When it was announced that the creator of the Resident Evil series was being tapped to bring an entirely new survival horror IP to market, everyone was understandably stoked. Then, when we found out that Shinji Mikami was also interested in trying to bring the genre back to its roots a bit with the upcoming title, the fires of interest rose even further. Of course, all of this means very little without revealing to us some of the things that we’ll actually be able to do in-game… Ahem…
Ever since the first Resident Evil game was released people have basically been begging for a similar experience which is able to incorporate things like stealth. With The Evil Within, it seems that that wish will finally be granted. In fact, just checking out some of the currently available gameplay footage (and trailers) it seems that they’ve actually managed to splice in some very Splinter Cell-esque mechanics, albeit increasing the “gore factor” by 10 (at least). In fact, in many instances the only way you’ll be able to survive is by evasion, where running away is the only protection against (basically) invincible enemies.
No true lengthy survival horror game is complete without its own fair share of puzzles and The Evil Within is definitely set to satiate us in this regard as well. From the looks of it, they’ve managed to run the gamut between classic brain teasers to your more run-of-the-mill deviations. Of course, as you progress the difficulty is going to ramp up considerably, likely leaving you scratching your head or (dare we say it) turning to the internet for guidance.
Explore elaborate environments
It’s patently clear from all the circulating footage that quite a lot of thought has went into the level design for this game. This fact is even more impressive when you consider how it moves from horrific realism to complete surrealistic abandon, often at the drop of a hat. It has often been said that most of the value of any game lies in its level design, and certainly this title is a testament to that sentiment. The Evil Within seems poised to paint such a disturbingly alluring picture that many gamers will likely be more than happy to spend hours exploring its demented hallways. Oh yeah, did we mention that the environment itself is often a tool of destruction? Yes, that’s right, whereas in most horror games the level is just a static thing – something to provide a foundation for action, the environs here can actually trigger traps that will kill you. Happy exploring…mwuhaha.
Going hand in hand with the aforementioned stealth mechanics is the ability to use distractions, like throwing a bottle in some other direction in order to avert a patrolling monster’s attention. Clearly, this has the potential to be a very special addition, especially if it’s used correctly within the larger context of gameplay (and let’s be honest here, that’s probably going to be the case).
Face off against horrific and impossible foes
One could write an entire short story about the various horrors which await us in The Evil Within. From large and deformed nightmares to your more standardized zombie templates, there’s something to fear in this game for everyone. Likewise, as previously indicated, some foes are not to be overcome, which greatly intensifies the action on multiple levels (without a doubt).
Oh yeah, some of the distraction items can also serve as makeshift weapons. This pretty much means that anything you pick up might be useful for attacking that overtly aggressive (and/or search prone) enemy. Naturally, it’s always nice to have options, especially when you’re wandering around inside of what amounts to a maniacal fun house.
Destroy some enemies by setting fire to them
You’ll also have access to a “limited supply of matches” which can be used to permanently remove certain enemies from the game. In other words, there are some baddies which won’t die even if you have them on the ground with their head cut off, luckily, torching them will take care of things lickety split, just don’t run out of matches (mwuhaha? evil laugh).
Delve into a surrealist nightmare
Lastly, we’re going to get the opportunity to delve into a true surrealist nightmare of epic proportions. Whereas in a lot of so-called “horror” or “survival horror” titles the actual scare factor is rather low, this offering seeks to change all that, perhaps even updating scares for the modern age. At best, The Evil Within might actually raise the bar in the horror domain for the big studios, which is certainly something to hope for. At the very least, this game is going to take you on a completely insane rollercoaster ride which is simply relentless in its imagination and ingenuity.
Can’t wait? Pre-order now.