The Evil Within: The Resident Evil Game We’ve All Been Waiting For?
The Evil Within, the new game from original Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami, hits shelves today.
You play as police detective Sebastian Castellanos as he investigates a massacre at a hospital and ends up trying to survive in a hellish world full of ugly demons. A particularly bad day at the office, then.
The game has been hyped as a return to the slow-burn survival horror of the early Resident Evil games (recent games in that series have taken a more action approach), and, as such, has got a lot of gamers very excited indeed.
Has it lived up to expectations? Here’s our round up of the reviews.
Oh dear, we’re off to a bad start. Metro kick off their review by complaining about the weak plot and one-note characters.
They claim that the game is ‘…a straight cross between Resident Evil 4, the earlier games in the series, and fellow survival horror classic Silent Hill’, with the gameplay borrowing heavily from RE 4 – the game that kickstarted Resident Evil’s move away from traditional survival horror.
Metro’s main gripe, however, is that The Evil Within is ‘…not very scary’. Speak for yourself: we’ve been having nightmares since we saw the trailer!
IGN agree that The Evil Within’s plot is lacking, although claim that it starts off promisingly. Main character Sebastian is criticised for being ‘emotionless’.
On the whole, though, they like the game. The game’s ‘incredibly strange and wonderful places’ and unique atmosphere are praised as is the pacing, which ‘…propels you forward at breakneck speed, moving from one climactic encounter to the next with little to no reprieve’.
Unlike the Metro, the IGN reviewer found the game scary and difficult, dying 218 times over the course of 23 hours of game play.
They conclude that ‘The Evil Within is a brutal, challenging, and remarkably fun game’ and give it a very specific 8.7/10.
Game Informer, like Metro, emphasise the link between The Evil Within and Resident Evil 4: ‘I can’t overstate how firmly planted The Evil Within’s roots are in RE 4’.
However, they like the game a lot more, calling it a ‘masterwork of absolute insanity’ and adding that it’s ‘one of the most tense, unpredictable, and demanding horror games I’ve ever played.’
The only real criticism in Game Informer’s 9/10 review is reserved for the plot, which is ‘as cheesy and heavy-handed as ever.’ Then again, you’ll probably be too busy running away from slobbering demons to worry about corny dialogue.
CVG bring up many of the issues reported in other reviews, but are much more positive about the game as a whole. They call it ‘…stepping on a Lego while swigging rotten milk as your favourite nephew drops his ice cream on a fox poo nasty’, which is a suitably gross comparison.
Promisingly for old school Resident Evil fans, they call The Evil Within‘…the game Resident Evil 5 should have been’, and conclude by awarding the game 8/10.
Ah, here comes another bad review. Polygon open their review by writing: ‘it looks like everything is set up for a sweet homecoming, but there’s one major problem: It’s not 2005 anymore.’ Ouch…
The game’s relentless action comes in for a bruising, with the game criticised for providing ‘…almost no breathing room between intense, exhausting encounters.’
As with most of the other reviews, the plot gets a bit of a battering too, with the reviewer claiming he predicted most of the game’s twists because ‘the plot and especially the characterization are just that predictable.’
So, on the whole, the general consensus is that The Evil Within is a bit of a mixed bag. If you loved Resident Evil 4, or enjoy a good bit of gross-out gore, then it’ll be right up your (dark) alley!