The Evil Within (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 27.10.2014 10

Review for The Evil Within on PlayStation 4

The godfather of survival horror, Shinji Mikami, returns to the genre with a brand new IP developed by Tango Gameworks and published by game giant Bethesda, but with the genre changing so much since its inception will his latest offering bring back the classic horror styles he helped to create, or will he continue with the styles he established in Resident Evil 4? Cubed3 dares to find out in this review of the PlayStation 4 version of The Evil Within.

The Evil Within follows detective Sebastian Castellanos as he and his fellow detectives investigate a mass murder at a mental hospital. It seems to be setting up a similar situation to the original Resident Evil, with Arklay Mansion replaced by this Beacon Mental Hospital. However, the game drastically shifts in style and tone almost immediately, taking Sebastian into a twisted nightmare world filled with terrifying horrors.

The storyline gets as twisted as the creatures, with a plot that feels like a Japanese horror movie but with the trademark gore of the west, keeping minds guessing as to what the truth is to the strange world of the game.

The gameplay is mostly the adventure style survival horror that has become the norm of the genre, but there are a number of levels where stealth and survival take the focus. It was originally billed that The Evil Within wouldn't be very combat orientated, that ammunition wouldn't be easy to find and flight would have to take precedence over fight in most situations. This turns out to be not strictly very accurate... When one is carting around kitted out handguns, shotguns, grenades, rifles and a giant crossbow with flaming/explosive/freezing bolts, then hiding goes a little out the window.

Screenshot for The Evil Within on PlayStation 4

When the stealth sections do come up they are superb. Hiding under beds and in cupboards then having to creep out and stalk the enemies to dispatch them with one hit kills feels really rewarding and deserved to be incorporated much more.

The tactics used in these sections are, however, required throughout on the higher difficulty levels, especially on the final "Akumu" difficulty. In this mode a single hit from any enemy will kill Sebastian, so using stealth is completely necessary to survive, here.

Much like the "Crimson Heads" of the original Resident Evil remake, the enemies can come back after being killed. The only way to guarantee they stay dead is to use fire to finish them off; there are matches scattered throughout the stages that can be used for this. These matches can be used tactically, too; stunning or kneecapping an enemy allows for an instant kill opportunity with a single match. Or strategically placing a body next to a group of enemies and then igniting it will set a flaming chain reaction off.

The Evil Within has one extremely frustrating aspect. Some of the bosses can be obscenely cheap. Being stuck in a tiny area with a behemoth that will take up all the ammo one has managed to scrimp and save, and shrug it off like it's nothing is a little less than fun. Not all the boss fights are like this, though. There are some that make use of the environment and great mechanics for interesting and fun encounters.

Screenshot for The Evil Within on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

This game is not what was originally promised, but that's not a bad thing. While many were hoping for the next Silent Hill 2, it became the next Resident Evil 4, instead. With The Evil Within, Mikami has taken the highlights of a number of his other games and combined them into one terrifying amalgamation of gore, horror and action. The Evil Within is a great game. Survival horror fans will find it a great addition to their collection, and even for those with little experience of the genre it's well worth a play.

Developer

Tango Gameworks

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'd definitely like more Survival Horror on Wii U & 3DS. The stereoscopic 3D could do wonders if used right in those games & I can visualize the GamePad being used in freaky ways to screw with the gamer. Hell in Zombie U just having to look away from the screen to pry open a lock, check for loot on bodies/containers or enter in a code to access an area while the undead were right behind you was nerve wracking enough!

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422

i wish this had tank controls as an option.
it certainly would be interesting to see a trophy for beating the game with tank controls.

Survival horror games don't generally interest me but if I had a PS4 I'd definitely get this game, it's getting good reviews across the board. It also generally looks stylishly gruesome!


Vorash Kadan said:
I'd definitely like more Survival Horror on Wii U & 3DS. The stereoscopic 3D could do wonders if used right in those games & I can visualize the GamePad being used in freaky ways to screw with the gamer. Hell in Zombie U just having to look away from the screen to pry open a lock, check for loot on bodies/containers or enter in a code to access an area while the undead were right behind you was nerve wracking enough!

check out Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS, that's a pretty kick arse game! There's a demo in the eShop as well. It is a shame that the sequel isn't being made for the 3DS.


Loving this resurgence of horror lately. Might pick this one up eventually, too. Can't wait for Silent Hills. PT made me shit my knickers. Kinda hope it stays first-person - so much more scary that way. Hopefully good times ahead for the genre. Just need Capcom to sort Resi out now.

first person and third person have their own unique benefits.

They do. But I don't think I'd played anything quite like PT before. First-person immersed me into it and shat me up in ways I hadn't experienced before. And it was just a teaser lol. Desperate for some classic Resi style to come back, though. REmake 2 please!

hard to say if the final product will be first person. i get a sense the reason why PT was in first person was to make the reveal of the main character as dramatic as possible.

first person does have the unique benefit of putting you right inside of the main characters head and limits your field of view, making corners in hallways harder to see around and making it more realistic.

the benefit of 3rd person is that it allows users to have a more emotional attachment to the main character by seeing them and seeing them react. this is why silent hill 1-3 were so effective at making us care for the characters too. also it allows the director to create more dramatic camera work and can be more versatile for gameplay sakes too.

personally i feel there should be an option to toggle between either view at will like in Siren Blood Curse.

no reason to limit players.

Definitely hoping for the option to toggle. That would be perfect. It's a tough one because there's the argument it's not really Silent Hill if it's first person, but after playing PT, it was just so immersive, so I really want a game like that even if Hills turns out to be third person instead. The option would be perfect though.

I think Kojima said they could perhaps make some segments first person, but the rest will be third. Either way, looking forward to it.

btw, I saw action of the free controls in REmake HD earlier, and god damn, that looks to seriously make the game ten times easier and potentially less scary. If anyone's gonna play it for the first time, stick to tank.

tank controls make more sense to me in these types of games.
being able to maintain one direction while moving though different camera angles can only be done with tank controls.

not every game should conform to a singular style, but for certain types of games, somethings are just more natural.

Flynnie said:
Survival horror games don't generally interest me but if I had a PS4 I'd definitely get this game, it's getting good reviews across the board. It also generally looks stylishly gruesome!


Vorash Kadan said:
I'd definitely like more Survival Horror on Wii U & 3DS. The stereoscopic 3D could do wonders if used right in those games & I can visualize the GamePad being used in freaky ways to screw with the gamer. Hell in Zombie U just having to look away from the screen to pry open a lock, check for loot on bodies/containers or enter in a code to access an area while the undead were right behind you was nerve wracking enough!

check out Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS, that's a pretty kick arse game! There's a demo in the eShop as well. It is a shame that the sequel isn't being made for the 3DS.


Yeah I've got both that & RE Mercs 3D. I just wish Capcom wasn't so biased against Nintendo with the RE series as the 3DS version of Revelations sold well enough to warrant access to the sequel.

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422

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