The Evil Within – impressions
+, +, + remarkable production values
+, +, +, + epic length/value for money. It felt like 3 times as long as I was expecting, and all continuing not with stretched content but with constantly new locations and set-piece moments
+ the classical music sections such as the safe zone were nice, in the rest i didn’t remember/notice/like any special music. The credits has a bit of it.
-, -, – a lot of gore and shock horror, way too much and way too rudely in your face in my opinion
+, +, + the overall story felt pretty interesting
-, – it felt often very “gamey” … like contrived with game elements, enemies spawning, strongly scripted moments (in the bad sense) like enemies appearing at certain moments, no freedom, and the occasional totally gratuitous twist just to say put you in a “now you’re shooting a machine gun”, “now you’re locked in a moving elevator + shooting gallery”
+, +, +, + some really spectacular locations in variety, and also in production values, with little recycling and amazingly done. I often couldn’t believe this is not some prerendered scene because so much of the environment was changing around me, buildings falling/changing/ending up in new places…
+, +, + nice story twists, original story and a nice twist on horror with even some science elements
-, -, -, – overdone gore
+ some of the most spectacular game OR movie street city crasing/earthquake scenes I’ve ever seen
-, -, – bad pacing… too much tension and disgusting things without alternating with peace/contemplation/observation/something different… it tried to keep the beat too long too stressful leading to often just wanting to close it and for months not looking forward to start it again
+, + but in the end did because of the great production values
-, -, -, – a LOT of one shot kills and unfair moments.
-, -, – made worse by long loads. Any game that has so many unfair player kills should at the very least instant load… but still the problem is unexcusable because:
-, -, – it doesn’t make story sense. Every time the protagonist said “phew, i made it” all i could think is, “no, no, you didn’t, you died sooo many times. this movie would’ve ended so far before”.
+, + there’s moments where it felt satisfying, an environmental puzzle which made sense, or where being careful was rewarded with a payoff giving a Dark Souls style satisfaction of overcoming adversity in an interesting setting, but then they were also killed off by others which were simply arbitrary and felt random
+, – the horror/supernatural/fiction setting can be a wonderful thing a fascinating world to discover… but it turns out it can also feel like “a nightmare” in a more literal and unpleasant sense in that it feels arbitrary. I mentioned Dark Souls earlier, at least those worlds felt consistent in the rules, and in the world .. here sometimes it was interesting, sometimes random.
+ if one could strip away all the bad design choices in this game you’d end up with a game with a cinematic spectacle rivaling an Uncharted game and reminiscent of Resident Evil 4…. too bad there’s also all the frustration
Overall I’ll give the game a 0. It’s weird. For the high production values and length and the interesting story i’m tempted to give it a 1 or even a 2, but then I remembered all the moments it made me soooo hate it, like seriously angry, with cheap and random deaths, with boss battles, with repeated pointless frustration. There were even moments even close to the end where i had settled on -1 despite all the pluses because along with the greats there were so many horrible things it did and backward choices, but in the end I guess it deserves a 0 on a -5 to 5 scale. I can imagine people really admiring and appreciating some things in it, but I can also imagine people who like I felt at times feel like throwing the disk against a wall and promising to themselves to never again buy a game from this dev because they don’t entertain but rather abuse their players… but yearh, then there’s the good portions with are impressively professionally done and the great variety in locations and the interesting story elements…. so overall, well, it’s a draw. It was frustrating enough to not deserve the standard 1 that i give to mediocre but AAA games, and yet there were great moments and content in there. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I did buy the sequel and I’ll give it a try hoping they’ve kept the good and thrown away the bad… we’ll see.
PS: I’ll end this more critical review with and example of one of the redeeming sides of this game, it’s sometimes fascinating environments, of great variety, one of which is this mansion, which shows how much nice historical building research they didThe Evil Within - impressions, 2.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings