The Evil Within is a third person survival horror game from Tango Gameworks and Bethesda Softworks. Set in a twisted world filled with horrible creatures, ever present mortal threats and mind bending hallucinations, this story follows detective Sebastian Castellanos and his fight to stay alive. After responding to the scene of a mass murder he is separated from his partners and knocked unconscious. Horror ensues.
Throughout the game players will struggle to survive against the onslaught of enemies, traps and psychological torment. Along the way they learn more about him, his tormenter (Ruvik), and the city he protects (Krimson City), through a series of journal entries, voice recordings, notes and newspaper articles.
Atmospherically, The Evil Within was perfectly crafted. From allowing only glimpses of enemies before an actual encounter to pained disembodied groans and abnormal breathing. To moments of silence, where your footsteps are uncomfortably loud in rooms and halls strewn with mangled body parts, the tension was ripe. Granted, the player is allowed the occasional safe haven marked by eerily played music emitted from behind a door decorated with blood.
Over the course of the game, Sebastian will visit numerous locations. Each environment offering new enemies and a colorful array of ways they can kill you. Not including the ways you can kill yourself. A variety of traps are laid out in precarious spots to catch those not exercising apt vigilance. Some wipe you out completely, while others are designed to trap and hold you as enemies come bearing down.
One learns very quickly which foes to stand against and from which to flee, but even the weakest can land killing blows if one is not careful. There was no short in challengers and often you must figure out an escape while being hounded by murderous creatures invulnerable to normal weapons.
Upgrading takes place in the aforementioned, safe haven. The system works by collecting jars of a green gel like substance and using it to advance Sebastian’s physical abilities, weapons and stock capacity. All of this is done in a torture device disguised as a chair and the fact that Sebastian willingly places himself in it, is slightly unsettling.
Character movement was very smooth as was weapon control. This was aided through the use of an equip screen which can be accessed while the game continues in slow motion. Here you can sort and assign weapons and health to shortcuts, as well as craft bolts for the agony bow. There is also a stealth option that allows you to sneak up on unaware enemies to do a knife assisted takedown, though not all are susceptible to this.
There wasn’t much of a soundtrack to speak of. Most sounds came from unseen enemies revving chainsaw, dragging clubs or hacking away at other victims, who once dispatched, gave way to an unsettling silence, accentuated by footsteps on or in various amounts of human flesh and bodily fluids. The graphics were dead on. Ranging from grainy to soft and air brushed, each effect helped to deliver the desired mood for specific scenes of stages.
Despite all this, while things did get intense, I cannot honestly say I felt fear. Disgust, surprise and frustration, yes, but not pore raising spine-tingling fear. This lack of or failure to conjure terror in me, either speaks of my inner sadist or how truly difficult it is to simulate such an intense reaction. In either case, I greatly enjoyed playing this title and it receives a silver game award; its only demerit for not scaring me hard enough.
Be sure to get the Fighting Chance Pack and the Season Pass for better odds of survival and the opportunity to experience the game from the perspective of other characters.
Overall Score: 8.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Available on: PS3 | PS4 | PC | Xbox One | Xbox 360
Played on: Sony’s PlayStation 4
Review copy info: A physical copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Augustus Bel on 20141014 and was last modified on 20150222 .