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Old 11-08-2014, 11:29 PM   #33
Northeastmonk
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The Evil Within – PS4
Tango Gameworks

Accredited game designer Shinji Mikami releases yet another thrilling horror game from his Tokyo based studio Tango Gameworks. This is a third person psychological survival horror game with elements of stealth. Mikami is responsible for the original Resident Evil (BioHazard), followed by the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4, Dino Crisis, Viewtiful Joe, and various other noteworthy titles. I’ve played quite a few titles of his works, so the excitement for yet another survival horror game was going to be expected.

Story:
The game revolves around a sobered up Detective named Sebastian Castellanos. He has been called to a case with his partner Joseph Oda and Juli Kidman, who are also both detectives. They all arrive at Beacon Mental Hospital where they are shocked to find a disarray of events that were downright horrific. You fall through a few scenarios that feel like they were from the creators of “Hellraiser” or something out of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village”. The story makes little sense at this point, except that there was an attack by a masked man. This man appears to have supernatural powers like those of Resident Evil’s Wesker. You aren’t quite sure what to make of the plot because you find yourself asking “why did this happen?” to events in the game that explain themselves quite well. You just realize that you are in this hellish world for a reason and that reason is beyond your control (or is it?). I think it’s a decent plot, but it needs DLC and/or a sequel to do it justice. You need to know more about why this was going on and that should be told within the multiple character DLC episodes that have been mentioned before. The Season Pass will gain you access to these scenarios when the time comes. I have already purchased the Season Pass in order to understand more about the game's plot in further detail. The other characters barely show their personality except dealing with the situation at hand. I found myself reading more about the characters and the events prior to the introduction of the game inside reports found throughout the game. The Art of The Evil Within also goes into a little more detail and gives you access to the names of each creature you’ll encounter, so there’s a spoiler warning for those who want to go through the art book before they play the game.

Game Play:
This is my definition of a modern third person survival horror game that takes directions from both a stealth mechanic, trial and error, and a shooter. You are given the classic reworked RE4+ engine with little ammo. The amount of ammo you receive at one time can be counted in your hand. You also receive a wide variety of upgrades, so it works if you use precision and timing with each shot. There are traps that you can aim and shoot at ,which explode; similar traps and various enemies can also be ignored as well. I enjoyed the many different style of bolts found within the game, which is part of a small crafting mechanic. You can electrify, harpoon, and spear enemies to the wall. This is really fun when you are low on ammo and you need to get rid of an enemy quick. Quickness has been defined by a match in The Evil Within. You can set bodies on fire on a hard knockdown or set a barrel of hay on fire to cause enemies to be distracted. This element of the game is very simple once you get the hang of it. You can increase how many matches you can hold and it saves the player a lot of ammo in the process. The entire game lets out this huge preset of monsters to kill in a variety of ways. You start off in stealth mode, where your only real form of an attack is with your knife, which is only used during those stealth attacks. There is also a melee button, which works well when you’re trying to push back/stun an enemy in your way. It leaves you very vulnerable if you are trying to kill the enemy with your melee attack. Axes and Torches are used as weapons, which deliver a fast, but short killing blow. The game is pretty set forward. I can imagine the scene in House of the Dead III where everything is falling on top your head or the rusted metal platforms in Silent Hill 4. You’re being engaged in a way that feels like a trap. Your pacing is getting past each step and moving onto the next. There are few collectibles in The Evil Within, but you can also be rewarded by a prize mechanic with various keys found hidden within the game.





Sound:
I really enjoyed the gun blasts and the way each form of an object made its way into the game. Some of the more mechanical objects feel like they fell out of Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6. You hear the sounds of blades crashing and scratching against the ground, the fire roaring in the air, and the contained barrel explosives. Some of the dialogue is a bit toned down, mediocre at best. Leslie, a young patient is drowned by somewhat laughable comments being directed back at him and Joseph is pretty much misunderstood the entire time. I had to read about Joseph in the art book to understand his character a little bit better.

Graphics:
The graphics look very excellent on the PS4. The dark tones take over and sometimes areas feel a little underwhelming with a lack of space to explore. The bloodbath is extremely detailed and the enemies are great to look at too. Sometimes I felt that the repetition put into each scenario put the player in this quasi-experimental defition. What you are seeing is not the actual intrigue you had once the level began.

Overall:
The Evil Within was a thriller from start to finish. It had progression that wanted you to start off simple and controlled before it took you to the height of say Resident Evil’s action sequences. There’s a lot of thought put into transitioning each scene in the game, but sometimes it felt just like a method to push you further instead of giving you a set location with a set goal. I feel like The Evil Within’s biggest problem is that it was too random. The transitions were good, but overall I felt like it could of kept a constant going.

Pros:
Familiar control layouts
Satisfying deaths (Dead Space style of deaths)
Fun scenarios (trial and error)
Great looking enemies

Cons:
Story has a take some, but not all feel to it. Some players might be very confused and they might be expecting more.
Selected progression (Chapters 1-3, and 11 are troublesome if you aren’t willing to accept the game’s formula)
Black bars; for those who don’t like the more cinematic look, this may seem like an ice breaker.
It did not do better than Resident Evil 4

Score: 4/5

The screenshots were taken by the Share feature on the PS4 system.

Last edited by Northeastmonk; 11-09-2014 at 12:20 AM.
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