The Evil Within | get ready for some fun…

October 19, 2014 - entertainment

the evil within

wpid-Deerfire_high_res_edit.jpgThere can be little doubt that the hottest new game around in the newly released The Evil Within. The game features startling graphics and intense horrific game play that will frustrate and fascinate you for some time to come. Check out the overview below.

In the video-game world, Shinji Mikami’s name has the same cachet that George Romero and Wes Craven have among moviegoers. Mikami created Resident Evil, the 1996 classic usually credited as the first “survival horror” game.

He abandoned the series after 2005’s masterly Resident Evil 4, and it hasn’t been the same since, rejecting jittery terror for a more explosive Hollywood blockbuster approach. Mikami fans have been waiting a long time for a follow-up – and The Evil Within (Bethesda Softworks, for the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, $59.95) will scratch their survival horror itch.

The story begins with three cops investigating the scene of a mass murder, which quickly turns into something even more disturbing. Your character, a detective named Sebastian Castellanos, soon finds himself hanging upside down in a slaughterhouse while a chain saw-wielding behemoth goes about his business.

It only gets weirder. Sure, the hordes of shuffling, moaning zombies will look familiar to Resident Evil fans. And yes, the girl with stringy black hair who walks like a spider evokes the Japanese horror boom of the last decade. But by the time you find yourself indulging in a little recreational brain surgery, you’ll find yourself wondering what fresh hell is around the next corner.

Without giving too much away, Mikami has created a world ruled by nightmare logic, where a door in a grungy insane asylum leads to a field filled with sunflowers. You’re equipped with a few projectile weapons – a revolver, a shotgun, a crossbow – but ammunition is in very short supply. So you might be tempted to use that ax you found – but it’s only good for one swing.

Most of the undead enemies won’t go down unless shot in the head, and even then you’ll probably need three or four bullets to kill them. And some monsters can’t be killed at all, which is a grim thing to realize after you’ve unloaded every weapon in your inventory.

In short, this game is hard. Even when playing on its “casual” setting, and armed with several pages of tips provided by Bethesda, I often found it frustrating. You will die frequently, so your ultimate survival will depend greatly on your tolerance for watching sluggish reloading screens.

Credits: Review: ‘Evil Within’ a nightmarish head trip – USA TODAY

 

the evil within review

It has been almost a decade since Mikami delved into the horror genre, so the announcement of The Evil Within – developed by Mikami’s new studio Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda – generated a huge amount of buzz.

Mikami said that horror games had become predictable, and he and his team wanted to surprise players, make them feel frightened and vulnerable again. Essentially, he wanted to reinvent survival horror all over again.

While Detective Castellanos is constantly in danger, that doesn’t necessarily translate to interesting gameplay.Photo: Bethesda Softworks

Sadly, he failed.

The Evil Within is a decent action game, but its attempts at horror consist primarily of throwing around buckets of blood and shouting “Boo!” every five minutes.The_Anti-Slavery_Society_Convention,_1840_by_Benjamin_Robert_Haydon

The main stumbling block in the way of its attempts to create fear is a one-two punch: the game is over-the-shoulder third person, like Resident Evil 4, and the hero that appears on screen is incredibly dull.

In the game’s first chapter, while searching a creepy mental asylum, Detective Sebastian Castellanos is stalked by a masked psycho with a chainsaw. This is the game’s tutorial, essentially, introducing the stealth mechanics, how to run and hide, and so on.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to slip up during this section that most players will find themselves chopped up into bloody chunks at least once. After the first death, the worst is over — the player knows what will happen if they fail. Instead of being a desperate struggle to survive, this tense situation just becomes a puzzle to be solved.

Worse, rather than the player themselves feeling in danger, it is the guy on screen, a boring character whose name you have not even had a chance to learn yet, who is being bloodily decapitated. The deaths are gruesome, but they actually reduce the tension instead of increasing it.

That said, The Evil Within is a solid action game, and while it is never truly frightening there are certainly some sequences that are disturbing and unnerving.

The enemies, for example, are inventively hideous. They are zombies of a sort, shambling corpses with glowing white eyes, but they all appear to have died in agony. They have heads wrapped in barbed wire, pieces of metal jammed through their heads, axes and knives in their chests, and so on. One is even a human porcupine, bristling head to toe with embedded shards of glass.

