SOMA’s Designer Imagines the Post-Resident Evil 7 Future of Horror Gaming

Is Resident Evil 7 the future of the genre or is there another path?

While SOMA and Amnesia designer Thomas Grip recently spoke about how the original Resident Evil influenced the way he approaches the design of his games, he’s recently revealed that he believes the future of the genre is going to move away from certain genre staples that series helped introduce. 

In a follow-up interview with PC Gamer, Grip stated that he feels the horror game genre isn’t going to go away anytime soon. 

Them going away seems extremely unlikely given that horror is a genre that has basically been around since humans first developed language,” said Grip. That said, he also feels that the major horror games of the future are going to gradually move away from the influences of 1996’s Resident Evil.

“At its core, Resident Evil is not about horror—it is about collecting ammo, shooting enemies, and solving puzzles,” Grip said of the influential title. “The horror aspects are just a wrapping on that. Compare that to a game like Alien: Isolation, where the game is really all about avoiding being eaten by the Alien creature…My hope is then that the horror will go away from hunted-by-monster scenarios and try to recreate other types of horror in a playable fashion. For instance, it would be interesting to figure out what the video game version of The Exorcist is.”

Ad – content continues below

While Grip would like to see a horror game that invokes the same sense of psychological horror that author William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel invoked, he’s also the first to admit that he’s unsure of what that game looks like. 

The Exorcist of video games, however? Very hard to say,” said Grip. “For one, I think you need to find some interesting play around the idea; for instance, wrapping it all as a sort of detective/mystery narrative.”

Grip ended his discussion by hinting that Frictional Games’ next project might pick up where SOMA left off by exploring the narrative capabilities of gaming via the horror genre. However, the details of that project remain unknown.