Sessler Series Continues for The Evil Within

Our behind the scenes look at The Evil Within continues this week  with three new features in this revealing web series. Adam Sessler once again sits down with Game Director Shinji Mikami along with other members of the Tango Gameworks team, offering a closer look at both The Evil Within and the people behind it.

In ‘Inspirations: The Origins of Evil’ (see video above, you can choose the subtitles for your language), Mikami-san shares how his love of old horror and sci-fi films played into the creation of the game and how they perpetuate the development of survival horror. You may even learn something new about Japanese history and folklore and learn what really frightens the legendary director.

Giving Mikami-san a break to spend some time with the audio team, Sessler chats with Shuichi Kobori and Ippei Shiraki to get a deeper understanding of how music and sound come together to further immerse the player into Sebastian’s world in ‘Audio Design: The Sounds of Evil.’

And from audio to visual, jump into ‘Visual Design: The Aesthetics of Evil’ to check out the series’ sixth installment. Join Sessler and Art Director, Naoki Katakai, as they discuss inspirations, the environments, and of course the enemies of The Evil Within.

Throughout October we’ll continue to share more insider info on The Evil Within. Keep your eyes peeled for more videos, features, and much more Mikami!

And in case you missed the first showcase of Bethesda Behind the Scenes, you can see the line up  here or on our YouTube playlist.

The Evil Within – Every Last Bullet

Making your way through The Evil Within is no walk in the park. In order to survive, it’s important to learn how the game’s systems can play in your favor. Taking advantage of resources, managing ammo, and simply knowing when it’s time to run away can help stave off death for a moment longer.

Get a 101 lesson on survival in the video above, and then delve into our spoiler-free article feature below from guest Bethesda Blog editor Fran Reyes. In the article, Reyes outlines some of the survival strategies that helped her play through the full game. Study up to be prepared for October 14th.

Take it away, Fran!

How you’ll defend yourself from The Evil Within’s nightmare creatures

Poor Sebastian Castellanos. As a detective in the Krimson City Police Department, he’s never encountered anything as horrific or gruesome as the case he’s working on in The Evil Within. After an emergency call from a dispatcher asks him and his small team to check out a multiple homicide at the city’s mental hospital, things quickly go from strange to terrifying, with little explanation as to the hows or whys. Thankfully, Sebastian’s never left completely defenseless.

How you weather the storm that The Evil Within conjures — first rule: don’t count on much downtime — depends on how you’ll use the cache of weapons and items at your disposal. From the standard-issue handgun Sebastian has holstered during his initial investigation to the more advanced weaponry he stumbles across, as well as the skills and abilities you’ll slowly upgrade and master — there’s a lot of stuff to juggle if you’re going to survive The Evil Within.

Matches, Torches, and Brains in Jars

Combat isn’t simply a run-’n-gun affair; instead, you’ll often have to multi-task after dispatching a creature by setting it on fire with a match to keep it, well, dead. The game cleverly reminds you that a single match can go a long way if you’re able to down multiple enemies and simply set the pile aflame in one go. It’s wise advice, as well, since matches — along with the rest of the items in The Evil Within — are always in short supply.

In other encounters with otherworldly threats, you’ll be able to snag one-use items off corpses that’ll aid you in combat — as an example, axes and torches guarantee insta-kills if wielded correctly, but they don’t last beyond that one instance and can’t be upgraded or shuffled to an inventory slot for later use. But what a difference they can make in a fight when you’re facing off against more enemies than you have bullets for.

Be it with a torch, a lit puddle of gasoline, or a match from your inventory, setting enemies on fire means they won’t be getting back up after you’ve laid waste to them. Granted, you won’t always need to use a match to make enemies stay dead, but until you can tell the difference, best to just make sure.

Matches and other one-use items can only take you so far against the dangers in The Evil Within, though; firearms are, of course, the most practical defense and offense, but how you fight the terrors in the game relies heavily on how you fortify each. This includes upgrades and managing the “Green Gel” — gathered throughout your play in varying amounts from rather macabre-seeming jars containing human brains swimming in green-colored fluid. This sinister in-game currency comes into play when you take trips to the “other side of the mirror,” a hub that you’ll revisit throughout your journey that looks a lot like an asylum reception area attended by a nurse who knows more than she’s letting on. Here is where you’ll perform self-experiments in order to upgrade everything from your personal skills — such as stamina, which allows you sprint to evade danger, and your health meter — to managing your weapon cache.

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If you hear the pleasant strains of “Claire de Lune” playing, you know one of these mirrors is nearby. Once activated, they’ll lead you to the relative safety of the game’s hub world.

