A new Evil Within is coming later this year, but fans might be surprised to learn that the series’ famous director, Shinji Mikami, is not helming the sequel. Instead the prolific Resident Evil director will only be serving as a producer on the project, which looks to build on the original game’s blend of survival and psychological horror.
Why exactly Mikami is not working on The Evil Within 2 is unclear, but speculation is sure to run rampant in the coming weeks and months. It could be that he is working on a different project for Bethesda Softworks, or it’s just as plausible he is taking a break from heavy game development.
Even though Mikami is not working on The Evil Within 2 as director, the project is still in good hands. The sequel’s director, John Johanas, has plenty of experience working on the series, having served as visual effects designer on the original main game, as well as director on its two DLC add-ons The Assignment and The Consequence.
Obviously there are going to be some fans that will be disappointed to learn that Mikami is not working on The Evil Within 2. After all, it was Mikami’s attachment to the first game, as well as its survival horror concepts, that made the project so intriguing in the first place. But it’s not uncommon for a big name director to get a project rolling and then pass sequels off to protégés while still overseeing the development.
We don’t really know how much Shinji Mikami will oversee as producer or what type of influence he has on the story. Based on the The Evil Within 2 trailers, it appears as though the sequel keeps in line with its predecessor in terms of visuals, tone, and creative horror tropes, but that’s only a small piece of the game.
It’s also worth mentioning that the first Evil Within was not as much of a hit with fans and critics as it hoped to be. Perhaps a new director might be just what the sequel needs to deliver what fans expected from the first game.
The Evil Within 2 releases October 13, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.