Sequels are a "big problem" for the horror genre, according to Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. Speaking with Eurogamer, the industry veteran behind upcoming horror game The Evil Within said to keep things fresh, developers have added more action to their horror games, a move that in turn can reduce the scare factor.
"Sequels are a big problem in horror entertainment," Mikami said. "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."
This is one of the reasons Mikami chose to make The Evil Within, an all-new next-generation horror franchise from his studio Tango Gameworks and publisher Bethesda. Another is that graphics have advanced to the level where Mikami and his team can truly frighten gamers, he argued.
"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," Mikami said.
"Really, I'm making this game just because it's fun to scare people," he added. "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."