The Evil Within: The Executioner (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 04.06.2015

Review for The Evil Within: The Executioner on PlayStation 4

Thus far, a spectacular job has been done with the DLC for The Evil Within, creating new unique pieces set inside the established world that explore different stories and gameplay aspects. This is exactly what DLC should be. Succeeding The Assignment and The Consequence, the final extra content, The Executioner, is certainly different to the original game, set in first-person and playing as the monster instead of the hero. Can this new take keep to the standards set by the previous DLC?

Immediately on starting the game, the premise of the story is introduced through a man being loaded into the STEM machine, his consciousness flashing in brief moments between bold white text, setting the stage. The titular "Executioner's" role is taken on, one of the Haunted known as "The Keeper" in the original game. Acting as the father of a girl already stuck in STEM, he volunteers to also be sent into the system after being told the only way to get her out is to enter STEM and eliminate all the other test subjects from within. Once inside, "Directives" are delivered, which serve as further story exposition, establishing a little background for each of the other test subjects, along with transcripts from interactions with them.

There are seven "Subjects" in STEM, each known by a pseudonym: Adolescent Female, Detective, Twin Sibling, Paroled Murderer, Psychiatric Patient, Ex-soldier, and the controlled character, Father of Adolescent Female - or "The Executioner." It's established that just by being in STEM a subject's memories are eroded. This gradually alters them both psychologically and physically, until they are completely dominated by the STEM system and they become one of the twisted monsters seen throughout the game. Thus The Executioner is set on their path of destruction through varied Haunted enemies across numerous environments from the main game, until they reach a portal to each of these Subject boss characters.

The Executioner comes equipped with his basic barbed wire-covered gigantic hammer, a small amount of health and defence, and a slow, trudging speed from the start. Through the course of the game, he can acquire stat upgrades, along with numerous other implements of death and dismemberment. These upgrades are purchased in the safe room scattered through the game using currency tokens that can be found in destructible aspects of the levels, or dropped by enemies.

Screenshot for The Evil Within: The Executioner on PlayStation 4

The gameplay is quite simple. The Executioner moves through a few rooms killing enemies, kills a boss, a new area is opened, rinse and repeat. There are achievements and unlockables to supplement the lifespan; for example, there are Torments to collect that consist of 18 different methods of dispatching enemies that, when completed, reward a new weapon to be purchased in the shop. There are a few unlockable weapons with some particularly grizzly finishing manoeuvres that are fun to try out, but sadly offer little variation.

A straight playthrough of the standard game will only take an hour or two, but it runs on arcade-style gameplay. There is a New Game Plus to carry over the purchased items, amount of currency tokens and any accomplished Torments to play through over and over. The problem with this is the fundamental problem with the DLC: the combat. It's simply not very fun. It's a common complaint with any melee-based first-person game. While the developers have put an emphasis more on the quick and easy combat with some visceral and cool finishing moves, the mashy and repetitive gameplay gets old very quickly. Most enemies can be dispatched with little effort and it just feels rather mindless.

Multiple playthroughs are just as repetitive as the combat, although the extra weapons that are unlocked help combat that. It's really enjoyable to trade the hammer for a chainsaw, or sword for some dynamite, at least for a little while, but then the replayability takes a nosedive, with no real incentive to keep going through the same content. It's just a shame that there aren't any extra modes or much to do outside of running the same playthrough over and over, such as a horde mode, silly mini-game-style content items, the ability to play as some of the bosses, or just some sort of reason to revisit. This is not to say this is a bad game, and it certainly isn't to say that it isn't a great example of how DLC should be done; it is a lot of fun. It just feels… lacking, especially when compared to the other DLC.

Screenshot for The Evil Within: The Executioner on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

This is another superb example of how DLC should be done, again investigating other methods of play and other stories within an established world. Sadly, in comparison to the previous DLC, this just doesn't stand out. Regardless of the issues shown, though, for the low asking price, the enjoyable arcade action and enough unlockables to create incentive for a few playthroughs, this is still well worth picking up for The Evil Within fans.

Developer

Tango Gameworks

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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