True survival horror games have been dead for a long time. But much like the unkillable antagonists of your favourite slasher flicks, the genre is once again rising from the dead. Amongst the new generation of such titles on the way, is The Evil Within. It’s a psychological attack mixed with pants-staining thrills and chills. So what’s it actually all about then?
Work began on The Evil Within back in April 2012, with the game operating under the code-name of ZWEI. Bethesda Softworks teamed up with legendary horror maestro Shinji Mikami, placing him in the game director position for the project which was then worked on at his studio Tango Gameworks.
The core concept behind The Evil Within, was returning gamers to survival horror that placed a higher emphasis on survival, rather than on action. “For me, personally, why I came back to survival horror is that survival horror as a genre is becoming all action now. There aren’t any real survival horror games in the world right now. That is the biggest motivation for me,” Mikami explained back in April 2013.
Having the player pick up the controller and being genuinely able to say ‘Wow, I haven’t played a game this scary in ages!’, that is what we are after. That is the main thing we are focused on.
To do this, Mikami and his team designed the game to have deliberately unbeatable enemies, claustrophobic spaces and a severe shortage of ammo with which to fight back. Taking place within a nightmarish world The Evil Within features enemies who happen to be as trapped as the player is, but just as evil as the greater malevolent force that is pulling all the strings in the game. According to art director Naoki Kataki, these enemies happen to also be suffering from the titular evil within this world.
While investigating the scene of a brutal mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners run afoul of an evil force. With his colleagues slaughtered, Sebastian finds himself trapped within a world populated by nightmares and terror beyond imagining. Fighting to survive, Sebastian must uncover the mystery of the evil within this vile and wicked world.
You can just make a game from scratch. You have to visualise it. Picture it. Sketch it out. Which is most likely why working on The Evil Within must have been a nightmarish job for everyone involved, if the concept art is anything to go by:
Sebastian, along with Joseph and Julie, arrives at Beacon Mental Hospital to investigate several bloody murders, only to find all police cars on scene deserted and his fellow officers being eviscreated by a mysterious hooded figure before he himself is knocked unconscious.
Partnered with Castellanos and Oda, julie also finds herself trapped by the nightmarish events of Beacon Mental Hospital. One of the protagonists of The Evil Within, Julie takes a leading role in the upcoming two-part DLC content planned for the game.
Partnered with Julie and Sebastian, Joseph Oda is yet another victim of the strange malevolent forces that plague Beacon Mental Hospital.
The primary antagonist of The Evil Within, Ruvik is a mysterious hooded figure who appears to be unstoppable and is responsible for trapping Sebastian and his team in a nightmarish world. Stalking the player at every turn, when Ruvik appears, all hell breaks loose and you better hope that you can outrun him.
Even before the game was released, viral marketing began for The Evil Within with a series of spooky trailers:
And if you need something more recent, well here ya go then. Consider yourselves warned:
Ruvik isn’t the only threat in The Evil Within, because there’s a thousand ways to die in the game and all of them are brutal.
The main enemies of The Evil Within, the Haunted have nails pierced through their eyes, are covered in glass shards and have barbed wires wrapped around their heads in order to express the evil that has begun to permeate their souls.
An enemy who wields a chainsaw, the Sadist is a large man in an iron mask who players encounter first in the game.
Also known as Boxhead, the Keeper is an extremely tall human with vault on his head. His primary weapon is a meat tenderizer hammer with a spike on the opposite side. Almost unstoppable, handguns tickle the Keeper, and he can regenerate from any wound provided that he happens to be near a safe.
A creature that resembles a woman with hair covering its face and body, RE-Bone Laura can move quickly thanks to multiple limbs, with the notable two ending with long nails which it uses to attack. The only thing that can kill it, is fire. Lots of it.
The Evil Within will be terrorising your TVs and monitors from October 14. It’s out on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. If you’re brave enough for it, that is. Because I certainly, am not.
Like what you see? Want more frights, chills and thrills? Then don’t forget that The Evil Within and Alien Isolation is out right now. If you’re brave enough, you can grab The Evil Within from these fine stockists on a range of platforms:
Last Updated: October 13, 2014