Huber's Love of The Evil Within



  • I'm curious to find out whether you lot are with Huber concerning his unbridled passion and love of The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2. Both games have received decent critical praise when they were reviewed, but not to the level of Huber's glowing exaltation regarding them both. I think they're more aligned in the "swimmin in 7s" camp, when you look at the broader picture of the reception they garnered in reviews.

    I've played all of The Evil Within and a good chunk of The Evil Within 2, and I think they're good solid horror experiences, but neither of them wow me, and I think both of them have flaws that should be acknowledged. However, it's a very beautiful thing that Huber loves these games, it makes Huber who he is and I can't help but thoroughly respect and approve of his unique perspective with these games.

    So where do you stand with Huber's love of The Evil Within games-are you on his side, or do you think he's exaggerative about them?



  • As a huge fan of the genre I can't say I got into the original game all that much when it first came out, I later revisited it in order to complete it though and found it to be at least "ok".
    I liked the second game quite a bit more and actually enjoyed the more open structure it presented. While both certainly have their moments, I too put them in the "swimmin in 7s" camp though.



  • I think the first game really shot itself in the foot with serious technical issues and the letterbox effect. I played it maybe a year later once everything was patched up and I found The Evil Within to be a classic shooter experience.

    The reason I love the original so much is because it has such finely tuned sections of gameplay where the mechanics of the game feed in on itself.

    One section that comes to mind is a small and tight almost Z-shaped area where two of those hook shoulder monsters (below) chase you through small tunnels you need to crouch through.

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    So the section starts off in pitch black with a scary solo red light guiding you. Then you run into one of these fuckers and you sprint away. Then you sprint directly into saw blades emerging out of the walls while the space closes in on you. And you're left with no choice but to confront this freak in a tight space. You try to make a bit of space, shoot, back off, make more space, maybe freeze him.

    Like I said, it's firing on all cylinders. It starts with a slow crawl horror, then goes into a pursuit, then finishes with really tight gun combat. Few games nail this kind of bespoke gameplay. And the whole game is fine tuned to have this bespoke level design.

    On top of the gameplay, I love a lot of the cinematic trippy scenes. It reminds me of the 360/PS3 era where you'd have gameplay storytelling moments like Scarecrow scenes in Batman. Is it coherent- no absolutely not! But I still enjoy it.

    --

    The Evil Within 2, I don't like as much. It still does have scary monsters and a more unified aesthetic, but I really strongly dislike the open world sections. When so much of what made the first game great involved sections where the gameplay feels in synergy with your arsenal, the environment you maneuver, and the enemy trying to kill you, TEW2 feels a lot less thought out in that regard. They have some decent enemies and weapons, but the level design doesn't effectively use them for tension.

    I've heard mileage may vary on these open world sections depending on the difficulty you play on, but on Hard, I spent like 5-6 hours in the first section gathering resources and it just starts to drag.

    And many of the enemies are still imaginative, but when you fight the Pyro guy the first time, it's pretty cool. Tight space, limited resources, get your shots in where you can. It feels bespoke and planned. But when you fight 3 of them in a random parking lot in the open world, nothing about the experience feels thought out or bespoke.

    And that lack of tension is why I feel like this game is good but not great.