Legendary horror game director Shinji Mikami, best known for his work on the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) series, recently sat down with IGN to talk about his past projects, his thoughts regarding the current global pandemic situation, and the ongoing development of the horror genre.
Mikami, who founded and currently serves as executive producer at Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2,) is working on a new project, Ghostwire: Tokyo. Little is known about the new IP, which was first revealed at E3 2019, but it is believed to be an action-adventure game with horror elements. Mikami spoke very positively regarding Ghostwire, highlighting the significant creative talent associated with the project and the hard work put in by the game's development team.
When asked whether COVID-19 will affect the future of gaming, Mikami was of the belief that it would. "I think it will be difficult for my games not to be influenced by the struggles we are experiencing right now," he stated. The director also felt that it was important to acknowledge that using a virus as a plot point in a horror game, which had been considered revolutionary when he chose it as the source behind the original Resident Evil's zombified enemies, will be perceived differently by gamers following COVID-19.
Regarding zombies, the now-iconic enemies which made Mikami's Resident Evil games so terrifying, the director did feel that they were becoming "played out" and overused in recent years. "I think you can say that horror has transitioned from direct, physical horror to quiet, psychological horror," he explained. He acknowledged that psychological horror and deep, introspective stories, such as the movie Inception, had served as significant inspiration when working on The Evil Within 2.
Despite his feelings regarding the recent overuse of zombies, Mikami was supportive of Capcom's decision to remake the early Resident Evil titles, which he directed. When asked about a potential remake of Resident Evil 4, considered by many to be the director's magnum opus, Mikami said only: "As long as it turns out good, I have no issues with it."
Although he has decreased his media presence in recent years and no longer frequently appears at events such as E3, Shinji Mikami remains a very active force within the gaming industry and the horror genre in particular. We're waiting on the edge of our seats for more information regarding the highly anticipated Ghostwire: Tokyo — especially an official release date!