Arm Yourself

Guns like your revolver and shotgun — Sebastian’s most trusty pair of firearms, among other weapons that range from standard to super-secret — can be honed into increasingly more lethal death-dealers. Throughout each of the game’s tough stages, you may be tempted to throw upgrade points into your more powerful weapons in order to craft ridiculously surefire solutions to progressively more demanding combat scenarios. But gauging from the amount of ammo available, it’s wise to do so with caution. In most cases, concentrating on your handgun and shotgun’s capabilities — ammo capacity, damage dealt, and accuracy, among an almost overwhelming amount of other tweak-able stats — isn’t just practical, but it’s also smart. After all, when you’re facing down seemingly endless waves of non-boss enemies (which The Evil Within dubs “The Haunted,” of which there are literally dozens of different types), the last thing you want to do is use up all the ammo for your more advanced weapons, when a nicely powered-up handgun can do the headshot-dealing trick. Trust us, save as many of the Agony Crossbow’s bolts for the bosses and nastier threats — you’ll thank us later.

Sebastian’s multi-purpose bolt-slinging Agony Crossbow stands as one of the game’s most flexible weapons and introduces a neat wrinkle in how you’ll manage your time and ammo. Throughout The Evil Within, armed traps play a huge role in how you’ll approach each new area you encounter. Everything from bear traps to landmines to timed wall-bombs — and this doesn’t even touch on the hugely lethal shock- and acid-traps — can change the course of nearly every fight you find yourself in, for different reasons. Employing a tense risk-vs.-reward opportunity, every bolt is made up of various parts, which can be collected from dismantled traps, but doing so takes time. So, with a group of growling, bloodthirsty creatures lurking in a darkened room, do you dare take the time to creep toward a landmine in order to harvest much-needed parts to craft an explosive bolt? Or do you risk storming into a new space on the off-chance that it isn’t littered with expertly placed wall-bombs that you may or may not be able to disarm in time before they detonate? How important is gathering parts for bolts in the face of simply surviving to reach the next area?

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Using an Explosive Bolt from your Agony Crossbow can deal devastating damage…or, when not fired at an enemy, can lay an equally lethal motion-triggered trap. Though, be careful not to let an enemy with an Explosive Bolt stuck to them get to near to you, you might just end up in pieces…

The reward side of crafting bolts is simply having more ways to protect yourself from the ever-encroaching waves of nightmares that populate The Evil Within. The Agony Crossbow is important in that it can hold several different types of bolts, as well — the explosive bolts can serve a very different purpose than, say, the flash or shock bolts, in a given battle. Like they say, the more the merrier, at least when it comes to having enough parts to create bolts; your own strategy for how to rationalize whether to dismantle a trap for parts or simply shoot it to detonate it and move on will vary depending on the given situation.

Crafty Solutions

It’s wise to note, as well, that making your own ammo is only an option for the Agony Crossbow; all other firearms require bullets that are collected in the environment. That’s right; you won’t find a single store or wandering merchant anywhere in the shifting realities of The Evil Within. As daunting as that sounds — and it’s downright daunting in actual practice, as well — more meticulous players can find other ways to boost their ammo counts, with a little help from Goddess Statues.

Eagle-eyed sharpshooters may spot these small white figurines positioned around new areas. Do yourself a favor and destroy them by melee or — though it’s tough to recommend wasting even a single bullet on them —gunshot in order to reap a special Locker Key hidden inside. That key then gives you access to a finite stash of ammo or Green Gel in a specific spot within the hospital “mirror-world” hub. In other words, sometimes the difference between success and “game over” is keeping an eye out for those slyly placed Goddess Statues.

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Goddess Statues are sometimes out in the open, but often they’re squirreled away in increasingly tough-to-spot hidey-holes. They’re worth hunting down for the perks, though.

Still, there are also other mysteries afoot among the many in-game collectible items and special rewards, but perhaps those are best left for the souls brave enough to find them all. There’s a lot going on in The Evil Within, from the way you’ll manage your ammo to what you’ll choose to upgrade or spend your Green Gel on. While there’s room for experimentation in refining your personal strategy, it’s essential to go in with both eyes open, and a weapon always at the ready. After all, you never really know what lurks just around the corner.

‘Bethesda Behind the Scenes’ presents… The Evil Within

How does the creator of Survival Horror define the genre? What films have had the most influence for Tango Gameworks? What scares Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks?

These questions, and many more, are answered in a new Bethesda Behind-the-Scenes web series we worked on with Adam Sessler. During a recent trip to Tango Gameworks’ studio in Tokyo, Japan, Game Director Shinji Mikami and other members of the Tango team opened up to Sessler about The Evil Within and their studio culture like never before. Just wait until you see Mikami-san break out into laughter!

