PAX East 2014 Previews

PAX East 2014 – The Evil Within Preview

Written by Matt Curione

The Evil Within, the long awaited new game from director Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks is looking to be a creep-fest of the highest order. Shinji Mikami, best known for directing the best entries in the Resident Evil franchise, is at it again with his new venture. If you haven’t been keeping up with the story, Mikami is once again in the director’s chair for what looks to be another classic horror experience in the making.

evilwithincityFrom the demo on display, it’s safe to say that this release is going to send shivers down the spines of players. During a hands-off demo at PAX East today, I was able to witness two distinct areas of the game, both of which were beautifully rendered. The first part of the demo began in a desolated city that is literally collapsing all around you. This actually reminded me of Nemesis-era Racoon City with the visible destruction and Silent Hill, where the world would morph around you into new and increasingly hideous surroundings. One aspect that Mikami has taken from his earlier work is the possibility of a Crimson Head situation ala Resident Evil for GameCube. When the player incapacitates a monster there was an option to set the corpse aflame, which as fans will recall was the key to not dealing with a super powered Crimson Head zombie in the later stages of that remake.

The now industry standard weapon wheel is used to select your arsenal which includes everything you’d expect from a pistol to a shotgun and even a customizable crossbow. The crossbow was shown using two types of ammo; the first was a timed explosive that was used to clear out a horde of incoming creatures, where the second was a nifty freeze dart that stunned enemies in place. The survival horror trope of limited resources is also in play so it seems you’ll rarely have a full cache of ammo at any given time.

It was during this first section that I also noticed a few odd audio glitches; for instance at one point a school bus crashed into the ground next to the character yet I didn’t hear the impact until a few seconds later. This could be a bug in the system that needs fixing or it could have just been an audio issue related to the sound system that was in use. Speaking of sound overall, the design is quite good which is a godsend since audio is one of the key components to a great survival horror experience.

Next up was a truly creepy section of the game that takes place in the dilapidated basement of a mental asylum. This section had theevilwithinsafehead player facing off against multiple Safe Head creatures. These guys are incredibly imposing and reminded me of Leatherface if he worked at a bank, all hulking muscle with the butcher’s apron to match. This section also gave the title of The Evil Within (Psycho Break in Japan) meaning since every time an objective was completed one of these Safe Heads would appear as if out of thin air, sprouting from the player’s mind. The basement was also used as an opportunity to show off some impressive lighting effects since an old-timey lantern is used as a light source instead of the flashlight that’s been used in every horror game from the original Silent Hill to Doom 3.

The Evil Within releases on August 26th and hopefully the team at Tango Gameworks takes that time to iron out the few technical issues that were present in this demo. All in all, if you enjoyed Mikami’s previous Resident Evil releases then you’ll probably find a lot to like here. There are action elements present but not to an overwhelming degree which seems like a much welcome throwback when it comes to this once endangered genre.

Stay tuned to LevelSave in the coming months for more news on The Evil Within as it becomes available as well as our review when it releases this summer. In the meantime, check out the new trailer that was released today.


About the author

Matt Curione

Lifelong gamer from the Garden State. From Atari 2600 to the Wii U...He's seen some things and had some radical adventures along the way. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealMattC or e-mail him directly via Matt@LevelSave.com.

1 Comment

  • Games that pooped into my head while watching the trailer; Silent Hill, Alan Wake, and The Suffering. Excellent preview btw.

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