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The Evil Within – Review

The Evil Within is a game that I have a love/hate relationship with, I love how scary it is, but I hate that it scares the hell out of me and that I get my arse kicked by the guy with the cage (or whatever it is) on his head.

the-evil-within-bethesda-tango-gameworks

The Evil Within

Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher:
Bethesda Softworks
Platforms:
PC, PS3, PS4, XB360, XB1
Release Date:
October 2014
Genre:
Survival horror
Mode:
Single-player

The Evil Within is a single player story that is played in chapters, which are done in order to progress through the story. The game is played in third-person, players have to scavenge for supplies, and learning when to fight or run are necessary factors for surviving.

You play as protagonist Sebastian Castellanos, and you’re going to need to make use of the environment and things that you find in order to survive. Castellanos has to use medical items to restore health, some of which cause brief hallucinations (and/or hallucinogenic effects). There are vials of Green Gel hidden throughout the game that players can use for upgrades to his abilities, weapons, health, stamina, etc.

During scripted events, and due to some player actions, the game world can transform – resulting in locations altering, creating new paths or teleporting the player to new areas. There is a safe house called “Safe Haven” that is accessible by finding mirrors, also during scripted events. Safe Haven has a few accessible areas – an upgrade room, a safe room where the keys you find are used to open storage safes (which contain items such as ammo, green gel, another key, etc), and a save point. You get keys by finding and breaking Madonna statues which are hidden through out the game.


The Plot (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Detective. Sebastian Castellano, his partner Detective. Joseph Oda, and Junior Detective. Juli Kidman go to Beacon Hill Mental Hospital to investigate a mass murder and find themselves thrown into an unreal world. Sebastian and his team get separated and he has to survive a giant, deformed man carrying a chainsaw. Stealth is a definite plus in this game.

The story is based around Ruvik (Reuben Victoriano) via memories that he places in the mind of Sebastian. Reuben was a gifted, but mentally unstable child. Reuben was severely burned, and his sister killed, in a fire that was set to their father’s barn. Reuben designs STEM as a way to reshape reality so that he can physically travel back into his memories and relive his life again with his sister, Laura.

Kidman was recruited by a company called Mobius to bring mental patient, Leslie Withers, to them so that they could use him to control STEM without Reuben. During the process, Kidman realizes that Mobius has betrayed her and she’s left trying to figure out what the truth is and what’s a lie.

Sebastian finds Leslie and takes him back to the hospital, then makes his way to the top of the lighthouse where he sees his body attached to the STEM.Kidman arrives, tries to convince Sebastian that Leslie has to die, Ruvik interrupts them, and absorbs Leslie’s body.

Sebastian fights a ginormous monster created from Ruvik’s subconscious, beats it, and wakes up in a tub. Sebastian pulls himself out of the tub, detaches himself from the STEM, removes Ruvik’s brain from the machine and smashes it. He wakes up in the tub again with Kidman standing next to him, motioning for him to be quiet, he falls unconscious again. He wakes once again, as SWAT and police reinforcements.

As Sebastian exits the hospital, he sees Leslie walking out of the main gate. He hears a loud noise, then loses sight of Leslie. From here it’s implied that Ruvik has entered the real world and able to influence those who were connected to the STEM machine, and ready to take his revenge on the world.

the-evil-within-bethesda-tango-gameworks

Plus Three DLCs

When I bought The Evil Within, the DLCs hadn’t been released, so I haven’t played them – yet. They are, obviously, shorter than the main game, and the stories are told from a different perspective.

The Assignment (released on March 10, 2015) and The Consequences (April 21, 2015) were the first two dlcs that were told from Junior Detective Juli Kidman’s perspective, taking a look into her past and her real motive for being at Beacon Hill Mental Hospital. You don’t get green gel or upgrades.

The Assignment is set before and during the events of the main game, and explains what she was doing inside of Ruvik’s mind after she had been separated from Sebastian and Joseph.

The Consequences a lot like The Assignment, the difference being is that you get to use guns (briefly) and that you meet back up with Sebastian and Joseph (also briefly).

The Executioner (released May 26, 2015) that shows the game from the perspective of The Keeper, the man with the safe/cage on his head. This DLC takes place after the end of The Evil Within. As The Keeper, the players battles various monsters and bosses as he searches for his daughter.


My Review 4/5★

Pros

  • Frightening enemies..
  • Overall strong atmosphere.
  • Pace of the game and stealth.
  • Resource and supply management.
  • Excellent survival gameplay that can be relentless and unforgiving.
  • Can be scary and foreboding.

Cons

  • Frustrating fights.
  • Low sprint that doesn’t get much better even after upgrading it.
  • If you’re squeamish, then this game is not for you.
  • Limited resources. Some consider this a bad thing, some don’t – so it’s listed as both pro and con.

The Evil Within is a horror game that actually lives up to being scary, it’s right up there with Dead Space. When I first bought this game, I thought it was going to be one of those cheesy horror games that I’d play part of the way through, then stop and play another game. But to my surprise, it actually kept me on the edge of my seat and gave me a good number of heart attacks (Good job Tango & Bethesda, good job!).

The Evil Within has all of the elements that a good horror game should have – bad arse monsters/enemies, scary setting, and jump scares that were spaced out enough so that it made the game fun and frightening bc, while you knew something was getting ready to happen, you didn’t know when or the level of the scare.

I’m going to jump off of the hype train for just a moment bc there are a few things that I didn’t like about The Evil Within. Normally when I play a game and like it, I find very little that I don’t like, but as it turns out, this is one has a couple of things that I find particularly annoying, but the main thing is the sprinting.

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The sprint speed is so low in The Evil Within. When the game first starts, you can run 4 seconds and then Sebastian has to stop and ‘catch his breath’. In the start of the game, you realize real quick that sprinting is a necessary evil when there are a lot of enemies or you’re facing an enemy that you can’t take on bc you have no weapon, If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find enough green gel to upgrade your weapons, life gauge, and syringe recovery, as well as your sprint.

When I played TEW, my upgrade focus was on the life gauge and my weapons. I upgraded sprint twice which gave me about 6 seconds of running before I had to stop and catch my breath … and die. But thankfully I’m a quick learner and hiding became something I did a lot of.

Overall I really enjoyed The Evil Within.and I found it to be one of the best horror games that I’ve played (Dead Space is still number one, in my opinion), even if I did get stuck on chapter 9 and had to have help getting to chapter 10 – but after that, I did pretty good.

I recommend The Evil Within to anyone who enjoys playing games that scary the bejeezus out of them, who like being stealthy, and who like fighting enemies that are tough as hell – and that’s on normal mode (bc I’m a big baby and … shhhh). So yeah, pick up The Evil Within and have yourself a scary good time!

~Lokhi
Guardian Down – guardian-down.com

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