Modding Interview – Beyond Skyrim

We’re starting the new year with a all-new Skyrim modding interview. This time around we’re talking to Will Hillson, part of the Dark Creations team. A post-grad student in the UK, Will is an integral part of DC’s ambitious project known as “Beyond Skyrim”.

What’s the mod all about? Find out below…

Can you give a general overview of Beyond Skyrim and where the mod project currently stands?

Beyond Skyrim is a series of interlinking mods which will ultimately allow players to visit other areas of Tamriel within the Skyrim engine. Assets for each new region are being painstakingly created from scratch, including architecture, creatures, weapons, landscapes, textures and objects created by our artists and modelers. We pride ourselves on our fidelity to Elder Scrolls lore, and our ultimate aim is to create a player experience which will fit together seamlessly with Skyrim itself, allowing players to continue their existing character’s adventures in other lands, or perhaps even sidestep Skyrim’s story  entirely and experience what the rest of Tamriel has to offer.

Continue reading full article ›

Now on PSN — Skyrim Mashup for Minecraft

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PlayStation users can re-create and expand upon Skyrim’s world like never before with the Skyrim Mashup pack — now available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.

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Developed by our friends at 4J Studios, the mash-up features an exclusive Skyrim-themed texture set, 40 character skins, themed menus and user interface, craftable items, and more than 20 iconic selections from the original Skyrim soundtrack. On top of these features, the pre-set world recreates memorable areas including Whiterun, Riverwood, and Bleak Falls Barrow.

More details below…

Skyrim Mash-up  — Content Breakdown

  • Skyrim themed texture set to apply to any existing or newly created Minecraft world.
  • 40 Skyrim characters skins to apply to player’s in-game avatars: Dragonborn (male), Dragonborn (female), Ancano, Elenwen, Argonian Fighter, Argonian Mage, Bosmer Archer, Bosmer Mage, Breton Mage, Forsworn Shaman, Dunmer Mage, Dunmer Assassin, Imperial Soldier, Vex, Khajiit Merchant, Stormcloak Soldier, Lydia, Orc Blacksmith, Orc Warrior female, Nazir, Saadia, Vampire Lord, Isran, Astrid, Aela the Huntress, M’aiq the Liar, Greybeard, Frost Troll, Flame Atronach, Dragon Priest, Hagraven, Draugr Deathlord, Sheogorath, Spriggan, Dwarven Centurion, Wispmother, Dremora Lord, Master Necromancer, Vilkas, Orc Warrior Male
  • Skyrim themed Menu, UI and Inventory including integrated Skyrim logo.
  • Skyrim music score featuring the following original tracks: Watch the Skies, Dragonborn, Awake, From Past To Present, The City Gates, Dragonsreach, Distant Horizons, Dawn, The Jerall Mountains, Secunda, Frostfall, Unbound, Far Horizons, The Streets of Whiterun, The White River, Standing Stones, Tundra, Journey’s End, Aurora, Solitude, Wind Guide You, Tooth and Claw, Into Darkness, Shadows and Echoes, Towers and Shadows, Death in the Darkness
  • Pre-made World recreating the area of Whiterun, Riverwood and Bleak falls Barrow (on a smaller scale in order to fit with technical constraints of the games map size limits)

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In addition to being available on PlayStation platforms, you can download the Skyrim Mashup on both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

DLC Takes Hold for The Evil Within Early Next Year

DLC takes hold early next year ! @theevilwithin

A video posted by Bethesda Softworks (@bethesdasoftworks) on

If you’ve already completed The Evil Within, you probably have a number of questions about the ending. If you haven’t finished yet – hurry up, as part 1 of the game’s three-part Season Pass , The Assignment, will release in early 2015. The Assignment is the first of two DLCs centering on Detective Castellanos’ mysterious partner, Juli Kidman.

In 2015, we will reveal more information on Part II of her story, The Consequence, as well as our final DLC featuring The Keeper. Stay tuned, and consider yourself teased with the short video above.

Dying for a little more information? This week we caught up with the game director for both The Assignment & The Consequence, Tango Gameworks’ John Johanas (a.k.a., The American)

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Some of the main game’s biggest questions surround Juli Kidman? How do you balance answering some of those questions with keeping parts of the game’s story open-ended/mysterious?

