When Shinji Mikami nonchalantly strolls in to introduce his new title its hard not to feel a little interested in what you are about to be shown. Sadly, no actual hands on occured here, but we were taken through an extended playthrough of what most saw in the recently released trailer.
The demo starts off with main character Sebastian investigating a crime scene, which very quickly escalates into a major catastrophe as you can imagine. He requests to see the evidence of the murder at the front desk and proceeds to notice the CCTV camera where his colleagues get slaughtered by an apparition that seems to see him through the camera. It then appears behind him and renders him unconscious. When he comes to, he is in what resembles a meat locker hanging upside down on a meat hook.
It’s at this point the mind starts drawing comparisons to Silent Hill with its gritty visuals and heavy camera noise effect. After a few Heavy rain styled QTE button presses Sebastian makes his way through the establishment. The pacing of this section seems nigh on perfect, as you expect something to leap out at every corner. You also notice that the HUD is surprisingly sparce. Health is represented by a thin white line at the bottom of the screen, with equipped weapons displayed in the top corner.
It actually takes a while before the protagonist reaches his captor and attempts to sneak past. The enemy is drawn by sounds and it seems using your environment to distract it is the most efficient way to get past. Naturally after getting past hell still breaks loose as a scripted chase scene ensues, whereby Seb gets himself hamstrung and is forced to hobble away while being chased. It was hard to tell is the injury can be avoided as it severely hampers your escape. It seems like Mikami is living up to his statement – survival seems to be the name of the game here.
We are taken to another section to show off armed combat. With what seems like a mesh between old Resident Evil games and Dead Space. Freedom of movement seems to finally have made an appearance. So you can walk talk and fire like a real boy, but there seems to be an emphasis on ammo management. However, it was slightly disappointing to see dissolving enemy corpses make a comeback as frankly I thought we were past that stage of gaming, but we’ll reserve judgement as The Evil Within might well see true survival horror return on your home console.