With Halloween around the corner it’s a time to be scared with what lurks around the corner with The Evil Within out and about not so much. While the game does have the right mind-set in some areas, the other 66% of the game can’t see to grasp what Shinji Mikami had in mind for the game.
Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners, Joseph Oda and Julie Kidman arrive at a crime scene only to find the place deserted and littered with dead bodies. Sebastian witnesses a hooded figure, massacring fellow police officers one by one. A mysterious figure then appears behind Sebastian and attacks him, rendering him unconscious. He later wakes up finding himself trapped in a land where dangerous creatures dwell and has to fight his way through the world of death and figure out what is happening.
Yes that is really the beginning of it, but after that I found the story to get convoluted and laughable at some areas during the middle of the story, but near the end I found it really taking form and enjoying it until the ending came along and the disappointment seat in again. And speaking of disappointment the voice case outside of the hooded figure, the doctor, and select parts by Leslie. The rest of the cast just feels like they were phoning it in through the whole game with either zero to little emotion or inflection in their voice.
Also missing from the story is a fair amount of explanation in which I was left wondering about two of the supporting characters, the motives for most of the cast, and any real character development besides Ruvik. Though let’s just say when the DLC for Detective Kidmen hits, we are going to have some answers given to us about one of the characters and hopefully the major plot concerns.
Though at the core of the Evil Within is a Survival Horror and the real question is, does it deliver in terms of that aspect… kind of. The monsters are twisted with every ounce of creepiness coming out from their every pixel and the back story for each of the enemies you encounter, is a true beauty and disgust as you find out why our hooded figure has shaped them in that form. Also how well the world has been crafted in terms of environments, while maybe very similar to other horror games, like the old Resident Evil which Shinji Mikami was also responsible for, they seem to live on their own through the Evil Within’s own themes and aesthetic .
As much as I praise how well constructed the hooded figure, it seems there is just one thing that needs to be cleared up about him and that he doesn’t portray the menacing role as previews would like you to believe. This is his world and his twist scheme, but he never shows his face outside of cutscenes, chapter nine, and the final boss battle which only last for three to four minutes of pure action.
The controls for The Evil Within are nothing short of disastrous. I used the PlayStation Dualshock for my playthrough and I don’t understand why crouch is, R1 and not pressing down on the left thumb stick which is the inventory as well as left thumb stick being the weapons wheel instead of the touch pad.
Yet, this is a horror game and the important question is; is it scary? Well I was only scared when I was low on ammo, facing an enemy that you could not kill head on, or if there was a cluster of enemies in one area. The environments are nice yet similar and it’s what Tango Gameworks does to it, that makes it feel as if it’s character that connects to eeriness music is the enemy calling you out and the game does this very well. Also contained in the environments are traps both that can help you turn the tide of battle and vice versa or just flat-out impale you. Another factor is the enemies themselves. Sometimes you can’t just simply kill an enemy, you have to set them on fire or they just might come back to life. One thing to say for a sure The Evil Within is not for the faint of heart in terms of difficulty, but it does help if you collect the brain juice which leads to you upgrading your guns, health, stock, and sprint. In addition the little white statutes grant you ammo and more brain juice from the morgue.
The graphics in the game just feels and looks ok, the reason for this is that it’s great in areas and really creates tension but there are a lot of textures popping throughout the game. Thus, makes the game seem unfinished and breaks emission. Finally the game’s AI, since you can fool it to run around a pillar, sometimes they see you even if you are behind a wall. This is kind of disappointing since the game had two major delays to work on the AI and voice acting.