Game profile The Evil Within

Hybrid Edition

Posted by Mark at 16:30

The main game I've been playing lately is The Evil Within, a game helmed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and pushed as a return to that series' roots after it- and the horror genre generally- diverged after its fourth installment.

In truth, it winds up being a strange halfway house, where attempts to resurrect mechanics from the older games fail to gel properly with newer ones.

One immediately obvious example is where the game has attempted to reproduce something similar to the typewriter save points, this time utilizing a cracked mirror to transport you back to a asylum, which is where the save point proper lives.

However, unlike the small open world of Resi's mansion, The Evil Within takes place in what boils down to a series of one-way linear Gears of War-style shooting galleries, which come complete with automatic checkpoints, making the manual save points functionally redundant.

It also tries to pull the ammo scarcity trick as well, but achieves this by limiting the amount you're able to carry- leading to frustration as you have to leave bullets behind that you're unable to pick up, only to run out when you turn the next corner and unable to backtrack to pick up what you've left behind.

The absence of the magic chest that usually accompanied the typewriter means it's not even possible to hoard the stuff you don't need and pick it up later.

The game does attempt to approach the issue by dotting macguffins around the game- keys to unlock lockers in the asylum and green gel to upgrade stats like ammo capacity, covering the issue of ammo supply and giving the player a reason to return to the asylum beyond the occasional time the plot brings you back there- but this is papering over the cracks rather than truly integrating the old mechanics with the new.
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