Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PAX East 2014: The Evil Within

The Evil Within. Not sure what I can say about this game. Does it scare the crap out of you? Yes it does. Can it create an atmosphere of terror where you are worried what sort of horror is around the next turn? Sure as hell can. Will you fear turning off the lights at night after playing just a taste of it? More than likely. The Evil Within is bringing the survival horror genre back with a fury and from what was shown this past weekend at PAX East, it's coming whether you are prepared or not.

I had the chance to check out some new gameplay footage of The Evil Within that showcased off just a tidbit of what will be in store for the folks brave enough to venture down the rabbit hole that is The Evil Within. The entire time watching the demo I didn't feel like I was watching a game, but being immersed in a world where death can come from any direction and if you don’t stay on your toes it will come quite often. From stunning visuals to some fast paced action, The Evil Within is sure to change the minds and ways players approach survival horror not since the likes of the first few Resident Evil and Silent Hill games with some Last of Us thrown in for good measure.

During the demo two different parts of the game were shown. The first was a changing cityscape as you move through crumbling buildings and shifting streets, where whole buildings sink below the earth or rise up to tower over you. With one point an alley closes in on you as you navigate between the two walls with barely an inch to spare. Then around one bend it all changes as you come across the first of many zombies, which would be the best way to describe them, who are only looking to tear you to pieces. Here's where you get our first taste of what the combat would be like and the possibilities that it entails.

As you flip from weapon to weapon you're effectively mowing down zombies with a shotgun, crossbow, long rifle...just a variety of ways to get the job done. On top of that, once knocked down some zombies just won’t stay down giving you the option to light a match and watch them burn on the ground. The zombies' looks give you the feeling that they had normal lives and would still be living them if not for the terrible event that happened. From firefighters coming at you with axes to what looked like former police using guns against you; keeping your wits and fighting with all you got is the only way you are making it through alive. Once the fighting stopped and you think the hero is on the path he needs to be, the world drops out from underneath him. Here, another terrifying creature is waiting to get a piece if you don’t act fast enough to get out of that water.

The second part of the demo takes the main character inside the mental hospital where the game is set to take place. Locked in a room that is filling up with poison gas as a creature I want to dub "safe head" chases you around. Dispatching these big behemoths is not so simple as a shot to the head; no, these baddies require some more bullets to take them down. They do go down in a bloody good fashion with them falling to their knees as the safe cracks open spraying blood. Even with the safe head dead you're not out of danger yet, as you have to shut off the poison gas flowing into the room. As you frantically move about the room turning valves to shut the gas off, more safe heads spawn each time. Even when you kill another safe head monster you still don’t get a reprieve from the tension and fear of dying as the gas keeps coming.

It's that level of detail to keeping the tension that's going to make this game one of nightmares for the folks who pick it up this August. You can check out the trailer below that shows it's going to be one hell of a frightful game that will keep you playing on that edge of the seat as you piece together what has happened. With the varied surroundings that look to be where this game takes place there's no telling what they're going to throw at you. That also raises the question: could some of this be taking place in your own mind? Could it all be just one big nightmare of a man who is strapped down in some mental hospital bed? What I can say is this game is going to keep many a person up at nights, not just in playing the game, but in not being able to sleep afterwards.


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