PS5 Is an Amazing Fit for Horror, Its Tech Contributes Hugely to Immersion, Says RE Village Director
With Resident Evil Village now less than a month away, CAPCOM's game director Morimasa Sato was featured on the latest PlayStation Official Magazine (issue 187, May 2021) to discuss his experience with developing the game on Sony's PS5 console.
I feel like the possibilities of what I can express in a game have been expanded. Immersion is the most important aspect of a horror game, and I think that the PS5’s technology contributes hugely to creating an improved sense of immersion. Using the fast-loading SSD, we’ve been able to let players explore the village environment seamlessly while experiencing 3D audio that gives a sense of a multilayered environment. During combat scenes, they’ll feel the responsiveness of their weapons through the adaptive triggers.
I was 13 when I played the original Resident Evil, and it was so scary that not only did I have to stop playing, but I had to turn the box around so that I wouldn’t see the huge scary eyeball on the cover. I want today’s players to experience the fear I felt back then using all the advances in technology that have happened since the first game was released and having developed Resident Evil Village with that goal in mind, I can safely say that the PS5 hardware is an amazing fit for horror games.
When asked to choose a specific PS5 feature above all others, Sato-san went with the console's Tempest Engine 3D audio technology.
For a game like Resident Evil Village, where exploration is a key pillar of the gameplay, I would say the 3D audio. You can already experience a taste of this in the Maiden demo: the footsteps of the castle’s residents as they go up the stairs, or the sounds of ‘something’ moving in the dark cellar… The effectiveness of the 3D audio in creating a convincing audio space has exceeded my expectations. In horror, creating the sense of a presence beyond the visual scene on screen is essential, so I think 3D audio will be indispensable in horror games from now on.
That said, he also mentioned that the virtual elimination of load times is 'quietly revolutionary' from a designer standpoint.
As a game designer, the elimination of loading times is quietly revolutionary.
Those pauses from a few seconds up to a few dozen seconds when players had time to mentally check out of the game and return to reality will go away. I think this will make it more important than ever to design the pacing and tempo of a game so that players can get immersed and play for extended periods without feeling exhausted by the experience.
Resident Evil Village will launch May 7th for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X. The Maiden demo will remain a PS5 exclusive, but all platforms should get a new demo very, very soon; stay tuned on Wccftech to know when it's live for download.