The Evil Within – The World Within

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

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

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

Preparing for the unexpected in The Evil Within

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

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

Attacked from afar

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

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

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

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

Fight or flight: Know which to choose

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tricky world of traps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Evil Within – 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.

MirrorHubV2

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?

AgonyBolt2

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.

GoddessStatueV2

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.

Terrified by ‘The Evil Within’ + Hands-On Impressions!

Thanks to play testers we learn a lot about our games that help us make a better project. Specifically with The Evil Within, we’ve also received plenty of entertainment value. In our latest trailer for the game, watch actual reactions from playtesters as they get their hands on the game for the first time.

The Evil Within will now terrify players right in the thick of Halloween season – releasing on October 21st in North America, October 23rd in Australia, and throughout Europe on October 24th, 2014. With your pre-order of the game, you’ll receive The Fighting Chance Pack, which includes:

  • Medical Kit – A vital health enhancement to enable Sebastian to fight on.
  • Green Gel – Used to upgrade Sebastian’s attributes.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun and Three Shells – A larger and more formidable shotgun than the regular shotgun, it’s useful for tight situations with multiple encroaching enemies.
  • An Incendiary Agony Bolt – Capable of showering nearby enemies with damaging fire sparks.
  • A Poison Agony Bolt – Will draw enemies towards it and poison them, allowing Sebastian time for a quick escape.

For more on the game, check out these fresh hands-on impressions that went up today…

Gameplanet –“The Evil Within looks set to herald a frightening and exhilarating new dawn for survival horror.”

Joystiq — “The game is trying to unsettle me, and it’s doing a pretty good job of it. Just as I catch my breath, Spider-Girl bursts out of what was a harmless looking corpse, and now I have to run.”

MMGN –“The Evil Within is survival horror in its truest form, and the return of a once great genre I feared was lost to the mass market addicted to relentless action.”

Shacknews — “The Evil Within’s approach to survival horror feels vintage, in a good way. Limited resources help add to the tension and there are also some genuinely scary moments. The combat also helps add to the horror environments, with firearms meant to subdue, not dominate.”

Videogamer — “Having played it for a couple of hours it’s become clear that he’s close to achieving his goal: namely, returning to the horror staples he helped define in 1996 with Resi, and obliterate in 2005 with Resi 4.”

PC Gamer — “As someone who counts Resident Evil 4 among their all-time favourite games, The Evil Within has an extra layer of significance for me. ”

Polygon — “It feels like a game that builds upon what Mikami is best known for — survival horror — while taking the genre into a new direction, one without the restrictions a legacy franchise like Resident Evil carries with it. ”

Telegraph UK — “The Evil Within is shaping up to be the terrifying and triumphant horror comeback for Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.”

GameReactor —  “It’s the Japanese survival horror evolved.”

GameCrate — ” I was wearing a Gear Fit when I played, and had it record my heart rate right after I left the demo. My normal resting heart rate is 75 beats per minute…and after an hour and a half with The Evil Within, it was 117.”

Expert Reviews — “After 2 hours it felt like we were only just scratching the surface and were left wanting more.”

Neoseeker — “The time I spent with The Evil Within might very well be the longest two hours of my life, and that’s okay. As the survival horror genre makes its comeback, Shinji Mikami appears to have taken the opportunity to show he’s still a master at his craft.”

Bloody-Disgusting — “The Evil Within is a great horror game.”

AusGamers — ” Lights out, volume up and all alone — I may be white-haired and frail once the experience is over, but to be taken back to that place Mikami created oh-so long ago…”

The Sydney Morning Herald — “Fans of old school horror should be looking forward to this one.”

The Escapist — Watch Andrea Rene’s reaction to playing the game in the video embed below…

 

Discover Coldharbour

Molag Bal, the God of Schemes, threatens all of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online. Watch this new video to visit his Oblivion plane of Coldharbour and learn more about his plans.

We’re taking you straight to Molag Bal’s realm in this new video. Watch it to get a glimpse of Coldharbour and some of its inhabitants and to learn more about this malevolent Daedric Prince’s plans for Tamriel—and your soul.

ESO: Alliances at War

In The Elder Scrolls Online, the Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pact are embroiled in a full-scale war, but that was not always the case. What led each alliance to feel that war was the only option? What are their reasons and motives for fighting? Who are the key people and groups involved? In our latest developer video, “Alliances at War”, Loremaster Lawrence Schick answers these questions and more.

For more on the game’s alliances, visit ElderScrollsOnline.com.