Following the announcement that Shinji Mikami would not be directing The Evil Within 2, the director has spoken up about his part in the upcoming sequel, saying that while his role is smaller he is still nonetheless involved with the game's development.
In a new interview, Mikami stated that Tango Gameworks began development for The Evil Within 2 in March 2015, and the decision to hand the role of director to John Johanas this time around was because he wanted the studio to be a place where "young and talented creators are given the chance to succeed." While Mikami has been busy managing Tango Gameworks as a whole in the meantime, he is still creatively involved with the game's development in a limited capacity.
Compared to the original Evil Within, Mikami stated that the creation of The Evil Within 2's story can be attributed more to the project's senior writer Hajime Ishimine, saying that Ishimine had the "most influence" and that he and his team worked with Trent Haaga in building the game's narrative.
When asked whether The Evil Within 2 can be considered a "Shinji Mikami game," the director says that while players will see some broad strokes of his influence, the game's development was a team effort with Johanas "at the helm" and Mikami supervising.
As for what fans can expect this time around, Johanas spoke a bit about the differences between the game world in The Evil Within compared to The Evil Within 2, saying that while the game isn't an open world title, the maps will be very large and players will be given more branching options when trying to reach certain destinations. In terms of technical and artistic differences in the sequel, Johanas revealed that the original game's 2.5:1 aspect ratio will be replaced with a standard format following the mixed reception from players, and that fans can expect a more psychological-horror, Americana aesthetic this time around.
Mikami may not be directing the upcoming horror title, but based on what we've seen from the stunning gameplay footage of The Evil Within 2 released so far, the director's influence will still be undoubtedly felt and fans can look forward to yet another thrilling journey with Evil Within protagonist Sebastian Castellanos.
The Evil Within 2 releases on October 13 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.