June 12, 2013 by Paul Curtin
A complaint that most gamers have had over the years with Capcom is that the Resident Evil series hasn’t been scary since Resident Evil 4. The series has shifted way too far into the action genre ever since creator Shinji Mikami left the series after revitalizing the franchise in the fourth installment. Now, thankfully, Mikami is back with a brand new survival horror IP being developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks.
We got a peek at the game behind closed doors at E3, and from what we saw, The Evil Within can best be described as old Resident Evil mixed with old Silent Hill mixed with old Texas Chainsaw Massacre — basically, the best parts of all the best movie and video game horror series before being milked to death and no longer becoming scary for one reason or another. Dead Space might currently be the top dog in the genre, but with it going down the Resident Evil road with more action, The Evil Within is looking like it could soon take the top spot.
The gameplay demo that we got to see started at the beginning of the game’s story with Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partner rushing to the scene of a very graphic mass murder in an insane asylum. After some investigating of the gruesome crime scene, Sebastian is attacked by a mysterious supernatural force. Next thing he knows, he’s waking up hanging upside-down on a hook in the meat locker of a monster that looks like the ugly love child of Leatherface and the Hulk.
Mikami described to us that The Evil Within is supposed to give the feeling of helplessness that should come with the survival horror genre, and that feeling quickly became apparent as the gameplay kept switching back and forth between Sebastian having to sneak around quietly and frantically running away from the chainsaw-wielding freak in an effort to escape the asylum. The pacing throughout the demo we saw was done perfectly, and it seems like Mikami is on the exact same page as everyone else wanting to bring back the horror to the survival horror genre — fans should be very pleased with what they’re going to get with this new take.
The game also looks absolutely beautiful (not sure if that’s the best descriptive word for a game with so much blood and guts) due to its use of the id Tech 5 graphics engine on next-gen systems. We’ve only seen id Tech 5 used on FPS games, so finally seeing a third-person perspective looks stunning. The Evil Within was easily one of the best looking games we saw at E3; going from that to previews of other current-gen games really showed off just how much better next-gen games are going to look already.
There’s still no release date for the game with it being so early into production. But any survival horror purist shouldn’t worry about too many delays as The Evil Within will be exclusively single-player. No tacked on co-op or competitive multiplayer.