The Evil Within Preview

Shinji Mikami is arguably the father of survival horror games and will return to the genre this October with Bethesda's The Evil Within, a twisted, scare-filled game with plenty of action, as well as opportunities to meet a horrible, messy death.

Release Date: 08/09/2014

The Evil Within Preview

Shinji Mikami is arguably the father of survival horror games. After all, he worked on a number of Capcom's Resident Evil titles before eventually turning his focus to a small partnership with Platinum Games (Vanquish) and his own studio at Tango Gameworks. However, he’ll return to the genre this October with Bethesda's The Evil Within, a twisted, scare-filled game with plenty of action, as well as opportunities to meet a horrible, messy death.

Not your ordinary case

The Evil Within puts you in the shoes of detective Sebastian Castellanos, who alongside members of his team, sets out to investigate a gruesome murder site. However, all is not what it seems, and a supernatural force appears out of nowhere, knocking him unconscious. From there, the story twists in unexpected ways, as Sebastian attempts to find the truth while fighting off unspeakable horrors – and trying to stay alive.

The game clearly draws inspiration from Resident Evil, requiring you to find items in one level and then fend off against strong, undead enemies in the next, using whatever limited ammunition you have on hand.

There are some situations where it's better to run and find cover, such as under a table. This is particularly true when being hunted by the same spectral force that knocked you unconscious. If it catches you, it'll take a good chunk of your health, making it tougher to battle the physical enemies you'll encounter.

The Evil Within Preview

Thinking quickly, and finding what you need

The Evil Within is definitely one of those games that leans on the survival aspect of its survival horror moniker, as there are some situations where you'll need to react quickly or face certain doom.

One situation involves a trap in a dark hallway. As Sebastian slowly works his way to a door, his foot suddenly gets caught in a winding cable that begins to reel him in. The other end of said cable is attached to a set of grinding blades at the end of the hall, and unless Sebastian hits the activation switch to shut off the machine, he's done for. You'll have about a split-second or so to shoot it just right.

Another scenario puts Sebastian up against a somewhat invincible freak with a birdcage for a head. You'll first run into this guy after waking up wrapped with a chain and hanging upside down, then limping away frantically while he pursues you with a chainsaw. Another scene brings him back, running wildly through hallways as you try to devise a way to put him down.

Exploration plays a tremendous part in The Evil Within. Not only will you come across extra ammunition that comes in handy against enemies, but also health items and other goods that will help you solve puzzles and move further into the adventure.

In addition, hiding is important, especially when it comes to the big maniac. You can duck under tables and survey the scene without giving yourself away, or run for cover behind objects while it stomps around. Sometimes, this really helps, as you conserve energy and more importantly, health. Distraction never hurts either, as you can throw glass bottles to confuse enemies, then sneak past or snap their necks from behind and burn their corpses (so they don't come back, you see).

The Evil Within Preview

Bloody atmosphere is Mikami's specialty

Like the Resident Evil games before it, The Evil Within has a dark, brooding atmosphere that survival horror fans will immediately fall in love with. Throughout the game, you'll hear strange musical tones and voices in the distance, indicating there's more ghostly goings-on.

Throw in a dark visual approach, where lighting plays a huge factor and an enemy can literally strike out of nowhere, and you have a game that nearly matches the style of Mikami's previous efforts. The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Evil will benefit most from this, with higher levels of detail, and more importantly, lots of blood.

Even when you're in the light, however, that doesn't automatically mean you're safe. One particular demo had Sebastian approaching what appeared to be an empty room, only for some bloody freak to come rising out of the ground. That's further proof that to survive in The Evil Within, you'll want to stay on your toes.

An Evil by any other name

It's nice to see Mikami return to his old stomping grounds with The Evil Within, even though it's a completely original survival adventure. The gameplay will draw comparisons to the Resident Evil games, while the scares and atmosphere are surprisingly fresh.

We'll see how the game fares when The Evil Within releases on 17 October. One thing's for sure – you might want to play with the lights off.

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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.



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