Horror games genre has kind of lost its balance over the last couple of years. After Alien: Isolation scared most of its audience, we got another thriller horror game out in October of 2014, called the Evil Within. If you are not intrigued by the video game title so far, the person who stands behind it surely will. After creating his own developers company Tango Gameworks, Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind survival horror franchise Resident Eviland action survival Dino Crisis, returned to direct The Evil Within, another survival game that has Mikami’s previous work incorporated within.
When you lose the premier smirk of your face, you will see that Evil Within is not special by any kind. The plot is way too complicated to follow and the main characters are very poorly characterized. Detective Sebastian and his partners Joseph and Kidman are assigned to a case with a horror crime scene, but as they reach the place they are all inserted into different alternate realities and are trying to find a way to reach each other. The whole goal of the game is not really clear, so the main purpose is to roam as much levels as possible and not be killed. Each stage has about three capital opponents you need to defeat in order to make a progress, but other than that it all can be labeled as a big level.
Sebastian is the main protagonist and although some personal stories from his past are revealed during the game, his is fairly emotionless and seems to embrace no interest in the plot whatsoever. His reactions are artificial to the core are automotive. His partners show more emotions and are maybe a bit interesting when they appear, but they are not constantly there and you don’t have the time to relate to them at all.
Story could be better
While a survival shooter should be about survival, you kind of want the story to go along. But it just doesn’t in this game and the more you play, you will only be focused on the shooting part. This is a shame, since the story itself has a potential for a interesting plot with twist and turns that show promise. Due to the nature of the plot, the surroundings change from dark castles, scary woods to abandoned laboratories. As soon as you get comfortable about the place, you are being shifted to another dimension, now even more scarier than the previous one.
The game is very creative and the setting is beautifully designed for a horror game. There are traps everywhere and you can use them for your own gain or simply avoid. Enemies have artificial intelligence and will seek the best way to attack you so you have to be prepared. The stealth element is present, but it is not very useful since you will have to destroy all enemies sooner or later to succeed. They are scary with their screams, moves and design so Mikami really knew what is he doing in this piece.
Evil Within is a beautifully designed game, with the horror survival element very high and the opponents pretty interesting. However, inconsistent plot and unimaginative characters are present as well. This game is a nice piece of horror genre and uses the roots of the survival game set nearly 15 years ago.