I watched a YouTube thing of the first few hours of The Evil Within and liked the look of it enough to want to give it a go. Thankfully Game Pass meant I didn’t have to shell out cash to try it.
An interesting start to the story with police investigations happening. They witness a teleporting man murder a group of armed men with ease. Then our character ends up in a murder dungeon, unarmed with a guy who has a chainsaw before going to an asylum area. What’s going on? It’s unclear but enough to leave a player curious.
However, the murder dungeon tells you everything you need to know about how well you’ll enjoy the game. It tells you to use stealth to get past your soon-to-be killer, which didn’t work. Instead I had to use the distraction the game suggested and move at full standing speed or I couldn’t get out fast enough. Full standing speed isn’t much in this situation as the character is permanently set to slow, plus he’s injured which in this game means he’s slower still and can’t sprint.
Make it past the awful first section though and you will end up finding a gun that takes four headshots to kill the most basic enemies, I swear this is because hits weren’t registering. With this being a survival horror game you only get enough bullets that you wish your character would just shoot himself and let a better protagonist take over. Along with the gun comes a melee attack that the game tells you is mostly for desperate situations, but it’s about as effective as hitting someone with a wet paper bag.
The save system also seems to be against the player with magic mirrors that transport you to the asylum hub area where you can save and upgrade. These mirrors do get blocked off by scenery partway through levels so you’re collected upgrades are at risk until you find one. Alternatively there are checkpoints before particularly tough sections but these aren’t points of relief, they just make you see your lost progress.
I also don’t like the control scheme this game has. Sometimes games are mapped a bit differently and it can be fun to learn that melee isn’t the usual button but I was forgetting the buttons while I was playing, it would have made sense between sessions. To me it’s pretty terrible.
Am I salty because the game is too hard? Yes, even on normal difficulty it feels unfair rather than hard. It acts like an action game but gives the player no power to fight back, it ambushes players after areas are clear, and with the character being weaker than a newborn with the stamina of a severe asthmatic who smokes fifty a day and never bothers exercising, the game just proves frustrating to play. Oh, and enemies can come back if not lit on fire. I have no reason to force my way through that so I deleted it.
I’m not one for survival horror but I liked The Last Of Us and I don’t like hard games but I enjoy Dark Souls. The Evil Within is awful because it misses what makes other things great, fairness. We get a great aesthetic with interesting ideas but the game is really against being played. I’m curious whether the second is better.