The Evil Within Hands-On Preview [E3 2014]

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Of course, I had to enter said building to progress, even after seeing ghosts appear in its foyer. Apparitions seem to play a big role in telling this game’s story, though, as others appeared later on and I was able to listen to their revealing conversation. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play long enough to find out what the other two were up to at the front door, but it likely wasn’t anything good or holy.

Gameplay wise, The Evil Within was hit and miss, which made me understand why it was delayed a bit. It’s a tad rough around the edges and simply needs more time, but there’s definitely potential there. I definitely enjoyed the encounters with its zombie-like enemies, whom I was, at one time, given the option to sneak by and light on fire. They were ferocious and fearless, and tore the shit out of me if I didn’t pump enough bullets into their faces.

Speaking of stealth, it’s something which seems to be the key to success in many of this game’s more challenging situations. You’ll have to sneak by deadly foes, and the game’s bombs (yes, bombs) can only be avoided by creeping by, or underneath them. Their inclusion isn’t spectacular, from what I can tell, and they’re seemingly more of an annoyance than anything else. Then again, maybe I’ll grow to not hate them once I get a bit more time with the game, and will be able to get past the stupidity of being able to avoid proximity bombs (or, is it mines?) by merely ducking underneath them.

Perhaps this is just the type of game that doesn’t demo well, because others have said similar things, despite the great amount of potential that does exist within the project. What I mean by this is that survival horror games are notoriously challenging, and you really need to start them from the beginning in order to know what to do and how to play when things get tough. That opportunity wasn’t presented to me, unfortunately, and I do think that it hurt my experience. Or, maybe the game isn’t going to be as good as it’s looked in screenshots, and will suffer from mediocre controls – something that made using its arsenal of thrown bottles a bit of a challenge.

Still, there’s no denying how creepy and disturbing it is, especially with its gory and unforgiving art style. This is a game that isn’t afraid to show you blood and guts and try to unsettle you with such things, nor does it shy away from having you stimulate someone’s brain with prods in order to solve part of a puzzle. Its grainy visuals may turn some people off, though.

Despite these mixed impressions, I still maintain hope that Mikami will deliver a horrific winner when The Evil Within drops in late October. Fingers crossed!

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