THE EVIL WITHIN
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on October 19, 2014
With Halloween drawing nearer by the second, the time is exactly right for a horror game. One could just dig up one of the Resident Evil games, or play The Last of Us. But on the other hand you could also spend your time on the all new horror-survival game The Evil Within. Now, weíve already told you about this game when we first tried it at First Look 2014. But now weíve received the full game, courtesy of Bethesda (thanks a lot for that!). So letís see if this game does indeed have evil within and probably get scared shitless in the process!
The game start with the introduction of detective Sebastian Castellanos. He and a couple of his colleagues have to investigate a call they received over the police radio, which leads them to a big mansion wherein (wouldnít you just know it!) an insane asylum is located. After arriving at the scene, things take a turn for the bad rather quickly and the whole case turns into one big bloody mess. Before you know it, you are hanging upside down from the ceiling, surrounded by dead bodies. And oh yes, letís not forget to mention thereís a big mad butcher nearby. The only weapon available to you is a knife. Well, thatís just great! Did you see the size of that guy? And they give meÖa knife! How about a bloody bazooka?! Oh well, I pick up the knife anyway, so the tutorial tells me how to perform a sneak attack. Now why didnít they tell me this before? Now weíre talking! So I sneak up behind the walking tree-trunk and shank him right in the neck! There, take that!! Alas, my efforts only result in a slight staggering on my nemesisí part, who then quickly turns around and GUTS ME WITH A HATCHET! Right, that didnít go exactly according to plan. But then I remembered that, just before I was hacked to pieces by this maniac, I saw some keys hanging above a nearby table. So my next plan is to knife the enemy, quickly turn around, grab the keys and get the hell out of there! Wrong again, and for the second time my head is violently separated from my shoulders. After a number of attempts with similar endings, I gather itís best to leave that big psycho alone, snatch the keys while heís not looking and then sneak out the door. Yes, that worked! Lesson one, donít try everything the tutorial says right away...
What this game does really well is setting a creepy mood and create the feeling that danger can literally lurk behind every corner (Which is actually the case most of the time). Itís dark, the sounds and music are spooky, so thatís great. A little bit of a turn off are the graphics, or more specifically the collision maps. The actual graphics look amazing, but Sebastian can occasionally get stuck behind a blade of grass, but at the same time he can run through trees or cardboard floating around in some waist deep water. The second bit of critique has to do with the camera. Most of the time itís fine, but when I need a clear view the most, it seems to be working against me, instead of with me. Especially when you have a huge freak with a chainsaw running after you, this can become somewhat of a nuisance. At one point, I had really done my best to remove all zombies from the surrounding area, so I could freely let the big enemy run after me, hoping he would inadvertently open a pesky locked door for me. But when the big bastard comes after me, immediately more zombies appear. And that makes running away just a tad more difficult. Especially when all you can see is the disfigured back of the monster that is chasing after you, blocking the camera.
Of course thereís a dark story behind the events in The Evil Within. Bethesda and Tango Gameworks made the decision to only clear everything up at the very end, so donít worry if you donít get what youíre doing or when you having a bit of trouble clearly understanding your motivation during the game. Just go with the flow, it will all make sense in the end (it will make senseÖ oh yes, it will make senseÖ). As weíve said before, the actual graphics are very good. Together with the soundtrack of this game it makes The Evil Within a blood-soaked fest of anxiety and fear. I mean, I KNOW I am supposed to go into that corridorÖ but I donít WANT to. Oh all right, Iím going, Iím going!
The Evil Within is classified as Survival Horror. In this reviewerís humble opinion we should add stealth to this classification. The best approach while playing The Evil Within is often the stealthy approach, sneaking and hiding. In some ways the game reminded me of Thief (2013). Not simply going for the brute force approach, and sometimes even making this approach absolutely impossible. If youíre out of ammo for your weapons, you shouldnít use melee as a killing technique. Because you will need about five or six hits to incapacitate a simple zombie. Meanwhile, said unfriendly undead will hit you a number of times , draining your health almost to the point of non-existence, so you wouldnít last long. To be quite honest, if youíre out of bullets, you have the life expectancy of an arthritic hedgehog, walking on the freeway during rush hour. There are weapons to help you like guns and the Agony Crossbow, but they need ammo. And The Evil Within isnít big on handing out ammo. Luckily for you, there are a lot of traps (explosives, bear-traps, etc.) around. You might ask: why is that lucky? Well, for one thing, these traps can be dismantled. Mind you, youíll have to see them in time, or else they will dismantle you. With these scavenged trap parts, itís possible to create bolts for your Agony crossbow. So keep your eyes open at all times, it will save your life (or at least extend it).
The Evil Within asks much of your patience and time. If you like blasting your way through wave upon wave of decaying corpses, it may just need some getting use to. But if you like stealth games as well as the horror setting, The Evil Within will definitely steal your heart (and wreck your nerves at the same time).