Zero Punctuation: The Evil Within - As Bad as Bad Horror Games Can Get

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Was kind of freaking out about that beeping at the end there. Thought something bad was about to go down.

Yes! I longed for a game to come along that makes Yahtzee tear it a whole new Grahams Number of assholes. He had me laughing by the end, with his incrementially larger rage.

Darth_Payn:
And that Miracle of Sound song Gavin wrote for this game made it look so good, too! Well, that at least is a testament of his skill as a performer.

Or they just don't have the same opinion of the game, which seems to be the case for a lot of people with this one.
EDIT: Alternatively, you can like something despite its flaws. :3

I'm really surprised more people haven't been angry about the bait and switch they've pulled with this game. Yahtzee mentions it, the demo they were floating around actually looked like a horror game with the stealth elements and invincible monster and crazy traps springing from the walls. But from the gameplay videos I've seen the stealth only carries through to the very next level where you can toss bottles to distract enemies and get a few backstab kills in, everything after that the enemies pretty much always seem to know where you are and it becomes entirely about gunplay. In my mind this is worse than the Colonial Marines demo, that just looked nicer than the game that came out, it was still advertising a shooter though. This demo was promoting an entirely different genre than what they published.

So the moral of the story is "go play RE4 for the 20th time". I will!

Wow, it's been a while since I've seen Yahtzee actively hate a game. Most of his negative reviews recently only rose to the level of "Resigned Antipathy"

Wow...Yahtzee sounded REALLY pissed when he was recording this, either that or he was talking faster then normal.
Still, Now that he compared it to RE4 and how all the chapters are out of order, I kinda want to play it.
I mean, if it's just RE4 with a reskin and some better graphics, can't really go wrong there :P

I'm not sure it was intentional, but the "Angry Protagonist" Yahtzee drew looked less angry and more "100% done with this shit". It made the review a million times funnier because the sprite looked like he was constantly fed up with the shittiness that was his own game.

Did anyone else hear that beeping noise?

Spot on review.

The plot...where is the plot?!

Truly this is a game where style and grim dark imagery is more important than plot or reason. Game play wise it's not bad. Not fantastic but serviceable if frustrating in parts.

Also, Kidman, or I as call her Plot Device Mc DLC bate...man, fuck your 'I have my orders' bullshit, I really couldn't care less about what you've been up to.

Edit

Also the ending (or rather lack their of) is a blatant set up for a sequel and is the worst kind of 'The End...Or Is It?' trope.

Adam Jensen:
So the moral of the story is "go play RE4 for the 20th time". I will!

You should just go do that anyway regardless.

Diablo1099:
I mean, if it's just RE4 with a reskin and some better graphics, can't really go wrong there :P

You'd be amazed how wrong it can go. The Evil Within will turn you into a believer.

Despite hearing nothing but bad reviews about this game I'm still firm about playing it someday.

Casual Shinji:

Thanatos2k:
The game is like RE4? Wow, I have seen no promotional materials or articles written that seemed to suggest that. Marketing in games is completely broken.

The biggest problem is that RE4 is barely a horror game. Capcom doesn't understand this either, but Resident Evil 4 ruined the Resident Evil series. Because it was such a good game, Capcom mistakenly thought that this is what people wanted out of Resident Evil and horror in general. Nope. RE4 was just a really good game, but it wasn't a good Resident Evil or Survival Horror game.

And so we have another game dancing about how it's such a great horror game that modeled itself after RE4 without understanding why.

People like to say RE4 ruined Resident Evil, but the series wasn't really doing that much better before that. The last stand-out entry was REmake, and that was... a remake. Code Veronica was meh, and when REZero came out they were scraping the bottom of the barrel

I thought Code Veronica was OK. The dual-wielding was a weak gimmick, and the Ashford family history made the premise more idiotic than usual, but it still managed to be scary and pretty tough to be honest.

It's also really frustrating to actually play. There was one section where they throw you into room after room that your AI partner has to slowly unlock the door to the next area while you fend off waves of zombies. They give you very little additional ammo and no additional health during the entire sequence. Then you emerge into a big open area that's too generous with new items, where waves of zombies come at you but you can easily cheese it by keeping your distance and letting your partner kill them all with his unbreaking axe while you occasionally go up to him and heal him, which you can do unlimited times without using healing items.

It's quite entertaining to watch someone play, at least. Video Games Awesome has been through maybe two thirds of it at this point and I hope they finish it.

