‘The Evil Within’ is the perfect horror game for Halloween

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Release Date: October 14, 2014

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

The Evil Within is the latest video game from mastermind Shinji Mikami, the creator of the popular Resident Evil series. As a mix of action and survival horror, The Evil Within provides an ample amount of body jolting scares while offering plenty of gun-play to mix up the cinematic visuals.

In the game you play Sebastian Castellanos, a gritty, veteran detective with a dark, hidden past and sadly, the rest of the cast is equally unimaginative. The narrative follows Castellanos as he attempts to solve the mystery behind a psychopathic killer who has brutally murdered everyone in a hospital.

(How does he eat without a jaw?)
The environments, while dark and gruesome, are fantastically varied. Players tread through a number of mansions, slaughterhouses, small towns, and other settings that are commonplace in almost any horror genre. Environments also change in real time as players progress through the game. While this technique is amusing at first, having your character jump from one new place after another without any real reason or purpose quickly becomes tiring and confusing. In fact, this is abused to the point that the progression of the game could be rearranged without any meaningful effect on the story line.

In terms of gameplay, The Evil Within feels like a standard over-the-shoulder, third-person shooter that Mikami revolutionized almost a decade ago with Resident Evil 4. Yes, it was amazing when it was first introduced, but it is disappointing to see how little it has changed since then.

Everything one would expect in a modern action game is here: a substantial upgrade system, collectibles, and light stealth elements, among other features. Although the standard arsenal of shotgun, sniper rifle, and magnum are available for players to use, the crossbow is what stands out the most. The weapon allows players to craft various types of arrows, such as those that explode, shock, or freeze. In short, the game offers players a wide range of weaponry to fend off and destroy the barrage of terrifying creatures that threaten your character’s life. Overall, the action of the game holds up well and is not overshadowed by the game’s horror aspect.

(The Keeper is just one of many gruesome creatures players will face in the game)
The game, however, suffers from technical issues like frame rate lag and a permanent widescreen letter-box view that prevent the game from truly being excellent. Even on the PlayStation 4, the game felt like it lacked technical polish found in Mikami’s previous titles such as Resident Evil 4 and Vanquish.

The Evil Within offers a horror experience that uses psychological means to frighten players, as opposed to cheap jump scares. In an already niche genre, this allows the game to shine even more.

Won’s final verdict: Buy

About Author

Won Jun Ma was born in South Korea and raised in Irvine, CA. He moved up to Santa Barbara, CA to study English and Math at UC Santa Barbara. He is an avid gamer who follows the video game industry. Won has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, enjoys going on lengthy hikes, and considers himself a hip hop junkie by and large. He also likes playing various tunes on his clarinet; but what he would actually like to do is learn how to jam on the harmonica like a pro.

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