Kojima Says Resident Evil Creator Mikami Is One of Japan's Few "Real Creators"
"Mr. Mikami fights to make the games he wants to make."
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Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami is one of Japan's only "real creators," according to Metal Gear Solid designer Hideo Kojima. In the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu (translated by Kotaku), Kojima and Mikami sung each other's praises when asked what their impressions were of each other.
Mikami said, "[Mr. Kojima] is the game creator representative of Japan. I truly admire him." Kojima at first joked that, "We're both crotchety old men," before adding, "Mr. Mikami fights to make the games he wants to make. I believe he is one of Japan's few real 'creators.'"
Also in the dual interview, Mikami was asked how he feels about the current state of horror games. He reiterated that he believes horror games today rely too much on action tropes.
"Looking at current survival horror games as entertainment, I feel they lean too heavily on action, he said. About his upcoming horror game, The Evil Within, he said, "I thought that I wanted to make a game that would stand up on both the fear as horror and on the enjoyment as a game."
The interviewer also asked Kojima for his thoughts on The Evil Within, and the Metal Gear Solid veteran replied by saying he's optimistic about its critical and commercial potential.
"Survival horror is Mr. Mikami's child, so I believe The Evil Within will be his showdown with the genre in terms of both content and sales," he said.
Kojima is also now working on a horror game of his own, P.T./Silent Hills. The response to the game, released as a demo in August, has been "so positive," Kojima said. "I'm currently pondering 'what should I do for Silent Hills,'" he said. Mikami cut in, saying he thinks Kojima should make Silent Hills an extension of P.T. "I felt truly 'pure' horror from [P.T.]," he said.
On the subject of what represents a "scary" experience today, Kojima said it is actually relatively easy to scare someone (or make them mad or sad), but it's harder to make someone laugh. For P.T. in particular, Kojima said he purposefully designed the game to be set in hallways because, "That way, I didn't have to worry about the cultural background of the player." This setting was also advantageous, he said, because, "I wanted people to experience the fear of not being able to escape in a world where there was almost no information on the screen."
Mikami also chimed in with his thoughts on what it takes to make a "scary" game today.
"With the hardware specs we have now, it's possible to put a whole lot of information into the background, so creators have a tendency to develop a 'gap-phobia,'" Mikami said. "But if there's too much information, even if the atmosphere is scary, you don't know where to focus on. A single chair sitting in a white room can often be scarier."
The Evil Within launches October 14 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, while no release date has been set for Silent Hills. Kojima is working on the game with Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro and The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus. Just recently, publisher Bethesda announced the minimum PC system requirements for The Evil Within, which you can see here.
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