The lights are on
Bethesda has revealed more on its upcoming survival horror game from Tango Gameworks and Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil 4. The Evil Within, coming to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and current-gen consoles, shares some similarities with Capcom’s classic shooter. Bethesda showed us a live gameplay demo with a group of undead monsters invading a house. Watching a Tango Gameworks developer stave off the strange creatures gave us an idea of what to expect with The Evil Within.
The first half of the demo follows detective Sebastian Castellanos’ intense trek through an asylum populated by dozens of corpses, a deadly ghost, and a hulking homicidal maniac. You can read more about that encounter in issue #243 of Game Informer. Tango’s combat demonstration deserves further discussion, however.
The detective finds something disturbing in the basement of a rotting house. A humanoid creature shuffles from around a corner. Several spikes are impaled through parts of its filthy, misshapen body. Sebastian takes aim with his revolver and shoots the creature’s kneecaps. Its legs buckle in response, and it collapses. The Tango dev at the controls creeps forward to investigate. The creature springs up suddenly and grabs him. Once free, he plants a few shots in its head until it vaporizes. From the looks of this first encounter, enemies in The Evil Within react accordingly to where players place their shots – something that was scaled back in later Resident Evil entries.
A few more creatures stalk in. They file around a rotting table in the middle of the room. The player strafes around the table while firing a few shots into them (yes, you can move and shoot). One of the creatures falls and the dev drops a torch on him, burning him to conserve ammo. Sebastian can also melee attack enemies, though we didn’t see this in action.
An even larger group of enemies begins busting through the windows upstairs. Sebastian must fend off these enemies as they attempt to break in – a scene reminiscent of the cabin defense scenario in Resident Evil 4. He places mine traps alongside the windows. Any enemies he fails to shoot down are blown to bits upon entering the house. Things get claustrophobic as the forces overwhelm Sebastian, and he’s forced to flee downstairs.
The demo ends as Sebastian experiences a series of hallucinations in the basement hallways. Gallons of blood rush towards him like The Shining, but disappear just as they touch him. A doorway vanishes just as he reaches it, teleporting him to the middle of the hallway again. The last bizarre encounter isn’t his imagination: An impossible woman with six arms emerges from the corpse, with long black hair covering her face like Samara from the The Ring. The dev attempts to flee but she catches up with him and kills him instantly.
Our peek at combat may have been brief, but it gives us an idea of what to expect. Mikami appears to be building off the solid foundation of the trend-setting Resident Evil 4. While the base gameplay functions familiarly, the gore, mind games, and oppressive atmosphere have been ratcheted up. The game will be playable at E3 2013, so be sure to check back then for more impressions.
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