Why The Evil Within Fails on Multiple Levels

Why The Evil Within Fails on Multiple Levels

The Evil Within is definitely from the horror genre, but nothing it does makes it stand out in any way other than just how generic it really is.

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This was my exact problem with this game. I really tried as hard as I could to like it (it's Shinji Mikami), but almost every aspect of it felt like something was ripped from another game that did it better.

I kinda liked the bits where you had to play keep-away from some of the one-hit-kill enemies, though.

It's a reflection indeed of how AAA horror has gone in the wrong direction.

I think it's a good game, but it's a rather terrible horror game. Advertising this as the messiah of modern survival horror games was a largest mistake Bethesda made.

I keep on hearing that Shinji Mikami wanted to make a sci-fi open world game or something, but Bethesda was all "No. Lol. Now go do what we hired you for and make a horror game." I'm not sure if that has any validity.

So it fell into the same trap Resident Evil 6 did, just with every horror thing people are bound to know existed? That's a damn shame.

I don't think a work that is the epitome of its genre without trying anything new is necessarily bad. I distinctly remember watching last year's anime Majestic Prince and thinking "this show is exactly what I expect a generic robot show to be, I love it!"

The problem is, as with this game, when you forget to actually cause the emotional affect that works in the genre are supposed to.

Another excellent point, Yahtzee. I thought it sounded totally generic as soon as I heard the title was "The Evil Within" Within what, game?
BTW< I'm still laughing at the review because of Resident Evil 6 self identifying as a Sea Urchin and Yahtzee saluting Bush while saying "Yes, I am a bad enough dude"

The Evil Within is the gaming equivalent of that generic brand soda in vending machines outside of the local super store. Yeah it's still soda and will quench your thirst in a pinch, but it's just a cheap knock off of something much better you can get elsewhere.

The rule is crystal clear, if it fails financially so is a "patchwork" if it successful so is a "homage".

I honestly predicted that it wouldn't be scary and would be crap (That's not much of an accomplishment because usually assume anything that is being hyped up is crap) largely because of the ads. Looking at the trailer and the ads it was it was clear they were trying to say it was horror but the ads made the game seem more gore porn or even torture porn (which are not horror) than horror. The ads reminded me of ads showing audience or player responses rather than anything actually scary from the films or games, as if the marketeers know the product will not actually be scary but are forced to market it as horror so they show other things to convince people it's horror.

Horror should be easy to make but people making horror just keep falling back on gore, jump scares, defenselessness, etc. These don't make horror, horror is not made by these tropes, they are at best used to emphasize (not the right word but I couldn't think of another) horror. Horror is not about gore, jump scares, defenselessness, etc, it's about story, environment, and atmosphere. It is more than possible to make a third person game where the players can defend themselves by using the story, the environment and the atmosphere to evoke the emotions horror evokes. The fact that so many games have failed to evokes those emotions outside of people with certain phobias (good horror doesn't rely on existing fears, it makes fears) just shows how little the developers know about horror.

LoneWolf83:

Horror should be easy to make but people making horror just keep falling back on gore, jump scares, defenselessness, etc. These don't make horror, horror is not made by these tropes, they are at best used to emphasize (not the right word but I couldn't think of another) horror. Horror is not about gore, jump scares, defenselessness, etc, it's about story, environment, and atmosphere. It is more than possible to make a third person game where the players can defend themselves by using the story, the environment and the atmosphere to evoke the emotions horror evokes. The fact that so many games have failed to evokes those emotions outside of people with certain phobias (good horror doesn't rely on existing fears, it makes fears) just shows how little the developers know about horror.

I still wonder why they think gore is going to be anything more than "hmm, that's very maybe slightly unsettling" at this point. We've been so desensitised that it barely registers anymore, put it in in regards to setting the scene, sure but using it as a main mechanic of scaring people is weak sauce at this point. The best horror is evoked not by the game, but by the player themselves, as a result of the mood and atmosphere you build.

True "horror" games are few and far between, I just cannot understand why people describe and/or are scared playing Doom 3 or Dead Space. Horrors hold very little terror when you are carrying a plasma rifle and everything is telegraphed for a good 30 seconds by pentagrams and red flickering lights and you still expect your players to jump at the ensuing jumpscare.

I know I'm preaching to the chior here but Amnesia genuinely scares me, through it's use of atmosphere alone. I jumped out of my skin when I hid in a room and bumped into a brightly coloured carpet because the game had put me in such a tense and paranoid mindset, I thought it was a fucking eldritch tenticle.

Wait... there was a Kinect horror game!? I think that's the scariest thing I learned this year.

Dead Century:
I keep on hearing that Shinji Mikami wanted to make a sci-fi open world game or something, but Bethesda was all "No. Lol. Now go do what we hired you for and make a horror game." I'm not sure if that has any validity.

Considering how a lot of Bethesda's decisions have been biting them (like Rage failing to take off, ESO being a huge disappointment, the cancellation of Prey 2), I wouldn't be surprised at that.

The ads should have shown what the players were actually seeing. If they were really playing, it would shown they were spending more time on the loading screen because of all the mandatory deaths in this game.

RavingSturm:
The ads should have shown what the players were actually seeing. If they were really playing, it would shown they were spending more time on the loading screen because of all the mandatory deaths in this game.

This is what ultimately caused me to quit the game entirely. The tiny annoyances were already stacking up pretty high -- the dumb letterboxing, the shitty lighting, the crappy running animations, the bland horror tropes and aesthetics -- but it was the load screens after each cheap death that clinched it. You wanna get me killed around every turn, that's fine, but don't subject me to a fucking 10-second load screen everytime you do. And this was on current gen hardware, mind you.

I am guilty of enjoying RE6 ( yes, I'm that guy), but it's things like this that make me glad I resist pre-ordering's siren call.

That said: I will probably buy it on sale or something. It's not like we're talking about Aliens: Colonial Marines after all.

LA Noire bashing? Sure, it was nothing new, but it was superbly well written all around, even if it wasn't creative...like everything in the last hundred or so years.

gamegod25:
The Evil Within is the gaming equivalent of that generic brand soda in vending machines outside of the local super store. Yeah it's still soda and will quench your thirst in a pinch, but it's just a cheap knock off of something much better you can get elsewhere.

Unfortunately, it doesn't retail at a fraction of the price.

Markiplier in his current play-through has taken to referring to the lead scornfully as "Booker Sebastian." That says a lot. He appears to be enjoying the game when the frustration doesn't make him growl enough to lose his voice, but the enjoyment is on a par with an amusement park, a la "What'll we try next?" I'm assuming M.'s reaction is typical if on the generous side.

Yeahhhhh I was kind of excited for this but it got real unscary REAL quick.

Now, as per usual, I'll be sure to own it eventually and add it to my "games that have people I like in them" list - that game will look real nice between Silent Hill HD Collection and Watchmen: the End is Nigh.

It's a shame. I was REALLY looking forward to this actually being terrifying. I feel like it had some promise but like others have said, poor advertising along with that painful upgrade system and just bland characters along with that stupid Pyramid Head-esque safe boss guy that was a pain in the Asgard.

AT LEAST I'm still really pumped for Silent Hills; Guillermo Del Toro hasn't failed me yet (hopefully I might even hit the actual jackpot and Ron Perlman is part of the game too; it's like the triuumvirate of my heaven)

 

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