The Evil Within
By Mr. J(Todd Puhl)
Follow on twitter: @Dear_ole_UncleJ
Is the survival horror game genre dead? Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami served as the game's director, says no. With Bethesda jumping into this game as well brought a lot of hype and anticipation for its release. From demo’s at Fan Expo in enclosed areas to great advertising of people freaking out during gameplay, this game attracted you immediately. But did it live up to the hype.
Death. Gore. Insane Asylum. Not things you want occurring all at once. But that is how this game starts. You are Detective Sebastian Castellanos, and while investigating a mass murder at an insane asylum, things are not what as they seem. Sebastian and his partners encounter a mysterious and powerful force. After seeing the slaughter of fellow police officers, Sebastian is knocked unconscious and kidnapped. When he awakens, he finds himself hanging upside down where hideous butcher is cleaving parts from the dead. You barely escape almost losing your leg by chainsaw and dive into this insane world of horror. To not give away too much of the storyline, you are essentially looking after patient and during the first few chapters, everything that did not make sense in the beginning is slowly unravelling. However, the storyline in my opinion was very typical and cliche. I essentially knew where the storyline was going based by the wealth of knowledge from previous games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Essentially, to put easily, take any silent hill storyline, add 3 cups of zombies, 1 cup of strange monsters, 1 cup intense over the shoulder fighting via Resident Hill 4 and a dash of intense musical score and poof, you have a beautiful pastry called Evil Within.
3 / 5 Bloody chainsaws
Not just myself, but also another huge survivor horror fan, Rainer, played the first few chapters with me. Gameplay seemed to be the huge topic of our complaints. First off, if you are new to any survivor horror game, a small crash course is needed. Especially if the game will revolve around stealth and making good decisions of when to kill/not kill. Welp, Bethesda felt that was not required. Even on casual, it took multiple attempts to sneak around Chainsaw boss, figuring out how to throw bottles and such. Which lead me to believe, why a 1 minute tutorial like every other game as has nowadays was neglected. Furthermore, the only thing it did spend time explaining was the annoying eye logo which indicates when enemies are looking for you or when you have been found. I found myself reminiscing my Sniper Elite 3 review I did awhile back, and how annoyed I was about that time of system. The game is already poorly light for the “horror” feel, but there is multiple occasions where you have been spotted and you cannot tell from where. Now on to the crafting mechanic. I blame Assassin's Creed for this godforsaken mechanic that all the games are following nowadays(also referenced in my Alien:Isolation review). Now every special weapon needs to be crafted. Which this can be frustrating at times especially during the heat of battle. Mainly this is referenced to the crossbow you did obtain 4-5 chapters in, which the crossbow was pretty awesome. However, you are finding yourself constantly making new bolts. There is also a leveling system where you need to teleport back to the insane asylum back in the 1940’s to upgrade your skills/guns/supplies in a type of torture chair? So on top of adding more time in making new craft, you now have to load into another map to save and upgrade your skills? Who thought this through? Why is there bombs randomly on walls in these buildings? Can the undead set bombs?
2/ 5 Bloody chainsaws
I was hoping that this would have brought up the games score. Sadly, it did the except opposite. The problem with working someone past their previous “video game glory,” then tend to want to recreate the spark they once had. This game felt more and more like a shrine to the original Resident Evil Trilogy that came out in the 90’s. The very first scene when you saw a zombie, it was created exactly like your first encounter of the first zombie in Resident Evil 1. It really upset me. The Evil Within should have been something is strived for on its own momentum, not using quick references/easter eggs back to resident evil. As you went further into the different buildings and such, the scenery felt more and more like Resident Evil 4 villages. When you jumped back to do your 10 minute save, it was black and white and at times that the black was so overpowering, you could not see where you were going? Why? Barry Burton’s acting in Resident Evil 1 was better than the graphics in this game!
What.. is it?!
2/ 5 Bloody chainsaws
There was no replay value for me. I honestly fought myself to keep playing this game for the sake of the review. As there is 14 chapters or so, I cleared 10 of them before I could not take it anymore. The game showed so much promise but yet, aspired to just be a clone of an already doomed Franchise(Resident Evil) and just simply ran out of steam. I never want to play this game again. But, I will thank it, I bought Resident Evil 1 off of the playstation store this week because of it.
2/ 5 Bloody chainsaws
This game should not have been purchased at full price. I rented this to be safe and I am happy I had done so. One of my friends, also purchased this on launch day and returned it for a full refund for some of the same reasons I have listed above. Maybe I will get this once there is nothing else left to play and its 5 dollars in the Walmart bin. But until then, Bethesda, focus your energy on another Fallout game. We need that more than we needed this.
2.5/5 Bloody chainsaws
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