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E3 2014: Shinji Mikami explains the differences between 'horror' and 'survival horror'

on 12 June 2014

Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami has elucidated on the differences between horror and survival horror in the video game scene.

Chatting with Wired, Mikami-san, who is putting the finishing touches on the cross-generation survival horror title, The Evil Within, offered some insight into how each genre is defined, particularly in Japan.

“In games in Japan, a typical horror game is something like Clock Tower or Silent Hill but survival horror, the kind of game I like to create, is also entertainment,” explained Mikami-san.

“The horror aspect of the game and the entertainment aspect of the game have to mix together.

“It’s a close genre but the difference between pure horror and survival horror is that in the latter you can defeat the monsters and feel good about it. You have to have that sense of being able to defeat a monster, even if it’s tough.

“I’ve made Evil Within to be a very difficult game but when you finish the game, you will feel a sense of achievement. It is scary, but don’t be scared too much.”

Mikami-san popularized the survival horror genre with the original Resident Evil, and went on to serve on Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and Resident Evil Code: Veronica in varying roles.

After directing the remake of Resident Evil for GameCube in 2002, he worked on the critically-acclaimed Resident Evil 4, before leaving the franchise (and Capcom) altogether. He's now established his own studio, Tango Gameworks.

The Evil Within is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in October. Read our hands-on preview here.