Likewise, the environments are atmospheric and nicely designed. The action moves from a clean and clinical modern hospital to rustic rural villages, gothic castles, foreboding mansions and more. Of particular note are the insane scribbles on many of the walls, intricate designs that any graffiti artist would be proud of.

When it is not being frustrating (such as during boss fights against super-powered enemies that kill you with a single hit) the gameplay is quite enjoyable. It works best as a stealth game, with players trying to take enemies out quietly from behind to conserve their desperately low ammunition supplies.

Just as it starts to get really good, the pace and atmosphere are ruined when suddenly Castellanos is stuck in a big, brightly-lit room with a dozen enemies that he needs to take down with only a handful of bullets and shotgun shells. Considering the detective can smash apart wooden crates and barrels with a single punch, he is terribly fragile in a fight. While low health can be great in a tense stealth sequence, when you’re forced into a toe-to-toe fight that you cannot choose to run from it is simply annoying.

Ultimately, The Evil Within does not feel like a triumphant return to the genre’s roots or a loving retro homage. Instead it just feels old-fashioned, like a game from the mid-2000s that was accidentally held back until 2014.

Resident Evil fans who want more of the same will probably be overjoyed with it. Those who want something a little more modern and refined are likely to just find it frustrating.

Credits: The Evil Within review: some things are better left dead – Sydney Morning Herald

 

the evil within gameplay

I confess, the more I see of The Evil Within, the more I’m looking forward to it. Judging by this trailer it looks a bit like Resident Evil 4, if Resident Evil 4 had far more limited firepower and a little bit of the running-and-hiding from the current crop of horror titles like Outlast and Amnesia. Of course, this could be a bit misleading; it’s entirely possible that stealth is barely important at all and you’ll spend far more time shooting than anything else. Then again, if the game itself is anything like Resident Evil 4, I’m unlikely to complain too much. Credits: The Evil Within trailer offers three minutes of gameplay footage – IncGamers.com

 

the evil within metacritic

Viktor_Vasnetsov_Kashchey_the_ImmortalIf we abandon the review score, will it condition gamers to read the whole review? Or just stop them reading altogether? I hope for the former, but expect latter.

In general, review aggregation sites are not ideal. We shouldn’t place so much emphasis on them. But if we will continue to use them, then I think we need to find a different one. A middle ground that the film business has already adopted.

Metacritic rates movies, too. But the review aggregator that the film industry sets its benchmarks by is called Rotten Tomatoes.

Rotten Tomatoes has a very different methodology to Metacritic. Rather than add all the figures together to come up with an overall score, Rotten Tomatoes simply separates reviews into two piles: good and bad.

If a film received 80 good reviews (irrespective of the score) and 20 bad reviews, the Rotten Tomatoes ‘freshness’ rating is 80. It means that 80 per cent of critics thought the film was good.

This is not as precise as Metacritic, but it means that the subjectivity of the critic has less impact on the overall rating. It’s still not completely objective, but it is closer than what Metacritic currently reports.

Take Bayonetta 2. Gies’ 7.5/10 means that the game’s Metacritic score is cut to (the still very high) 91. But on Rotten Tomatoes, Gies’ review would have been classified as ‘good’. And Bayonetta 2’s score would currently be 100% Fresh.

This, in my mind, will have a positive impact in multiple areas. It means gamers will place less emphasis on collective review scores, and develop attachments to their preferred writers (much in the same way YouTubers have managed).

It means journalists can feel more confident in critiquing subjectively, which in turn will encourage alternative viewpoints on what makes a good game and, potentially, inspire creators to do things differently. It will allow alternative viewpoints to thrive and be respected.

Up until now, adopting the Rotten Tomatoes system for review aggregation in video games was not possible. As I mentioned at the beginning, historically most critics seem to be universally agreed on what games are good and what are not. That would result in almost every game getting an aggregated score of either over 90 or under 10.

And you’d find that there would be hundreds of games that would be rated 100% ‘Fresh’ or 0% ‘Rotten’.

Yet the phenomenon we’ve seen lately with Alien, Destiny, FIFA, The Evil Within and so on receiving such differing review scores, suggests to me that we’re now ready to change how we rank the quality of video games.

Summary

The evil within has been hot right from the release. the game offers stimulating and graphic images, challenging game play and a bit of frustration. Should be great for many hours of enjoyment and horrific challenges.

 

Image Credits

Public domain image from Google Images

Public domain image from Google Images

Public domain image from Google Images