Tune in tomorrow at 1:00PM at Twitch.tv/Bethesda as we welcome the launch of The Evil Within.
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.
Image courtesy of DeviantArt
We’ve been keeping a close eye on Daniel (known on DeviantArt as Corroder666) since we came across his masterfully done “Keeper” cosplay from The Evil Within. Daniel made his costumed debut at Gamescom this year to go along with all of the excitement for The Evil Within this October. We asked him to take some time outside of the box(man) and answer some questions about the development of his intricate and terrifying costume.
What was the greatest influence in your decision to recreate The Keeper?
He looks quite disturbing and very strange and it seems to me that he is like the “Red Pyramid” thing from “Silent Hill”, a figure that makes The Evil Within recognisable. I like this weird but memorable image and I just think it’s quite cool!
Another reason is the realisation in general. Normally I only make costumes and props once I have played through the game and think it’s good and have built up a kind of relationship with the character. Then I’ve also got enough models to recreate the individual elements as true to the original as possible. In this case this wouldn’t have been at all possible with just a couple of published images. However, you published a 3D model of Boxman on Sketchfab for Halloween last year, with which I could construct and recreate everything around it.
Head: The framework is made of hard foam-board, the fittings are made of “Worbla’s Finest Art”, a cycling helmet was also used. In order to see I installed a “PlayStation Vita” with camera behind the upper digit wheel. A camera films the exterior and I virtually see, through the PS Vita, what’s “happening” outside.
Barbed wire: I made the barbed wire out of “Worbla” leftovers, which I melted and rolled into wires. There’s over 25 metres in all.
Rucksack: The foundation framework is made of styrodur boards. In addition I used a corrugated foil sheet and “Worbla” for the fittings.
Meat tenderizer: For this I cut styrodur into the basic shape of the hammer head. I used a cardboard tube for the handle and encased everything in “Worbla”.
Other: I also used imitation leather, a welder’s apron, acid-protective gloves and of course various paints.
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.
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.
Sebastian’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.
We asked Toby Turner, who you might know as better as Tobuscus, if he’d like to play The Evil Within. He agreed so we brought him via an ambulance to a place with some “ambience”. Queue the sirens…
Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror hits store shelves on October 14th. Get ready!
For more videos from Toby, visit http://www.youtube.com/tobuscus
And if you missed it, The Evil Within is already available for pre-order on PlayStation Network (now both in North American and EU territories) and Steam. Pre-loads for both will come before launch — more details to come.
Minimum requirements for The Evil Within can now be found below. You won’t be experiencing the game at 1080p and you’ll likely need to turn off some features, but you will still be able to have a great experience with the game..
OS: Windows 7/8.1 (64 bit)
GPU: GTX 460 or an equivalent 1gb VRAM card
CPU: i7 or an equivalent 4+ core processor
If you meet the recommended specs, you’re in for the ideal experience. The game looks amazing with full-screen anti-aliasing, full shadow quality, motion blur, tessellation, SSAO, and 1080p visuals.
PC users can pre-order The Evil Within today on Steam — where we’ve updated the game page to account for both the minimum and recommended system requirements, or your favorite digital or physical reseller.
Titan Comics has joined with us to create a new prequel comic series for The Evil Within. Inspired by the work of Shinji Mikami and the team at Tango Gameworks, the comic series follows a young student named Dana as she searches for a missing friend in a nightmare world.
And if you happen to be attending New York Comic Con, issue #1 will debut and be available first to exhibit attendees October 9th – October 12th. Visit the Titan Comics booth (#2142) to secure the premiere issue before anyone else.
If you’re not attending NYCC, you won’t have to wait much longer. The Evil Within’s debut issue will release on October 15th – just a day after the game’s release. You can purchase the comics at your favorite comic store or titan-comics.com
And in the embed below, get a first look at what to expect from writer Ian Edginton and artist Alex Sanchez in the comic’s first issue.
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.’