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The Evil Within (2014) is a very underrated and flawed masterpiece

Content of the article: "The Evil Within (2014) is a very underrated and flawed masterpiece"

Yeah the framerate could be better, there could be less instant-death moments, it could control better….

But there's no other horror game quite like it in my opinion. Re7 and Re2make are probably objectively better games, and much better built too, but I still prefer The Evil Within as my favorite horror game of the ps4/xbox one gen.

For one, the oppressive atmosphere and variety. The game never lets up, and due to the narrative, you're constantly on your toes. The setpieces and level transitions are great, and it does really feel like being in a nightmare, switching from area to area. Theres so much area variety too, from villages to labs to mansions to cities to subways.

The gameplay is hard as fuck, but I feel like this adds to the retro charm. If you really take the time to learn the game, no-death runs are fully possible. You can throw bottles at enemy faces for an instant-kill prompt mid-combat. It's a high skill ceiling. You really need to manage your stamina too, using the sprint in only short bursts.

Every single boss fight is crazy and unique in their own ways, requiring their own strategies. Because of the inventory system, you can't just stockpile 20 grenades and a rocket before a boss. You need to rely on your own intuition and aiming ability.

The camera angle switches are unique too. Sometimes you have your typical over-the-shoulder camera, sometimes you have a zoomed-out perspective, and sometimes you have fixed camera angles. It spices up the gameplay, especially during the obstacle course-like sections. It helps me imagine what a modern fixed-camera horror game would feel like, and I wish there was more. The lead up to the mist ruvik fight was my favorite, next to the kitchen of hell.

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The soundtrack is awesome, with melancholic tunes to heavy industrial themes. I like the main theme a lot and it fits the game as a Silent Hill theme would.

I enjoyed the story too. I feel like people may have missed the point of it or didn't read documents. We all know Ruvik's backstory, but Seb's is also revealed through his journal. It's a story about two damaged men, tortured by the loss of family members by similar circumstances. It shows how two people may handle the same experience differently. Sebastian lost his wife and child in a fire, so he settles on self-destructive drinking and busying himself with work. Ruvik lost his sister in a fire, and took his pain out on others, torturing animals and people as his outlet.

Ruvik was absorbed by the event, and Seb continued on the best he could. Both of them have this deep-seated damage to their psyche.

Also the aesthetic of the game. Classic detective outfits, older weapons, beautiful.

It seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it title, but honestly I'd recommend fellow patient people to give it a shot. I'd say it's worth it. One of the only survival horror games, like RE4, to feel like a legitimate journey.

I didn't like TEW2 nearly as much, due to the removal of most hazards present in the first game, the clean plastic aesthetic, less boss fights, contrived retcons of tew1's story, and the much much worse voice acting.

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The framerate of Tew1 is awful, some segments may feel cheap, the fov when aiming is pretty damn hard to get used to, and sebastian can be a little… unwieldy, but other than that, I feel the rest of the game makes up for these shortcomings.


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