The Evil Within is the new game by the Resident Evil writer Shinji Mikami & Bethesda studio where you play as Sebastian Castellanos, a detective seemingly dragged into a nightmare by a psycho.
The game starts with you having to escape from what appears to be a butcher, who is gleefully & methodically carving up fresh human flesh. So, not quite the game for all the family to relish, or play together, on a Saturday afternoon. This is one gory game, which never lets up in that regard.
Here you really have to be careful about who and how you kill as both health packs & ammo are not quite as abundant as you may want although there are plenty of ways to distract or kill your enemies. A favourite of mine was to crawl under a wire which, when triggered, made the enemies paint the walls with their insides. One thing about this game is that it can be somewhat difficult at times, you can lower the difficulty at any time although this will reset the chapter that you are on so its probably best to do it at the beginning of one if you ever feel the need.
Enemy design in this game is superb, from the butcher, to a spider like woman, zombies with glowing eyes, giants and much more. You can stealth kill your enemies at times but I found that most of them have somewhat impeccable hearing and would come running having heard you from across a room. One thing you can also do is melt the corpses of the recently undead using matches that you can pick up throughout which can trigger a nice scream as they burn.
With Mikami involved in the game, you can imagine the kind of thing you come across both in story, enemies, weapons and level design and it very much feels like the spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4. While this is very much a good thing, The Evil Within does have some minor quibbles. For example, melee is not something I would recommend in the game unless you are really stuck, as when you melee an enemy and they return the favour, often it drains your health massively which seems a tad unfair. The character movement is identical to RE4 in that Sebastian is rather stiff as he cannot jump, or crouch to shoot. It does seem a tad odd considering RE4 was released originally almost ten years ago.
The story takes a while to get going but once it does, is highly engaging, and throughout the game you can also pick up pages from Sebastian’s past which ‘flesh’ out the story nicely (Sorry!). One thing I liked was the removal of Sebastian from the main story to save your game which I will leave you to discover exactly what I mean yourselves. Suffice to say, when you hear some music playing that’s when you can start breathing a sigh of relief!
When all is said and done Mikami & Bethesda have created a gorefest, which grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go throughout.
A solid adventure and a music for horror fans out there who want to play a game which could be described as RE4’s spiritual successor as mentioned earlier.