That was a tough one! We approached the DLC from the perspective that, while Juli is enigmatic during the main game, there were additionally lots of other mysteries about the world and the characters that could be cleared up or hinted at by playing as her. She is a character who seems rather “aware” of her situation, after all.

Early on, we listed the things that we wanted to answer and ones we wanted to keep open and worked around that. We definitely leave some of the mysteries open, but I feel we shed a lot of light on the lore of Ruvik, STEM, and the characters while asking (and answering) a whole new set of questions regarding Juli and her mission. Continue reading full article ›

BATTLECRY Beta Begins Down Under!

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Good news for fans in Australia and New Zealand. Announced today at PAX Aus, you’ll be the first to play BATTLECRY in Beta!!!

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES BATTLECRY BETA TO DEBUT IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND IN 2015 

Sign Up for Beta Now for BattleCry Studios’ Free-to-Play Online Team Action Game

October 31, 2014 (Melbourne, Australia) — Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced that the first beta tests for BATTLECRY™, the all-new online multiplayer action combat game from BattleCry Studios, will begin exclusively in Australia and New Zealand starting in early 2015. Featuring 32-player battles, BATTLECRY’s team-based combat combines visceral brutality and competitive multiplayer action to create a new gameplay experience that’s free to play.

Led by long-time industry veteran Rich Vogel (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Ultima Online), the team at BattleCry Studios is comprised of seasoned developers with decades of experience working on critically-acclaimed action and competitive multiplayer franchises. BATTLECRY is the first project for the Austin-based studio since it was formed in 2012 with one goal: to create fun, high-quality online experiences for a connected world.

In BATTLECRY, step into a bold, expressive world envisioned by Viktor Antonov (Half-Life 2, Dishonored) where gun powder has been banned following a cataclysmic world war at the dawn of the 20th century. Traditional warfare is now a relic of the past and all conflicts are settled head-on by elite teams of chosen warriors in sanctioned WarZones. Choose your warrior – each with a meaningfully distinct suite of attacks and abilities – from one of several factions from diverse parts of the world. With strategy, brutal attacks, and unique weapons, fight for power and glory across the WarZones.

“It will be extremely exciting to see people from Australia and New Zealand jump in and play the game when beta begins in 2015,” said Rich Vogel, president and executive producer at BattleCry Studios. “Everyone at the studio is looking forward to working with players in these two countries as we begin testing the game. They are paving the way for the rest of the world and will have a hand in helping us shape the future of BATTLECRY.”

Australians will have the chance to experience BATTLECRY for the very first time during PAX Aus 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 31 to November 2.

Players in Australia and New Zealand can now sign up for beta at: www.battlecrythegame.com.au.

For more information on the game or to view the first gameplay video, visit the official BATTLECRY website: www.battlecrythegame.com.au.

About ZeniMax Media Inc.

ZeniMax Media is a privately owned media organization headquartered outside Washington, DC with international publishing offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, the PC, and handheld/wireless devices.  ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, BattleCry Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax Asia Pacific Limited and ZeniMax Online Studios.   For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.

About Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®, DOOM®, QUAKE®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein®, Dishonored®, Prey® and RAGE®.   For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.

About BattleCry Studios

BattleCry Studios, located in Austin, TX, brings together a group of seasoned developers with one goal: to create fun, AAA online global experiences for the connected world. Drawing on decades of experience from places like BioWare, Valve, 343 Studios, Treyarch, and more, BattleCry isn’t just a place where great games are created. It’s where designers, engineers, and artists work side by side to redefine a genre.

BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, The Elder Scrolls, Bethesda Game Studios, Dishonored, Arkane, The Evil Within, PsychoBreak, Tango, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, Prey, Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda, ZeniMax and their related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the United States and/or in other countries. Fallout is a registered trademark or trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the United States and/or in other countries.  id, id Software, id Tech, DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein and RAGE are registered trademarks or trademarks of id Software LLC in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names referenced herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

This Week on Steam: Halloween Demo for The Evil Within

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In time for Halloween, you can scream on Steam free (!!)  — through three chapters of The Evil Within!

