The lights are on
When I got a chance to see the original The Evil Within trailer at E3 last year, I was blown away. The recently released trailer had me excited as well. Most of what we’ve seen from the game has screamed survival horror perfection. The two gameplay demos we had a chance to see today at PAX East (sorry, capturing footage was not allowed) left me a little concerned about just how creepy the title’s going to be in the end. While it would be insane to judge the game on around 20 minutes of gameplay, what was shown didn’t leave me with a great impression.
The first gameplay demo shows the protagonist moving about the massively changed world that players get a glimpse of at the end of the E3 trailer. Streets shift and move as the character moves around an unsettling urban backdrop. Things take a turn for the bland as the character moves into a gated area where he encounters a group of zombies and dispatches them handily with a variety of weapons, from a shotgun to explosive crossbow bolts. Not that there's anything wrong with zombie slaying, but the previous gameplay footage and trailers give off a completely different vibe, one without much shooting, and with a heavier emphasis on fragility and scares.
While the weapons seem competent, and the zombies need to be burned after they’ve been brought down to keep them from coming back, these slow stereotypical zombies being blasted to pieces with a vast, devastating arsenal isn’t the kind of thing that previous trailers and footage have conveyed. The demo ends with the character getting killed by a more interesting water monster, but the overall tone of the brief demo felt stale and overly familiar.
The second gameplay demo’s chance to redeem the first fell flat. The character maneuvers throughout a network of underground areas, continually killing “Boxhead” monsters. While creepy, the Boxhead encounters lost their luster quickly as the player’s vast array of weapons dispatched them easily, over and over. These demos placed a huge focus on powerful weapons and monster-slaying, a far cry from the experience of terror seen in the original reveal.
That said, during the demos I noticed what appeared to be a rather interesting crafting system that allowed the player to create specialty ammo to suit the situation he was in, a feature that has not been fully unveiled yet.
I’m still excited for the game, but I hope that these demos, with their focus on high-octane action over real scares, don’t portray the meat of the game experience.
Email the author Daniel Tack, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Let's hope you're right about that Daniel. It'd be ashame for Shinji Mikami to go down in history as the guy who killed survival horror, especially being the creator himself.
I really hope this game turns out well. I've been looking forward to it for quite some time.
I'll have to look into this a little further not sure I know about this game. But the concept seems intriguing for sure.
I have a feeling it will still be good in the end.
I sure you guys are too quick to judge the game base on a Daniel's opinion on the demos he seen. As stated by Shinji he wants to make sure that players will feel hopeless with limited resource and weapons. Demo just emphasis more on the weapons and crafting system to help player visualize the game mechanic. I sure the finalized game will be great.
Whoa. Thanks for the honest take from your experience, man. I appreciate that.
Man this article definitely took the wind out of my sails for this game. Hopefully the demo really isn't an accurate reflection of the entire experience.
I am so excited for this game. I hope it's complete horror and not like Resident Evil 5 or 6.
Yeah I had been really excited for this game, then I saw that house defense mission in one of the trailers with some bad shooting and stupid spike trap things. I'd rather just have a great survival-horror game.