, is the first of Digital Trends’ Lost and Found Games Due in 2013 to actually surface. Our money’s on The Last Guardian being the next to peek above ground.