Being a Shinji Mikami game I exepcted so much from this game. I expected intense f*ck ups and for crazed s**t to go down. I was disappointed. The Evil Within was a game that was going to raise the bar, it was going to be a blockbuster hit and scare players back to their mothers’ bosom never to leave again. It’s a shame it didn’t do that.
In The Beginning…
Evil Within starts with you as the waist coat wearing, alcoholic cliché Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is attending a gruesome scene at a mental hospital. Castellanos – along with his partners Joseph Oda and the obvious female ‘rookie’ Julie Kidman – encounter a malevolent force within the hospital. After seeing the quick killing of his fellow officers, of course Castellanos is ambushed and falls unconscious.
Now this is where I found the game become more like a horror and I sat on the edge of my seat the whole time. Although there were a few things I could pick at. The most annoying being why is that the evil characters always listen to classical music. It is an overused cliché that has been worn out time and time again.
Anyway, Castellanos finds himself tied upside down in a blood drenched hospital basement whilst a silent-hill-type character disembowels somebody next to him. At this point I was extremely excited. Bethesda had really outdone themselves.
Then Castellanos was forced to escape. This part was totally unnerving, having to get close the gore-splattered being that had just disembowelled somebody next to me, to get a tiny key in order to escape.
Then when I unlocked the door to escape, I was met with the terrifying sound of a revving chainsaw. I was being chased by an Insane Cancer (Silent Hill reference). It was an experience that caused me massive amount of anxiety and rage.
Why Did It Go Downhill?
After those first few minutes of being chased by the obese chainsaw-wielding maniac, I knew it was going to absolutely take a nose dive from there.
Come on Bethesda stop it with the cinematic letterboxing, motion blurs and the depth-of-feel because it isn’t a movie its a video game. Lets keep it that way.
The game hereafter was filled with cheap jumps scares and highly stylized gore that made the game seem tacky and like it was trying way too hard to impress. The Evil Within reminded of Resident Evil 6. It became all bullets, unfathomable monsters and Silent Hill based landscapes that really destroyed the game in terms of content.
Moreover, I found that the over-the-shoulder, windscreen thing was too jarred. It felt uncontrollable and jagged. There were numerous times when I found my aiming was off purely because the HUD was strange and ridiculous. The scares also wind in with this, because they were clunky and even doubtful. Some of the most horrific moments of the whole game were the ones that lacked any substance and didn’t give the scare that was needed.
Something else that was quite noticeable: aren’t games like this meant to give the player the feeling of imminent death?
Pyramid head’s brother made an appearance in the game as well. His name is cube head and he carries a giant hammer, not a sword.
Also, the ending. It was a disaster. It was always going to happen and those was no surprise when Ruvik transformed into a giant beastie who wanted to absolutely obliterate you. I found the need for an excessively large ending boss is just classic of Shinji Mikami but did anyone else get the feeling that’s how every resident evil game ended? I found that the ending also lacked excitement, especially when you found out that you were actually inside your own head. INCEPTION! Another cliché that was deemed necessary for this supposed triple A game.
To conclude, I think that the game is good for someone who is playing casually and just wants a few cheap thrills from a game that offers numerous amounts of them. However, for someone who really wants a scare and for someone who wants to feel the feeling of hopelessness, then maybe look elsewhere because The Evil Within is just the disabled love-child of Silent Hill and Resident Evil.