The Resident Evil Within

Shinji Mikami, the director of The Evil Within (TEW), directed both Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4 when at Capcom. It was always clear from TEW’s title that this in some way marked a return to those roots, but about halfway through I started thinking that someone at Capcom had really pissed Mikami off. This is not just a loose reinvention and homage to Resident Evil, but one that absolutely goes for the throat in the latter stages, offering up parallels so stark the comparison is direct rather than implied. So what’s Shinji saying?

Click to once again enter the world of survival horror.

There will be spoilers ahead for certain TEW locations and characters. But with that said there’s one very important point about the story: this isn’t really about Sebastian Castellanos as much as it is Shinji Mikami. TEW is a determined and sometimes grim-faced trawl over the moments and games that made this man’s career, ranging from frame-by-frame remakes of moments like Resident Evil’s first zombie head-turning to chapters that resurrect unreleased games (Chapter 9, more on which later).

And in this TEW is also the story of a genre. Resident Evil wasn’t the first survival horror game, with titles like Alone in the Dark and System Shock pre-dating it, but it is the one that popularised the term and was successful enough to inspire other developers to follow in its wake (Silent Hill, another influence on TEW, is just one of them). Years later when Resident Evil badly needed a new start Capcom once again called in Mikami, and with Resident Evil 4 he moved the emphasis firmly away from horror to survival, popularising the over-the-shoulder perspective that still dominates third-person games to this day and crafting one of the best pure action games ever made.

Along the way Mikami has directed other absolute gems, prime among them God Hand (for my money the best third-person fighting game ever) and Vanquish (the best third-person shooter ever). Yet he has gone on the record as saying that TEW will be his last game as director and, if we take that at face value, has chosen to once again enter the world of survival horror. The obvious questions being why and, in the light of the somewhat divided critical reception, was it too late?

As should be clear from the above I’m something of a fan of Mikami’s work, and found a lot to love in TEW. Certain criticisms are fair: the texture pop-in is noticeable, Sebastian’s positioning for disarming traps and picking up items is often fiddly, and there’s no denying that at certain points the camera is less than helpful. But there’s also a large aspect of TEW’s design that is to do with deliberate limits and has been seized upon as incompetence, in particular the black borders and the positioning of Sebastian’s body on-screen.

TEW runs in a ‘letterbox’ format that cramps the field of view, and the camera is zoomed pretty close to Sebastian at all times. This gives you a wide horizontal perspective but the effect it creates makes you feel like you can never see quite as much as you want to, and it adds immeasurably to the sense that the walls are closing in. My absolute favourite use of this is when Sebastian opens doors and it zooms into the middle of his shoulders with almost zero peripheral vision of what’s on either side, a setup that TEW constantly resists using for a cheap scare in favour of keeping you in anticipation. The vision-obscuring impact of the camera during action is also vastly overstated – you can always tell what’s going on – but what bothers me about the criticism it receives is the assumption Mikami didn’t realise what he was doing. If you don’t like it that’s fine, but this perspective is used because of its implications for the player’s experience rather than being an unfortunate design flaw.

So we return to that question of why Mikami made another survival horror game. The camera is part of a larger theme in TEW, the overall effect it creates being more about tension than outright horror. Don’t get me wrong, it’s jam-packed full of nasties, but the game is most memorable when you’re creeping along through a deserted building, twisting that camera to peer into every corner possible and listening to distant moans and thumps in the walls. I crept everywhere, long after I’d stopped using stealth tactics, because I was basically bricking it the whole time.

This may seem like splitting hairs, but TEW feels like an attempt to combine the feel of early horror games with an evolution of the more action-oriented system of Resi 4. The prime way it does this is Sebastian. In games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark you feel constantly vulnerable, either because it’s hard to kill enemies or the controls and camera angles make it hard. In Resi 4 Leon is a total badass: it’s hard to feel scared by much once you’ve learned how to play, because he’s so capable in almost any situation. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but Sebastian is just a guy. He can’t sprint for more than a few seconds before running out of breath, his punches do almost nothing to undead monsters, and when they hit him it’s painful to see.

The elements of TEW’s combat are similar to Resi 4, but focused changes make it an utterly different experience to play. At the most basic level Sebastian’s reticule wavers a great deal more than Leon’s ever did, while TEW’s enemies are much more evasive and conscious of being targeted. It gives with one hand and takes with the other, so while the feedback from hitting shots in TEW is simply superb, the impact of any one shot on the Haunted is much less pronounced than it would be on Resi 4’s ganados. There’s nothing like hitting a sweet headshot perfectly in the centre, and simply seeing a hole in the middle of the creature’s head as it continues to shamble towards you (along, of course, with a smaller hitbox to aim at). What it’s done is make the gunplay more rewarding from moment-to-moment, but dialled down your character’s overall effectiveness.

What it’s all moving away from is the fact that Resi 4 is an action game, which leads us to perhaps the most fascinating chapter in TEW. Chapter 9 is set in what is basically a remake of the Arklay Mansion’s lobby, the setting for Resident Evil. As soon as you enter and see the parallel staircases the resemblance is unmistakable. But what it chooses to do with this location is, as far as I can gather, remake an abandoned version of Resi 4.

For those of you without the time to watch, this video shows the ‘hooked man’ version of Resi 4 that was shown off at E3 2003 before being canned. The similarities to what happens in chapter 9 of TEW are equally unmistakable – a blue filter indicates a supernatural presence, and a seemingly-invulnerable enemy ‘blinks’ forwards to catch the player off-guard. But it’s the setting that really makes this interesting. The ‘hooked man’ demo of Resi 4 suggested a much more supernatural direction for the series, and it looked pretty scary with it. Clearly Capcom decided that a more action-oriented route would suit – and so we got Resi 4 as it exists (not that I’m complaining). I can’t help but see Mikami setting a version of the ‘hooked man’ gameplay in the Arklay Mansion as some sort of indication from the series creator that, with hindsight, he wished things had gone another way – more towards supernatural and psychological horror than balls-to-the-wall action. A belated proof-of-concept, if you will, for a dream that died.

This is not the only look-back, by a long shot. Another detail that suggests Mikami had a high opinion of the ‘hooked man’ iteration of Resi 4 is that the small dolls and mannequins seen throughout that demo are a constant visual theme in TEW. The ‘hooked man’ demo came from an even earlier prototype called the ‘fog version.’ Later in TEW there’s a terrifying set-piece in a mannequin warehouse, with shelves piled-high surrounding Sebastian, and the entire room flooded with gas.

Dolls, vision-obscuring gas… I’m not saying that every element in TEW can or should be identified as Mikami ‘saying something’ about his work on the Resident Evil series, but even the less obvious parallels do seem to accumulate. This may simply be his resurrecting good ideas that, for whatever reason, never happened – not uncommon at all among great developers. Or it may be a kind of farewell to arms, an homage both to the games that never came to pass and to the teams that gave years of their lives to them behind closed doors.

There is much, much more beneath the surface of The Evil Within. Its structure is quite brilliant, allowing for an incredible variety of locations that are also metaphors for multiple characters’ state of mind. The save location, for example, is a mental hospital that degenerates throughout as Sebastian gets closer to both solving the mystery and losing his own bearings. Ruvik’s neediness and motivation is hinted at in his frequent invocations of his family home. One of the few things we learn for sure about Sebastian – big spoiler! – is that the loss of his daughter made him an alcoholic: the only stealth tool in the game is throwing bottles of wine to distract enemies. Want to avoid facing a situation? Turn to the bottle. It is surely pretty funny that, in a game about everyone losing their minds, you collect brains in jars to level up.

