Jun 12, 2013

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The Evil Within Demo Impressions: Fear, Discomfort, and Fun

The Evil Within Demo Impressions: Fear, Discomfort, and Fun


The master of horror Shinji Mikami is back and he’s putting us to a test of survival once more. The Evil Within is a “pure survival horror game,” Pete Hines of Bethesda Softworks told IGN and will challenge players to use their wits to escape undesirable circumstances.

The story revolves around a detective named Sebastian who is attacked after investigating a murder scene at an asylum. The demo begins when Sebastian regains consciousness and realizes that he is hanging upside down in a different world filled with blood, gore, and a fearsome behemoth looking directly at you. We notice familiar elements of the horror genre, namely hanging bodies and a butcher like monster carrying out some hacking duties in the back. The environment is also ideal for a game of this genre, with manipulation of light and shadow that dims your surroundings but illuminates certain details to enhance that spooky feel. As Hines goes on to elaborate, The Evil Within isn’t a pure game of cat and mouse but more importantly the player must employ stealth tactics to unlock doors and remain silent to avoid unwanted attention. Of course, any survival horror won’t be fun without triggering some attention upon yourself even if it’s unintentional. Although Hines chooses not to elaborate on the plot, the demo gameplay provides us with lasting first impressions that will send chills down your spine. Check out some screens from IGN’s interview with Hines below:

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As seen in the third frame, the fun begins when Sebastian is being pursued by our monster after he accidentally triggers an alarm system. A classic chainsaw is pulled out as he chases you down a narrow hallway – reminiscent to Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. There’s nothing better than hearing the whirring of a chainsaw getting louder and louder as you frantically search for a way to escape. The demo ends when the deadly weapon penetrates Sebastian right through the center of his ribcage and a severe gush of blood ensues.

What is interesting about characters and deaths in the game is the element of unpredictability. As Hines notes, the game’s AI will move in unexpected ways and your next death in the same area may not mimic the first. Awesome so far? I would definitely say so. The game takes pride in discomfort and the tension will be overwhelming as you come across traps or scenarios where you will have no weapons or limited resources. If the game is executed properly, it will be an adventure of a lifetime.

The Evil Within launches in 2014 so be sure to check back for more updates.

[Source: IGN Image: The Evil Within Official Site]