The Evil Within Review (PS4)

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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, the-evil-within-4but 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 the-evil-within-6are 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 

+Great atmosphere

+Intense encounters

+Varied levels

+/- Stealth is good and bad in parts

-Long loading times

-Framerate issues

Final Score

8/10

 

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!

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ThisGenGaming
I am the owner of ThisGenGaming.com, as well as a writer for the site. I've been running the site as well as writing for the site since May 2013.

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About the author

ThisGenGaming

I am the owner of ThisGenGaming.com, as well as a writer for the site. I've been running the site as well as writing for the site since May 2013. Make sure to subscribe and check out our Youtube channel. Follow our Twitter account for amazing giveaways also.
  • Paul

    Thanks for the review. Regarding the atmosphere, what game would you liken it too. Is it a Silent Hill type of intensity and oppressiveness? Also, is the gunplay and combat as satisfying as it looks in trailers? The reaction of enemies getting hit seems like the best I have seen in a while.

    • ThisGenGaming

      And thank you for visiting! Regarding the gunplay, it is very satisfying when you hit one of the enemies with a critical shot to the head. Aiming is very sensitive too.

      And yes I feel it does have that Silent Hill kind of intensity.

      Thanks again for visiting!

      • Paul

        Sure, thanks for info, reviews are hard to come by so far. One more question, how would you rate the story based on what you have played so far? It seems intriguing with a psychological twist, but from what i’ve seen so far, the reception has been a bit mixed in that department.

        • ThisGenGaming

          Interesting but kind of confusing is all I’d really say about it.

  • Rob_52

    How’s good is the story? No one seems to be touching on this..

    For example, you use Silent Hill 2 as a reference to the tone, is the story or atmosphere anywhere near that game? I consider SH2 to be top-teir in video game storytelling.

    • Paul

      Agree with you, nothing really specific yet. This is the best I could find, if you haven’t seen this review yet. http://www.videogamer.com/reviews/the_evil_within_review.html
      He specifically mentions Silent Hill 2 (Sutherland), for the atmosphere, which is good, yet one of his negatives is “story never really gets going”. Again though, there are really no specific references in the review as to why. All the reviews have been 8 or above so far though, and it is Mikami, so I think it’ll impress nonetheless.

      • Rob_52

        Yup. I’m not quite expecting the depth and maturity of SH2’s story. Resident Evil’s always had a more “TV-series” storyline, so I’m thinking it’ll be more along the lines of that, which I don’t really have a problem with. I just enjoy something with substance. RE4 was a bit goofy, nevertheless memorable, but even if it has a story and characters like that I’ll buy.

        Thanks for the link, and yes, I read that review.

    • GuN5HiN3 did a reveiw on his youtube channel before the game came out and he said the story line is not much but the gameplay makes up for it deff silent hill feel but no complaints man

  • rabi3g

    Thanks for the review! I agree with everything the reviewer wrote so far.
    I’m in the end of chapter 3 (I think) n this game is getting pretty hard..u die alot indeed!

    Storywise: ud think it d go through usual horror tropes at the beginning but there’s something quite off in a good way, so I’m eager to see more. I’m not expecting silent Hill 2-level of story telling, however.

    Gameplay: LoU meets Re 4 with quite a few handicaps like getting out of breath pretty quickly if u run (very cool). Don’t expect the outlast or amnesia type of scare. This is not a scary game, but a pretty stressful one.

    Polish? Hm. Heres the mixed bag for me. Love the art direction, the use of colours in some areas are really nice. However, cut scenes n human models (except for the main protagonist) are subpar, some frame rate issues and some textures make the game look like a really nice ps3 game but standards are getting higher nowadays.
    And also, especially in the 1st chapter, it feels as if the programmers expect u to react a certain way. and if u don’t, well u easily get to see the “invisible wall”, whether it’s in the AI, the space u’re in etc.

    What i think so far (2 hours 1/2 in): not a revolutionary, yet great old school survival horror with a lack of polish in some areas. Nevertheless, it seems like this game is truly a love letter to the fans of the genre.
    Jumping back in 😉
    HATE that chainsaw guy!

    • ThisGenGaming

      Yes chainsaw guy was a pain!

      And thank you for visiting!

      • Mister J81

        I’m deaf, will that impact my experience?
        Are they subtitles?

    • Fabio Troiano

      I’ve just started Chapter 2 and I really did enjoy the beginning of the game. I died alot due to the chainsaw guy, up until I figured out how to over come him. I never used the keys to open the locks…I wonder what was beyond that gate…

      • rabi3g

        U never used the keys to open the door on the left…? Then where did you go :s?

