The Evil Within
GameStation score: 9.2
Though I have not completed this game yet, however I felt that I have reached a point in which I am comfortable with conducting a review of it... in short.... I love this game. The Evil Within has a few reasons allow me consider it to be a great horror game. Everything from how the game presents itself, the mechanics, the atmosphere, and how the idea of "horror" is approached.
I am going to try to stay away from explaining the story, in the hopes of not ruining it for those of you who have not yet got your hands on the game. That being said, the game has a wonderful story with enough mystery to keep you intrigued (and often confused) while still providing just enough to give you an idea of what is going on. From the trailers we were presented with a variety of different horrific creatures and almost nothing more. From the demo that was released (and reviewed) it was apparent that the developers where going to give us no idea of the story prior to gameplay. . . and for quite a while even that doesn't provide you the full story. You start off investigating a massacre within a mental hospital, but things quickly spiral out of control with the appearance of the main "villian." The Evil Within fully understands that it is a horror game, and it does all it can to play off of that idea. One of my personal favorite things I noticed is that the developers know their horror, and I am talking old school horror. I was playing through and enjoying the story and the game, but then there came a point where I suddenly realized that the events that were occuring, was a clear interpretation of H.P. Lovecraft's Innsmouth story.
Every bit of this game is horror, the mechanics are well built, focusing greatly on the idea of stealth in that these are "undead" abominations, they have "powers" that some may consider "super-human." This being said, the game reflects on this through its mechanics. With hard hitting, damage sponge enemies, stealth becomes a much more viable option of gameplay style than the "just shoot stuff" style that is present in recent AAA horror games such as the "Fear," "Dead Space," and "Doom" series. But instead, it uses factors of award winning AAA horror games such as Resident Evil 4, in that ammo is very scarce, enemies are "scary" and the whole world is just waiting to f*ck you up.
One of my favorite things thus far about The Evil Within, is that it doesn't just focus on the use of one style of horror. Many recent "horror" games make good use of one aspect of horror, but they don't necissarily create the horror atmosphere that is what used to make games of the horror genre great. Five Nights At Freddy's for example, does a great job of implementing jump scares, but doesn't really create that horrific atmosphere (check out my review of that game to better understand what I am saying). The Evil Within however uses a broad range of mecahnics to "set the mood." This game creates a fully creepy horror atmosphere through the use of its audio as well as visual, it makes GOOD use of jump-scares (without overdoing it), it uses the "gross" factor, the gore factor, the idea of being "helpless" or continually threatened and worried for your life. On the topic of jump-scares, not only does the game use jump-scares to inflict that sudden fear in the player, but it also doesn't use it at all at other times. This not only scares the player becasue of a jump-scare, but it terrifies the player through the use of anticipation. Honestly, I feel this is even more terrifying than a game that focuses on the use of a lot of jump-scares. In those games, you often come to expect the jumps and eventually the jumps become less and less effective, however when you get the player to expect jump scares, you set the scene up for the perfect scare...the players anticipation is building, they are preparing themselves mentally for the jump; but then it never comes, the player simply continues on, now this is when the player really begins to worry. They began wondering what is going on, why a monster didn't jump out of that area, is there something else building up that they didn't notice?
As this review is getting very long I am going to cut it off now. Hope you enjoyed. :)
GameStation score: 8.5
So, with all the controversy around this game I have been debating whether or not I wanted to do a full review on this game or if perhaps I should skip over it. However, when it came down to it, I found that most reviews of this game were "hate" reviews and honestly I quite enjoyed this game.
I have spent hours playing this game so far and I am still very much enjoying it. Now, I will say that in my opinion this game is rather lacking in its single-player. By this I am not talking about the story directly, but am instead saying that in my opinion this game is very much designed for multiplayer. Whether you are doing playing story missions or whatever else, the entire game is integrated to be played with another friend or two.
Specifically with the story, I hear people complaining continually saying that this game has almost no story. Now, I both agree with this and disagree. This game has an absolutely wonderful and immersive story, however you have to really look for it. The story exists within the game and with the little things you can begin to notice when you really start looking closely at it; not to mention that if you read the Grimoire cards that you ear/collect throughout the game you can find the entire story there. However, I do agree that there isn't much for the story that is placed in front of the player. Now, although I sort of dislike that their story is very short in gameplay, I can understand why they did it this way. Playing Destiny you will soon recognize that the game is really focused on the gameplay and what you can do after you reach "max" level. Because of this, and how quickly you reach level 20, it makes a lot of sense for them to put their main effort into the continued gameplay and what players can do, after they "beat" the story and reach level 20.
With this in mind, I have to say that this is a very well made and extremely enjoyable, MMO that breached the consoles.
Now, before I start with why I gave this game a 6.5, let me first say that I did quite enjoy this game for the while I played it. This being said, there are a few problems I have with this game. First off, although the game is quite fun the first few times you play it, it soon becomes dull. Now I don't mean that it becomes easy, or that the jump scares stop working. But that’s just it; it is just jump scare after jump scare. The game is good and challenging, but there isn't really that instilled feeling of fear that the "horror" genre is about, instead its just a nervousness that builds up as you wait for that jump scare that you know is going to be there, sometimes to the point that you can even predict when it's going to happen.
All in all it’s a good game that is very enjoyable to play for an hour or two, however in my opinion it becomes very repetitive after a while and the enjoy-ability winds down after your first few plays.