Bethesda has an incredible lineup set for this year, and we start off our coverage with The Evil Within; Shinji Mikami from Tango Gameworks gives us a short introduction on his first (and final) return to survival horror since Resident Evil 4. In The Evil Within they are looking to take the genre back to its original roots – pure fear and overcoming it.
The demo opens up with a cop getting information over his radio that they can’t figure out what is happening at their crime scene location. Our protagonist Sebastian and his female and male partner, Joseph and Kid, head to a large stone castle to investigate. The cop cars in the area are abandoned, stripped of their weapons and still running – obviously something awful has happened here. Rain pours on our hero, penetrating his well-used leather jacket. Opening the doors to the Beacon Mental Hospital, we leave Kid to watch the doors. Immediately we notice blood all over the walls and several dead bodies hunched over one another and piled on the floor, giving us confirmation of our earlier horrible suspicions. Entering the security office we find a survivor – a scientist who babbles in disbelief and collapses. On the security camera we see three cops shooting at some unknown and semi-visible ghostlike creature. The creature looked up at the camera at Sebastian, disappeared, and then suddenly appears behind him, stabbing him in the face!
Sebastian wakes up to the dropping sound of his own blood and classical music. Sebastian has been suspended by his feet and is being drained of his blood. A twisted creature with a metal cage on his face is chopping at the bodies nearby, ending their torment in a horrifying fashion with a cleaver. Rocking back and forth, Sebastian swings over to a body with a knife stuck in it, retrieving the blade and freeing himself. Sneaking, he uses the shadows to carefully make his way over to a door but finds it is locked. He will need the key and it’s hanging directly next to where our friend is dismembering a body. Carefully snatching the keys, he sneaks back to the door and unlocks it. It opens with a loud buzzer and an audible creaking sound. Ascending the stairs, his shadow extends upwards as his feet clangs on the steel flooring. It’s a shame he didn’t see the tripwire.
As an alarm sounds, the beast chases behind Sebastian with a chainsaw revving in his hands. Injuring him as he drops a large cage behind Sebastian, our protagonist begins to hobble forward as a set of massive blades close in on the center of the room. Narrowly escaping he wanders through rooms full of filing cabinets until he encounter another locked door. The sound of the chainsaw and the inability to escape this room forces him to hide inside of a nearby locker. As his heart races in his chest, the beast of a man revs the chainsaw and smashes up the room. Carelessly leaving the door open behind him, Sebastian sneaks behind the grotesque, carefully avoiding his gaze by kneeling behind hospital partitions and beds. Hobbling as quickly as possible, Sebastian escapes the room only to find himself once again on the run as our chainsaw-wielding friend rushes towards us in a hall full of wheelchairs, hospital gurneys, and more. Leaping into the elevator and leaning against the wall, Sebastian tries to catch his breath.
As he walks down a hallway after exiting the elevator, what seems like an earthquake strikes the place. Debris rains down behind Sebastian as he pushes through an exterior door. Standing at the edge of a crater – the entire cityscape in front of him has crumbled and slid into a crevasse in the Earth.
Jumping into a latter portion of the game, Sebastian makes his way into a small cabin. Finding a syringe, he heals himself so he can begin to walk again normally. Hearing screaming in the basement, Sebastian draws his revolver. With only 16 shots, he’d better make each one count. The room below may have been a photographic dark room, but now it’s filled with horrible zombies. He shoots one in the head which drops him immediately, but the other is only wounded, so Sebastian sets him on fire to finish him off – it’s the only way to be sure.
Selecting a mine trap from his bag, Sebastian continue through the expansive basement, ascending stairs until he can see that a horde of zombies is approaching the building. Placing traps in front of the door and underneath the two windows, Sebastian reloads his pistol and waits for his zombie friends. The traps do their job, but our hero is left with having to carefully aim to take out the remaining undead. As he runs down a hallway, it suddenly changes. The red blood and glow that covers the walls tells us that something isn’t quite what it seems. Suddenly a rush of thousands of gallons of blood rushes down the corridor, washing over him, but as it does we are suddenly in the hospital again. A horrifying monster with too many arms, hair like Samara from the Ring, and murder on the mind scurries along the ground, pinning Sebastian to the ground and ending the demo with a claw to the face.
Tango Gameworks is looking to bring horror to our homes, and if some of the jumps present in this demo are any indication, The Evil Within is a title not to be played alone and in the dark. Look for the game on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC in 2014.