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RTTP: The Evil Within (One) - Mikami's Flawed Masterpiece

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
So I've been dabbling back into The Evil Within and it has the trappings of a better game than it turned out to be.

Most of us know who Shinji Mikami is and the incredible pedigree of games in his portfolio. The Evil Within was the first game under his new Tango Gameworks studios and it's probably the closest thing to RE4 he could make as his first project. But unfortunately he didn't seem to have hit lightning in a bottle like RE4.

The characters are a little too dull for my taste. They got Jennifer Carpenter to voice Julie but my god is her delivery incredibly dull and monotonous. The other cast of characters, including Sebastian, are just ho-hum at best.

The game also has some real performance oddities. It's built on ID Tech and if I'm not mistaken, used their flaunted mega textures but the results are a lot of visible texture pop-in and swapping on camera cuts, even on modern hardware with faster SSDs. The engine just wasn't up to snuff.

By the way, if anyone has access to the PC Game Pass version, I would recommend playing that over any other as they actually went back and added some extra features, like a first person mode and reduced movement bobbing (which can be very egregious). The PC version also throws in the DLC for free, unlike if you get the game from the console game pass, where it's also stuck to the XBO resolution/performance metrics (720p/30 FPS IIRC).

Anyway, it's not a bad effort for the studios first game. IMO the sequel vastly improves upon the formula and does almost everything better.

Eagerly looking forward to see if Tango will ever revisit this for a proper third game, and yes I know Ghostwire started project development as TEW3, but the final game has absolutely nothing to do with the franchise at all.

What do you guys think about this franchise ?
 

Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
I played the first one, it's very similar to Resident Evil 4, but it feels more difficult.

I've had different thoughts, I like it but I don't like it in the same time.

Plus the fact of collecting ectoplasm or whatever those bottles were to raise the abilities, it was very annoying for me

Its sequel reminds me that I have it on ps4 even new... I haven't played it. I'd give it a solid 8
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
I played the first one, it's very similar to Resident Evil 4, but it feels more difficult.

I've had different thoughts, I like it but I don't like it in the same time.

Plus the fact of collecting ectoplasm or whatever those bottles were to raise the abilities.

Its sequel reminds me that I have it on ps4 even new... I haven't played it. I'd give it a solid 8

I, personally, think the sequel is a MAJOR improvement.

Think Resident Evil 1 (PSX) to Resident Evil 2 kinds of improvements.

Definitely give it a shot time permitting.
 
I tried second part.

Really liked world building and art.

But gameplay sucked completely. I was thrown in this open-ish world full of zombies roaming. With enough ammo and weapons to engage them but not take them out.

Is this stealth game? Then why is it giving me so many cool weapons?

Also every few steps I took triggered a scripted event/cutscene taking me out of the experience.

I uninstalled it in few hours.

Overall I enjoyed it's mechanics but I felt game design wasn't perfected to drive me towards a specific playstyle.
 

Beechos

Member
The unskippable cutscenes right before boss fights made me drop the game and i was pretty deep in. I think it was like chapter 10 or something like that and there was this long unskippable cutscene i had to watch before i could refight the boss. Game was hard as hell with alot cheap 1 shot kill areas. I did manage to beat part 2 that game was better in everyway.
 

Mr Hyde

Member
Love the the Evil Within franchise. The surrealism, the horror, the story. It's right up my alley. I prefer the second game over the first in terms of gameplay and design, but the first one holds a dear spot in my heart för just how crazy it was. Loads of cool horror references too, both to Mikamis own games but also to movies in general. And Ruvik was one hell of a bad ass villain. I even went so far as to platinum it, that's how much I love the first game. I pray everyday for a third one.
 
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kyussman

Member
Really liked the level design,although I enjoyed the second one too the open level design took away a lot of the tension.
 

McGILLAZ

Member
Both are really good, but I prefer the first - it's clearly an extension of Resident Evil 4 (the same could also be said for Shadows of the Damned). Evil Within has some issues with frame-rate and jankiness, but I prefer it to Resident Evil 5 & 6.

It's true survival horror, whether it's managing ammo and health related items, very tense in spots (some of the enemies are truly intimidating - especially the safe head dude), goofy in a way that the Resident Evil titles are, and ultimately pretty satisfying. It feels like a wholly complete game that doesn't overstay its welcome, but really feels like it gives you your money's worth.

Everytime there is a Bethesda showcase, I hope to see another one...
 
I, personally, think the sequel is a MAJOR improvement.

Think Resident Evil 1 (PSX) to Resident Evil 2 kinds of improvements.

Definitely give it a shot time permitting.
I agree on getting more enjoyment from Evil Within 2, but for me the original Resident Evil: Director's Cut is the cream of the crop in its category of gameplay design. I tried hard to like the first Evil Within, but it just ended up ticking me off with its level progression and poor gameplay.

I am uncertain what the narrative hook of the third game would be. It would in all likelihood seem like a third wheel.
 
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I really like the first game. The randomness of the setting changes greatly enhances the dreamlike feel of the game. I loved that it brought back using fire to burn/finish off corpses like the Crimson heads in REmake. It was even better in EW because if you timed it right you strategically kill multiple enemies with it and save ammo, which also enhanced the survival horror element.

I honestly do not like the second game at all though. Instead of random levels there’s a main open hub area and it takes even longer to upgrade your abilities/weapons than in the first game (which already dragged a bit). The overall game just feels a lot slower of a burn. The most interesting character is a discount Sander Coen and the rest of the game wasn’t very memorable to me at all. Plus they took away the fire mechanic, which I really liked in the first game.
 
The first game and it's sequel suffer from the same thing. They both start off very good, then they devolve into this action heavy fuckery, with some good parts in between. I think I enjoyed 2 more than 1 and it started off better than the first.
They need to remove more of the human element from the 3rd game, should it ever be made. Strive for that atmosphere that you establish at the start and maybe create more moments where you are weak, because if you go certain upgrade paths in either game, you can stomp them both out, easily, even on Akumu.
 

kunonabi

Member
Hated both myself for pretty similar reasons. They both start off as promising horror games but then just turn into pure action games with uninteresting stories and bland characters that go on for way too long.
 

Valt7786

Member
When it was doing the horror stuff, brilliant, when it got the shitty city bit with enemies with guns, less brilliant.
 

Isa

Gold Member
I like the directing and weirdness of the first, but it would occasionally give me nausea and I really dislike 1 hit kills in games. It seemed to be inspired by those early no defense horror titles of the time(mostly first person) which I don't like. I definitely prefer the second, the gfx were better, less dull browns and muddy textures. I don't mind action in my survival horror games. As an aside, I don't like it when games have a cutscene, give control to the player where they have to run 30 feet, then finish with another cutscene. Its so jarring and lacks the impact of an actual directed scene. Anyway, I really liked the 2nd and still hope for a proper 3rd entry. I liked the characters in the 2nd one a lot. I want to see Kidman continue the fight. I'd expect it to be a different type of game though.

I'm interested in seeing the trailer for the 3rd at the time people are saying exists, that later became Ghostwire Tokyo. I have Ghostwire and still need to play it.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
I forgot just how many damn insta-kill things this game has. Chapter 9 is utter bullshit in this regard so far.
 
Loved the series. The DLC features one of the creepiest enemies in any game: Shade

 
The Evil Within 2 is very divisive with fans, but for me it's such an improvement that it's in my top 10 of all time. My main complaint with the first one is the over the shoulder aiming is embarrassingly bad. It essentially becomes an FPS with zero FOV when aiming and ruins a lot of the experience for me. It also has zero consistency in it's level design. You can shuffle all those areas around in any order and it still would make as much sense as the base game.

Still love the game (especially that mansion level) but yeah, very flawed.
 

s-bojan

Member
I really like the first game. Beat it twice, planning on doing Akumu playthrough.
Second game is good, but I prefer the first one.
 
Evil Within is that weird game where I love the atmosphere, and find it very interesting, but yet I don't like actually playing it.

Ironically 2 is the exact opposite for me, I actually like playing it.......yet I find it uninteresting compared to 1 with lacking atmosphere. Well to a extent, the villain for the first half was alright and his 2 "minions"/bosses were cool, and of course the optional ghost stalker lady you can trigger was great.

Need to replay them now that I got a PS5, finally stable 30FPS for 1 (I assume) and 60 for 2.
 

dcx4610

Member
I loved the first one. It was actually scary and before all of the REMakes, it was the most Resident Evil thing to exist out there. Excellent set designs, some crazy ideas and really good graphics (on PC at least). The downside is the acting was awful, the story was ridiculous and the cut scenes almost felt like PS2 graphics.

Part 2 I enjoyed but it's a totally different game. It's basically an open world game in 1 city block. It's interesting but I preferred the straight forward, linear design of the first game. The graphics, gameplay and atmosphere all felt better.
 
The first one has superb atmosphere but weak controls/gameplay, second has weaker atmosphere, more generic, but better combat. Both games good. Wish they made more with a bigger budget.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Tried it on series X and it plays (and looks) like ass sadly. Killed my interest for it.

Never got any One X or FPS boost enhancements unfortunately.

If you have a decent gaming setup, try the PC Game Pass version. You get the DLC for free and extra things like a first person mode.
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
TEW is the reason why I'm not really excited about RE4 Remake. Mikami perfected the formula with that game in my very humble (& could-be-wrong) opinion.
I agree. It was and still is one if my favorite horror games. I loved it so much that I platinumed both the original and the sequel. Akuma mode was a wild ride.
 
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dan76

Member
Love the first one, the second one was a major disappointment. In the first each chapter flies like it's been carefully designed, with different ways to progress, enemy encounters, building on what's gone before. It's RE4.5. Couldn't care less about the story and obviosuly the performance is janky, but I love playing through it on Nightmare / Akumu. NG+ Akumu gets rid of some unfairness, probably the best way to play.

The second game started well with the open world town, but it really lost it half way through. Hardly any memorable boss fights and the cutscenes and story were excruciating. Couldn't stand it. Ended up changing the language option so I didn't have to listen to that garbage. It does have a great shooting gallery mini game though. If only the first game had the same performance and polish as the second.

Hope Mikami goes back to directing and makes a third.
 

peronmls

Member
The devs got lazy and ditched the traps, puzzles, and atmosphere in the middle of the game and turned it into a very bland and poor RE4 shooter. I Stopped playing near the end when I realized what was happening.
 
Loved the first game, one of the only games pre-RE2 Remake to capture the spirit of survival horror games from the PS2 era, some of the jankier aspects just added to that vibe.

However it did suck when it had action heavy moments.

I don't understand why everyone says the second is so much better, there are some improvements, but the small hub areas and other kind of bland locales, it lacks the variety of the first game, it's not bad, but I don't understand why people say it's so much better.

I'd love a third game but wouldn't count on it, feels like most of the story was wrapped up anyway, but I do wish we could find out what happened to Joseph and what the deal with Tatiana is.
 

Doom85

Member
Yeah, I’ve just kept this quote handy from a thread a long while ago so I don’t have to rewrite it all.

Part 1 was pretty good but it had a lot of flaws. One of them is no longer an issue, but the game was embarrassing on launch in how glitchy it was to the point of even occasionally crashing. Not to mention how garbage the forced widescreen was. Beyond that though, the game is SO uneven. The first 9 acts are generally pretty good (even if the first chapter is just unnecessarily slow-paced and basically Outlast but not as good. Then the rest of the game becomes nothing like the first chapter in gameplay, so weird) but after that, GOD. Some people bitch about the Island in RE 4, I mean I liked the Island even if I admit the Village and Castle were better, but I have barely anything positive to say about the city chapters in EW 1. Just a mess.

The character development is basically non-existent, Ruvik gets fleshed out, but Sebastian's entire backstory is left to notes and not mentioned ONCE in the main game, Joseph has a single plot element and zero characterization, and Kidman is meant to be a certain Resident Evil character clone but done far less effectively. Leslie and the doctor....exist. And the plot mostly boils down to, "we're in someone's mind, and it's pretty fucking obvious whose it is." Thankfully some ambience and some good gameplay elements help, but good lord did this game need more time in the oven.

