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The Evil Within: Survival Horror Gaming on id Tech 5 Engine

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

The Evil Within will be one of the biggest games of 2014.

One of the many "behind closed doors" demos we saw during Bethesda's E3 2013 booth tour was The Evil Within, a sinister reentry into the survival horror genre by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikam. He was actually on hand to deliver an introduction, speaking in rough English until he handed over the dialog to a translator.

Bethesda's move to publish this title is a surprising one, but it also shows that the company is working to break free from the first-person railroad steered by its own Elder Scrolls franchise and id Software's shooters. The game focuses on protagonist Detective Sebastian Castellanos who, along with his partner, is initially sent to investigate a brutal mass murder of the residents at a local asylum.

During his investigation, Sebastian catches something cowled and ghostly seemingly killing three of his officers on the asylum's CCTV camera system. The thing then disappears and re-emerges behind him, knocking him out. When he awakes, he finds himself -- along with the other officers -- strung upside down from the ceiling amongst other hanging dead corpses.

Nope, this isn't a good sign.

He eventually sees what I refer to as the Butcher move towards him and then off-screen. The thing then proceeds to hack one of the fellow officers – who is still alive --in half with a machete, then drags the bloody upper torso away to a table in the distance to continue his hack-a-thon. All this time the detective is hanging still until the Butcher heads to his table, and then proceeds to swing himself until he can reach a knife protruding from a hanging dead body and free himself.

This is a third-person title that heavily relies on stealth. In the following scene, the Butcher moves out of sight, triggering the weaponless detective to search for a set of keys that unlocks the door leading out of the grisly torture chamber. Once he gets out, he spies the exit and tries to leave the asylum, but instead triggers and alarm, alerting the Butcher to his whereabouts. Thus begins a very slow "chase" through the asylum in search of another way out.

At one point, the Butcher catches up with him – and I'm thinking his pursuit is slow on purpose like a cat stalking a defenseless mouse – and gashes his leg open with a chainsaw. In another scenario, he sneaks into a tool closet and waits for the thing to exit the room. The Butcher also manages to direct him into a room with circular saws threatening to dice up our hero from both sides. Clearly this is a maze packed with traps intent on causing the most pain as possible. However the detective finally manages to escape the asylum nearly in one piece, only to discover that the world he once knew has been demolished.

Actual gameplay took over from this point, revealing The Evil Within to be something of a third-person zombie shooter. Once he leaves the asylum, he wanders into an abandoned building and begins to gather weapons -- anything can be used. Eventually the zombies begin to appear, most of which have huge spikes sticking out of their head, chest and more. One even emerges from a pool of blood and guts, taking notes from Clive Barker's Hellraiser, a scary, multi-arm thing.

"We're making a truly terrifying game. Really, the player will experience unimaginable fear," Shinji Mikam said during the demo's opening. Indeed, the game generated a lot of tension, especially during the moments when Sebastian spent most of his time creeping through the asylum. The Butcher means business, and you connect with the hero just like you would in any horror movie. Only here you're actually moving the protagonist, making survival even more personal.

The Evil Within uses id Tech 5, but has been modified for a third-person perspective. Tango was reportedly drawn to the engine because it's super-flexible" and "very clean", that it was perfect for what the studio wanted to do with animation and dynamic lighting.

The Evil Within is slated to arrive on Windows PC, the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles in 2014.

The Evil Within Teaser Trailer

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  • 0 Hide
    vmem , June 17, 2013 8:14 PM
    SO looking forward to this game
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , June 17, 2013 8:25 PM
    ID Tech 5... I haven't played Rage. Does everything still look plastic?
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , June 17, 2013 8:38 PM
    that is a terrible trailer, i get more excited about xbox one trailers ><
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Trialsking , June 17, 2013 8:47 PM
    Quote:
    that is a terrible trailer, i get more excited about xbox one trailers ><


    Thank you for saying it like it is. I still cannot believe people get excited over trailers that show no actual game play. The only thing worse that prerendered cut scenes is live action shots.
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , June 17, 2013 9:08 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    that is a terrible trailer, i get more excited about xbox one trailers ><


    Thank you for saying it like it is. I still cannot believe people get excited over trailers that show no actual game play. The only thing worse that prerendered cut scenes is live action shots.


    Don't care about the trailer... it's made by Bethesda, and it seems like they're pretty serious about it (it's their major release for 2013). now as long as they can properly de-bug the game before release, I'm excited to see their take on the genre
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , June 17, 2013 9:23 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    that is a terrible trailer, i get more excited about xbox one trailers ><


    Thank you for saying it like it is. I still cannot believe people get excited over trailers that show no actual game play. The only thing worse that prerendered cut scenes is live action shots.


    Don't care about the trailer... it's made by Bethesda, and it seems like they're pretty serious about it (it's their major release for 2013). now as long as they can properly de-bug the game before release, I'm excited to see their take on the genre


    Yes Bethesda release good games, but what excites me about upcoming games is the trailer and in game footage, not the publisher, this doesnt excite
  • 0 Hide
    Zezzi , June 17, 2013 9:23 PM
    Looks more like a bad ass movie from the teaser then a game
  • 0 Hide
    aoneone , June 17, 2013 10:37 PM
    Only way to be scary is with Oculus Rift. No other way...
  • 0 Hide
    yapchagi , June 17, 2013 11:01 PM
    The game's aspect ratio is not 16x9. You'll see black bars on top and bottom of the screen THE ENTIRE TIME!!!
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , June 18, 2013 12:44 AM
    Probably not as interesting as Amnesia, but ill sure check it out.
  • 0 Hide
    TheMentalist , June 18, 2013 4:08 AM
    Its like a movie
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , June 18, 2013 8:09 AM
    This looks nucking futs!
  • 0 Hide
    Yuka , June 18, 2013 8:36 AM
    Hopefully, this time, they will actually FINISH the bloody story instead of cutting it abruptly! Yes, RAGE.

    Other than that, the premise looks interesting.

    Cheers!
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , June 18, 2013 3:35 PM
    Saw this after the end of this trailer. Looks cool and hope it actually scares! Been a long time since I jumped during a game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-P5Qm0zkV4&feature=player_embedded
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , June 18, 2013 4:00 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    that is a terrible trailer, i get more excited about xbox one trailers ><


    Thank you for saying it like it is. I still cannot believe people get excited over trailers that show no actual game play. The only thing worse that prerendered cut scenes is live action shots.

    teaser trailers arent usually meant to show any gameplay or game scenes. 90% of the time, its just announcing a game or giving an idea of what the game is about. they actually did a good job with the trailer as most people around the internet got the feeling that the game would be terrifying(which is the true aim of the game). there is gameplay footage on youtube and it stays true to its goal of being a true horror game.

    also, some people here are saying this game will be good because its made by bethesda. its not being made by them. its being funded by them, which is different. Tango is making the game. and since both companies are owned by Zenimax, I wouldnt think bethesda has much say in how the game turns out.