To kick off the web series, we’re starting with three videos today. The first (embedded above) is Sessler’s introduction to the series — setting the stage for what you can expect between now and next month.

For a closer look at gameplay, the series’ next video, ‘The Art of Survival’ features Mikami-san and Producer Masato Kimura as they delve into the gameplay mechanics of “pure survival horror” – discussing traps, enemies, and other terrors that await you when playing The Evil Within.

From there, we go “Inside The Mind of Shinji Mikami” — an intimate journey through The Evil Within’s inception as Shinji Mikami discusses the paths he took in creating his newest survival horror game, his philosophies on game design, and how we works with the team at Tango for coming up with ideas.

Next week and throughout October, be on the lookout for more videos explaining the game’s making, monsters, and of course, plenty more Mikami.

Game Informer dissects The Evil Within’s Survival Horror

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Chomping at the bit for more info on The Evil Within? We’ve got plenty coming this week, and it starts with the latest feature from Game Informer’s month-long look at horror games. Head here to watch a 6-plus minute video as Andrew Reiner and Tim Turi discuss the flavor of horror the game offers. In short, they sum it up as Mikami at his best.

Stay tuned for more on The Evil Within throughout the remainder of the week.

PAX Prime: The Evil Within, BATTLECRY, and The Elder Scrolls Online Take Center Stage!

Easily one of the most fun weeks of the year is attending PAX Prime in Seattle. Closing out the summer meeting some of our biggest fans is always a thrill. And if you’ve ever been to Seattle, the weather in late August/early September is damn near perfect.

For Bethesda’s 7th PAX Prime, we’ve got a pretty exciting lineup — we’re showcasing The Evil Within, BATTLECRY, and The Elder Scrolls Online.

With less than two months until its October 14th release, we’re celebrating The Evil Within, Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror, in a major way. By visiting our booth in the Washington Convention Center, you’ll have a chance to go hands-on with the game on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4. What’s more, we’ll have multiple contests during the week for a chance to win custom Xbox One consoles and a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia that’s sure to charm terrify your friends and family. And don’t worry, fans at home will have a chance to win, too — more details later this week.

Mock-ups of customized Xbox One consoles that lucky winners will have a chance to score! More details to come!

Also at the Bethesda PAX booth, multiplayer madness will be in full effect for both The Elder Scrolls Online and BATTLECRY. With the the former, ESO veterans (and newcomers) will have a chance to participate in tense, 3v3v3 multiplayer in Colovian Crossing — a special capture-the-flag PvP worth checking out. It’s a real treat.

All players that check out ESO will come away with something special, too — a download code for a limited edition Bristlegut Pig pet to accompany you in your Tamriel travels.

Meanwhile for BATTLECRY, we’ll be showcasing 8v8 matches in an all-new game mode, Land Grab, with plenty of loot for players to grab. All participants will score a BATTLECRY pin for playing. But winning teams will have an opportunity for even more prizes, including…

… this Cossacks vs. Royal Marines lithograph signed by the game’s Creative Director Viktor Antonov if you win one match, and… 

… one of these PAX Prime BATTLECRY faction t-shirts if your team wins two consecutive matches.

PAX Prime takes place August 29th – September 1st at the Washington Convention Center in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned here on the blog and follow our @bethblog, @battlecry_game, @tesonline, and @theevilwithin Twitter accounts for updates through the week!

Around the Web: Mt. DOOM Edition

QuakeCon might be North America’s largest LAN party, but it’s definitely not the highest. In a new mini-documentary, Tek Syndicate tells the story of players participating climbing the summit of Mt. Elbert — to have a LAN party at the summit!

The game of choice? DOOM! Watch how they battle elevation sickness (and each other) as they climb a 4500 ft.

Moving from CO to TX, BattleCry Studios ventured to QuakeCon 2014 for the game’s first-ever free-play matches and competitive tournament. In addition numerous attendees playing the game, some members of the gaming press also got their first stab at post-Black Powder Treaty combat. Get new impressions at MMOBomb.com, PCGamesN, and Shacknews.

And while players played BATTLECRY, members of the team talked about it. Design Director Lucas Davis answered a number of questions for MMORPG.com. Here’s an excerpt…

MMORPG: How does advancement work? Is it skill-based, weapon-based, or both?

LD: As your warrior progresses through levels, you’re able to unlock your skill tree, which is used to build customized loadouts with. The skill tree will allow you to power up your weapons, but whatever you want your weapon to look like, that’s what it will look like.

So what else is happening? We’ll ask you below.

That’s all for now. Look for more coverage of QuakeCon 2014 — including photos from the show — later in the week. 

Around the Web: ‘Extreme Character Customization’ Edition

A holiday weekend done right can feel like an eternity, but it also means missing everything that the world wide web has to offer — including the latest for The Evil Within, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Wolfenstein.