Starting October 30th, you’ll be able to enjoy the first three chapters for free. If you choose to purchase the game after the first three chapters, you’ll be able to continue your save progress, and as an added bonus, we’ll throw more evil your way with a free copy of Call of Cthulhu. Finally, and for a limited time only, we are offering 50% off The Evil Within’s Season Pass!

Already purchased The Evil Within and its Season Pass? Fear not. Those that already have the main game will have Cthulhu added to your library, and purchasers of the Season Pass will receive special offers on other Bethesda titles.

 

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Evil Takes Hold Today!

Turn out the lights and crank up the sound. The terrors and screams of Halloween come early with the release of The Evil Within — Shinji Mikami’s return to the genre he created — survival horror!

Huge congrats to Mikami-san, his team at Tango Gameworks, and everyone else involved in releasing the game today in North America and Europe across five platforms — PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 —

Throughout the week, keep an eye out for updates on the game — tips for survival, reviews, and highlights from the community.

Also, be sure to watch our Twitch livestream today as we tackle early chapters from the game. The fun starts at 1pm.

And after the break, officially celebrate with our release day press release! Continue reading full article ›

The Evil Within – The World Within

By this time next week, you’ll be hearing of horror stories that extend beyond the terrifying tale the The Evil Within tells. Sure to present a challenge to even seasoned veterans of the survival horror genre, we expect some great water cooler stories about the game’s challenges.

Looking for some tips for survival? Watch our newest video, The World Within, and guest editor Fran Reyes returns one more time to help you before evil takes hold of your gaming console/pc. This time around, she covers off on knowing your surroundings, the all-important choice of fighting our fleeing to survive another day, and how to tackle (and take advantage) of the game’s menacing traps.

If you missed them, be sure to read Fran’s first two features — Every Last Bullet & Fight for Life. You’ll thank us later.

Preparing for the unexpected in The Evil Within

There’s a moment near the very start of The Evil Within when Krimson City homicide detective Sebastian Castellanos realizes that something bigger is afoot than the gruesome mass murder case he’s working on. The foundation of the mental asylum he’s investigating starts to violently shake, and upon reaching the hospital’s entrance to escape, you discover that the surrounding landscape has irrevocably changed — the ground outside has given way, creating giant chasms now swallowing surrounding skyscrapers whole.

Is it really happening? Or is this part of some twisted nightmare? You’ll spend the rest of your journey trying to answer those questions, while diving deeper into the game’s central mystery and constantly fighting for your survival amid a dangerous, ever-changing landscape. Whenever you think you know where you are or where you’re heading, the world shifts, putting you in unexpected peril in, say, an open arena-type area, or pitting you against brutal new adversaries. Or both. In fact, the game seems to relish in keeping you guessing.

Attacked from afar

A great example of how The Evil Within keeps you on your toes occurs about midway through the campaign; after dashing through dim-lit hallways and cramped rooms while dodging a particularly devilish boss creature at the end of a stage, you eventually find yourself in a sun-lit, multi-level set of ruins. Makeshift bridges and stone staircases lead to locked doors and outcroppings from which hostile Haunteds — the name for many of the enemies that wander the game world — attack.

FranSniperZeroing in on distant enemies with the sniper rifle takes time and patience — two things you might not always have when you’re under siege — but every hit is incredibly powerful.

As you make your way through open-air rooms and rooftops, combat ebbs and flows until you reach a particularly tough impasse: in the distance, a new threat emerges in the form of enemy snipers. If they spot you out in the open, you’ll be inundated with a cloud of lethal bolts. Luckily, this is also where you’ll come across a sniper rifle of your own. But juggling the timing of when these ranged enemies are both vulnerable to a clear shot from your new firearm, with having to take cover to avoid getting impaled by a flood of their arrows isn’t an easy feat. Mixing stealth, cover, and action is something that The Evil Within enforces at every turn; you won’t survive for very long if you don’t mix up your approach to combat, and this is one of many instances where patience and being methodical is rewarded over all-out run-’n-gun tactics.

In fact, haste rarely ever pays off in a game that harbors so many surprises and twists. Wasting too much ammo or inventory in one fight can leave you unprepared and incredibly vulnerable for what might just be waiting around the corner. And as a word of warning for the uninitiated: In this specific instance with the snipers, making sure that every rifle shot hits its mark means you won’t have wasted shotgun shells or bolts for the threats ahead. You’ll need them.

