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‘The Evil Within’ presents bleak and boring picture

- April 11th, 2014

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The Evil Within’s first look is unsurprisingly gory, but surprisingly lacks any traditional “scare” elements.

Bethesda and Tango Gameworks showcased off their first gameplay demo to audiences at PAX East on Friday, and the reaction from most people in the room was a collective sigh of disappointment.

An unsatisfying dismissal the entire community has become far too used to doing.

Broken down into two demos, the first takes place in a rapidly decaying urban city and the second takes place in a basement area resembling a large, Nightmare on Elm Street boiler room.

The demos are very monochromatic, with the only burst of colour coming in either vibrant red or oozy purple blood.

In a way, it’s what the entire experience feels like. There’s no room for anything besides shoot, run, and escape, but without any actual fear driving the need to make your way out.

It’s obligatory; you dash around the corner because you know you need to in order to progress to the next level and move the story forward, but there’s no real incentive for it otherwise.

In the first demo, for example, there are slow moving zombie like monsters who half-enthusiastically chase you until they’re effectively killed, via gunshot and fire.

Even their deaths are timidly boring.

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The only interesting thing about the semi-original monsters is their last moment before they perish. The sound the monsters make, a mix of a shriek and a guttural moan, was fascinating, but unfortunately that was the only thing impressive about the game.

For the rest of the demo, all the main character, Sebastian, does is swim through water and run over rubble, without any kind of background score or major sound effects to make the tedious work enjoyable.

It ends, suddenly, when a gigantic piranha looking fish jumps out of the water, catches Sebastian within his claws, and fades to black.

In the second demo, players are introduced to one of the game’s biggest foes, the keeper.

The keeper is a medley of horror icons blended into one hulking figure.

With the body of Leatherface, the head of Cubed, and an overall presence of Jason Voorhees, the Keeper isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. In fact, it’s all we’ve ever seen.

It’s in the second demo, however, the game decides to get gory. Vivid red blood replaces the purple ooze reminiscent of what made up Ivan Ooze in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.

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Even with the added gore, however, the horror game still isn’t scary. It’s not even disturbing.

It’s more of a caricature of a horror game than anything else.

It’s just as bland as the first demo, too, but with added, mindless violence.

Considering this is the first game from Shinji Mikami’s -creator of the Resident Evil series- new studio, one has to believe what Bethesda showed off at PAX won’t resemble the final product by a long shot.

By a long shot, of course, that means nothing at all.

"'The Evil Within' presents bleak and boring picture", out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
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