Late last month, Bethesda stated that it wouldn't release a list of minimum system requirements for The Evil Within because it couldn't guarantee optimal performance if customers attempt to run the game below the recommended specs. However, that stance has changed, and the company is now caving in to customer feedback and providing a new list of minimum requirements.
According to Bethesda, gamers need Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but the company doesn't state whether the OS needs to be 32-bit or 64-bit. The list of minimal requirements also includes a Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or an equivalent 1 GB VRAM card, an Intel Core i7 or an equivalent processor with four or more cores, 4 GB of RAM and 50 GB of hard drive space.
"You won't be experiencing the game at 1080p and you'll likely need to turn off some features, but you will still be able to have a great experience with the game," Bethesda's blog said. "If you meet the recommended specs, you're in for the ideal experience. The game looks amazing with full-screen anti-aliasing, full shadow quality, motion blur, tessellation, SSAO, and 1080p visuals."
As a recap, the recommended system requirements include a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8, an Intel Core i7 processor with four cores or more, and 4 GB of RAM. The game also needs an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 or equivalent GPU with 4 GB of VRAM, a high-speed Internet connection and a Steam account for activation. PC gamers will need 50 GB of HDD space to install the game; only 41 GB will be consumed after installation.
The Evil Within went gold last week, and it appears to be on track for release on Tuesday, October 14 in North America and Europe, on October 16 in New Zealand and Australia, and October 23 in Japan for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. Owners of the Xbox One can now pre-load the game.
Bethesda's third-person survival horror game puts players in the role of Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is called in to investigate a mass murder that took place at the local asylum. Eventually, he's knocked unconscious and dragged into what appears to be a basement. Like his partners, he's strung upside down to be slaughtered. Naturally, he breaks free, and it's up to players to keep him alive.
You can read our hands-on with the game here.
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I can only conclude that 1 of the following has happened:
1. Bethesda's programmers apparently don't know how to write code. We're talking about ported code, & consoles have inferior hardware (CPU/GPU-wise) compared to the specs they've listed for a PC version, so apparently their coders have managed to bloat the code beyond mainstream CPUs & GPUs simultaneously. Or,
2. Bethesda & the coders have focused all of their energies on creating the most whiz-bang graphics effects for a game...which, as history shows us, usually means a game with an extremely craptacular storyline, limited replayability, & laughable single-player campaign mode (assuming they even bothered with a single-player mode). Or,
3. The "minimum" and "recommended" specs were written by the marketing department, with no actual input from the coders working on the project, & they said, "Well, what are the absolute top-of-the-line CPUs & GPUs out there? OK, we'll say that's what you need for the game." Or,
4. For the true conspiracy theorists out there, Bethesda has signed a secret deal with nVidia, AMD & Intel, where Bethesda gets a "royalty" fee for implying that their product will require gamers to go out & upgrade their machines simultaneously with the latest & "greatest" hardware, thereby boosting nVidia, AMD & Intel's sales. Or,
5. A combination of two or more of items #1 - 4 previously mentioned.
Somebody else had a very good theory for all of this, Bethesda just doesn't want to hear people complaining that their games play like crap on their system anymore. Just I don't hear the same crap over and over again that this game is in plain good enough they just list the specs is something stupidly high just so anyone playing with less can't complain, and in saying that they don't have to bug fix for performance.
Also you're looking at a survival horror game, this is one of the few genres that require you to have amazing graphics. I know you can look at old games and point to him and say this didn't require good graphics to be scary, but the gains at the lesser graphics don't hold up as well today is the one that had fantastic graphics. You want to build suspense and a horrendous visual narrative you need to have the graphics to back that up, sound can only get you so far.
More than anything, good-to-great survival horror games need great stories, & a big focus on single-player or multi-player co-op campaigns instead of the usual "deathmatch/CTF/base defense" multiplayer modes. Given the choice between a game with stellar storyline but only so-so graphics, & a game with spectacular graphics but only a so-so story, I'll pick the better story any day.