The Evil Within Trying To Create Unique Horror Experience

The Evil Within Trying To Create Unique Horror Experience

The horror genre has become more ubiquitous in media than ever before. In movie theaters, movies like Cabin in the Woods and the Paranormal Activity and Insidious films have found their place in the genre’s all-time pantheon alongside classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th. On television, American Horror Story, Bates Motel, and the promising new Penny Dreadful have brought serialized horror directly into people’s homes in a way once reserved solely for home video and video games.

Speaking of video games, horror has been strongly represented in the medium for years, and is stronger than ever these days. Games like Slender and Amnesia: The Dark Descent have been terrifying gamers in new and unexpected ways while survival horror mainstays like the Resident Evil and Silent Hill games deliver reliable scares. Silent Hill has even made the jump to mobile gaming, joining a growing number of frightening offerings available to smart phone users, and a review indicates that slot games are even getting in on the action. Truly, it is a good time to be a horror fan.

That is the landscape that The Evil Within, the newest game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, is looking to enter into. The game was announced last April and was originally slated for release this summer, but was delayed this week to late October (a convenient Halloween tie-in, even if that isn’t the primary motivation for the move).


Early buzz surrounding the game focused on the game’s vivid and disturbing visual style, something that has only grown as more glimpses of the game have been released. Initial hands-on demonstrations, however, produced mixed reviews (fixing some of the complaints from those early demos is almost certainly a factor in the delay release). IGN’s Jose Otero was able to play a much longer demo recently, and his review echoes many of the same concerns, but is tinged with a distinctly optimistic tone.

“The two chapters I experienced oscillated between tense moments and awkward ones,” Otero wrote. “Sometimes it reveled in gross-out horror and ambience; other times it slinked into weird cutscenes and bizarre dialogue. But honestly, none of that bothered me because I also saw a game that married ideas from survival horror’s past with its present.”

That last point seems important when considering The Evil Within and it’s director. Mikami’s Resident Evil 4 is a defining achievement in the horror game genre, but the landscape since that game came out has changed. Mikami and his team recognize that and are trying to marry the successes of the past with the emerging style that is en vogue today in an effort to create something truly new and unique. That is certainly a tall order, and only time will tell whether they can pull it off.

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