Yeah I'd say he is pretty spot on. There is no pacing, no restraint, and no intrigue. The last one especially irked me because I had guessed the twist by the end of the first chapter which as confirmed by the various notes and audio logs that basically spell it out for anyone with half a neuron. It was like going into "The Village" but you had already called the twist before the title even came up. It was just so obvious and predictable, and knowing none of this was real made it hard for me to get invested. Of course the lack of any real character development or personality didn't help that either.

Also I couldn't help but feel they wasted the setup. Exploring the minds of a deranged killer as well as that of your character and his colleagues could have been fantastic. Getting to know them on a deeply personal level, seeing their greatest fears and desires laid bare, having to come to terms with their personal demons....but nope. The most we get for any characterization for the main guy (yeah I already forgot his name) is some backstory text in a few scattered logs. The whole premise is just used as an excuse to put in any weird shit they want. Oh that doesn't make sense? It's all happening in a crazy guys head so it's okay!

This really should have just been called "Horror: The Game".

What I hate the most about this game is how derivative it is. There is absolutely no originality whatsoever. Everything you see, every setpiece, every enemy, every character dialogue, is lifted from another horror movie or game, or is Generic Trope #459. Though most of it is RE4, which means they're charging you full game price for a clone of a better game.

TIL Alice Springs is a town in central Australia.

Well of course this game is going to suck, it's not based off a movie.Now where's that new Turtles game?!?

The Evil Within - As Bad as Bad Horror Games Can Get

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews The Evil Within.

Watch Video

Hit it right on the head. The game feels so stitched together. It feels like Mikami's team was locked in a room by Bethesda until they starved unless they made the game. The game also doesnt want you to soak up the atmosphere and seems to hurry you along to avoid seeing any cracks in the facade.

Honestly, I thought the truck added to the video. A sort of quiet siren warning that Yahtzee was about to go critical...

Veldie:
Such a shame to and I was hoping it would end up good. Perhaps I shall rent it down the line.

It's one of those things where Yahtzee seems to have sort of missed the point of the game entirely:

MAJOR Spoilers below (in case spoiler space doesn't work).

Such are my thoughts on the game and the state of the genera.

Johnny Novgorod:

Casual Shinji:
People like to say RE4 ruined Resident Evil, but the series wasn't really doing that much better before that. The last stand-out entry was REmake, and that was... a remake. Code Veronica was meh, and when REZero came out they were scraping the bottom of the barrel

I thought Code Veronica was OK. The dual-wielding was a weak gimmick, and the Ashford family history made the premise more idiotic than usual, but it still managed to be scary and pretty tough to be honest.

The thing is, Code Veronica was ruined for me by the real-time rendered backgrounds. Which sounds like a shallow reason, but the only real benefit pre-rendered backgrounds have is the high amount of detail, which greatly served the atmosphere of the Resident Evil games. That's the only reason we put up with the wonky camera angles and controls.

The benefit of real-time rendered backgrounds is for allowing better 3D maneuverability, since the environment pivots along with you. Which Code Veronica didn't do, because the camera was still fixed the majority of the time and you would still transition from screen to screen. There was basically no difference from older RE games, except the backgrounds looked worse. Capcom pulled the same thing with Dino Crisis and I hated that too.

Also Steve.

Xenominim:
I'm really surprised more people haven't been angry about the bait and switch they've pulled with this game. Yahtzee mentions it, the demo they were floating around actually looked like a horror game with the stealth elements and invincible monster and crazy traps springing from the walls. But from the gameplay videos I've seen the stealth only carries through to the very next level where you can toss bottles to distract enemies and get a few backstab kills in, everything after that the enemies pretty much always seem to know where you are and it becomes entirely about gunplay. In my mind this is worse than the Colonial Marines demo, that just looked nicer than the game that came out, it was still advertising a shooter though. This demo was promoting an entirely different genre than what they published.

I think the "Evil Within" was really just a metaphor for their marketing.

Hey Yahtzee, stop reversing your giant lorry when recording reviews yeah?

I think we can all agree on the obvious: that Mikami has NEVER been good at horror and he should trying to do it. He IS a good designer, as stuff like RE4 and Vanquish shows but when it comes to horror the guy is not very skilled. A lot of people say RE4 deviated from the games before it, but if anything it was just more honest about itself. I mean, the very first RE game had that identity crisis; it started with being a horror game, but with more powerful weapons and plentiful ammo piling up it eventually became an action game. When RE4 dropped the pretense and went full on shooter it was all the better for it. Anyway, seems like TEW is just another example of indecisive design for Mikami.

