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Shinji Mikami

COMMENT | 2014 has taught us that Mikami's brand of horror no longer rules the roost

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Alien: Isolation, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Horror games, P.T., Shinji Mikami, Silent Hill, Survival Horror Games, The Evil Within

COMMENT | 2014 has taught us that Mikami's brand of horror no longer rules the roost

I've been playing a lot of horror games recently, with reviews in the past few weeks coming in fairly quick succession for Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within -- two very different games that approach horror gaming from two distinctly different perspectives. For me, at least, I find that one represents the future of the genre and where we're headed in terms of horror gaming, and the other is a testament to the classic foundations upon which horror gaming was built.

I love the classic Resident Evil games, and I still believe Resi 4 to be one of the finest games ever made let alone survival horror games, but I don't find them scary, and I'm not sure that I ever really did. They, much like Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami's latest game, are incredibly good at generating mechanical horror through scarce ammunition, oppressive enemies that require thought and skill to dispatch, and giving protagonists a palpable vulnerability. Knowing when to fight and when to run is crucial in these games, but having the option to fight is key to them as well. Mikami, certainly, is a creator who finds value in overcoming fear.

COMMENT | 2014 has taught us that Mikami's brand of horror no longer rules the roost

"Used at the right time and in the right way disempowerment can be the most powerful tool for the horror game creator," he said in an interview earlier this month, ahead of The Evil Within's release. "Sequels are a big problem in horror entertainment. As a horror game series continues you begin to know who the enemies are going to be. Just this knowledge naturally makes the game less scary. So to capture a wider audience designers add more action. That further reduces how frightening the game feels.

"That's one reason I'm making The Evil Within. Also, because the graphical quality of games has increased. This has the capacity to make the fear much closer to you. We can add in a far greater amount of animation and make it context based, so, for example, we can change how a character moves in a certain situation. Really, I'm making this game just because it's fun to scare people. Instead of trying to introduce new ideas I want to return to survival horror's roots. We've strayed from that. I want to explore fear again, and that sense of overcoming fear, one that's unique to games."

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Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Carbine Studios, Dreamfall Chapters, Game Buzz, Podcast, PWNCAST, Shadow Warrior, Shinji Mikami, Sunset Overdrive, The Evil Within, WildStar

Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94

This week, we talk about Carbine's staff layoffs and whether or not WildStar can bounce back from a troubling couple of months, Carl drops the lowdown on Dreamfall Chapters and we ask if it's suitable for newcomers, Jon gushes about the power of wang, and I wonder if Shinji Mikami has lost his edge.

Game Buzz | Episode 94 - Is WildStar Doomed? Recorded 17th October, 2014.

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94 Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94Is WildStar Doomed? - Game Buzz #94

The Evil Within Review | Shinji Mikami's Greatest Hits

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, Horror games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within

The Evil Within Review | Shinji Mikami's Greatest Hits

The Evil Within is a lot like a Greatest Hits album -- a paean, if you will, to the ways in which Shinji Mikami has shaped the face of survival horror of the years he's been working in the genre. It's also something of an old-school indictment of where the genre currently resides, although it must be said that playing this almost directly after having my nerves shredded by Alien: Isolation has left me with a feeling of ambivalence towards this spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4.

The setup for The Evil Within is rather lacking -- our lead, the gruff and gravelly Detective Sebastian Castellanos, is a template of a character rather than one in his own right. It doesn't help that he's backed up an equally forgettable, cardboard cutout partner, and a rookie-in-training who could have been interesting if she'd be given more do actually do. It wouldn't be so bad if the game didn't feel it necessary to force-feed players big eyefuls of unimaginative, by-the-numbers exposition.

The Evil Within Review | Shinji Mikami's Greatest Hits

Even then, it's a bit of a mess in terms of structure. It's a shame really, because some of the conflict-stuffed narrative beats to The Evil Within are really rather good. The bosses and sub-bosses that pop up here and there are brilliantly, disgustingly designed, but they rather come and go without any particular rhythm or pacing to the wider experience, and they often present hideously nasty difficulty spikes. It's impossible to shake the feeling that this could all have been planned a little bit better, and the game lurches from chapter to chapter with little satisfaction in terms of smaller pacing arcs, with creepy scenes cobbled together in a disorienting and disappointing fashion. Occasionally, there'll be a fairly effective cliffhanger at the end of a chapter, only for the game to squander that tension at the start of the next.

That's the thing, The Evil Within works well to create moments of tension and a chilling atmosphere at times, bombarding the player with utterly grotesque imagery, but then it doesn't really know what to do with you once it has your attention.

