|System: Xbox One, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Tango Gameworks|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks|
|Release: October 14, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language|
If there’s one thing I absolutely love about The Evil Within it’s the atmosphere. You know how Resident Evil and Silent Hill have out of place puzzles where you have to find a crank here or a pendant there? Well, The Evil Within has its fair share of puzzles, but it’s a lot less “put tab A into slot B” and a lot more “cut open this corpse and sift through the organs for a key.” These sequences feel reminiscent of the Saw movie franchise, back when it wasn’t trying to milk torture porn for all it’s worth. They force you to do honestly gut churning activities to increase your feeling of unease.
This is a very gory game, but I have to say it’s not gratuitous. Sure, blood splatters everywhere and organs are dripping out of mutilated corpses left and right, but it never feels like a senseless slasher flick. Instead, the gore is used much like gore is used in Silent Hill, as a way to show you that whatever is happening just isn’t right. Still, this isn’t for the faint of heart. There is enough blood in this game to fill the grand canyon, and even the “leveling up” process, which earns you upgrades and new skills, involves basically sitting in an electric chair.
The Evil Within is an odd beast of a game that straddles the line between helpless atmosphere horror and zombie action shooter. It is certainly a huge step above the Michael Bay-esque Resident Evil 6. If not for the unfortunate frustrating points, which really take you out of the bleak atmosphere, I would say this would set the bar for horror excellence. Unfortunately, these small drawbacks will cause you to frequently put the game down, and that simply doesn’t mesh with a horror tone. Overall, The Evil Within is a horror game that outdoes other horror offerings by leaps and bounds, but just isn’t perfect. If you want a game to scare the crap out of you this Halloween season, then The Evil Within is a safe bet.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: October 14, 2014