After a long wait The Evil Within is finally upon us and it does not disappoint. Conceived by the master of horror Shinji Mikami The Evil Within feels like a return to true survival horror.
You enter the game as detective Sebastian Castellanos a detective with a dark past turning up at what seems like a regular homicide, however when you arrive at Deacon Mental Hospital he is faced with something more horrifying than he could have imagined. As he enters with his two partners he is confronted by numerous bloody corpses, you then hear a petrefying screech coming from the security office where a doctor and researcher for the hospital is lying, traumatized. Whilst trying to calm him you walk over to the security console where you see a live feed of Ruvik the main antagonist brutally slaughtering your fellow officers without remorse. Ruvik sees you and with his godly powers he teleports to you and knocks you clean out.
You wake up an unknown amount of time later hanging upside down in what seems like a human slaughter house, when suddenly one of the iconic enemies that has been showcased in various demos is butchering a lifeless corpse and whilst he is distracted you must escape. However this opening does not act as a tutorial instead it makes you learn from your mistakes. It is incredibly difficult but it teaches you that you are in a survival horror game and above all that you must be cautious and you must know when to run.
Saying that The Evil Within isn’t a gore fest is like saying that birds cant fly. The game takes pointers from legendary horror movies such as Saw and The Evil Dead, and for those of you who have have experienced these movies will know what I mean. The game is twisted and shows you unthinkable horrors throughout the story and is one of the most twisted games I have played up to now. Thanks to this amazing gore system throughout the game you encounter a cast variety of grotesque enemies from regular zombies to humans that have transformed into incredibly large and aquatic forms. However a mere head shot wont stop them coming for you, it will knock them down and that is when you can set them on fire and that will stop them. The only problem with the enemies is that once they are down you can just stamp on their head repeatedly and it essentially does the same thing. Another enemy type has a distinct growth on its face and it has the ability to go invisible making them very hard to kill, once you are up to the point of meeting this horrific enemy the game will have become alot harder and alot scarier.
Most of the game will see you sneaking through various environments and scavenging for ammo, which you will have to be careful about for example half way through the game you come across a room filled with gas and you must get through without attacking any of the enemies. The psychological parts of the game see Sebastian being torn out of reality and thrown in to what at first seems like a regular asylum, however the asylum slowly becomes old and decrepit as you progress through the game and uncover the secrets of the game.
The storyline as usual is what seems like a generic horror story but as you progress through the game and you get past all of the twists and turns you realize what is really going on. This makes you really appreciate the game, its environments , and all of the enemies. I wont spoil the storyline but the game and its mysteries really make you uncomfortable and the whole experience becomes a lot more scary.
When it comes to saving a game the game acts a bit like Alien Isolation, this is because you are tasked with finding a mirror that is emitting a piece of light, once you find you will be transferred into the asylum where you can upgrade Sebastian and save your game. However the game does have various auto saves and the main reason you travel to the asylum is because the story requires you to.
Where the Evil Within disappointing is when it comes to audio hints, for example towards the beginning of the game as you are getting a grip of yourself you will be tasked with fighting the chainsaw wielding maniac. This boss is activated by walking in front of his cage but thanks to his rattling and screaming you will first go around the level scavenging for ammo, and health before going anywhere near him.
Once again Shinji Mikami has proved that survival horror is far from dead and at the moment it is more alive when ever. The previous Resident Evils have definitely strayed from their survival horror roots and The Evil Within has what it takes to make game developers to bring back what gamers loved about the series.