Click here to read more...

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Hands-On Preview, PC games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, The Evil Within, Xbox One Games

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Today’s session sees our detective leading man making his way through a sinister mansion full of strange noises, tortured sobbing, wet ripping sounds and a host of nasties sporting dead-eyed barbwire couture. Forget any concerns about the ‘haunted mansion’ cliché, this is the sort of nasty setting we’ve missed in recent years. And don’t forget, this is just one stage of Shinji Mikami’s blood-soaked love letter to the genre he helped to define.

It’s also the first decent taste of horror on new-gen hardware and it suitably impresses on the graphical front from the start. It’s the shadows that really put you on edge though. Be it the flickering shards emitted by your gas lamp as you edge down a dim corridor, the light behind a sheet betraying the twitching silhouette or the gradual pouring of light into a dark room as you slowly creak open a door into the unknown.

Enemies are often first spotted via their shadow as they stagger around a room in a daze before the smell of your flesh sends them into a frenzy. The crazed residents certainly have an undead look to them, but they aren’t your usual shufflers, instead they’ll dash at you, bringing up memories of everything from 28 Days Later to Siren: Blood Curse. Why they’re often wrapped in barbwire is the sort of question we’re not sure we’re ready to answer.

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Some will attack with gaping maws and scratching paws, but others carry knives or even shotguns. Headshots are often the best tactic, although blasting half a skull apart isn’t always guaranteed to stop them. Wilier enemies wear bullet-proof masks, so you’ll either have to shoot them in the back of the head or give them a belly full of lead. Because life needs to be tougher for Sebastian, some enemies reanimate and come back at you, either straight away or the next time you come back to the area. He can burn a corpse to put them down for good if he has any matches, but just like bullets and health packs, they’re in short supply.

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The Evil Within Hands-On Preview | A Real Video Game Nasty

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2014, Games previews, Horror games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, The Evil Within

The Evil Within Hands-On Preview | A Real Video Game Nasty

It's a bright sunny day and the walk through London to the Bethesda offices has been glorious, albeit stuffed with wide-eyed, open-mouthed tourists in shorts and summer dresses. There's a smile on my face, I'm listening to a playlist of pop-punk and surf rock and Eels. I haven't a care in the world. Ten minutes later, I'll be sat in a darkened cubicle in a pitch black room, grimacing as a reanimated doctor claws the flesh from his own face, and wanting to reassess all of my life choices.

Two hours later and Mark, our Bethesda rep, will laugh at me for almost jumping out of my seat several times and swearing very loudly during my hands-on with The Evil Within. Shinji Mikami is back on point with this game, and it shows.

The Evil Within Hands-On Preview | A Real Video Game Nasty

In terms of the plot, I couldn't tell you what the hell was going on, so all I had to go on was the blurb we've all read time and time again since last year: There's a detective named Sebastian Castellanos who comes across a powerful force upon investigating a recent mass murder. This otherworldly power kills a bunch of Seb's fellow officers, he gets knocked unconscious, and when he comes to his living in a world filled with hideous, hungry, zombie-esque monsters.

The first of the two demos we tiptoed through saw us arriving at in a village, seeking out the patient of a mysterious doctor companion who might know what the hell was going on. We found one of the doctor's colleagues first, tucked away downstairs in the basement of one of the larger houses, burbling away to himself. Presumed missing, he was in fact the aforementioned nutcase clawing away his own skin, hacking away at a body on the table in front of him. A little bit of snooping revealed that there was an object of interest buried inside the cadaver on the table. Only the cadaver hadn't really finished dying, it seemed, so when we cracked open its chest, it burst back into life for a brief second or two, and I promptly ruined my pants.

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Shinji Mikami: PS4 & Xbox One Are "Almost Identical"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PS4, Shinji Mikami, Xbox One

Shinji Mikami: PS4 & Xbox One Are "Almost Identical"

"There's No Real Difference Between Them"

The PS4 and Xbox One are currently locked in a bit of a pre-launch specs war, but to Resident Evil and The Evil Within creator Shinji Mikami, both consoles are basically the same. To develop for, at least.

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Mikami: Resident Evil Introduced Action Because Of Weak Remake Sales

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Horror games, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, Shinji Mikami

Mikami: Resident Evil Introduced Action Because Of Weak Remake Sales

If you're not a fan of Resident Evil's action-oriented focus, you may be surprised to learn that Shinji Mikami actually took the move in reaction to sluggish sales of the GameCube's Resident Evil remake.

