Evil Takes Hold
I first played The Evil Within or Psycho Break (Japanese Title) at this year’s Tokyo Game Show 2014 but refrained from writing a preview because it was hard understanding what I was actually doing since the demo was in Japanese. At the recent EB Expo, I managed to get more hands-on with the game and even then still struggled to find light through the endless horrors The Evil Within packed in.
I have a love and hate relationship with horror games. I get a kick out of the frights it presents but at times give up because it’s just too damn intense. The Evil Within was next-level frightening and not because it uses unexpected jump scares and random drops – it’s the style, the fight for survival and atmosphere which makes players put their controllers and leave the premises.
As I walk down this narrow path towards the mansion where the ‘fun’ begins, I can already feel the atmosphere the game was portraying within the first few minutes of the level. The dark gloomy environment mixed in with a soundtrack that sets the tone – The Evil Within sends a chill down your spine way before the scares even start.
The level I played in was situated in some spooky mansion. I guess it wouldn’t be a horror without a mansion mission of some sort. The main objective was to get through a locked door so I carefully thread around the different rooms to find the switch or key or whatever to progress on. The player has access to a pistol and shotgun but use it wisely as ammo are hard to come by. So the best option is to go all stealth like on the enemies and it also makes the game a little more easier as gun combat can be quite challenging. Zombies don’t stay down after you pelt it with bullets (even with headshot) so players must burn their corpse after taking them down. There’s also another catch here however, matches to burn their corpse are also hard to come by. Why do you torture me like this Shinji?!
After wandering aimlessly, I came under attack by Ruvik – that badass hooded villian that randomly appears to inject horror and stress into the players. When the level becomes shrouded with blue and the surroundings almost silent – Ruvik is here and he cannot be stopped. You can’t kill him and the only way to survive is to run away till he goes away. I learnt this the hard way by unloading 4 shotgun rounds into him with no effect. Ruvik is a spanner in the works as you have everything all planned out – his random appearance will throw you off making it hard to predict your play.
There has been many horror games in the last few years but not many has captured the intense fight for survival like The Evil Within does. From what I’ve played, Shinji Mikami is on track to bringing one of the best survival horror in recent time. Just make sure you pack some extra pairs of pants and prepare for a rollercoaster ride.
The Evil Within arrives October 16th.