games / Columns Interviews: Masato Kimura, Producer of The Evil Within

May 30, 2013 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

During Bethesda Softwork’s Pre-E3 2013 event, we got the chance to sit down and speak with one of the producers and developers of the upcoming survival horror game release, The Evil Within. Masato Kimura is the lead producer on the project with the game’s developer, Tango Gameworks. Kimura was in-person to go through the demo and to speak with us. In the game, you play as Detective Sebastian Castellanos, whose team responds to a mass murder scene at a mysterious mental hospital. Sebastian and his team are separated and things go badly as you are faced with malevolent creatures and insane, terrifying environments. The game was directed by original Resident Evil series creator, Shinji Mikami. During the event we spoke with Kimura-san via his interpreter, Ray Nakazato. Here is what he had to say about the project:

Jeffrey Harris: What can you tell us about the main character, Sebastian Castellanos, and his friends we meet at the beginning?

Masato Kimura: Sebastian Castellanos is a detective. His buddy, Joseph, is the one with the glasses. The girl there, she’s called “Kid.” Basically those three are involved in that main story. As you saw, it was a mass homicide at the hospital. The police force went there and they lost contact. So then Sebastian and his team went there. So that’s how the game starts.

Jeffrey Harris: Is Sebastian trapped inside his mind?

Masato Kimura: Yeah, so whether it’s the real world, Sebastian’s mind, or someone else’s mind – it’s just imagination – it’s scary because you don’t understand what’s happening really. So I guess he could be…

Jeffrey Harris: We saw a variety of creatures in the demo such as the spiderwoman, the brute with the chainsaw, the shrouded figure, and the creatures that resembled zombies. Will the game have anything akin to boss characters? Like is the chainsaw guy a boss? Is the spiderwoman a boss?

Masato Kimura: Yeah, they are strong and some of the scary characters or enemies. So I guess you could say they are bosses. But it’s not like a traditional one with general enemies and a big boss. It’s not going to be like that.

Jeffrey Harris: Of the creatures we saw today, who are you most fond of and who do you like the most?

Masato Kimura: There are a lot of creatures we showed today, so it’s kind of difficult to pick one. But out of the creatures that we showed you today, I like the [spiderwoman, who does not yet have an official name]. The first time I saw that creature onscreen moving, I was really pleased. All the creatures are very, very unique and impressive.

Jeffrey Harris: Is there anything specific you wanted to try with this game in terms of environment or mechanics to truly revolutionize the survival horror genre in the approach to this project?

Masato Kimura: So of course we make those scenes look dirty and kind of gross. So that’s one thing. It’s dark and scary, so we make those kinds of scenes. In addition to that, the object is to try and make a scene that’s really bright and clean but somehow it’s really scary. We didn’t show that today, but that’s my goal.

Jeffrey Harris: Why do bad things always happen at mental hospitals and why do they make such a good setting for horror-themed stories?

Masato Kimura: *Laughs* That’s really the reason we picked the hospital to start the game. Mental hospital has a – as we said, we are trying to achieve the fear or scary feeling because you don’t know what’s happening. But because you don’t know what’s happening and there are things you don’t understand. And I think there are a lot of things in that kind of hospital that you don’t understand what kind of treatment are done there and what kind of strange things are happening there. So there is a lot of imagination and things that are uncertain. It’s hard to understand. So that’s why we think that location is a good start.

Jeffrey Harris: We saw a couple different weapons we can use in the game. Are those the only types of weapons we will have at our disposal? Will there be anything like a shotgun weapon? Or will we only have a couple weapons and our wits to survive?

Masato Kimura: Yeah, we have more weapons. But we are not going to be putting in a weapon that’s too strong so that the game becomes easy or so easy that it’s not scary. The combat is strategic, so the combination of different tools that you to go through in the game is more important than having strong firearms.

Jeffrey Harris: So shotgun? Yes? No?

Masato Kimura: *Laughs* Yes.

The Evil Within is set to be released on Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PC, Xbox One, and PS4 next year.

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Jeffrey Harris
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