Then there are all those echoes of Resident Evil – the enemies, the similar dialogue, the parallel cutscenes, even the hints of an umbrella logo in places – almost like this world’s true creator can’t quite rid himself of them. Who knows what happened between Shinji Mikami and Capcom. The man himself has said the company became more business-focused and it was harder for him to take chances. Completely unverified scuttlebutt says that he felt neither he or his team were rewarded adequately for the enormous success of Resident Evil 4. What is clear is that Mikami is appreciative of and loyal to those he works with, and ambiguous with outsiders.

What Mikami is expert at is pacing a game, and creating truly memorable encounters that play out differently every time. The Evil Within shows that these skills are as strong as ever, even in a game that arguably lacks the polish of a big-budget Capcom production. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with many of the criticisms levelled at TEW, I just happen to think that regardless of them it’s one of the best games I’ve played all year – and without doubt the most intense.

This is entirely personal bias because TEW recaptures a feeling I associate with the original Resident Evil, and had long since felt was lost to time and nostalgia, that sense of being trapped somewhere and surrounded by things with claws and teeth much bigger and scarier than you are. It has been called a greatest hits collection and, while I don’t agree with the metaphor, I understand where the thought’s coming from. But the fact is that the future of the survival horror genre is not in games like Resident Evil, which with every passing year feel more like products of their time. Mikami must know this better than anyone else. So The Evil Within is the kind of game only the man who invented survival horror could or would have wanted to create: a requiem not just for his babies, but for all the others who never quite made it too.

42 Comments

  1. rockman29 says:

    Excellent write up!

    • yogibbear says:

      +1 brilliant article from a brilliant site. More like this please! (Am playing through Alien: Isolation first mainly because sick of third person after completing Shadow of Mordor, but then this is my next pick up, though Civ: Beyond Earth is tempting me but will be the bigger time sink).

      • PandaPants says:

        Definitely try and hold off on Civ for now! You’ll lose millions of hours my friend, think of the backlog of other stuff!

  2. Hunchback says:

    The Resident Evil Within!

    Here, you win 100 internet points… :D

  3. Gravy100 says:

    Brilliant article, puts into words my feelings on the game entirely!

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    I appreciate the sentiment – I think some of the pasting TEW is getting is largely (even completely) undeserved – but

    My absolute favourite use of this is when Sebastian opens doors and it zooms into the middle of his shoulders with almost zero peripheral vision of what’s on either side, a setup that TEW constantly resists using for a cheap scare in favour of keeping you in anticipation.

    Doing this at all can only ever be a cheap scare. Period. The fixed cameras in every “classic” Resi were cheap scares. It’s no deeper or more subtle than slapping your hands over someone’s eyes from behind. There’s no reason to do it other than you’ve realised it’s a quick and easy way to make the player respond with oh God oh God oh God ad infinitum – if I walk into a room, I should be able to instantly see everything in that room that’s within my line of sight, end of story. There is no excuse for restricting that on a purely mechanical level. Ever. Pointing the camera in the other direction is an antiquated method of getting a cheap scare that’s best consigned to history. Ditto zooming straight in to someone’s shoulders.

    The vision-obscuring impact of the camera during action is also vastly overstated – you can always tell what’s going on – but what bothers me about the criticism it receives is the assumption Mikami didn’t realise what he was doing. If you don’t like it that’s fine, but this perspective is used because of its implications for the player’s experience rather than being an unfortunate design flaw.

    Agree with the first part, but I criticise it because I don’t think there’s any part of the game I’ve seen so far (I’m up to chapter 10) which actually uses the black bars in any way that enhances the artistry of the game in ways a regular aspect ratio could not, or where the things it restricts me from seeing enhance the experience in the same manner (see above). I know why he’s doing it. I just don’t think it works. Not that it makes the game unplayable or any such PC Master Race complaint – I don’t think it adds anything.

