The Evil Within Review

Developed By Tango Gameworks

Published By Bethesda Softworks

“Will you be able to live with yourself, knowing what I’m going to make you do?”

The Story

Sebastian Castellanos is a detective who answers a call for multiple homicides that have taken place inside Beacon Mental Hospital, after arriving with his partner Joseph and a rookie Kidman they investigate the area, finding it to be littered with corpses, Joseph manages to find a survivor, while Sebastian checks the cameras to get a grasp on what happened earlier, the footage shows his fellow officers being butchered by a hooded man with seemingly telepathic powers, this causes Sebastian to lose consciousness, when Sebastian wakes up he is trapped in a nightmare world full of horrific creatures and twisted environments, Sebastian must uncover the secret of who the hooded man is and escape the nightmare.

The Evil Within’s story is unfortunately very complex and incredibly hard to follow, I’ve beaten the game twice now and still don’t really understand the plot fully, the game seems to throw you around from place to place…. literally, one minute you can be in an underground ruin, the next you can be inside a crumbling city, not to mention the games main character Sebastian is a pretty bland character overall, however he does have a fantastic back story but the developers never seem to expand on this fact, and it is very disappointing overall. Finally the games ending is absolutely disgraceful, following a very poor final boss fight, the game forces upon you multiple questions with no answers whatsoever, you are left with no closure and I feel the games ending is very poor in general.

Story

The Gameplay

The Evil Within truly defines the term ” Survival Horror ” giving you limited resources, powerful and dangerous enemies and very creepy environments, The basic gameplay is your standard 3rd person shooter, very similar to Resident Evil 4 except more based on conserving resources and stealth, which will lead into the stealth elements in the game which are pretty well done, the game allows you to do sneak kills which will instantly kill an enemy, however most of the time the enemies will see you due to them having the annoying habit of turning around right before you deliver the killing blow, there are also hiding spots which are pretty much useless as there is no reason to hide since whenever they do give you a hiding spot, the only enemies around are the Haunted which are basically the Zombies of the game, these enemies are pretty tough the first time through as they seem to absorb any punishment you deal to them, many times in the first couple chapters I found myself without any ammo t0 deal with the hordes that were forced upon me, which is exactly what I wanted the game to do but eventually after discovering different ways to deal with them I had plenty of ammo and resources to deal with most encounters. The game’s boss encounters are a mixed bag, most are pretty fun but some can feel really cheap or boring, for example one of the bosses I had basically used up all my ammo and had to look for traps such as tripwire bombs and spike traps to combat him which was great, or another in which you have to run and find sources of fire to burn the creature as guns are ineffective, but some boss fights are pretty boring for example one of the later bosses has you on a moving vehicle being chased but there is nothing special about it just simply shoot it and that’s it.

You can also upgrade abilities and weapons through green gel which can be found by exploring through the different areas in the game, and dropped off enemies and bosses, I personally love this mechanic, as it lets you form your own different playing styles for example do you want more health or do you want a longer sprint time, maybe you would like to simply do more damage with your handgun or do you want to add fire damage to your crossbow bolts it’s these elements that give The Evil Within HUGE replay value, not to mention different difficulties (I would highly recommend playing on Survival difficulty with Auto Aim TURNED OFF for the full Survival Horror experience), Now I should mention this game is quite difficult, I died 68 times on my first play through but most of my deaths in the game came from 1 hit kill attacks which is very annoying since this game has a lot of them. Finally The Evil Within unfortunately doesn’t have that many puzzles and what puzzles are in the game could probably be solved by a 3-year-old child who is blindfolded, but in all seriousness it is pretty disappointing to not have any headache inducing puzzles to solve, it seems only Silent Hill can get that aspect right.

Gameplay

The Sound

Sound design in The Evil Within also has its ups and downs, I really feel this game was meant to be played with Headphones for example a lot of the time enemies can sound like they are around the corner to the right but really they are directly behind you, it seems to fix itself after the first few chapters but in the early chapters in particular chapter 3 it can be a real problem, as for music there isn’t really much to say, it’s your typical horror music full of Insidious-like string instruments, however there is one song which is quite memorable, it’s the piano song that plays whenever you stumble upon a place to upgrade your abilities, the music itself is absolutely beautiful and comforting but at the same time after hearing it so much it makes you feel like you are going crazy (Very similar to Dominique from American Horror Story Asylum). Now voice acting wise the game is pretty solid with Sebastian sounding like the stern detective that he is, and with a sound performance from one of my favorite voice actors Yuri Lowenthal as Joseph also Ruvick the hooded man is voiced by Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach in Watchmen and Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street 2010) so that is awesome.

The Graphics

The Graphics of Evil Within overall are very good with the lighting and enemy design, as well as the environments being the best of the lot. As said earlier The Evil Within does a great job with lighting, even on the high brightness settings, the game always is very dark and even your lantern barely manages to cut through the darkness. The enemy design is also fantastic with some creatures looking absolutely terrifying especially one of the bosses which would give many people with Arachnophobia sleepless nights. The environments also look good with a lot of variety, from damp caves to cities and laboratories. Finally I have to say the character models don’t look the best on next-gen consoles, I can’t help but feel they could’ve done better especially with Kidman.

Graphics

The Lasting Appeal 

The Evil Within has a very lengthy story for a game of its type, spanning 12-15 hours which was a surprise as I was expecting around 8-10 hours. There are multiple difficulties to choose from, Akumu mode being the most interesting as you die in 1 hit. Trophies and Achievements are also there for people who like to get their moneys worth, in general this game could keep your attention for plenty of time.

Lasting Appeal

Final Thoughts

The Evil Within took many steps in the right direction with the Survival Horror genre, with its brilliant gameplay, lovely visuals and surprisingly sound amount of content, however I feel the story was just too hard to follow and the boring characters didn’t help, not to mention the games terrible conclusion, but if you can look past these flaws you’ll find quite a good Survival Horror experience here.

Final Thoughts

My Score – 8/10

Cover

The Good

  • Excellent Survival Horror gameplay
  • Great amount of content
  • Good Visuals
  • Most Boss encounters
  • Voice acting is good overall
  • JACKIE EARLE HALEY!!!

The Bad

  • Story is too complex
  • Boring Protagonist
  • Character models aren’t the best
  • THE ENDING!!!

The Evil Within is available now from all good retailers. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit & YouTube.

Review By Jonnie Dixon

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2 thoughts on “The Evil Within Review

  1. The song you hear when Sebastian upgrades his abilities and saves his progress is called Clair De Lune, by the French composer Achille-Claude Debussy.

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