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E3 2013: The Evil Within (Impressions)

Posted by: John at 6/12/2013 11:53 PM
Bethesda's going into the survival horror genre and who better to lead this charge than Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil series. Mr. Mikami was on hand to talk about his latest project in that he wants to take survival horror back to its roots with this game. He wants you to experience unimaginable fear and to feel that triumph when you overcome those fears. That means you're low on resources, low on ammo, and low on the feeling of being safe for any amount of time.

The Evil Within has you playing Detective Sebastian Castellanos in a third person view and what was shown was the beginning of the game as well as a sequence from later on. For the beginning, you arrive with a few fellow officers to the Beacon Mental Hospital. It's raining outside with plenty of empty police cars in the parking area in front. As you enter the hospital, you see plenty of dead people strewn about and Sebastian makes his way to the security office. In there, he watches a security camera where three officers get brutally murdered by some ghostly apparition. Suddenly, the apparition appears behind Sebastian and knocks him out.

Sebastian then wakes up, hanging upside down, in a room with a very disturbing figure who I'll call the butcher.This hulking figure wears a white tank top and some weird contraption that surrounds his head. You hear, but don't see, him take a cleaver and cut off the upper half of one of the bodies hanging in the room and watch him drag it to a table for more mutilation. Detective Sebastian is able to cut himself down with a help of a knife sticking into a dead body hanging near him and proceeds to stealthily steal a key from the butcher to unlock his way out of the room.

Unfortunately, as Sebastian is trying to sneak away, he trips an alarm alerting the butcher who grabs a chainsaw and starts to chase the protagonist. What follows is an intense scene where Sebastian runs down a corridor and the camera is focused on Sebastian from behind. You hear the butcher getting closer and closer with his chainsaw in tow. The butcher catches up to Sebastian and takes a swipe, cutting the back of one of his legs. From now to the end of the first part, Sebastian walks with a heavy limp, making him even more vulnerable.

Sebastian then continues to sneak around the hospital area as the butcher searches for him. There's the often used scene of hiding inside a locker and seeing the butcher walk by through a slit, hoping that he doesn't turn around and open the door to your hiding spot. The limping causes more tension as you know you won't be able to run away from the butcher quickly, should he find you. After some more intense sequences sneaking around the butcher, Sebastian finally gets away, barely, in an elevator only to walk outside to see a devastated city.

The second scene shown has Sebastian walking through an old building. Zombies come slowly lumbering towards Sebastian and he's able to take one down with a headshot. With another, he fires enough bullets into the body to knock it down and then proceeds to burn it with a torch. A nice sequence shown is the ability to set some traps. Sebastian uses some mines placed under windows and doors to fend off a hoard of zombies coming at him. In another area, Sebastian is walking down a hallway when suddenly a wave of blood comes rushing towards him.

When it clears, Sebastian is in another place. Instead of an old, dilapidated building, he's now in some medical facility. In the middle at the end of the corridor lies a pile of bodies. All around, there are blood streaks and bloody hand prints. Suddenly, a monster made up several appendages come ripping through the bodies and chases you. Thus ends the intense demo of The Evil Within.

?The game uses both video and audio effectively to convey a sense of fear. There's a grainy film like view to the world and intense music as well as disgusting sound effects combine together to really set the mood. The visuals seem very Resident Evil like to me and the designs of both the creatures and environments make for a truly horrific looking experience. All told, The Evil Within looks incredibly intense and a game that can offer up a truly horrifying experience.