Around the web – ‘Pass the Cyberdemon’ edition

Tomorrow we’ll be at home celebrating Thanksgiving, but before we get to glorious Detroit Lions football and turkey legs, let’s check out some highlights from around the web. Setting the table is a dinner-themed tribute to DOOM — Dovahbear’s hilarious Dinner with Mancubus — shown in the embed above.

Speaking of DOOM, every second of Zero Master’s record-breaking speedrun for DOOM II is must-watch internet. After watching, head to reddoorbluekey.com for more details on DOOM speedruns.

Looking for a second serving of links? Fill your plate with these…

That’s all for now. Safe travels, everyone!

The Evil Within – #SebSelfie Screamshot Sweeps

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In our new sweepstakes, celebrate The Evil Within’s craziest moments… with a selfie!

Detective Sebastian Castellanos has a knack for getting into close encounters of the scary kind. With that in mind, we’re looking for your best Sebastian “selfie” moment in The Evil Within for our #SebSelfie Sweepstakes. All you need to do to is submit a screenshot featuring the main character, Sebastian, facing the camera in a self-portrait while in game. This can be done by rotating the camera around to face the front of Sebastian any time during gameplay.

Once you’re satisfied with your Sebastian “selfie,” submit your screenshot using the #SebSelfie hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. One lucky winner will receive a prize pack featuring Gaming Head’s exclusive edition statue of “The Keeper”, plus a poster and game (platform of your choice!) signed by The Evil Within’s game director, Shinji Mikami!

Don’t have one of these newfangled social media accounts? You can also enter here on the game’s official site.

The sweepstakes begins today and runs through December 14th for US/Canada residents over the age of 18. For official contest rules, click here.

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Bethesda Behind the Scenes – The Evil Within’s Laura

The Evil Within is in no short supply of terrifying creatures, but the one most likely to haunt your nightmares is Laura. Adam Sessler continues “The Creatures Within” conversation with Shinji Mikami and concept artist, Ikumi Nakamura as they delve into the depths of Laura’s origin.

See what you may have missed! Exploring The Evil Within with Adam Sessler continues in our playlist below.

Bethesda Behind the Scenes – The Evil Within’s Chainsawing Sadist

For this week’s “The Creatures Within”, Adam Sessler sits down with Shinji Mikami and concept artist Ikumi Nakamura to discuss The Evil Within‘s chainsaw-wielding manaic, The Sadist.

Revisit the experiences of Adam Sessler exploring The Evil Within — including last week’s look at The Keeper — by visiting our YouTube channel, or watching the whole series in our playlist below…

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.

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.