    Sorry to be rude. Seriously, I am. But I just… can’t be excellent about this, I can’t. The third-person camera is bad and the way Mikami uses it is a throwback to all the creaky, archaic design decisions he made with Resi when he worked on it, things which the faithful have built up into some kind of holy writ when they’re simply relics from a time when we didn’t know any better. The black bars are a perfectly valid – if risky – thing for any developer to try, but TGW don’t use them in any way that doesn’t have me reaching for the console commands in minutes (or haven’t yet). It’s a good game, and I’m grateful RPS have let someone else sing its praises, but I think your final paragraph is a better summary of its failings, as well as its successes, than maybe you realise.

    • subedii says:

      Doing this at all can only ever be a cheap scare. Period. The fixed cameras in every “classic” Resi were cheap scares. It’s no deeper or more subtle than slapping your hands over someone’s eyes from behind. There’s no reason to do it other than you’ve realised it’s a quick and easy way to make the player respond with oh God oh God oh God ad infinitum – if I walk into a room, I should be able to instantly see everything in that room that’s within my line of sight, end of story. There is no excuse for restricting that on a purely mechanical level. Ever. Pointing the camera in the other direction is an antiquated method of getting a cheap scare that’s best consigned to history. Ditto zooming straight in to someone’s shoulders.

      I can’t say I agree.

      *Slight, non-story spoilers for RE and TEW*

      Gameplay in any form is dependent on the mechanics of what you limit and what you allow the player to do, and so is atmosphere, in any game I care to mention. This extends way beyond what you allow the player to see but I want to focus on that for a second.

      Pick your poison. The fog in Silent Hill. The darkness and lighting mechanics in Amnesia. Even the well lit but cramped claustrophobia of System Shock or Dead Space. Atmosphere and tension in horror games in particular is generated by what is unknown but suspected, so that your imagination can fill in the blanks and paranoia can set in. There are various ways of limiting this, and it goes hand-in-hand with sound and environment design to highlight what might be there, but stubbornly refuse to tell you where.

      The key point that Rich raises is that there are good and bad ways to do this. TEW avoids using this for jump scares, but it’s the tension that it creates in the possibility it might happen that’s important. It’s also why I agree with his statement that this is all more about creating tension than outright horror.

      Doom 3 played with similar (except it was about plain old darkness), and that ended up not being tense or scary, but rather annoying since they used it as an imprecise tool to randomly ambush the player with zero warning (not even audio cues). They weren’t using it to build up tension of the unknown. The unseen merely blurted itself onto your screen with no attempted build up at all.

      Back to TEW, and I think I’ll even go one further and say that I think Rich might have missed another call-back here, particularly to Resident Evil’s door opening transitions.

      Resident Evil basically pulled this same thing, except during one of those door opening transitions (a clearly signposted one), when you opened the door, monsters came out of it. Nothing like that had happened before in the game (and nothing since that one signposted occurrence). And after that, the possibility of something being on the other side was enough. Door opening transitions were no longer safe. It messed with the player’s perception of what action or place was secure and what wasn’t. The only clearly marked “safe” areas were the save areas, and even then the devs would mess with you to make you paranoid.

      This is something that’s also heavily mirrored in TEW. But unlike RE, door transitions and save rooms are no longer discrete and isolated from the other parts of the game, so they can inherently be unsafe. TEW doesn’t actually NEED to do much more to work that angle, even when there’s seemingly nothing around.

      Restricting the audience’s information or view of the world is a tool. It’s used in books, and films, and games. It can be used well or badly. And I can see where Rich is coming from in regards to how TEW tries to use its tools.

      • ZippyDSMlee says:

        Only if the blocking of information is not cheap or lazy and most of the time it is very cheap and lazy way to do it….

        • subedii says:

          Why? What makes it cheap? What would be the ideal manner in which to do it?

          If it’s that it’s unrealistic, then frankly I have no problems ceding realism to gameplay concerns.

