The Evil Within 2 is very much a sequel to the first game: It continues the story of protagonist Sebastian Castellanos, who is now seeking his daughter Lily, whom he believed to be dead. But it also presents players with a larger, more open space to play in, despite the fact that it’s being developed in less time than its predecessor.
GameSpot recently spoke with The Evil Within 2 producer Shinji Mikami (best known for his work on the Resident Evil series) and director John Johanas. Mikami reiterated what we’ve heard before, that the development period on the upcoming survival-horror game was “quite a bit shorter” than that of the first game. But that’s not hugely uncommon, as he noted, “It always takes more time to make the first game in a series, compared to subsequent games.”
Asked what kind of challenges the shorter development cycle presented Tango Gameworks, Mikami said, “The last game was completely linear, and this time was more open feeling, which for a horror game was quite a challenge to create.” Johanas added that creating something bigger than the first game “takes a lot of work,” because it’s a more complex process than simply creating a large game world.
“Scale is one thing; it’s really easy to make something big–you just make it big,” Johanas explained. “But [you have] to find the right density. One of the things we wanted to make sure this time is that it’s not too suffocating in terms of how we presented horror elements compared to the first game. We want it to be open, so you can explore at your own place, and have a sort of ebb and flow to horror experiences and downtime. That just takes trial and error, going back and forth. But because the trial-and-error period was very quick, we made things, we adjusted based on feedback, very quickly.”
We also asked Mikami about the growing expense of game development, particularly for bigger projects. Noting that it isn’t a new trend, he said, “It’s hard to make an original [game] now. The budgets are very big and the stakes are higher than they used to be.” As for whether he would like to do a smaller project, he said, “Yes. I would like to do that,” adding, “I don’t know if it’s OK to say that.”