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E3 2014: The Evil Within

Posted on June 10, 2014 AT 04:00pm

Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Developer Tango Gameworks
Platform XB1, PS4, 360, PS3, PC
Release Date 10.21.2014
You can read the rest of our Opinionated Guide to E3 2014 or head to our E3 hub for even more coverage.

The Rundown

The father of Resident Evil is back, as Japanese horror mastermind Shinji Mikami dreams up a new nightmare in The Evil Within. What starts as a routine call for detective Sebastian Castellanos turn out to be a descent into madness—not to mention a fight for survival in a strange world that wants Sebastian to be its next victim.

The Verdict

As someone who’s long loved Japanese survival-horror offerings, I never lost faith in what Mikami was building in The Evil Within. Still, some of the recent hands-off demos did bring up a concern or two in my heart. Earlier this year at PAX East, I was treated to a most interesting scene of Sebastian walking around an earthquake-ravaged city—followed by a not-so-interesting segment where he killed the same enemy (the butcher with a box on his head) over and over while shutting off gas-spewing valves over and over.

Then, however, things totally turned around. Bethesda let me go hands-on with the game for almost an hour, and I walked away very excited for what I’d played. Is it perfect? Is it totally polished? No to both of those—but it doesn’t have to be to make me happy. This is that Japanese flair for horror that I’ve long loved, and on more than one occasion, it reminded me of a more modern homage to another of Mikami’s games: Resident Evil 4. There’s a great balance between puzzles and action, with both having a flair that you’d expect from a team like Tango.

Will The Evil Within win over those who typically prefer their horror games to come from Western developers? I’m not sure if I can say either way on that just yet—and, given how much I’ve personally enjoyed what I’ve played so far, I’m also not sure I care.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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