          I mean I don’t see that Silent Hill would have been improved if it was a bright and clear day when people came to visit. Tonnes of information available to the player though.

          As games go, TEW doesn’t even go that far. You can deliberately see far into the distance even at (the surprisingly well lit) night.

          It does raise an interesting thought though. Had the door transition happened discretely (as in RE, or even The Witcher, just a scene transition) and simply dumped you into the next room, not only would there be less tension, but personally I have a sneaking suspicion there’d be less overall complaint as well.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Honestly most of what you say is valid but you are not taking into consideration that these problems can also be technical/mechanical in nature. 3rd person games have struggled with camera problems since 3D became a thing, some games, even to this day manage to balls it up royally. Also the black bars are very likely a technical limitation to cut down on rendering for the consoles, which they have then mirrored on the PC. Not everything can or should be analysed purely from the standpoint of “Mikami’s artistic vision”.

      Similarly with the early Resi games, a lot of the reason they went with fixed camera and clunky tank controls was due to technical limitations, something in that case they worked with to create an atmospheric survival horror game, even if some of the scares in those games were cheap, they didn’t have masses to work with either, a game like that wouldn’t hold up these days because technically games can do much more, back then, nobody knew any better and it seemed incredibly impactful.

  5. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I’d say Shinji is saying he can not grow or change as a developer, its one thing to change everything to keep up with the times its another when you are unable to get rid of the bad and poorly implemented stuff…..

    • Gravy100 says:

      He’s demonstrated change and development on games like Vanquish and God Hand so I doubt he’s saying that he’s not capable of adapting to modern games standards, he wrote the rulebook on it really. All of the bad or poorly implemented stuff is probably due to a lack of time or budget allowing certain parts to be tightened up rather than a conscious ‘lets make a statement about how redundant i am!’

      • ZippyDSMlee says:

        I dunno it seems it just has poor design direction at its core which really hurts the game, survival horror dose not need antiquated and frustrating mechanics,ect to be good survival horror .

  6. mpk says:

    Excellent article.

    I’ve always been of the opinion that Silent Hill was the superior game to Resident Evil, particularly Silent Hill 2, but then I’ve never played RE4.

    • thekelvingreen says:

      Resident Evil 4 is not quite as good as Silent Hill 2 but it is nonetheless brilliant. It’s probably impossible to find nowadays but the Wii version is excellent.

  7. Dale Winton says:

    I’ve enjoyed the rage on the internet about the aspect ratio from people that have not bought the game. I think it does add to the game and if you play it you should not use a mod to remove them

    • Kitsunin says:

      When your monitor is already 16:10, honestly, it’s pretty painful having less than half of your monitor actually used. Especially when it’s not even past 1080p (poor…) to begin with, I feel like I’m playing on two SD screens next to each other rather than an HD screen with cinematic bars.

    • TheTingler says:

      You don’t even need a mod. Just go to Steam’s Launch Options on ‘Properties’ and add: +com_skipIntroVideo 1 +r_forceaspectratio 1.8.

      I added the “skip intro videos” bit too. Lifesaver.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    “but what bothers me about the criticism it receives is the assumption Mikami didn’t realise what he was doing. If you don’t like it that’s fine, but this perspective is used because of its implications for the player’s experience rather than being an unfortunate design flaw.”

    This is a conversation i keep having about most games, specially with gamers. Most gamers fail to see directors intent.

    • subedii says:

      So do I.

      Frequently people will mistake the idea that say, a protagonist is supposed to be supremely competent in everything they do. Can aim like an eagle, run like a horse and beat-down like an upset mother bear whose cub you accidentally stepped on.

      When you get to someone like James Sunderland (Silent Hill 2) or Amanda Ripley (Alien Isolation), you often hear cries to realism (or some other factor) that they should be able to competently fight back, when the fact is the game isn’t trying to portray them as action heroes, but overwhelmed and trying to survive.

