While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners encounter a mysterious and powerful force. After seeing the slaughter of his fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead. Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what is behind this evil force.
The godfather of survival horror, Shinji Mikami, is back but is this a good thing? You may know Shinji from a little series he created called Resident Evil. Unlike the zombies from his past games, the biggest threat you’ll face in The Evil Within are the copious amounts of bugs you’ll run into, a terrible camera, and no clear idea of what type of game this wants to be.
I hope you weren’t looking for a pseudo sequel to Resident Evil 4 or even a return to the original Resident Evil. This is most certainly not it. It is pretty in spots, though.
Is this a horror game? An action game? A stealth game? It’s a horror game if you think blood and gore equals horror. There is no sense of dread because you’re too busy bitching about the goddamn camera to be scared. The action is handled poorly with terrible controls, camera angles, and shoddy design choices. Having an action game where you can’t lock the camera is a terrible choice. The shooting mechanics are slow and clumsy, and the melee attack is pathetic. Even leveling up your skills doesn’t help. Do you like stealth games? Well this isn’t a straight stealth game either, even though at times it feels that way. Nothing more fun than sneaking around and memorizing the patterns of an enemy just to have them re-spawn the moment you walk into a building. I’m not sure what type of game this wants to be, but I do know that 10 hours in and it is still not fun.
That’s not to say there aren’t some good things about the game. I’m a fan of the sound design for the most part, although listening to the Sadist grunt and scream throughout an early level was annoying. The graphics aren’t bad when there isn’t constant texture popup happening. The kill animations are pretty great, I have to admit, and some of the design work on the backgrounds is awesome as well.
However, nothing about this game had hooked me in by the 8 hour mark and I’m not quite sure if that’s just an issue with me and what I may have thought this game was going to be, or if it’s just a sub-par game. For me this game is just a tedious slog through uninspired character designs, a terrible camera (have I mentioned yet how bad the camera is?), and frustration.
I can’t even be bothered to write more about this game. I’m just so disappointed. Even this nod to one of his past games (with bonus texture pop in!) can’t get me to keep playing. Sorry Shinji, this is just one game I cannot get behind. They can’t all be winners.
I’m going to go play Resident Evil 4 again.
Reviewed by Rob on the PS4