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E3 Preview: The Evil Within

It’s no secret that there’s been a dwindling number of true-to-form survival horror titles released in the last few years. What great survival horror games once existed have now been turned into action blockbusters, and it’s been left mainly to the indie scene to deliver the classic, palm sweat-inducing horror goodness so many have come to know and love throughout their time as gamers.

But it was Bethesda who initially revealed a game a few weeks ago that may just turn the tide for the genre after all when they released a live action trailer for The Evil Within, a game that promised to deliver true survival horror in its purest form. The brainchild of Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, it’s clear that the game is in the right hands and is being created for the sole purpose of releasing a game that will both thrill and terrify fans of the genre upon its release.

Now, while the live action trailer was good and offered a grotesque and interesting look into the mind of Mikami and the direction he was taking with The Evil Within, it still did little to address what the actual game’s direction was.

Well, being that it’s E3 and that we’re being treated to a deluge of games and interviews, we’ve finally had a look at and learned more details about The Evil Within. And yes, you should be excited.

The Evil Within sees players taking on the role of Sebastian, a police detective called to check out an asylum (naturally). Once Sebastian arrives on the premises, he learns that “terrible things” have taken place. Bethesda’s Pete Hines was hesitant to reveal any more about the story from there, simply because the story itself is central to the experience and makes up a large part of the game’s puzzling nature.

The main focus of the developers for The Evil Within is to make sure that players always feel “off-balance” and are constantly having to change strategies and consider their resource usage. Things like ammunition are severely limited in the game, forcing you to be extra careful and keeping you on edge as you attempt to figure out how each situation should be handled. Add to that a wide variety of enemy types, gruesome death animations, eerie atmosphere, and an impressively dynamic AI system that sees enemies changing their paths and movement each time you encounter them, and terror adds up in The Evil Within as you’ll be forced to adjust your strategies on the fly.

Hines particularly addressed the idea that the game is expressly single player, citing that Bethesda was very passionate about single player games. So no need to worry about shoehorned deathmatch modes in The Evil Within; this is one journey you’ll have to go alone.

While the game is still in development, it’s had to say at this point how difficult the end product will be. But rest assured, it’s important to the developers that there is a fair amount of challenge in the game in order to properly bring players in and make things a bit more difficult than expected. It’s not scary if you don’t feel vulnerable, and the developers behind the game are being very careful to make sure the experience delivers on all counts.

While we still don’t know a lot of the finer details about The Evil Within, it’s safe to assume at this point that the game is shaping up to be one of the stronger entries seen in the Survival Horror genre in a while. Item scarcity, a well designed and creepy atmosphere, a mysterious and dark story, and dynamic design and AI interaction all promise to both scare and challenge you when the game is finally released.