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The Evil Within: Watch 12 Minutes Of Uncut Gameplay

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda, Gameplay footage, PS3 games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Tango Game Works, The Evil Within, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

The Evil Within: Watch 12 Minutes Of Uncut Gameplay
If you're excited about Shinji Mikami's return to survival horror, don't miss this twelve minutes of gameplay footage for The Evil Within. The cross-generation project launches next year, published by Bethesda, and is likely to be a little bit on the creepy side.

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The Evil Within TGS Trailer Promises "Pure Survival Horror"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Tango Game Works, The Evil Within, trailer, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

The Evil Within TGS Trailer Promises "Pure Survival Horror"

The Evil Within has received a creepy new trailer in advance of this year's Tokyo Game Show, and Shinji Mikami isn't pulling any punches. The "father of survival horror" promises an experience that will reach the "height of tension," tapping into "horrific anxiety" when it releases next year on current and next-gen platforms. Yikes.

Horror games have been making a bit of a comeback recently, and hopefully The Evil Within will be the cherry on the cake. A horrible, bloodstained, vaguely unappetising cherry, mind.

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New The Evil Within Trailer Emerges From TGS

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, Games trailers, Shinji Mikami, Tango Gameworks, TGS 2013, The Evil Within

New The Evil Within Trailer Emerges From TGS

Tango Gameworks have released a new trailer for Shinji Mikami's upcoming survival-horror opus, The Evil Within. Unveiled at Sony's TGS presser, the trailer after the jump is suitably tense, has  fair few splashings of claret, and a freakishly distended creature with far too many limps for its own good.

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The Evil Within Interview & Gameplay Footage Leaps Out, Scares Us

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda, E3 2013, PS3 games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

The Evil Within Interview & Gameplay Footage Leaps Out, Scares Us

Sony and Bethesda's Pete Hines got together for a little chat about The Evil Within: the upcoming survival horror title from Shinki Mikami. Not only is the ensuing footage rather informative (and promising for horror fans), but it also contains plenty of gameplay too.

Definitely one to watch ahead of its 2014 launch on current and next-gen consoles.

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Shinji Mikami On The Evil Within: 'If There's No Way To Fight Back, It Wouldn't Be Survival Horror'

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, Horror games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, The Evil Within

Shinji Mikami On The Evil Within: 'If There's No Way To Fight Back, It Wouldn't Be Survival Horror'

"First Of All, It Has To Be Scary"

Shinji Mikami, the director behind Resident Evil and recently-unveiled horror title The Evil Within, suggests that survival horror has lost its way, and needs to prioritise terror over explosions and machine guns. However, he also feels that combat helps to give players a "rush" when they finally get to defeat a particularly harrowing monster.

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Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
3DS, Bethesda, DLC, FIFA 14, Game Buzz, Nintendo, Nintendo Direct, Podcast, PWNCAST, Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within

Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!

This week's Game Buzz is mainly about new stuff. There's Shinji Mikami's The Evil Within reveal, we get to grips with all of the announcements from this week's Nintendo 3DS Direct and the unveiling of FIFA 14, and we return to the subject of singleplayer games in the wake of Pete Hines' comments this  week.

Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa! Recorded 19th April, 2013.

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.

Click the banner or the title link above to play the podcast, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa! Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!Game Buzz | Episode 28 - Ta-daaaa!

Best Handheld of All Time

Shinji Mikami's New Game Is... The Evil Within

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, Horror games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within, Trailers

Shinji Mikami's New Game Is... The Evil Within

Bethesda, Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks’ have finally unveiled The Evil Within (or the game formally known as Project Zwei). It'll be coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and next-generation consoles in 2014.

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Why We Love... Platinum Games

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Anarchy Reigns, Bayonetta, Clover Studio, God Hand, Hideki Kamiya, Infinite Space, MadWorld, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Okami, Platinum Games, Project P-100, Shinji Mikami, Vanquish, Viewtiful Joe

Why We Love... Platinum Games

If you're a regular, you'll almost certainly have noticed that we're big fans of Platinum Games. Whether we're waxing lyrical about them in a podcast, pleading with them to reinvigorate our favourite franchises or citing their games as archetypal examples, our affection for the Japanese studio can barely have escaped your notice. So, frankly, it's about time we came out and said it for all the world to see.

We love Platinum Games.

It's not a naive schoolboy crush. Neither is it the blind, slavish devotion of a fanboy. Rather, ours is a deep and considered respect of mature and experienced gamers for a developer who has always been there for us, loyal enough to provide us with the unique experiences we crave from our passion. Brave enough to experiment, tinker with and fuse new ideas with the best of the old, from their roots as Clover Studio to the latest hits on DS, PS3 and Xbox 360. Courageous enough to help other developers, even platform holders, in need.

