Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame has returned to his roots for his latest, and allegedly last, directorial effort with The Evil Within, a third-person survival horror shooter touted as a ''realization of pure horror". It is intended as the beginning of a franchise.
The game runs on a modified idTech 5 engine.
Overview & Controls
Labelled as a 'pure' survival horror game by Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is designed to strike a certain balance between horror and action elements. It greatly incorporates many elements of Mikami's previous work in Resident Evil 4 -- most notably how it plays from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective. Though unlike Resident Evil 4 The Evil Within is more of a standard shooter. One notable distinction is that there are no button-prompt melee attacks, though the player still has access to a punch that can knock enemies away. The actual damage it deals is minimal, however the player can also come upon torches and axes, which'll kill a regular enemy in one-hit, though they are also one-use only. While players can aim with the game's zoomed-in over-the-shoulder perspective, they can alternatively fire freely by pressing R2/RT (default PlayStation & Xbox controls) without aiming with L2/LT. Much like in Resident Evil 4, players can choose between slowly opening a door or kicking it open; when kicking it open, it'll knock back any enemies that are on the other side.
Sebastian will soon have access to matches, which he can use to burn the bodies of downed Haunted creatures. This thusly allows the player to prematurely kill a Haunted after shooting it so it has fallen over, and even enemies that are lying in wait for a certain event to be triggered before getting up.
Unlike the survival horror games of old, The Evil Within is strictly linear and doesn't ever offer up a large environment for the player to explore at their leisure akin to the Spencer Mansion. However ammunition at least is difficult to come by, and players can only carry a certain amount of ammo per weapon. There are a sparse few puzzles dotted around the game, however they are relatively simple.
In an attempt to disassociate survival horror games with 'clunky', unintuitive controls, The Evil Within allows players to move and shoot at the same time, with full analogue control as opposed to tank controls. As in other recent horror games like Dead Space, HUD elements are kept to a minimum in the interest of immersion. What few HUD elements there are can also be turned off in the options.
Quick Time Events will be encountered across the game, though they're kept to a minimum and will primarily be required for turning valves and the like.
Throughout the game the player will encounter files they can read, which'll help provide backstory related to the current happenings in the game.
The Evil Within features four difficulty levels:
- Casual -- Auto-aim is turned on for this mode.
- Nightmare -- This difficulty level is unlocked upon completing the game.
- Akumu -- which translates to ''Worst Dream'' in Japanese. This difficulty level must also be unlocked upon completing the game first. What makes it particularly notable over the lesser difficulties is that the player will die from a single hit.
Beyond merely shooting enemies, the player also has access to stealth. However it is rather rudimentary and is primarily restricted to allowing the player to crouch-walk and then potentially nail a stealth kill on an unsuspecting enemy.
Players can at least throw bottles in an attempt to distract the creatures, and can also choose to hide inside closets and under beds. However the noise made from going inside or out of a hiding spot is louder than one may expect and can potentially attract nearby enemies to the player's position.
For the Casual and Survival difficulty settings, the player can choose to turn on an indicator that'll let the player know if they're hidden and when the enemy is made aware of their position.
The player will encounter many traps throughout the game, to which they are dangerous for both the player and the monsters that are patrolling the area. As such, the player could potentially use them to their advantage in fighting off enemies. Alternatively, the player can disarm them (most commonly by holding down X/A) to then collect parts they can use to build ammunition for the Agony Crossbow weapon.
The traps are as such:
Tripwire - They're typically tied to a stack of dynamite, instigating an explosion should someone cross it. However they may also sometimes function as an alarm, alerting any enemies within the vicinity.
Bear Trap - The most basic of the traps, if walked upon the player (or an enemy) will be temporarily stuck, and the player must wiggle the left analogue stick to escape.
Proximity Trap - This one will begin to rapidly beep once the player is near, and after so long will explode. Though it will not beep should the player be crouch-walking. It will not respond to any enemies, but can still be shot by the player to create an explosion. To disarm it the player must tap X/A at the right time when the arrow spins into the blue area; if it lands in the red it will explode, as it will should the arrow spin a whole 360 degrees.
Acid Trap - Later on in the game, acid traps are introduced. They function as two opposing tanks filled with acid, to which will continually spew out a puddle of it within its immediate area. It will not affect any enemies that walk past it.
Weapons and items are stored in a ring, and when opened will drastically slow down the process of time. From there the player can select an item to use, however they can also set an item onto each direction of the four-way d-pad for a more convenient method of switching between weapons and healing supplies.
Health & Healing
There are two items the player can use to heal themselves -- syringes and medkits. Syringes will simply heal the player by a set amount, whereas a medkit will heal Sebastian fully while also slightly increasing his overall health. However upon using a medkit, this'll make Sebastian delirious for a few seconds, disallowing him from defending himself in any way.
Should Sebastian's health drop near the bottom, this'll slow his overall movement and stops him from being able to sprint. If the player stays still for a short while, his health will regenerate up to a certain point -- enough that he'll regain full mobility of movement.
For the majority of the game Sebastian will be on his own, though on some few occasions he will be accompanied by a partner character. His detective partner Joseph Oda will be the most recurring partner character, and is usually brought in for the more action-oriented scenes of the game. Oda will have access to weapons of his own depending on which situation--he'll firstly use his own military pistol, then an axe at a later event--and can kill enemies. Oda isn't invincible, though he can withstand more punishment than the player. When standing next to him, the player can hold down the X/A buttons (default PlayStation & Xbox controls) down for a few seconds to heal Oda completely.
Junior detective Juli Kidman may also be at the players side on occasion, though unlike Oda she is completely invincible; Kidman is also still able to kill any nearby enemies. During one occasion late in the game, the player will have both Oda and Kidman at their side to provide backup, both of whom are invincible this time around. Marcelo Jimenez and/or Leslie Withers on a few occasions will also tag along with Sebastian; they both have no means of attack, but also cannot die.
Throughout the game, the player will begin to hear Clair de lune by Claude Debussy, signalling that a Save Room is nearby. To enter the room the player will usually have to read the nearby journal of Sebastian's, which'll then crack the mirror allowing the player to enter. Sometimes the mirror will already be cracked, and the story itself will also sometimes force the player to return to the Save Room.
The Save Room itself is a ward of the Beacon Mental Hospital, currently being overseen by Nursa Tatiana. While there the player can of course save their progress, though further back is a metal chair the player can sit on to then upgrade their abilities with use of 'green gel', the game's currency. In the back is a series of lockers the player can unlock for some supplies, though they first require keys that can be found during the main game to unlock. The contents inside are random. Finally there is a map of Krimson City located in Tatiana's office, however it is missing a majority of its pieces that must be collected by the player to fill it in.
The game progresses throughout 15 separate chapters, each of which will allow the player save before moving onto the next.
Note: The first increment is the base stat.
General Abilities Upgrades
- Life Gauge Increase - 100 / 110 / 120 / 130 / 150
- Maximum Sprint Time Increase - 3.0s / 4.0s / 6.0s / 8.0s / 10.0s
- Melee Damage Increase - 100% / 120% / 150% / 180% / 240%
- Syringe Recovery Increase - 30 / 35 / 42 / 48 / 60
- Damage Multiplier - 100% / 120% / 140% / 160% / 200%
- Fire Rate - 1.00s / 0.80s / 0.65s / 0.50s / 0.30s
- Reload Time - 2.40s / 1.93s / 1.58s . 1.33s / 1.16s
- Clip Capacity - 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 12
- Accuracy - 5.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 3.5 / 2.5
- Critical Chance - 0% / +10% / +20% / +30% / +50%
- Damage Multiplier - 100% / 120% / 140% / 160% / 200%
- Fire Rate - 1.00s / 0.90s / 0.80s / 0.70s / 0.50s
- Reload Time - 2.40s / 1.93s / 1.58s / 1.33s / 1.16s
- Clip Capacity - 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 12
- Accuracy - 5.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 3.5 / 2.5
- Damage Multiplier - 100% / 120% / 140% / 160% / 200%
- Fire Rate - 1.60s / 1.50s / 1.40s / 1.30s / 1.10s
- Reload Time - 3.16s / 2.30s / 1.81s / 1.58s / 1.27s
- Clip Capacity - 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 / 10
- Critical Chance - 0% / +10% / +20% / +30% / +50%
Sniper Rifle Upgrades
- Damage Multiplier - 100% / 120% / 140% / 160% / 200%
- Fire Rate - 1.60s / 1.30s / 1.10s / 1.00s / 0.80s
- Reload Time - 3.83s / 3.41s / 3.07s / 2.56s / 2.04s
- Clip Capacity - 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 10
- Critical Chance - 0% / +20% / +40% / +60% / +100%
Agony Crossbow Upgrades
- Charge Time - 1.0s / 0.67s / 0.33s
- Range - 100% / 120% / 150%
- Reload Time - 1.52s / 1.28s / 1.11s
- Handgun - 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 50
- Magnum - 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 16
- Shotgun - 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 20
- Sniper Rifle - 5 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 15
- Agony Crossbow - 2 / 3 / 4
- Grenades - 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 10
- Syringes - 2 / 3 / 4
- Matches - 5 / 7 /10 / 15 / 30
Agony Bolt Upgrades
- Explosive Bolt Damage - 100% / 110% / 120% / 130% / 150%
- Shock Bolt Radius & Duration - 1.2m, 4s / 1.5m, 4s / 1.5m, 6s / 2.0m, 6s / 2.5m, 10s
- Freeze Bolt Radius - 1.5m / 1.75m / 2.0m / 2.5m / 3.0m
- Flash Bolt Blindness Duration - 4s / 7s / 10s / 13s / 16s
- Harpoon Bolt Damage Multiplier - 100% / 130% / 160% / 240% / 240% + Fire Element
Whence the game has been completed, the player is then allowed to play any of the 15 chapters again with all of their unlocked weapons and upgrades. However they can only play chapters for the difficulty they have completed, or ones below it. Any attempts at starting again on a higher difficulty requires players to start over completely.
The lead protagonist of the game. Sebastian is a veteran Detective of the Krimson Police Department, and a recovering alcoholic. While good natured at heart, his profession has lead to him occasionally coming across as curt and even a little rude.
He arrives at the scene of the crime at the beginning while wearing the trench coat his wife and fellow police officer Myra has given to him, however he loses it almost immediately.
- Voiced and mo-capped by Anson Mount.
- During some of the early trailers for the game, Jon Curry voiced the character as a placeholder.
Sebastian Castellanos' detective partner of many years. Joseph isn't as headfast as Sebastian and is more analytical, more 'by the books'. Sebastian holds a great amount of respect for Oda, though Oda himself finds it difficult to match his own high set of standards he has for himself. He is often seen taking notes in his notepad, and because of his long-standing relationship with Sebastian is one of few people who is allowed to call him 'Seb'.
A junior detective assigned to Sebastian and Joseph as backup for their latest case. Kidman is highly observant and rather quiet; she will usually keep her thoughts to herself unless asked.
A mentally-challenged young man, Leslie means well but his penchant for getting confused can result in him running away from those that are merely trying to help him. A strange talent of Leslie's is to be able to unconsciously emulate the thoughts of others.
A mysterious robed man, covered in what look to be severe burns in parts of his flesh, and the main antagonist of The Evil Within. He seems to have control over most of the oddities and monsters Sebastian is routinely having to defend himself against, while he himself is also seemingly unkillable.
Detectives Sebastian Castellanos and Joseph Oda, alongside Junior Detective Juli Kidman, are called to the scene of a brutal massacre at the Beacon Medical Hospital. Upon arriving they locate a single survivor, to which Sebastian then investigates the CCTV footage. He sees a robed man moving at superhuman speeds, killing three police officers. As he turns around, the same man ambushes him and Sebastian passes out.
He wakes up inside what looks to be some sort of butcher's shop and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding madman. Sebastian eludes the man and manages to escape the hospital. There he is picked up by officer Oscar Connelly, driving an ambulance. Inside is also Juli Kidman, doctor Marcelo Jimenez, and a patient of his called Leslie Withers. Their escape is short lived, as the city begins to fall apart and crumble. Connelly also notably begins to transform into something other than human, forcing the ambulance to crash. Sebastian then wakes up to find himself alone in a foggy village. He spots Connelly nearby, but is forced to kill him in self-defense after he violently lunges and attacks Sebastian.
Sebastian makes his way through the village, which is populated by more crazed zombie-like creatures, and stumbles upon Leslie. He tries to help him but Leslie runs away out of fright.
Officer Oscar Connelly's revolver, to which Sebastian soon procures for himself after Connelly becomes one of the 'Haunted'. A reliable weapon, suitable for most encounters, though even when upgraded it'll never be quite as fast nor can it hold as many bullets as a semi-automatic pistol. Nonetheless, its potential power and critical chance can turn the revolver into a highly formidable and decimating weapon.
A reliable pump-action 12-gauge. The shotgun is as powerful as one would expect even at base stats, able to disperse crowds or at the very least knock an enemy over onto the ground, allowing the player to then throw a match unto the creature.
An extremely powerful bolt-action rifle. The Sniper Rifle allows two levels of zoom for its scope, and even at base stats has a very high chance to score a critical headshot.
The most powerful standard weapon in the game, the magnum functions like a much more powerful variant of the starting Revolver. Ammo is incredibly scarce for this weapon throughout the game, however, forcing players to make every magnum bullet count even more so than usual.
A highly versatile crossbow, rumored to have been designed by Ruvik. While it at first functions as a regular crossbow that can shoot out harpoons, the player will soon come upon multiple varieties of ammunition. Ammo can be found throughout the world, though the player can also create their own ammo with 'parts', either by being found in the environment or from disarming enemy traps. Due to its variety of ammo types it is somewhat akin to the grenade launcher from the Resident Evil series.
Agony Crossbow Bolt Types
The regular ammunition for the weapon. Harpoon bolts are powerful and can send an enemy searing back and then potentially getting stuck on a wall or the floor, albeit temporarily.
Two parts are required to make a Harpoon Bolt.
These function like proximity mines, allowing the player to set up their own traps. They can alternatively be simply shot at an enemy, which'll stick and then explode momentarily.
Three parts are required to make an Explosive Bolt.
Essentially flash grenades, these will immediately explode into a bright light whence shot, blinding any nearby enemies. Once stunned enemies are then open to being stealth killed, even from the front.
Two parts are required to make a Flash Bolt.
These will freeze any enemies that are caught within its radius; once frozen, it'll only take a single shot or melee attack to then shatter the enemy completely.
Five parts are required to make a Freeze Bolt.
When shot by one of these, an enemy will be stuck in place and will suffer a continuous discharge of electricity. Players can then shoot the enemy with other weaponry while they're stuck, though it's possible for the player to accidentally shoot the bolt that's lodged in the creature, allowing them to prematurely regain movement.
Four parts are required to make a Shock Bolt.
This bolt type is only available to players via the Fighting Chance pack and cannot be upgraded in any way; players must also first reach Chapter 3 before they have access to it. An Incendiary bolt whence shot will spray a stream of short-range fire in three directions; when directly shot at an enemy, it will do no actual damage to the enemy it is lodged on, but will still spray outwards onto any nearby enemies.
Five parts are required to make an Incendiary Bolt.
This bolt type is also only available to players via the Fighting Chance pack and cannot be upgraded in any way; players must also first reach Chapter 3 before they have access to it. A Poison bolt whence shot will spew out a small gas of poison, that not only damages enemies in the vicinity but will also draw them in due to its odour.
Five parts are required to make a Poison Bolt.
While they can't be upgraded (beyond how many the player can carry at once) grenades are still extremely powerful and best used for dealing with a crowd of enemies or boss battles. Unlike most games, grenades must be equipped for use like any other weapon.
A powerful alternative to the regular shotgun. However this double-barrelled variety is only accessible to players with the Fighting Chance pack installed. Unlike the regular shotgun this one cannot be upgraded in anyway, however it is still very powerful and has a very high chance of at the very least knocking an enemy over, even at medium range. Its small capacity of only holding 2 bullets at once is one especially notable downfall.
Even with the pack installed, the Double-Barrelled Shotgun will only be given when players have reached Chapter 3.
The Haunted are the primary adversary of the game and will be encountered throughout. They function very much like the Ganado and Majini from Resident Evil 4 and 5 respectively, in that they follow AI patterns akin to zombies, only they are much more aggressive and are capable of utilising a number of weapons. Headshots are what work best, though shooting their legs to make them fall the ground is also a valid strategy as it then opens them up to being doused in flame with a match -- killing them instantly, and potentially catching and also killing any nearby Haunted as well.
When not aware of the player, Haunted will traditionally move slowly through the environment in a set pattern, allowing players to potentially sneak up and commit an instant-kill from behind. Once they catch on to the player's presence, however, they will routinely attempt to swarm the player as a mob.
There are a variety of Haunted the player will encounter throughout the game. The most basic forms will utilise such weapons as axes, kitchen knives, torches, shovels and so on, if they're not simply unarmed. Shooting the Haunted's hand holding their weapon will make them drop it. If unarmed they'll typically try to grab Sebastian, requiring the player to wiggle the stick to escape their grasp. However if they have a weapon and get close enough they can potentially instigate an attack showing them attack Sebastian with their weapon that cannot be avoided.
Haunted will sometimes opt to throw their melee weapon at the player, and some will even arrive ready with molotov cocktails or dynamite. Though if the player can shoot the projectile while it's in the Haunted's hands it will explode, killing them -- however it may still do damage to the player if they're within proximity. Some Haunted will be shown wearing a mask, which while not indestructible does make headshots less viable of a strategy. It also makes them immune to the effects of flash bolts.
Certain Haunted throughout the game will have access to firearms. Early on they are restricted to bolt-action sniper rifles, though later in the game they can be encountered using revolvers, assault rifles, or even an Agony Crossbow complete with explosive bolts. The ones equipped with assault rifles are also typically found wearing not only a mask but also body armor, making them much more resistant to damage than most.
The player will often encounter Haunted that are, as the game declares them, ''fatter'', which can withstand significantly more damage than the regular variety. Another special type of Haunted is one that is completely invisible. The way to pick their location is by noting any obstacles they inadvertently push out of their way, or puddles that will mark their footsteps; they'll also reveal themselves just before they attack. This type of Haunted is only encountered in Chapter 5.
Later in the game during Chapters 12-14, there'll be Haunted firemen still with their extinguisher on their back. Shooting it will make it explode, killing the fireman Haunted and potentially damaging any nearby Haunted as well.
The most dangerous type of Haunted, made distinctive by wearing a hood and robe akin to main antagonist Ruvik. Once alerted to the player they will unleash a vicious scream and then vomit a stream of red blood. The stream will then manifest into a puddle of blood, where the claws of Laura will begin lunging out. The puddle will chase the player for a set time until eventually evaporating, and the only way to end it prematurely is by killing the Haunted that unleashed it. If it catches the player, it is a one-hit kill. Not only are their offensive properties as such extremely dangerous, but they also cannot be stealth killed. Headshots won't work either, as where their head should be is but a black void.
An enemy similar to the Haunted, only they cannot use any weapons and are much more resistant to damage. Their primary source of attack is try and bite at the player, requiring them to wiggle the stick to throw it off. They will otherwise simply punch the player, though will also sometimes bring forth a tentacle that sprouts out of their torso, giving them an increased range of attack. AlterEgos will sometimes be encountered already on the floor and will slowly crawl towards the player. While the instinct is to throw a match unto them, AlterEgos will typically leap up at the player and begin biting them before they can get close enough to throw the match.
While headshots are the most suitable strategy, they notably have two heads, requiring players to destroy both to kill it thattaway.
A tall, bulbous chainsaw-wielding maniac, Sadists are encountered sparingly and function as sub-bosses. They are rather fast and are able to keep up with Sebastian even as he's sprinting; any attack from a Sadist will also kill the player instantly. They are rather strong as one may expect and can withstand much more damage than any Haunted.
One Sadist in Chapter 15 is encountered while wielding a rocket launcher as opposed to a chainsaw, though this one is much weaker than the others.
Another sub-boss enemy that is fought rather infrequently throughout the game. Like the Sadist it can withstand a great deal of damage, though it does at least have weak spot on its back. Traumas have two forms; their first, default form has their arms locked in shackles wrapped with chains -- which they can use as a long-ranged attack. After so much damage, however, they will break free from their shackles and become more aggressive, but will also lose their ability to sling a chain towards the player.
Laura Part I
The first boss battle of the game set at the end of Chapter 5. Players will encounter Laura a little earlier before they enter the battle arena, however their only option will be to run away.
When reaching the boss arena, Laura must now be 'killed' in order to move on. Fortunately the battle is conveniently set within a furnace and Laura happens to have an innate weakness to fire. Simply shooting her will still deal damage, however she has a knack for rapidly teleporting towards the player avoiding the bullets in the process. As such, utilising the number of fire-related tools nearby is vital.
The primary source of fire is the furnace itself, which the player can potentially lure Laura into and then pull the nearby lever, opening the grate and dropping her into the fire below. This can be performed two times, however once each lever has been used is it then made to be inaccessible. There are a number of red barrels that will ignite and explode when shot which will deal damage to Laura, however they are removed for the Nightmare and Akumu difficulty settings. There are also a few torches located that players can wield and attack Laura with as well. As Laura will often burst out of one of the many corpses located throughout the area, it's possible the player can catch her on fire by throwing a match on the corpse as she's materialising.
Laura's offensive capabilities are primarily restricted to a one-hit kill that has a surprising range, though she will sometimes opt to do a regular slash with one of her claws. She is also rather fast, even when disregarding her ability to teleport, and will often quickly scurry towards the player in an attempt to perform her one-hit kill.
Zehn and Neun
A pair of mentally-challenged twins that have undergone extensive growth in height and overall strength. The somewhat more reserved Zehn is fought first after he is unleashed by a Haunted. Wielding a large makeshift club, he will swing it about and can potentially cause great damage if his attacks hit.
The other twin, Neun, is much more aggressive than his sibling and his noted by the tight leather mask he wears around his face, covering his eyes. He is thusly blind and relies on sound to track Sebastian, though he is also more prone to charging throughout the area. Unlike his brother, however, Zeun has no melee weapon in hand.
It's possible that Zehn can be killed first before facing Neun, however the tight corridors from where he is first encountered may make this tricky. Players can attempt to run away from Zehn, at least until arriving at a more open environment to do battle, but that will also force the player to fight against both twins simultaneously.
A large, ravenous canine of sorts. The Sentinel boss fight is a simple one, as the player is forced into a circular battle ground and must unload whatever weaponry they have into the beast. However Sentinel is rather fast, which can make hitting it and also avoiding its rush attacks difficult. It will routinely hide within the bushes in the area, before then charging out untoward the player.
Once it has taken enough punishment the player is able to escape, however Joseph Oda then notes that the dog knocked off his glasses. The player must now head back into the arena and collect the glasses, just as Sentinel regains its strength. From this point on the player can choose to either collect the glasses and head back to Joseph, or attempt to kill Sentinel once and for all. To collect the requisite green gel reward from the boss fight Sentinel must be killed; simply beating it during the first bout will yield no rewards.
The Keeper Part I
A mysterious creature that is dressed like a butcher while also wearing a safe on its head. The first time the player encounters The Keeper they are to try and simultaneously turn the valves to halt the stream of poison gas, while also trying to stave off The Keeper.
While killing The Keeper isn't especially difficult, it is able to materialise from any one of the safe heads littered throughout the area.
Both Nightmare and Akumu modes will be unlocked after completing the game on either of the two previous difficulty settings.
An unlockable weapon that is gifted to the player after completing the game. The Machine Gun cannot be upgraded, but it has a very high rate of fire and can hold up to 40 rounds at once in the clip, with a maximum of 200 spare.
A powerful weapon that is only canonically used during the very end during the fight against Ruvik. It is exceptionally powerful and can kill almost everything in one shot if it's a direct hit -- its splash damage alone will at least topple most enemies over. When equipped it'll force the player to stay perched onto the ground.
Like the Machine Gun, the Rocket Launcher will be unlocked for use outside of the end boss when the game is completed. It also cannot be upgraded.
High Penetration Sniper Rifle
Essentially 3D concept art, the model viewer allows players to view many of the characters and enemies and pan around them. They each also have a small accompanying description. It is unlocked by completing the game on any difficulty.
Fighting Chance Pack
A preorder bonus that provides players with the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, 5000 points of green gel, a medkit, and two new Agony Crossbow ammo types - Incendiary and Poison.
Announced on August 13th, 2014 on Bethesda's blog was a season pass offer for the three upcoming DLC packs. The first two are titled The Assignment and The Consequence, and follow supporting character Juli Kidman. The final third pack, called The Executioner, has players take up the role of the enigmatic Keeper creature.
The Assignment was the first piece of substantial DLC to be released, on March 10th, 2015. With Juli Kidman as the protagonist, The Assignment differs greatly from the main game in that the player doesn't have access to any guns. The player must instead rely upon stealth and generally staying out of combat to proceed. Puzzles also factor into the game more heavily than in the main game.
There is only the one difficulty available by default, though upon completion the player is given access to a special difficulty that makes the entire game pitch black beyond what Kidman can see with her flashlight.
Unlike Sebastian, Kidman is able to take cover and from there can call out to potentially alert enemies. When leaving cover, she will have a slight burst in speed for roughly a second or so as to help her move from cover to cover. Vents and crawl spaces can be found throughout the environment, which will help the player to circumvent enemies and stay hidden.
Kidman's primary piece of equipment is her flashlight, which she must use to help explore the area as the environments are typically rather dark. She can also use the flashlight to uncover secret rooms, by focussing the flashlight on any of the Mobius symbols. During one instance where she encounters invisible Haunted, she can use the flashlight to temporarily reveal them to the player's view. Players will also encounter bottles, which can be used much like in the main game as a means to create a distraction to lure away enemies.
While most forms of combat have been completely removed, Kidman does still have access to a melee attack. However much like Sebastian's it is only suitable for defence as the damage it deals is minimal; that, and a single kick will use up around half her stamina. There is at least one segment where Kidman is trapped and must shoot all of the encroaching enemies; she will have infinite ammo for her pistol during this time, however this is the only occasion during the DLC where she can actively use it.
There are a number of Keeper safe heads, each of which houses a scrap of paper. However each safe first requires the player to input a code of sorts; the answer is usually nearby, hidden in plain sight. All of the safes are optional and merely exist as a collectable. There are also other collectables hidden in the environment that will unlock 3D character models and songs from the soundtrack to listen to from the DLC's main menu.
The Evil Within was originally announced under the codename Project Zwei, and was noticeably different than how The Evil Within actually ended up. It was initially conceptualized as a ''vampire hunting action game starring a man and a woman attached by a chain''. Because of the two-character setup, cooperative gameplay was to be a significant role in the game; when played solo, players would then have to control the two characters simultaneously -- similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This idea was eventually scrapped, after Mikami had received feedback suggesting that vampires weren't very popular, and that his colleagues wished to design a more traditional horror game instead.
The Evil Within was eventually revealed with its now official title via an IGN-exclusive live-action teaser trailer, with further exclusive coverage on IGN the following week.
As the self-proclaimed 'father of survival horror', Mikami took on this endeavor specifically because he believes there is a noticeable lack of survival horror games in the market. What often passes for survival horror is considered too action-focused by Mikami, and he hopes to bring back the balance of experiencing the fear of a horror game with the thrill of an action game to the sub-genre.
Mikami has stated that the Winchester Mystery House played a part in inspiring the look and design of some of the environments in the game. Martin Scorceses' film interpretation of The Shutter Island story has also been cited as an inspiration during development, as was Christopher Nolan's Inception film. The visual design of the Keeper creature was partly inspired by Clive Barker's Hellraiser film.
On May 27th, The Evil Within's release was delayed from August 26th to October 21st for NA, the 23rd for Oceania, and 24th for Europe. On July 18th, however, the date was then pushed forward a week for a worldwide October 14th release.
The trailer that officially introduced the game was produced by the company Prologue Pictures and was directed by Kyle Cooper. It was made using only practical effects (such as prosthetics and makeup) rather than CGI. To add to the bloodied effect of some of the characters shown in the trailer, such as the multi-armed 'Reborn' called Laura, the performers were to sit in a bath filled with fake blood for hours on end. The trailer took 3 days to complete.
Executive-producer Alex Dervin said that some actors suffered discomfort during filming, but this served to instil ''some of the anger'' necessary for the roles.
The Onion Barbed Wire Trailer
Bethesda teamed up with the satirist news website The Onion to produce a trailer, parodying the often brought up criticisms about how certain cultures/minorities ect. are portrayed within games. It sets itself up as a news headline, vilifying Bethesda for their portrayal of barbed wire and how it is often shown as a tool for murder and/or by murderers, subliminally referring to Boxman.
The game's Japanese release is entitled "PsychoBreak," a name chosen because it is much easier for native Japanese speakers to pronounce. This mirrors Resident Evil's use of the title "Biohazard" in Japan. Much like most games, The Evil Within went through numerous other names before settling on its final moniker; ''Mobius'' was one such name.
Censorship in Japan
In order to get past scoring a rating of CERO Z for a more widespread CERO D, The Evil Within's gore in its Japanese release will be censored. However by preordering the game, Japanese players will then have access to a free download to unlock the game's gore.
Come the game's release, however, it was uncovered that even with the gore turned on it's still censored to a certain degree when compared to the game's western releases.
Alternate Boxart Cover
On July 30th, the official Bethesda blog held a poll to decide which of the three images they have designed will function as the game's alternate cover for launch copies. This also included the opportunity for ten individuals to win a copy of the game for the platform of their choice signed by Shinji Mikami, should they then email their answer to the blog with their full name and mailing address.
The images are as follows:
On August 11th, the Asylum image (as shown to the right) was then officially crowned the winner of the poll.
Produced by Titan Comics, there is to be a four-part comic series set before the events of the game, as it follows a young student called Dana as she searches for her lost friend. The first issue will be released on August 27th, which was initially only a day after the main game's US release before the game's delay.
The series is to be written by Ian Edginton, with Alex Sanchez producing the art.
The Art of The Evil Within
On the same day as the game's release, there is to be an art book showcasing much of the game's concept art and behind-the-scenes material.
- The introductory cutscene to Connelly as a Haunted exactly mimics the uncensored cutscene in Resident Evil--to which Mikami was also the director--whence the player encounters the game's first zombie. The Krimson Police Force's badge also greatly resembles the Special Tactics and Rescue Service logo.
- Furthermore, the logo of an undefined cult in the game also shares a strong resemblance to the Los Illuminados cult logo from Resident Evil 4.
- The game's main theme 'Long Way Down' is sung by English musician Gary Numan.
PC System Requirements
|OS: 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8|
|Processor: i7 with four plus cores|
|Memory: 4 GBs RAM|
|Graphics: GeForce GTX 670 or equivalent with 4GBs of VRAM|
|Hard Drive Space: 50 GB of hard drive space*|
|Network: High Speed Internet Connection / Steam account and activation|
Console Install Sizes
- Xbox One — 40 GB HDD Space
- PlayStation 4 — 40 GB HDD Space
- PlayStation 3 — 7 GB HDD Space
- Xbox 360 — 7 GB (Mandatory Install)