The Evil Within Still Haunts Me
There’s one ‘horror’ game that tends to be called a great Halloween play. It’s from the creator of a hugely treasured franchise. It should have been an amazing horror experience that made use of the latest technology (at the time). What it ended up being was the perfect example of everything wrong with modern horror, both in games and cinema. Fuck the Evil Within.
I’ve never played such a pandering game that tries to appease so many people, all while failing to do anything all that well. The whole game feels like a mish-mash of bad horror films, where the scares aren’t crafted, instead just bundled in. ‘Look at this, it’s disgusting right? All this blood yeah?!’ says the game, all while it tries really hard to scare you.
In all honesty, there are some highlights. Initially, The Evil Within does a fairly decent job of setting up its tone. Players are left confused and disoriented, leaving a sense of the unknown to settle in. Tension and atmosphere slowly build, all while brooding undertones start to amass…and then the game just drops it for action and gore.
Much like Eli Roth relied on gore and disgust in Cabin Fever and Hostel, The Evil Within relies purely on its gore. Blood splatters, disfigured faces and plenty of body horror. It misses the point entirely, leaving the horror to feel pretty damn cheap. Every 60 seconds the game tries to shock the player with imagery, even if that means hindering the pace of the game.
I could never understand how people thought the game was scary or even well crafted. The only true terror I experienced was at how horrifically dated it tended to be. Forced in stealth and turret sections result in the game feeling like some bizarre tribute to late 90′s action games. There’s very little fear to be felt when the game is broken up with long periods of straight up fire fights.
The Evil Within tried to redefine horror games, but instead ended up being part of the decline. Sequel baiting endings, padded out sections and launch day DLC were all part of deal. Marketed as the next big game in horror, designed including everything that made video games (in general, not within the genre) sell well, I truly hate The Evil Within.
Obviously the game has its fans, but so does the Big Bang Theory.