      It’s why comments like Sebastien being unable to sprint away from trouble always seemed to me to completely miss the point. The game wouldn’t be much of anything if you could run rings around everything without threat (as it is the sprint is one more tool to be rationed and used). You may as well give Sunderland a chainsaw or Ripley a pulse rifle. The mechanic works that way not because the developers are ignorant of how to create a power fantasy, it’s because they don’t want to create one, even if you do think it’d be “more realistic”.

      Not the same, but related, it feels like the same discussion over “save points vs save anywhere”. People keep viewing anything less than the ability to save every few seconds as a flaw in the game.

      As a gameplay system save anywhere is great for some games, TERRIBLE for others (particularly when you’re trying to instill tension), and I’d never want it to be mandatory in all games.

    • aepervius says:

      “Most gamers fail to see directors intent.” when the director intents lower the gameplay or the usefulness of the display to bare minimum, one has a duty to critizice it. Looking at my screen and seeing how much the black bar up and down take from the visual view…. Then I think whatever the director intent was BS. Also often when so many people “fail” to see the director intent… Then maybe the director did not properly implement its intent. Finally it reminds me of a friend which keep harping on pretentious bits of art for hours, which barely look like a blob of a single color on a canvas. Anybody can throw a blob of color at a canvas and say it intended this and that feeling blahblahblah. But it takes *skills* to do paint like the old masters from the renaissance area, with realism. It takes far much less skill for all that “directorial intent” of the modern art. Just like it takes no skill to reduce the screen size as was done. /rant

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Control restrictions are fine but clunkiness can still be a problem. 3rd person games such as this have struggled with a competent camera since PS1 days and it is foolish to consider a camera which constantly rams itself into the back of the character as purely an artistic decision to “create atmosphere” and not just slightly wonky implementation. Games should not need to do that to generate atmosphere because it ends up doing nothing more than annoy the player and is still either a flaw in design or implementation.

      @aepervius
      Yeah I agree, it’s akin to the tired “well you just don’t GET IT” argument that some people use to discredit an opinion that something is a bit pants.

  9. DarkFenix says:

    I’m trying to enjoy this, but the whole game feels like a set of arbitrary technical limitations trying to masquerade as atmosphere. The black bars don’t help the game in the slightest, they just annoy me, especially combined with the camera that seems intent on giving me the best possible view of nothing but the protagonist’s back.

    The game is slow and clunky which was fine 18 years ago when we didn’t know better, but now it doesn’t come off as atmospheric or tense, it’s just aggravating and prevents me from immersing myself in the game.

    • bjohndooh says:

      There’s a patch from flawless widescreen that should remove the bars and allow FOV tweaking.

  10. Crane says:

    For me, TEW suffers from one very crucial flaw:

    The overall game design is based around management of, and scarcity of, resources. And then the game throws up situations where it’s very ambiguous whether or not use of your resources is mandatory. There are several boss fights in which fighting the enemy is optional, and at least one in which shooting the enemy is completely ineffective and your only recourse is to run.
    But then there are others where you HAVE to kill the boss to progress. And if you used a lot of your resources shooting him earlier in a section where he just respawns infinitely before you realised that you were just waiting for a timer to expire, then you’re placed at a serious disadvantage.

    I’m not against giving players the challenge of figuring out when to fight and when to run, but there are very often no real in-game clues as to whether a fight is really a FIGHT or just a “kite him around the room for five minutes ’til the door opens” setpiece.

    Too, there’s at least one section with infinitely respawning enemies, which is a goddamn dirty trick to play without any warning.

    The GAME isn’t in my opinion inherently all that difficult, but the METAGAME is often almost willfully spiteful, to the detriment of the experience.

  11. FreeTom says:

    Has anyone tried playing this having ignored the system requirements?

    Quad-core i7 minimum seems insane…

    • ZippyDSMlee says:

      I am sure any 3 core or better CPU should be able to handle it it, not so sure about dual core, the dual core CPU would need to be over 3Ghz I would think.

