Home Gaming E3 2014 – The Evil Within hands-on preview

E3 2014 – The Evil Within hands-on preview

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The evil within

The Evil Within in a survival horror game that promised to get in your head, give you minimal resources, and return players to that absolute sense of horror felt in games of the past. But can it deliver the fear?

Bethesda’s The Evil Within is dark and gritty with plenty of excellent design to add to the ambiance. It takes full advantage of the latest graphical and processing abilities, bringing the horror to life in all its gory, distressing and creepy glory. However, I’m not sure that the horror is fully present.

I had the opportunity to play two demos for The Evil Within – one took place during chapter four and the other during chapter nine. While there was a quick presentation to try to facilitate survival, the PR people did explain to us that dying is part of the game and the experience. Some enemies are very difficult to kill, most need to be burned to be prevented from coming back to life, and there are even some who cannot be killed. Ready for an old-school thrill, I happily took hold of the controller and prepared to need bleach for my brain and undies.

During the first part, I was accompanied with the crazy doctor. While the controls were fairly standard, I did find it a bit tricky to get used to them – I wanted to equip certain things and I found it difficult to do so. Despite my best intentions to wander around with my knife in hand, it seemed that I kept reverting back to bare knuckle boxing in my moments of need.

The atmosphere is expertly created. There are whispers and creepy noises coming from off camera, and even an eye on the top of the screen to indicate the enemy’s awareness of you (depending on the difficulty level selected, this might not be visible). There are items covered in sheets that look like ghosts, and you will probably find yourself jumping at shadows as you move from room to room.

However, despite the definite ambiance, the game couldn’t sustain the horror. I was killed by a particular enemy during one play through, so the next time around I took a different route to try to sneak up on him and kill him that way. However, my equipment issues certainly continued to pose a problem. By my third attempt, I wasn’t afraid of anything, the ambiance utterly destroyed – it had become predictable by then.

Later on in a different demo, I encountered an enemy that I couldn’t kill, prompting me to run in the opposite direction to try to find a place to hide. Despite the utter hopelessness in that moment, I was beyond the point of panic – it wasn’t scary, it simply felt like an exercise in figuring out the level design.

I’m not trying to imply that there were no moments of fear for me – the first time I heard a whisper coming from behind me I certainly jumped. However, by the second and third time, the effects were wearing thin, and after more time with the game, the fear had basically worn off. Until one of the PR people came up behind me. Now that was a jump scare!

Last Updated: June 17, 2014

15 Comments

  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 17, 2014 at 09:29

    Reply

  2. Rince&exhale

    June 17, 2014 at 09:32

    Maybe you weren’t scared cus you were sharing a room with 5000 stinky people?

    Reply

    • HvR - THE Average GAmer

      June 17, 2014 at 09:33

      And spent a week and long plane ride with Darryn and his batman suit

      Reply

      • Rince&exhale

        June 17, 2014 at 09:36

        This is true. The horror of that surely has steeled Zoe against pretty much anything out there.

        Reply

  3. Badass Eyepatch Man

    June 17, 2014 at 09:36

    I read the same everywhere. I’m just hoping its the demo itself that isn’t scary, maybe it’s just taken from a part of the game that isn’t scary and the game as a whole is…but in anycase, still getting this day one

    Reply

  4. guest

    June 17, 2014 at 11:55

    Oh look another whining because the game is too hard for them and does not hold their hands.

    Reply

    • Consumer of Little Rabbits

      June 17, 2014 at 14:02

      what the tap dancing christ dude? If an inventory system doesnt work its hardly the gamers fault? Keep your retarded invalidated rhetoric for the N24 comments section fuck face..

      Reply

    • Consumer of Little Rabbits

      June 17, 2014 at 14:12

      Actually on that point fucktard, please link me to any article that any LG writer has moaned about difficulty in an article published here?
      Where the fuck do you get your “again”?

      An how do you know there isnt a tutorial in the game? (You would need to know that before you can use the statement “does not hold their hands”)
      Where has a survival horror ever had a tutorial?
      So you have never complained about the difficulty of a game due to lack of information or tuition?
      Your argument is so neolithic it doesnt warrant a retort but your confounding stupidity and utter uselessness makes me weep for fucking idiots like you. Fucking entitled narcissistic douchebag.

      Reply

      • Guest

        June 17, 2014 at 15:59

        LOL.

        Reply

        • Guest

          June 17, 2014 at 16:09

          Ever heard of trial and error?

          Welcome to old school gaming.

          this article very much cames off “the game does not tell me what to do this game is bad.”

          I don’t have problem with people being bad at games.

          But I do have problem with dishonesty it same nonsense with demon/dark souls.

          just because you’re bad at game does not mean the game is bad.

          Reply

  5. Consumer of Little Rabbits

    June 17, 2014 at 14:07

    I think the klunky design on the inventory might have been intentional, as it seems to be a sore point for the first gens of survival horror. Its a sore point sure, but it does add to the intensity of a situation. I’d assume the dysfunction is a functional ambience mechanism, but having never played this game its hard to say

    Not a far stretch to think its also just shitty design.

    Im disappointed it wasnt as scary as one would hope from the get go. It also seems to an extent that this AI isnt particularly well defined or designed. Ambience etc can go a long way sure, but if your adversary is as smart as rubbing bricks together to start a fire, it hardly puts you in a state of panic and disarray.

    Hopefully they iron out these niggles, perhaps its was beta footage or a quieter part of the game (even thought thats fuckign stupid , you want your journos “hyping” as much as they can, obviously)
    Either way Im still hopeful. -ish

    Reply

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