One of the main reasons that the last two Resident Evil titles were heavily scrutinized was because of their focus on action-based gameplay over what originally brought the series to prominence, survival horror. Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within is shaping up to be an ambitious attempt at refining those action elements and pitting them within a truly terrifying survival horror setting. Thus far, it looks like Mikami is hitting rather close to his intended bulls-eye.
The PAX East demonstration of the game was separated into two parts, the first taking place in a post-apocalyptic city that’s crumbling to bits and infested with zombie-like creatures, and the second in what appears to be the basement of a mental asylum, trying to escape being stalked by this guy:
During the first half of the demo, we got a first look at a lot of the game’s primary mechanics. The game took a few nods from titles like The Last Of Us, featuring a quick and intuitive wheel-based weapon select and adding the ability for players to fire and aim their guns while walking forward or backward. The first half concluded with the player trying to traverse across a small body of water, but before reaching the other side…
The second half of the demo taught us that Mr. Barb Wire Safe-head (pictured above) does not play friendly, and killing him in defense will only result in him regenerating in the next room you walk into, similar to the regenerators in Dead Space. In fact, killing the brute is more so a way to stall him and proceed to the next area of the game without having to deal with the inconvenience of him driving his devastating axe-tipped hammer into your skull.
And perhaps the best part about the demonstration is that we were placed in a dark room where the developer offered absolutely no commentary, leaving us in mystery about the strange scenarios that played out in front of us. The fear of not knowing what you’re up against and what lies ahead will be one of The Evil Within‘s most fear-inducing traits.
If there was anything The Last of Us proved, it’s that this day and age of gaming is still craving unique and engaging survival horror experiences. The Evil Within is already looking to be the next thrill-fest to hit store shelves, and August 26 couldn’t feel so far away.