It all boils down to one simple fact: Platinum makes great games. And the occasions when they don't decide to invent a genre, they deliver the best that a genre has to offer.

Why We Love... Platinum Games

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Shinji Mikami And Bethesda Unveil Zwei

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror, Tango Gameworks, Zwei

Shinji Mikami And Bethesda Unveil Zwei

Resident Evil creator, and recent pirate penguin mastermind, Shinji Mikami is teaming his new studio Tango Gameworks up with Bethesda to take another crack at the survival horror genre.

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Shadows Of The Damned Review | The Good, The Bad And The Very, Very Weird

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Games reviews, Goichi Suda, PS3 games, Shadows Of The Damned, Shinji Mikami, Suda51, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

800px-ShadowsoftheDamnedLogo

Platform: Playstation 3 | Xbox 360 (Reviewed)

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher: EA Games

It's not often we're treated to work from not just one, but two esteemed auteurs of a particular craft. The upcoming Tintin film has cinema legends Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson teaming up, and I suppose we can count David Cameron and Nick Clegg as a decidedly odd power partnership. The point is; heaping established names atop of a product generates a certain amount of expectation accordingly.

So when Shadows of the Damned begins with a sweeping title credits sequence proudly declaring the names Shinji Mikami - creator of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry - and Goichi Suda - otherwise known as Suda51, the cult-classic developer of No More Heroes - it's difficult to remain objective. But do big names make a great game?

Before You Die, Demon...

shadowsofthedamned

I'll cut to the chase; Shadows of the Damned is insane. You're armed with a pistol dubbed The Boner - which, incidentally, expands in length when you dial a demonic sex-line - your best friend is a flaming demon skull named Johnson - geddit? - and you'll breathe a huge sigh of relief when you spot a ceramic goat's head perched on a wall, nibbling nonexistent cud.

Click here for more on the weird and wonderful Shadows of the Damned...

New Shadows of the Damned Trailer

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, Shadows Of The Damned, Shinji Mikami, Suda 51

shadows of the damned news banner

If you’re still looking for something to buy this weekend, maybe this new trailer for Shadows of the Damned will tempt you. Any game that manages to get Suda 51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes) and Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Vanquish) together is always going to be worth a cautious look. Expect lots of monsters, chicks in leather, stylish combat and buckets of filthy humour stirred in amongst the giblets. Oh, and the hero is called Garcia Hotspur (Suda’s a Tottenham fan) and looks set to speak nothing but craptacularly cheesy lines, but you’ll love it. For an extensive hands-on look, you can read Felix’s enthusiastic musings about the madness here.

Click here to see the madness!

Shadows Of The Damned Preview | Boners And Johnsons

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Features, PS3 games, Shadows Of The Damned, Shinji Mikami, Suda51, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Shadow_Damned_Logo

On a particularly wet and dismal Thursday afternoon late last month, Dealspwn trekked across a London swept in blankets of rain and irritable commuters to Tiger, Tiger off Piccadilly Square, where EA was hosting a plush, purple-lit review code event for Shadows of the Damned, a joint collaboration from Japanese auteurs, Shinji Mikami and Goichi Suda, aka Suda51.

So, once we had nested ourselves in a leather booth surrounded with ample amounts of provision, we grabbed hold of the nearest controller and dived in.

A Rude Awakening

Garcia_thumb

Shadows of the Damned isn't exactly subtle. Whereas quite a few po-faced titles prefer a gentle build-up, Suda51 and Mikami throw you right into the thick of it. As Garcia 'Fucking' Hotspur, demon-hunter and lover of purple leather, you find yourself in a plush hotel corridor, following the screams of your captured love, Paula.

Hit the jump to see if Shadows of the Damned lives up to its name

Shadows of the Damned Gameplay Trailer Shows First Sanguinary Seven Minutes

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Goichi Suda, News, Shadows Of The Damned, Shinji Mikami, Trailers

Shadows of the Damned Gameplay Trailer Shows First Sanguinary Seven Minutes

If you read Jon's preview from last month, you'll know that we're looking forward to Shadows of the Damned a lot! A cocktail of creative juices from the minds of Mssrs. Mikami and Suda, the vid below the jump shows off the first seven minutes of the game, replete with buckets of gore, some suitably snappy pulpish one-liners, witty banter and demon slaying.

Oh and spoilers. There's some exposition in there too. But just a little bit. Go on. Treat yourself. Then tell us what you think in the box below.

Click here to check out the gameplay vid...