This spooky season, consider The Evil Within, the debut horror-action game from Resident Evil co-creator Shinji Mikami and the debut game from Tango Gameworks. This flawed but frightening horror game is currently available for free on the Epic Games Store, Xbox Game Pass, and PlayStation Plus Extra subscription on consoles.
The Evil Within: A Mix of Horror Genres
The Evil Within falls somewhere between the iconic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games, offering a unique blend of surreal scares, stealth, and survival horror. The game is not for the faint-hearted, as it features a copious amount of gore. Players can expect to slide down a slaughterhouse sluice gate, wade through a pool of blood, and dig through rotting cadavers in search of keys. With intense and terrifying moments reminiscent of Saw and Hostel, as well as heart-pounding chase scenes involving chainsaw-wielding butchers, The Evil Within is a truly immersive experience.
Unveiling the Game’s Potential
Despite its flaws, The Evil Within has glimpses of greatness that become more apparent as the game progresses. Polygon’s original review highlights the moments when excellent combat and creepy environmental design come together, creating an exciting and terrifying experience. However, the review also acknowledges that the game is occasionally hindered by design choices that feel outdated.
Improvements and New Features
Over time, developer Tango has addressed some of the game’s original quirks. For example, they removed the forced letterboxed aspect ratio, providing players with a more immersive visual experience. Additionally, in 2021, Tango released a significant update for The Evil Within on Xbox Game Pass, introducing new features such as a first-person mode, field-of-view options, and improved stamina mechanics. Players can now sprint for a longer duration, enhancing the overall gameplay. Tango also added an option to make the game easier by providing infinite ammo.
However, accessing certain new features, such as the first-person mode and infinite ammo, requires a Bethesda.net account. While this account requirement can be seen as an unnecessary barrier, it can be easily overcome for players who already have a Bethesda account associated with their email address from previous Bethesda games like Fallout 76.
A Worthwhile Survival Horror Experience
Despite being over nine years old, The Evil Within remains a solid and engaging survival horror game. Its quirks and shortcomings do not overshadow its value, especially considering its current price of being free. This Halloween season, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in The Evil Within and perhaps discover a newfound appreciation for the more experimental sequel, The Evil Within 2. To get your free copy, head to the Epic Games Store before October 26.