      • FreeTom says:

        What are you basing this on? Have you tried it?

        • ZippyDSMlee says:

          General experiences with computer games.And that multi cores do not mean much to most games, even the newer ones. I was running a 4 core FM2 and AM3 with 8 GB ramm in the last 2-3 years now I am running a I7 for about 4-6 months but frankly I have not seen a huge jump from AMD to the I7 4 core, what really maters more is your video card.

    • Philomelle says:

      I’ve been running it on an i5-2310 @ 2.9Ghz, 8GB RAM and a GeForce 760GTX @ 2GB. Set it to maximum possible settings and it didn’t so much as try to lag.

      I also tried to remove the black bars and unlock FPS. The game still ran smoothly on maximum settings, though it surprisingly looked much worse than with the faux widescreen and a 30FPS lock. It felt to me like Mikami pulled a Cloverfield, in that the game feels better with a technological downgrade.

  12. thekelvingreen says:

    Then there are all those echoes of Resident Evil – the enemies, the similar dialogue

    Please tell me there’s a “master of unlocking” reference.

    • Philomelle says:

      It’s one of the endgame achievements.

      There’s also a Knife Beats Chainsaw achievement for taking down the obligatory chainsaw boss with a backstab, in honor of the brave and the bold who faced down Doc Salvador in honorable combat rather than running and shooting like sissies.

  13. LogicalDash says:

    If you don’t like it that’s fine, but this perspective is used because of its implications for the player’s experience rather than being an unfortunate design flaw.

    Why can’t it be both?

  14. rockman29 says:

    Just sharing this video about the RE1 HD Remastered that is coming for all platforms including PC.

    A lot of appreciation for the design of horror games that is reflected so well in Evil Within :)

    • Xantonze says:

      Be advised that the 2D environments haven’t been redrawn. They just use a greasy filter instead….

  15. Eukatheude says:

    I keep failing to see what was that good about resi 4. QTE cutscene crap, bad controls, nonsense story, escort missions etc.

  16. felisc says:

    Mh, i personally ditched those black bars with flawless widescreen, couldn’t stand the tiny window the game offered. But yes, I’m enjoying this game a lot, it’s a (very tense) joy to progress slowly and carefully, and a shotgun shell is a happy thing to come by. Missing a shot always comes with a swear. I just finished chapter 9 which was pretty great.
    The game runs well on my i5 , 7870 and 8go, fps a bit low to my taste but I get used to it.

  17. Wowbagger says:

    You’re not Alexander?!

  18. Calabi says:

    I guess were going to have more games using these little with all the praise it is getting. Devs will be heralding how cinematic there game is with this new letterboxing trick, maybe even the new COD wil have it. As if its a genius to obscure nearly half the screen. Plenty of games can manage to be scary and tense without obscuring a portion of your view. There’s no decent argument for it here and I havent seen any decent argument anywhere ,except that its because the director wanted it. And some and have even questioned the reason for it being more to do with performance than anything else, the fact that it can barely maintain 30fps consistently.

    I mean praise the game for what it does well it seems like a good game to me that harkens back. The tension it has to me doesnt seem to have much to do with the view but more so with will you have the resources to defeat what is coming. The view being obscured is just a frustration the game would be improved without the borders.

  19. Ralek says:

    I couldn’t agree more, I just wished I had read this earlier. I’ve been spending quite some time those last two weeks in comment sections, making pretty much exactly the same points made here. I could have just redirected people here, and safed myself quite a lot of typing …. Finally someone “gets it”. How hard can that be … At least, overall the scores (oh, how I despise them!) were largely fair, and won’t hurt the games commerial success, that’s something alright. Still, A LOT OF reviewer really didn’t get what Mikami was going for, and how he was going about it. Luckily I’m not easily aggravated, or my stress-level would have been through the roof! ^^ GJ!