Fight or flight: Know which to choose

It’s good to note, though, that not all fights can be won: no one will call you a coward for simply running to avoid conflict. In some areas, hiding under a bed or inside a locker can help you catch your breath and assess what you’re up against. If you’re low on ammo or health syringes, ducking into a nearby wardrobe can help you shake some enemies off your trail, which is something you can gauge with the help of the game’s “detection” meter. (Note: This meter is automatically enabled in Casual difficulty, but must be manually turned on in Survival difficulty.)

FranSneakV3Going into any situation with guns blazing is a bad idea, so always scope out an area by sticking to the shadows to see what you’re up against.

If a creature is in your vicinity, an “eye” icon appears on the screen showing that there’s a Haunted sniffing around nearby. If it hasn’t detected you, the it’s fight or flight, so ducking into a hidey-hole or getting a good amount of distance from the hostile and into cover, will often help you slip back into “undetected” mode. Keeping your cool is tough — panic is understandable, especially when you have only a handful of bullets left in your inventory — but keeping a level head gives you the chance to re-approach an “unaware” enemy for a stealth kill, which are win-win as you won’t consume any ammo.

In some cases, Sebastian must run from a threat in order to survive. Being chased by a quick-footed maniac through shadowy, twisting corridors or in tight spaces is a recipe for raised blood pressure, but some of The Evil Within’s boss creatures can’t be defeated through conventional methods — or at all. So, in these situations, it’s time to put that sprint button to the test. How far and fast you can sprint is determined by your stamina, an ability that can be upgraded in the game’s hub area with all that Green Gel you’ll be collecting throughout your journey.

FranMazeTrap Don’t panic: a cooler head allows you to navigate this trap-laden nightmare maze and avoid getting gibbed by a previously unseen wall-mine.

 A word of caution though: blindly fleeing from a seemingly invulnerable monster without remaining aware of your surroundings isn’t always a wise strategy. Some chase-style fights are more straightforward than others, but not all are the same. In one area, Sebastian may do just fine madly sprinting away from a pursuing hostile while dodging some obstacles. In others — like when you’re fighting against the frightening, mallet-wielding Keeper boss — you’ll have to not only dodge his attacks, but also remain wary of the traps he lays in his wake. Unwittingly step on one of his mines and not only do you take damage, but you’ll have to manually wrestle with the trap’s barbwire clamps to get them off your leg (via wiggling an analog stick) while the Keeper is bearing down on you — not exactly an ideal situation to find yourself in. Quickly disarming or simply destroying these mine-traps may require sharp eyes and a steady aim, but it’s worth it. Your nerves will thank you as well.

The tricky world of traps

While combat is constant throughout most of the campaign, challenges come in all forms. Not all threats present themselves in the form of fights with waves of Haunted; some obstacles are sneakier, more insidious. While the face-off against the mine-laying Keeper keeps you on your toes by introducing traps into a fight, there are battles that pressure you to quickly navigate areas of these lethal obstacles under a time limit of sorts.

FranKeeperTrapsThe Keeper respawns and lays down floor traps every time you encounter him. Outsmart him by steering clear of his mines.

In one particularly tricky area, you’re pursued by a shapeless foe who can seemingly appear at will, easily passing through wire fences and gates in a labyrinth that you’re not able to get through without first finding a clear passage. With jangled nerves at an all-time high, you’re also under threat of being instantly killed by the exploding wall-traps, dead ends, and other death-dealing obstacles that line your escape route. The pressure to constantly outmaneuver your pursuer means you might not have the time to sneak past or hurriedly disarm an obscured mine or explosive, so you’ll have to juggle which threat needs addressing over the other…on the fly. It’s a white-knuckle encounter that manages to differentiate itself from many of the fights you’ve faced up to that point, but it’s no less daunting.

Yet, traps aren’t always your enemy. For as much of a threat they pose in some scenarios, they can also be used to your advantage in others. Of course, disarming them yields all-important parts that can be used to craft bolts for your Agony Crossbow. Nabbing parts for crafting during a fight — which means, you’ll have to remain fleet-footed to do so while dodging attacks — can ensure you’ll always have some arrows at your disposal when you run out of bullets. But in some of the more stealthy stages, simply luring a bloodthirsty Haunted to run across a bear trap can be ridiculously satisfying. Or better yet, getting a group of ghastly thugs to run at you through a hallway opening lined with an acid trap means taking out a handful of hostiles in one fell swoop without sacrificing a single bullet.

TrapDisarmV2Loud noises like an explosion or gunfire will draw Haunted to your location. Disarming traps is both silent and nets you some parts for crafting bolts for your Agony Bow.

Always look to your environment and inventory to find all the ways to approach combat. What may seem impossible at first may just mean you have to be more clever in how you manage and use the resources provided.

Granted, no single stage in all of The Evil Within’s lengthy, challenging 15 chapters ever goes easy on you. But if you do survive, reward comes in the form of New Game+, which brings all sorts of new weapons and perks with it, including the chance to test your skills in two increasingly tougher difficulty settings: Nightmare and “Akumu,” which also translates to “nightmare” in English, and carries with it the notoriety at Bethesda and Tango as being near impossible to finish. Which brave soul will earn the bragging rights in snagging that achievement?

With its wildly shifting realities constantly wreaking havoc on your rattled nerves, paired with the persistent creeping dread of what terror may lay in wait just past the next darkened threshold, perhaps it’s best to always expect — and be prepared for — the unexpected.

The Evil Within – Fight for Life

With just over a week until The Evil Within launches, we’ve got new pointers on surviving Krimson City. Watch our YouTube video above and read guest Bethesda Blog editor Fran Reyes’ latest guide for survival — handling stealth, boss fights, and more.

Tune in again later this week for part 3 of this survival series. And if you missed our first feature, click here.

Being resourceful is the key to surviving The Evil Within

The sweetest rewards are the ones you have to fight for — and there’s no better example than in how you’ll navigate the battles that rage throughout The Evil Within. As Krimson City Police detective Sebastian Castellanos, exploring a nightmare world full of ghastly creatures isn’t as easy as simply cutting a quick swathe through the abominations that wander its bloodstained corridors and battlegrounds. Every encounter is a chance to outthink and outsmart your opponents, which requires knowing what you’ll be up against.

There’s a level of unpredictability to the variety of monsters you’ll face in The Evil Within, but the one thing you can count on is that you’ll always be scrambling for ammo and other resources. From bullets to all-important health-replenishing syringes and trap parts which can be used to craft different types of Agony Crossbow bolts on the fly, you’ll need them all to beat some of the game world’s toughest creatures, be they bosses or some of the more common — but no less deadly —threats.

Getting Sneaky

Learning the attack patterns of your adversaries is crucial. For instance, when doing the dance with one of the more advanced Haunted types — to be specific, a hooded, human-like specter who sometimes summons a tracking attack that can decimate Sebastian in one hit — you’d be unwise to simply tackle it head on. Instead, your real secret weapon is to remain hidden; if you can get the jump on the creature before it spots you to pull off a lethal insta-stealth kill, you won’t have to dodge its ranged attacks or hugely damaging melee hits. If you’re detected, then you’ll have to take down the Haunted while evading its tracking attack that chases you with a flurry of grisly limbs and hands that sprout from the ground to kill you on the spot.

These Haunted are among the toughest in The Evil Within; just imagine fighting more than one of them at a time.

Stealth is only one weapon in your arsenal. For fights that leave you ducking and dodging waves of unseemly brutes in the open, you’ll have to be resourceful in how you use your inventory. For example, when you’re up against one of the bigger, more bloated Haunted, you have to play it smart. They’ll soak up way more damage than other enemies, and with ammo always in short supply, getting a clear headshot means the difference between having enough bullets to weather the remaining horde or going belly up quickly.

Increasing the effectiveness of headshots through upgrades or using a powered-up shotgun to do the job are two ways to better your chances in some battles, but learning to be more flexible and nimble on the battlefield is smarter. Out of ammo? Or maybe you’re down to just a handful of bullets in your sniper rifle, a gun that won’t do you any favors in a close-quarters battle? Then pray you have some matches or a one-use torch nearby — they’ll save your bacon if you can simply just down an enemy with a melee hit or one shot to the knees, then set them alight. Out of matches and no torches nearby? Then running is always an option. In The Evil Within, fleeing a battle unscathed may not always be possible, but sometimes it’s your only option, if only to catch your breath and hunt for nearby supplies or traps — a single scavenged bullet can make as big a difference as simply egging your pursuers on through a series of explosive tripwire traps.

