• Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
    Language
  • £
  • Login
    X


    Register | Password reset

The Evil Within Review


Even though getting close to its ten year anniversary, Resident Evil 4 is still often regarded as one of the greatest survival horror games released for home consoles and though many have tried to match it, all have failed, not even getting close to the perfect blend of action, suspense and of course, lots of really scary moments; so when the director of said game Shinji Mikami announces a new horror title everyone takes notice, hoping to wash away those latter Resident Evil games and starting afresh.

The Evil Within is essentially an extension of Resident Evil 4, with similar gameplay elements and at times, pitch perfect horror but all the while, not improving enough to match that great game. Presented as an over the shoulder shooter, The Evil Within has you playing as Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who arrives at the scene of a recent incident at a hospital, but even before any formalities like character building the world as you know is literally torn apart by a phantom like hooded figure. The game will then hurl Sebastian and his police colleagues through a series of insane scenarios, giving plenty of nods to other classic horror games and movies as you slowly piece together just what is going on.



For the game, things start off really well with a very strong first chapter, dropping you alone and injured in the asylum as a lumbering chainsaw wielding manic stalks the halls, using the ducking mechanic to stay out of sight whilst trying to find an exit and though enjoyable, in hindsight maybe it was too strong an intro as after the thrilling first few chapters things seem to ease a little, the game then falling to the same trap that many "horror" films now do, replacing scary with ultra-violence and stomach churning deaths. What it does well though, be it with graphical trickery or the story itself is make the game truly maddening, really capturing surreal elements often missed in movies where budget restraints make it impossible, computer games can do almost anything. 

The Evil Within will often shock and on occasion get a few good scares out of you but after the brilliant intro chapters the game starts to lose its focus, becoming more action orientated over the strange and unsettling horror. The stealthy approach seen early in the game does quite quickly move aside though the suspense is always high however this is more to do with that no matter what difficulty you play there will always be the fear of running out of ammo. More often than not only by clever use of the various environmental hazards can you successfully survive, be it triggering spike traps or blowing up motion detecting bombs. The key to survival is really down to just how many items you can scavenge; with you coming across a decent selection of weaponry from handguns to shotguns, a sniper rifle and a rather vicious crossbow that has a nasty selection of bolts to choose from. Of course even if you have the weapons, they are useless without the ammo so you will often find yourself wanting more, checking out cupboards, smashing crates and picking up whatever downed enemies dropped, often replenishing your stocks one bullet at a time.

As you battle through the wonderfully created monsters that lurk the many chapters there is some respite though these areas can still set your nerves on edge. At key moments Sebastian is able to “visit” a hospital ward, where a nurse patiently awaits for you to save your progress, guide you to a series of lockers that you find keys littered around the game with handy items and introduce you to the electroshock chair which is used to level up Sebastian and his weapons via the green goo you collect in vials or from burnt enemies.



With all of the graphical trickery to convey the crazy and surreal world, for most of the time the graphics manage to impress, the only real disappointment is the low quality of the main characters, suffering some sub-standard looks and also have a couple of problems with some annoying control and camera issues that can frustrate but do not deter from the game, these moments are usually witnessed when relying on melee attacks. The visual direction has clearly been utilized to mimic the movies, using a grainy film filter to decent effect and even the widescreen letterbox black bars at the top and bottom not only further push the movie feel but thanks to the restrictive view, it manages to really add to the tension of not quite being able to see what is ahead.

For the majority the game allows you to proceed at a decent pace but at times the difficulty can be a real sticking point, halting the flow of the story, however this is not down to the player but more an issue with the overall game design with some rather tricky scenarios to overcome by way of very specific actions, leaving lots of trial and error to find out just what the game wants you to do. Maybe it is just that more recently games tend to hold hands more but it does feel a little stunted and really damages the flow of the game.

Overall The Evil Within is a very violent shooter rather than a survival horror, the game often relying on cannon fodder over a good scare; but when all said and done the game was still enjoyable, it just did not meet my expectations. 

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)

Pros

- When it goes surreal the game really messes with you.
- Enjoyable story.

Cons

- Not really scary (That'd be a positive for me - Joe).
- Over reliance on shooting.
- Can be unforgiving at times.

Edited On 16 Oct, 2014

Comments
( 8 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
Really enjoying it, feels a lot like RE4, especially chapters 2 & 3.
Danny_936's avatar
Danny_936 2 years ago
I ended up trading this in for £32 cash and the reasons why were because the letter box view was terrible, its really bad, there is no need for the letterbox view and the other reason is the game just wasn't scary and was quite predictable at times, i did play it up to chapter 4 but i wasn't really enjoying all that much, so it got traded in.
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
You didn't really give it a chance TBH.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
they have just released all the cheats on the pc version too - I don't get why people use cheats like infinite ammo and god mode - expecially in a game based around horror and survival! Would have been better if the cheats were just things like big head mode or random household items as weapons to make it a bit more fun :)
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
Yeah, saw that, Eurogamer tried to use it to get the game running in 1080p 60 FPS but couldn't find a computer powerful enough.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
It's not really cheats since all you need to do on PC is modify some values in the files or use the console (If the game has one)
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Not intended cheats I mean. The reason they are implemented is for testers to play the builds during development to find any bugs and glitches
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
they are intended in a way - Bethesda released all the commands to activate the console an all the godmode and ammo codes. People are just gonna activate them when they get stuck and breeze through the game, thus making it really easy. If they had kept the commands they gave out limited to the black bar removal and the fps increaser then fine, but the god mode cheat less than a week after it came out! maybe too many reviews said it was too hard?

Please describe the nature of the abuse: