The Evil Within

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Videogames/ miscellaneous -

King Krim­son

Re­lease date: OUT NOW!

For­mat: PS4 Also avail­able on: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC Pub­lisher: Bethesda

Shinji Mikami,

cre­ator of Res­i­dent Evil and Res­i­dent Evil 4, is the true fa­ther of gaming hor­ror. Pro­duc­ing credit on 2010’ s Shad­ows Of The Damned aside, his re­cent years were spent on pure ac­tion ti­tles un­til the lure of cre­at­ing an all- new, hor­ror- fo­cused stu­dio be­came too great and he re­turned to the genre he birthed. Four years in de­vel­op­ment, this is his big scary come­back.

Should we be dis­ap­pointed that it’s turned out to be Res­i­dent Evil 4 Mk II? Not at all. What starts off as a rou­tine call­out to Krim­son City’s Bea­con Men­tal Hos­pi­tal turns into a trippy third- per­son ac­tion slog through deadly ru­ral vil­lages as de­tec­tive Se­bas­tian Castel­lanos is dragged deeper into a world of nightmares. For the majority of its 17- hour run time the plot fails to progress, yet it hardly seems to mat­ter thanks to in­tense com­bat and mem­o­rable set­pieces.

Monsters are key to The Evil Within’s suc­cess. Bat­tling reg­u­lar en­e­mies is al­ways a tense af­fair when even the lowli­est zomb­i­fied creature can shrug off a head­shot, but it’s the range of iconic boss char­ac­ters that makes the game such a thrill ride. The hulk­ing chain­saw boss; the tele­port­ing “spi­der girl”; the ham­mer- wield­ing brute with a safe for a head… One- hit- kill monsters and traps abound, mak­ing it the cru­ellest game in years, but the solid me­chan­i­cal foun­da­tions en­sure the pun­ish­ment is al­ways good­na­tured, mak­ing The Evil Within another ad­di­tion to Mikami’s long list of greats. Matthew Pel­lett Up­com­ing DLC in­cludes two chap­ters cen­tred on sup­port­ing character Juli Kid­man, voiced by Jen­nifer Car­pen­ter.

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