The Evil Within is all about the crazy, the looney, and the insane. That is where everything starts, and rather than take a realistic approach, The Evil Within opts to take a bland approach to storyline that often deters people from the reality of the tension in the situation of being trapped in an insane asylum and combines it with the mediocrity that is terrible gameplay. The Outlast copy cat in The Evil Within hardly does anything constructive in ways of a horror title, and often times there are elements that get disappointingly repetitive for a title that could have held so much promise – like the shining and brilliant example of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The Evil Within starts off as Sebastian Castellanos, a detective for the Krimson City Police Department, arrives at Beacon Mental Hospital. Three officers have had their throats slashed by a mysterious fellow by the name of Ruvik, who can apparently create other worlds and teleport anywhere he wants in the time space continuum. Before I go even any further, this whole storyline that Shinji Mikami took was ground-breakingly terrible (Even though he did not write it). The sci-fi elemental twist completely ruined any type of horror tension element the game ever hoped of having. Throughout exploring this asylum, one has to delude themselves like the inmates and believe that the storyline is not as hideous as it is on paper while playing through the blood-soaked hallways of The Evil Within. The characters themselves do not help in the believability of the environment either. Sebastian is a monotone detective who is always in denial about what is happening, and the lackuster and often emotionless responses combined with the ground-breakingly terrible voice acting almost make us grind our teeth.
The gameplay of The Evil within has very little melee combat. A lot of the time you cannot help but feel the game has taken an environment from Outlast and tried to make it sustainable through a terrible means in its linear mission structure, most of which ends up rudimentary to the actual substance of the pacing. The pacing is often slow, and the terribly difficult enemies to kill shatter the realism as well – creating something similar to a Dark Souls of sorts just without the symbolism or themes of suffering. There are weapons and they are incredibly limited ammo-wise to a point that they really are insignificant and cause more trouble than they are worth. In all its form, The Evil Within creates a gameplay which is very easily forgettable as it is terrible.
The only thing I can say that was the redeeming quality of the title was its environment at times, despite the whole terrible storyline. The environment was a gory mess and the ambiance of the title does hold through, but only for those fans who can really delve deep into the environment itself and forget the scarring storyline behind it.
The Evil Within only caters to those fans who enjoy horror a lot. And by a lot I mean those types of fans that enjoy horror so much that they are willing to forgive a lot of The Evil Within’s sins in the terrible crimes it commits to true horror or pure survival. At the end of the day, the true evil within lies in the disc within the box that says ‘The Evil Within.’