        • Fabio Troiano

          I might have gotten it wrong when I wrote the last comment. I forgot I used the keys for that door on the left.

          I meant the gate with the shining locks (before you go up the ladder). I saw them shining, like they were meant to be touched or something (like the knife when you’re hanging), and ignored them. I somehow thought the keys were used for those as well but it was too late once I climbed the ladder. Nevermind… :p

          • rabi3g

            Haha ok I see what you mean 🙂
            The game is a bit confusing at the beginning. I for example thought that once I had the knife I was supposed to stealth kill the guy…:p

          • Fabio Troiano

            Me too and when he grabbed the keys I quickly realised it and rushed out of there haha…intriguing game, can’t wait to go home after work and continue. Especially the “nightmare parts” are interesting at the beginning…and feel also like a tribute to Silent Hill 2 if you know what I mean

          • rabi3g

            well since there’s no English in my version of the game I put it in Italian to give it a dario argento 70s feel. It totally rocks! But I think it loses the silent Hill 2 vibe in the process haha

    • Mister J81

      I’m deaf, will that make the game harder for me? I’ve beaten every RE game, but getting blindsided by enemies is common for me.

      Are there subtitles?

      • rabi3g

        thankfully yes, you can choose the language for the subtitles too.
        if u’ve beaten every RE game, there’s no reason you won’t beat this one 🙂

        • Mister J81

          Thank you!

    • GuN5HiN3 Did a review before the game came out on his youtube channel, great game man i gotta say its a revolutionary game bro

      • rabi3g

        Maybe later on in the game? It’s pretty much a mix between LoU and RE4 in terms of gameplay, so far. No specific twist to it. It’s absolutely fine by me nonetheless.

        • word, sum things i notcie they could have done better but at the same time i was like ef it this game is too good lol 😀

  • Kilo

    Decent review, what platform did you get to Review on? I’m wanting the PC Version.

    Does it remind you quite a bit of RE4? How long did it take you to beat it? And is there replay value?

    • ThisGenGaming

      PS4, 18 hours (mostly due to dying so much!)

      Yes I could feel similarities to RE4. Chapter 3 has a very Village type feel and to make the comparison even better there is even a chainsaw enemy! Oh and he is tough to take out.

      Another similarity (although it’s very small) is you can go through doors quietly and normally or you can kick the doors similarly to Resident Evil 4 as well as 5 and 6.

      Thanks for visiting!

      • Kilo

        Thanks for writing/replying. What on my question about replay value, once the story is over, what is there to do? In the footage I’ve watched the way he runs is absurd!

        • ThisGenGaming

          Oh sorry about that. After the game you unlock a new difficulty called Akumu mode.

  • Brian Thompson

    The aiming felt terrible, I would shoot through things a lot. When an enemy got close the camera would go overly zoomed in and then I had no chance to hit anyone.
    Black bars were annoying for any part where your running toward the screen (ch7 especially).

  • The power of faith

    Hello! Could I kindly ask the reviewer which difficulty setting the game was played on. Moreover, please could you indicate or provide a level of gauge as to the disparity between ‘casual’ and ‘survival ‘ difficulty settings and how this may have impacted your experience.

    Regards,

    From the UK

    • ThisGenGaming

      Hi! Thanks for visiting the site.

      I played the game on Survival. The difference between the two is there is an auto aim option in casual settings and there are more bullets laying around on casual.

      It’s a tough game on Survival so good luck! And I hope you enjoy the game tomorrow!

  • BoyBigEyes

    Hummm… 8/10? That is realy good! I will buy this one for sure! 🙂

    • ThisGenGaming

      Awesome! Enjoy the game!

  • Rise

    Good review. The screen format confuses me though, can u explain more? Thanks again

  • tjsmoke63

    Out of curiosity, how was the save system? Have this coming to me from Gamefly, and wondering if you can save anywhere or only at certain locations, like in Alien Isolation. Just curious if I die will I have to replay large chunks of the game all over, or is my progress decently saved.

    • ThisGenGaming

      There is a random checkpoint save system, and you can manually save in the place were you can increase your abilities.

      • tjsmoke63

        Thanks! Good to know.

  • Paul DiCocco

    I’m seeing this game being reviewed as an 8 out of 10 by a few reviewers so far. Probably will get 5 out of 5 stars from the common folk. Definitely buying!

  • GuN5HiN3 Gave it a 10/10 he did the review before the game came out pretty good review on his youtube channel yo deff buying it #GuN5HiN3 #GuNSHiNE