Starting light, in the embed above, watch The Onion’s in-depth look at new character customization features for The Elder Scrolls Online. It’s the best fun anyone’s had with mitochondria since A Wind in the Door.

Actually, there are new customization coming to ESO — including the ability to dye your armors. Learn more on that, combat improvements, guild enhancements, and much more in the July edition of ESO – The Road Ahead.

Elsewhere, Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek has a pair of posts worth checking out. DOOM fans will want to check out his interview with DOOM modder Sam Prebble, whose Total Chaos mod takes the DOOM engine in a haunting (and visually stunning) new direction.

Also on Giant Bomb, if you didn’t read Klepek’s interview with MachineGames’ Jen Matthies, you can now listen to the raw audio — a full 45 mintues worth — right here!

What else is worth checking up on? Highlights below…

  • New interviews with The Evil Within’s Shinji Mikami are now up at AusGamers and Telegraph UK.
  • The Mirror UK has it’s review of Wolfenstein: The New Order up, and they decide, “With its oppressive – yet thought-provoking – environment, explosive action and addictive nature, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a must-buy.”
  • The fun-loving folks at MTV have taken a break to share their 7 Video Games to Keep You Inside This Summer. Find out where Wolfenstein made the list (hint: it’s pretty high) here.
  • Total Xbox looks at The Evil Within and declares that the game is “the game survival horror fans have been waiting for”.

That’s all for now. If you see an article worth featuring on “Around the Web”, feel free to email us at bethblog@bethsoft.com.

Around the Web – Swede Interview Edition

What’s new on the web? Plenty!

With Wolfenstein out for more than a month now, Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek caught up with MachineGames’ creative director, Jens Matthies, for a must-read interview. Topics covered include: what it takes to make a Wolfenstein game, spoilers [alert!] about the ending, and what’s on the horizon for MachineGames.

Here’s an excerpt…

Giant Bomb: So you actually liked the idea of trying to resolve the potential contradictions in the story you wanted to tell with the legacy of the storytelling in Wolfenstein?

Jens Matthies: Yeah, of course. We want this to be part of a greater saga. That said, of course, this game stands completely on its own. It’s not a requirement that you play anything of the previous games. You can be completely new to Wolfenstein and have a complete experience. But we also want to build upon things that have been established on their own.

Who else is putting their post-mortem wrap on Wolfenstein? The Escapist. One of the site’s feature writers, Shamus Young, shares his surprise in how great the game ended up being — drawing comparisons to Valve’s Half-Life 2. Read Shamus’ article here.

Going from what’s already out to what’s coming later this year, we move to The Evil Within. And with The Evil Within at E3, you also get plenty of face time with Shini Mikami. Read a pair of interviews with him at both Metro UK and Telegraph.

Previewed in a dark room, we had to be careful not to make players scream at the top of their lungs as we strolled by. Below are some E3 highlights…

Official Xbox Magazine – “… it could be the modern Resident Evil that fans like me have been waiting for.”

Platform Nation - “Bewildered by the blank wall, I turn around and the hall goes all hazy, riddled with static, and then the doctor and patient disappear after the kid gives some sort of creepy psycho premonition speech. The hallway ends at a door that wasn’t there before, and the other side appears to go on interminably. It’s disconcerting to say the least.”

USA Today — Watch a new video preview with Pete Hines.

Closing out our wrap up, read impressed impressions from folks that tried BattleCry Studios’ self-titled debut. Among recent previews, USA Today ranked the game as one of their Top 10 game of the show. Previews below…

Quest Gaming Network – “Fast and fluid, pretty yet gritty; BattleCry Studios seem to know what their doing, which is no surprise with vets from all around the industry in their ranks.”

Tom’s Hardware – “BATTLECRY in its present state was a blast. A number of us played as the Cossacks while another set played as the Royal Marines. Because there is no gunpowder in this alternate timeline, players must rely on melee and basic ranged weapons such as swords, bows, energy-powered blades and more. That made the gameplay feel a bit more personal and frantic.”

USA Today – “It’s a fascinating approach for an online multiplayer game, which anyone with a headset and public chat settings enabled will tell you is sometimes a hostile experience.”

E3 2014 – Photos from the Show

E3 week is always a bit crazy, but we still manage to have a blast while showing off our newest games. There’s plenty of highlights: from a BATTLECRY showdown featuring our friends from Respawn Entertainment, candid interview shots, and seeing folks playing the game in mood-setting darkness.

Check out highlights in our imgur slideshow and Vines below…

Bethesda Booth imgur slideshow
Vine from our entrance for The Evil Within
Vine showing off various parts of our E3 Booth