Tags Posts tagged with "The Evil Within"

The Evil Within

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Disclosure: 30lives received a review copy of The Evil Within from Bethesda Softworks.

The Evil Within_20141013014022It amazes me how much goodwill Capcom has managed to piss away nine years after releasing Resident Evil 4—a game that (deservedly) sits on every videogame enthusiast’s all-time top five. After releasing two lackluster sequels, a couple more middling spin-offs, and about half a dozen ports, it’s safe to say that we’re all ready for this series to ride off into the sunset (hah! thought I’d make a zombie joke, didn’t you?), at least for the time being.

As cliched as this may sound, The Evil Within is a true return-to-form for the series; albeit one produced under a different moniker, for a different company, and with an entirely different cast of characters. The essence stays the same however, as TEW is directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami under his new development studio Tango Gameworks. It’s no small coincidence that the series started slipping as soon as Mikami released his reins; and if anything this game proves that Mikami can produce excellence without being constrained by Resident Evil’s now-convoluted mythos.

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Messy!

It is painfully clear however that Mikami has some sort of affinity for policework (and vaguely hispanic avatars): your protagonist Sebastian Castellanos starts off as an unassuming investigator that somehow winds up in a city filled with grotesque zombie-like creatures (wink), creepy raven-haired kids, and of course: a chainsaw-wielding brute set to tear you to pieces for some reason. I always assume it’s because you banged his sister. You never mess with a man’s sister. Anyway, Sebastian and friends find themselves in this twisted environ and feverishly attempt to escape, and of course are met by exceedingly-absurd opposition from not only the ugly creatures that populate their coordinates, but—only a spoiler if you’re an absolute idiot—also themselves. If you haven’t gathered from the game’s title (or hell, even the Japanese title Psycho Break), a good chunk of the game is dedicated to questioning the human condition; yours and your comrades.

For anyone who’s seen a horror movie from the last fifteen years, The Evil Within’s narrative may feel like predictable, run-off-the-mill pap. I’ll concede that point and fire back that its way better than 90% of the garbage most of us have to wade through. (without a skip button!)

Instead of simply relying on horror tropes for quick scares, The Evil Within also features more contemporary chills: you’ll see a lot of non-sequitur scenes in this game, much in the vein of Alan Wake or Deadly Premonition, except far more unsettling.  For instance, a madhouse door leads into a field of sunflowers… But why? Without spoiling too much, at that point in the game, you’re already questioning every single wrench the game throws at you, a sense of helplessness that I haven’t felt in a videogame since Capcom’s own Haunting Ground. (say, whatever happened to that game?)

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A fair warning to all the s-a-w-f-t gamers out there, softened by eighth-generation console trappings: this game is hard.  Harkening back to the first Resident Evil, weapons and ammo are in scarce supply. You essentially have five guns in the entire game, and a pretty badass multi-functional crossbow, but none of them are of much use as you’re probably going to spend the majority of the game scampering around to avoid enemies and find what little scraps of ammunition or curative items the game provides throughout each of the fifteen chapters. Hey, the genre is called survival-horror, ain’t it? Its tough, but fair, a quality that I found endearingly old-school.

That’s not to say that the game completely lacks modern game design niceties: of course the game offers an (optional) upgrade system, one that is fueled by “green gel” (pause) that you find hidden throughout each of the acts. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the game as it felt to me that there was a real risk and reward system at play here: given that

Everything has to be a god damned Metroidvania nowadays, huh?

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Its not all sunshine and sunflowers however: at times I found the game’s reliance on trial-and-error—especially during boss battles—to be incredibly frustrating, further compounded by the fact that the game is inexorably unoptimized, with long loading times cropping up everywhere; puzzling because the game installs on first load and seems to page from my system’s hard drive a lot. .

Alas, these are but small complaints in the grand scheme of things. The Evil Within is the Resident Evil 4 sequel y’all have been pining for. And even if the game aspired to be nothing but that, I can dig it.

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Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s Tango Gameworks studio was acquired by Zenimax Media (Bethesda’s parent company) in 2010. They announced ‘Project Zwei’ last April 2012. Today they announced the official name for it and released a live-action trailer.

Trailer does not give out any useful details for the game except that it’s a survival horror game, it’s gross, and has tentacle rape.

The Evil Within will launch on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and “next generation consoles” in 2014.

[show_hide title=”Click to view Official Press Release”]

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES
THE EVIL WITHINNew Survival Horror Game from Master of the GenreApril 19, 2013 (London, UK) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced the planned release of The Evil Within™, a survival horror game developed at Tango Gameworks™ under the direction of renowned game designer and studio head, Shinji Mikami. Best known as the father of the survival horror genre and creator of the Resident Evil series, Mikami is a 20-year veteran of the industry who has developed numerous award-winning titles. The official announcement trailer can be viewed today at IGN.com.The Evil Within, in development for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the PC, and next generation consoles, is slated for release in 2014. On Monday, April 22nd additional information about The Evil Within will be revealed in an exclusive feature story at IGN.com.”We’re incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within,” said Mikami. “My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action.”

About ZeniMax Media Inc.
ZeniMax Media is a privately owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC with international offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, and Tokyo. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, the PC, and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames Sweden, Battlecry Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax Asia Pacific Limited, and ZeniMax Online Studios. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.

About Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®, DOOM®, QUAKE®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein® , Dishonored™, Prey®, and RAGE®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.

About Tango Gameworks

Tango Gameworks, a ZeniMax Media company based in Tokyo, Japan, is a premier development studio founded and led by legendary game designer, Shinji Mikami. Tango Gameworks is dedicated to AAA multi-platform game development by some of Japan’s most accomplished and experienced developers.

The Evil Within, Tango, Tango Gameworks, The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, Bethesda Game Studios, Dishonored, Arkane, MachineGames, Battlecry Studios, Prey, Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda, ZeniMax and their related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the United States and/or in other countries. Fallout is a registered trademark or trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the United States and/or in other countries. id, id Software, DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein and RAGE are registered trademarks or trademarks of id Software LLC in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names referenced herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved. [/show_hide]