Note: The Evil Within was reviewed using a PS4 copy I personally bought as I didn’t receive a copy to review. No embargo’s were broke in the process of writing this review!
In The Evil Within you play as Detective Sebastian Castellanos who along with other detectives were investigating a murder. During the investigation it becomes clear that this is not any old murder case, and that something very wrong was happening. This leads to Sebastian being knocked out, and wakes up dangling upside down next to dead bodies. Then a few moments later I got my head cut off after being caught by some big monster type enemy. Little did I know that would end up being one of many, many times I would die in this brutally challenging game. Anyway enough of my early playthrough experience, lets get on with the review.
“Is the game scary?” That is one of the many big questions that people have asked about this game, so I feel it’s necessary to start off the review with my answer to that question. I can say that this game does have its scary moments as well as parts that will make you jump, but overall I feel the game can create an intense atmosphere better than scaring you. What helps build this tension and atmosphere? It’s a mix of great use of music and sound effects, level design which is also pretty varied, and it also helps that Sebastian isn’t an overpowered character.
There are some things in the game that will take some time in getting used to, the first being the game is presented in letterbox format only, and not in full screen format. At first the letterbox screen was something I didn’t like but it eventually grew on me as the game went on. I do think though that the screen format should be optional as I can imagine there will be people who will not like the screen format at all. The other thing that will take time getting used to is the controls which can kind of be changed. There are four types of control layouts (A to D) to choose from with the button layouts not being able to be customised.
The Evil Within touts itself on not giving the player enough ammo to just run and gun through all the enemies which means you will have to rely on your stealth to get you through some encounters. Stealth can work really well sometimes, and other times it can come with some issues. Stealth in the The Evil Within creates some really intense moments like being chased by a chainsaw wielding maniac, and the only option is to sneak into the hiding spots, and just hope they don’t find you. Then sometimes I had issues when I was sneaking up towards an enemy, and the quick kill indicator didn’t even pop up for some reason.
The Evil Within loves to give the player a challenge in various different ways with the lack of ammo being one already mentioned, but even the normal enemies in the game will give you a challenge. You can’t fight these enemies with your bare hands as it just doesn’t hurt them enough to even try it so unless you have ammo or weapon don’t approach any enemy that is aware of your presence. There are also traps cleverly hidden around levels to give you an even bigger headache. Traps include tripwires, bear traps, and explosives which each have their own unique way of disarming them. I can’t even remember how many times I was running for safety, but instead accidentally ran into explosive tripwires.
When you want to spend the points you have collected in the game you have to find the location of a cracked mirror which you can enter. When you enter the mirror you wake up in a hospital, and you will be guided towards a chair that has some kind of device that goes on your head. Once this has happened a menu with all the abilities and upgrades will appear. In this menu you can upgrade your weapons by increasing the firepower, fire rate, reload time, capacity, accuracy, and critical damage. There are also options of improving melee damage, life gauge increase, sprint increase, and many other options.
The game comes with some technical issues too, and they aren’t something you can just ignore and forgive. The first issues is the long loading times that you get every time you die, and trust me you will be dying a lot in this game. The long loading times really have an impact on the game as it keeps taking you out of the experience each time as you just sit and wait for a bar to get to end while looking at some pictures. The other issue I had was with the frame-rate which will drop every now and again.
The Final Verdict
+/- Stealth is good and bad in parts
-Long loading times
If you have any questions about the game (Maybe I missed something out that you was wondering about?) or the review then please leave a comment in the comments section and I will answer it ASAP!