A Rogue’s Gallery of Horrors

Bosses, on the other hand, are a whole different ballgame. As part of the variety of different encounters you’ll have with The Evil Within’s bestiary of creeps, showdowns with the game world’s more formidable adversaries often test your brawn and your brains. Case in point, a face-off against the especially spooky, long-haired, multi-limbed arachnid-like creature called Laura.

Deep in the bowels of an underground, maze-like boiler room, Laura awaits you. As one of the game’s unearthly adversaries that you’ll fight multiple times over the course of the game, she’s proven to be indestructible in past encounters — so simply outrunning her or defeating her outright aren’t options. Instead, you’ll have to be both observant and crafty in dealing with her in her various forms. In some instances, you may have to use specific objects in the environment against her — while in others, you just have to run.

In this particular confrontation in the boiler room, more astute players will have the upper hand in eluding Laura’s grasp. Are there any clues in the overhead pipes that you’re ducking through? What happens if you shoot one? The Evil Within won’t leave you high and dry, as everything you need to survive the encounter is at your disposal; you’ll just have to calm your nerves and take a minute to examine your surroundings. Granted, with a ghastly creature nipping at your heels, that’s probably easier said than done.

FranLaurav1Sebastian’s encounter with Laura in the boiler room is honestly no joke — the fight will test your speed, dexterity, and smarts. Are you quick enough on your feet and at the trigger to keep her at bay? 

Every boss beast has its own weaknesses and patterns that’ll ensure that you must use every resource you have on hand. Knowing which gun or explosive to use against an enemy’s different forms is hugely important, as well as being savvy with how to net more ammo when you’re down to your last bullet. [FYI: You’re always down to your last bullet in The Evil Within.] It’s good to also keep an eye out for where inventory drops may occur; in a particularly grueling showdown with one of the game’s more cunning chapter-capping monstrosities, extra ammo boxes will only appear once you exterminate the smaller creepy-crawlies that the boss spawns at certain points during the fight. Keeping your wits about you while avoiding harm makes this strategy much easier said than done, though.

Some encounters rely heavily on experimenting with your Agony Crossbow, as ammunition can be crafted for it on the fly. Having enough trap parts can mean the difference between slapping together a non-elemental harpoon-like bolt or being able to put together something more devastating, like a Freeze Bolt. Naturally, the more powerful the bolt-type, the more trap parts you’ll need to craft it, so a wise player constantly conserves resources like a frugal, coupon-clipping shopper.

School of Hard Knocks

Between boss fights and the often equally tough skirmishes with The Evil Within’s more common enemies, you’ll be conditioned to only use what you absolutely need in order to survive. Exploring every inch of a given area usually yields some useful treasures, but if you’re going to make it to the next chapter, you can’t be wasteful.

Sometimes sacrificing one shot from your handgun can yield more bullets if you know where and what to shoot

Depending on which difficulty setting you play on — there are four in all, with only two available when you start a new game — the challenge ramps up considerably. The first option, “Casual”, is no walk in the park, but the gap between Casual and “Survival” is quite a jump as the change also affects gameplay elements such as puzzles and default settings. Survival will definitely put you through the wringer, as features like the detection meter — which in Casual, automatically puts an “eye icon” on the HUD that displays whether enemies are aware of your presence — must be toggled on, and some puzzles are altogether absent in the lower difficulty setting. Figuring out which mode you want to tackle the game on will depend on how much you relish testing your mettle, but taking the tougher route isn’t without its rewards.

There’s no moment in The Evil Within without tension; with resources always at a premium, you’re forced to constantly make choices on the fly in battle. Will you opt to use stealth as much as possible to conserve ammo? Or will you pour your Green Gel upgrade points into powering up your weapons to ensure more damage and chances for critical hit headshots? Do you go for a quick melee to down foes in order to set them aflame with a match? Once you stumble into your first all-out fight, it’s likely you’ll want to answer “yes” to all the above.