See what you may have missed! Exploring The Evil Within with Adam Sessler continues in our playlist below.
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…
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take a Psychobreak from your Sunday activities and check out these pics from The Evil Within’s Japanese showing — including appearances from Shinji Mikami and top-notch cosplayers –this weekend at Tokyo Game Show.
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!
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.
- Ever wonderwhat Dishonored would look like in 4K?
- What would Shinji Mikami do if he found himself inside a survival horror game? Find out at 3NewsNZ.
- Can you name which one of our games ranked in Video Game Writers’ 10 Best Games of 2014 (So Far)?
- Looking for more reactions from the QuakeCon DOOM reveal? Head to Platform Nation.
- What does The Sixth Axis think you’ll need a spare pair of when playing The Evil Within? Well, you can probably guess.
- What elements of DOOM I & II should be in id Software’s newest effort? AusGamers answers the question.
That’s all for now. Look for more coverage of QuakeCon 2014 — including photos from the show — later in the week.