June 20, 2014 by Paul Curtin
Bethesda’s The Evil Within easily won us over at last year’s E3 with the promise of the father of survival horror bringing the genre back to its roots. Resident Evil 4 was a game-changer, but after creator Shinji Mikami left the series Capcom’s more action-centric focus quickly began to turn fans of the beloved series off. At this year’s E3, we finally got to get our hands on a couple chapters of the game and can confirm that not only does the game look and play great, but it’s also what Resident Evil fans have been demanding for years.
Skipping past the crazy intro we saw last year, the demo level we spent the most time with was located in a creepy old mansion — which will bring back fond memories of Resident Evil. But while the game looks and plays like a Resident Evil game, Mikami has taken a lot of elements from the Silent Hill franchise to try and make the game more graphic and disturbing.
Inside the mansion, we got to experience a solid mix of gameplay elements involving puzzle solving and various encounters with the undead. In typical Resident Evil fashion, the mansion’s biggest main door is locked down and it’s up to Castellanos to explore other areas of the map to find clues and unlock pieces to the puzzle. The puzzles themselves were heavy on the gore with the player needing to drill into the exposed brains of cadaver heads.
At any point in the game, a phantom called Ruvik can show up and twist the environment to mess with the player’s head. Ruvik cannot be killed by Castellanos and can also reanimate downed enemies who aren’t truly dead until their bodies are burned. This gameplay mechanic isn’t the scariest, but at times can catch you off guard and is a great idea to keep gamers in a state of never feeling safe and being forced to run at any time. At one point in the demo, I had to send a text back to another employee at E3 which resulted in Ruvik sneaking up on me and killing me in one shot.
But even after dying numerous times, I was determined to come back for more and try to uncover the mystery behind the mansion and the story. The Evil Within feels like the real Resident Evil 5 and we can’t wait to play the game alone in the dark and see how scary it truly is come this October 21 when it’s released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.