The Evil Within Hands-On Impressions – EB Games Expo 2014


At EB Games Expo this year, Bethesda were showcasing their upcoming Shinji Mikami horror game, The Evil Within. Locked down in a hidden room within the a massive Bethesda booth, there were multiple consoles with the game available to play. Our session with the game was only around 20minutes, but it sure as heck didn’t feel like it was that long. For those that haven’t heard of The Evil Within, it’s a survival horror game by Shinji Mikami and features a detective that has been engulfed by this case that takes him up against some rather scary wights.

Our preview saw us start a few chapters into the game, at Chapter 9, where our protagonist is brought to a strange mansion that is eerily similar in design to the mansion from Resident Evil. Just outside of this mansion is where the player has their first true scare with this demo, a small ghost is seen along the road on the path into the mansion. It set the tone for what was about to come.

Upon entering the mansion, the first thing I did was explore the downstairs just a little. But this was after being treated to a cutscene of a scientist-looking dude ran through this door carrying some other dude on his shoulder. Examining this door revealed that it was locked, so we had to try and find a way to open it. We entered the room next to this door and found a strange mirror. When using it, it flashed yellow, and examining it brought us to another dimension that looking something like an insane asylum. One of the Bethesda staff informed us that it was an area to save the game, and that it would be available in other levels as well.

As we crept up the stairs, we turned into a room and there was this red thing on the wall. Walking up to it made it started flashing, so we turned back around and started sneaking around a desk so we wouldn’t be spotted by it. It seems that this game also has bombs and other traps that the player can avoid and/or disarm if they are skillful enough. I figured that it would be best to leave it alone for now though. After we went around, we went up this ladder and found a safe dial. This would come in handy later. What was interesting though, was that there was half of a picture behind it, this would also come in handy later.


After grabbing the dial, we went down this hall from the same room. But at the front there were these zombies, eating some guys flesh. What’s interesting about The Evil Within is that it gives you barely enough resources to survive some encounters. We were hard-pressed for ammo in every battle. After killing zombies, it’s best to light there corpses on fire, otherwise they come back later. Anyway, our quest eventually brought us to this hall where there was this door at the end, when we approached it, we got caught in some kind of canned trap, with a cable pulling us towards a grinder of death. After quickly shooting the red light, the machine stopped and we were free.

A trap of that kind meant that the next room had to be pretty important, so we wandered in. Inside was some kind of unused bedroom, but to the right was a fireplace that was clearly a tunnel, so we went inside. In there we found this guys face, a face with a brain exposed, that was still alive. In here, we had to recreate a guys experiment of sticking needles into the right parts of the brain to start up a blood sucking process to unlock one of the locks on that door from earlier. Without giving away too much, we had to do this two more times, but for different locations in the mansion. We also found another dial, this time downstairs, which would be useful once we unlocked that door.

What’s interesting with The Evil Within is that the game tries a few different tactics to scare the player. It uses a creepy and dark atmosphere, you have flashbacks into the past, ghosts and other things frequently appear to either build atmosphere, or can kill you entirely. There are also monsters and things as well. Although one of the most effective ways to stay away from the scaries is simply hide. We found a few places to hide from ghosts and zombies in the game, like, under the bed or in a dresser, which was quite interesting.

Overall, we were quite impressed with The Evil Within and it’s great to see that the survival horror genre is making a strong comeback. We’re definitely interested in taking a run with the full game once it is released later this month. The Evil Within is released by Bethesda and produced by Tango Gameworks under the direction of Shinji Mikami.

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