“A Memory of Fire”

Many different genres inspired République’s atmosphere, survival horror and stealth most of all. We make meaningful games, but we’re their students as well. Whether you’re making games, movies, or literary art, the creative process always involves understanding what other examples get right. In the pursuit of thoughtful, well-informed craft, Producer and Narrative Designer James Howell has given his long-form attention to The Evil Within 2 in his essay, “A Memory of Fire.”

James argues that The Evil Within 2 explores the player’s relationship to Sebastian, as a videogame character, by breaking the fourth wall and drawing us, as game players, into the tale. He begins with a high-level overview of The Evil Within, explores The Evil Within 2’s narrative beats, and then opens up its most ambitious storytelling. In its cutscenes, open-world environments, and climactic boss fights, The Evil Within 2 tells Sebastian Castellanos’s tale of personal redemption through post-modern self-reference.

The Evil Within 2’s fans will love James’s detailed breakdown of the game, but the essay will slake the thirst of anyone who loves complex storytelling in the medium. The argument is a follow-up to “Driving Off the Map,” his highly-regarded analysis of postmodernism in Metal Gear Solid 2. “A Memory of Fire” not only shows off The Evil Within 2’s narrative complexity; it reflects how deeply James regards videogame narrative techniques, a passion that he brings to narrative design at Camouflaj.