Evil Within 2 thankfully addressed all these issues. All the characters are fleshed out in-game. There's no dip in quality in the chapters. The game ran fine at launch. The story has a few twists and turns and has a more logical progression whereas 1 was mostly random events/locales under the "justification" of "well, we're in a crazy mind, so fuck it we can just go anywhere!" There's FAR more stuff to do gameplay-wise, if you just run from main objective to main objective you're missing out on some good shit, and the map actually makes it clear what auto-locks you into story (and definitely makes it clear when going to a point will make the map no longer visitable) whereas the first game was basically like, "hey, do you want main path or a side path with some good shit? We're not making it clear at all which is which! Oh, you picked the wrong path and now can't check out the side stuff, well fuck you then!" And anyone who tries, "hey, it makes the game hard!", puh-leeze, fucking Soulsborne doesn't do this shit, it's just bad game design plain and simple.

I'm sure there are those who legit liked the first game more, I don't get it, but you do you. But to me, EW 2 is everything a game sequel should be in fixing all of the issues of the prior entry. I got the platinum last year after several playthroughs and had a blast each time.
 

radewagon

Member
I only played the first one. I liked it most of the time, though, there were a few times in the game where there were these really oddly placed difficulty spikes that really hampered my overall enjoyment of the title. These sections seemed as much about my skill as a player as it did with me hoping that the enemy AI was at least somewhat accommodating as waves of baddies seemed to swarm endlessly. Aside from that, I think it's pretty great.
 
I like the first one more than any RE game. More gameplay variety, and it has those surreal environments that I'm a big fan of. It echoes Shadows of the Damned in that way, another cool game.
 

nkarafo

Member
I remember some parts in this game having a ridiculous FOV where you couldn't see anything.

And a really bad PC port that can't run at steady 60fps no matter what.

Some nice art direction here and there though.
 
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GymWolf

Gold Member
I liked the second one but the first one is clearly the one with a soul.

I remember combat being pretty trash in both.
 
This game was the first I've ever stopped playing due to performance issues. The horrible sub 25 frame rate on PS4 literally made my eyes hurt to where I could not look at the screen. Maybe I could finally replay on a PS5 for a locked 30fps.
 
Both are amongst the greatest survival horror titles ever made. I'd give 1 the edge overall, it's ultimately a more focused experience with lots of memorable, set-piece moments (RE mansion chapter had me smiling ear-to-ear, Keeper boss fight/cinematic = god-tier) in addition to unique mechanics such as the matches.

TEW2's "open-world" chapters provided me with some of the coolest emergent gameplay moments in any game ever. Hopping fences, chased through backyards, barreling through doors with abominations at my heels, breaking line of sight and hiding in bushes, a pack of them roaming the vicinity, looking for their prey, so fucking good.

EDIT: and although I dug Ghostwire I would have preferred a third entry with Mikami back in the director's chair (he didn't direct 2).
 
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Same here. If i recall correctly i did 2 Nightmare + one Akumu. I was THAT good :messenger_smiling_hearts:
I did a Nightmare playthrough and damn it was tough. True survival horror on that difficulty. I loved the match lighting mechanic they had in the game as well , it added good strategy and it was stupid they took it out of the 2nd game. Get a group of 3 enemies near you , blow them back with a shotgun blast then run up and drop a match on all 3 , great way to save ammo.

On Nightmare mode my key strategy was to prioritize leveling up to the flaming bolts as quick as possible ,almost all green gel to that except 2 or 3 sprinting upgrades. If you do it right you can get the flaming bolts by chapter 5 or 6. The flaming bolts basically melt any non boss enemy in 1 hit , including the pain in the ass Ruvik clones later in the game. Made the playthrough way more beatable for me.
 
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matty3092

Member
TEW1 to me is amazing I've replayed it every Halloween since release the game does have issues yes but imo TEW2 while it is a good game lost so much charm from the 1st I do like Sebastian in 2 alot more tho. Got all the achievements in TEW1 on 360 and xbone need to get round to all achievements on PC game pass this Halloween.
 
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