Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami looks set to deliver the goods.
By Patrick Stafford on June 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm
You are upside down.
Your vision is blurry, and the dim light around you isn’t helping. But as your eyes begin to adjust, you see them: bodies. Just like you. Hanging upside down, the blood obviously drained from them like sponges.
This already grim situation is made worse by the clanking buzz of a chainsaw breaking through a human spine. You can’t see it, but blood, muscle and tissue are splattering on the floor.
Soon, a massive brute passes by you to a nearby room, carrying the top off a human body. He begins to mutilate it with a machete.
This is The Evil Within. It’s disgusting, it’s brutal, and survival horror fans are going to love it.
In case you may not have heard, The Evil Within is being made by Shinji Mikami, who created the Resident Evil series. His new studio, Tango Gameworks, has been hard at work creating a new entry in the survival horror genre — a genre which recently has seen more action elements than traditional fans would like.
The Evil Within dispenses with of that. The main character, Sebastian, is a detective who has been sent to investigate some strange happenings at an asylum. Naturally, things go wrong pretty quickly and he’s found himself strung upside down.
It’s refreshing to see the player given no combat options in this early part of the game — there is only running and sneaking from the chainsaw-wielding brute. Some of the small touches are quite nice, actually. When Sebastian opens a door he does so slowly, and checks behind to make sure no one saw him.
This is when things get a little weird.
Sebastian manages to run away, finding his way outside – only to find the asylum has been cut off from the rest of the surrounding area. It looks like an earthquake has destroyed this massive city.
We were also shown a portion of the game from later on, about three-quarters of the way through the main narrative. Sebastian has more weapons now, but even then, his resources are scarce. We saw a scene in which he was forced to defend himself in a house against large groups of oncoming zombie-type enemies. He set a few traps and then backed away from nearby windows, but he had very few bullets and was not going to last long.
There were some other methods of combat, such as using matches to light up enemies. But this was very much a character on the back foot — there will be no Dead Space-style action adventure elements here. Or, at least, we weren’t shown any.
The soundtrack does a lot of good here, stripping back most noise to just the essentials — footsteps and the click of a flashlight. It’s a terrifying experience to watch, and often, quite weird. At one point Sebastian was showered in a river of blood only to find the same hallway dry as a bone after turning on a light.
The demo ended with a massive, six-legged human type creature emerge from a sewer and attack him. Just as the monster was about to bite into his flesh, we cut to black.
Yikes. What we’ve seen of The Evil Within so far is brutal and terrifying. It’s not for those with a light stomach but if you’ve been dying for some real survival horror, this is definitely your cup of tea.