Drove to Alice Springs before, the way was more interesting then the town. I guess the game isn't worth a penny then.

vonSanneck:

Geo Da Sponge:

Silentpony:

*sigh* why hasn't RE4 come out on Steam yet? *sigh*

Resident Evil 4 is on Steam. It's a bit of a dodgy port, but it's definitely there.

Have a gamepad and you'll be fine.

Agreed.

The game is horrible with mouse and keyboard on PC but with a gamepad it feels just as good as the gamecube version. I've never played it on the Wii so I don't know if that would still be considered the definitive version of RE4.

Highly recommend it on PC with a 360 controller though.

insaninater:
Damn, can't say i'm surprised though. A horror game that gives you a gun generally isn't an actual horror game. Seriously, we've had enough great examples of how to do horror right lately that there's really no excuse.

So for example the first Silent Hill games aren't horror?

And also run'n'hide games like Amnesia and Outlast can be scary, but you know you can beat every situation given enough tries. With games like Resident Evils (well, older ones where melee was suicide...), Silent Hills and now The Evil Within, you can end up in a fight you have next to no chance of winning if earlier parts of the game were played carelessly or wasting too much resources. If done right, that can give you a pause and makes you hesitate to pull the trigger, and for me that's a good sign.

Edit: I'm actually enjoying The Evil Within (right now I'm hunting the speedrun trophy [complete under 5 hours] on New Game+), and I recommend not blindly follow Yahtzee's opinions. Yes, he's usually right and "on the same wave-length", but I wouldn't make decisions only because of what he says.

Wilco86:
Snip.

I fully agree, and also by that logic the main eight Silent Hill games aren't Horror, with the exception of Shattered Memories, and let's not even pretend that Shattered Memories puts more effort into the scare department than the first Silent Hill did (not that it's bad, it's good).

Xenominim:
I'm really surprised more people haven't been angry about the bait and switch they've pulled with this game.

I think that's more a positive surprise. Starts with terror them horror happens. The chapters are varied, the pace is schizophrenic but I never felt bored. Since video game became "the biggest thing in the world" It's boring game after boring game. It's a good break from the matchbox mentality.

But sure, you're right. Promo never should this misleading.

Silentpony:
Shame this. I had read other reviews that yes, said it was basically RE4 all over again, but that's cool and that was enough. I totally believe Yatzhee too.

*sigh* why hasn't RE4 come out on Steam yet? *sigh*

it has. Its HD edition.

spoiler alert: the controls suck ass.

and it has two names: Resident Evil 4 and Biohazard 4

I've just been killing a bit of lunch time watching Angry Joe play the game on stream, and what Yahtzee says seems almost kinder than my impressions of the game (up until the end of chapter 5 or 6, not sure).

It's clunky for the sake of being clunky, targeting is off (making you shoot through enemies without hurting them at times, especially if they are close), it looks good but a pair of dirty socks are 10x more horrifying and about as disgusting, it's got great looking blood effects on the environments, the plot makes no sense, the game expects you to shoot through hordes of zombies with minimal amounts of ammunition and the upgrade system (aside from making no sense) adds nothing but a chore to the game.

The upgrades are not fun, or interesting, they're just in the way and there to make your shitty guns, low health, and pathetic sprinting capacity marginally less shit by the end of the game - oh, and make the hero realize he should fully load his guns after 5 upgrades in each weapon (he still seems to store spare ammunition in his mouth though, given the limited storage capacity). And I assume he keeps matches in one of his ears.

And the interface seems to have some issues too, given the need to constantly rebind items for quick selection (if it runs out the key is cleared).

Overall, it just doesn't seem like a good game at all. It seems more like a frustrating chore of parts taken from other games.

Osaka117:
I thought Yahtzee would finally bring some clarity to this game for me, but just like every other review I've seen it only makes me want to play it even more. Despite saying that it's a bad game, he sure made it sound appealing, even though he was saying it in an angry way.

The consistent complaint that I keep hearing from reviews that even made it into this one is that it's RE4 but not as good. Since I can count the number of games that came out between RE4 and now that I liked as much or more than RE4 on my one hand, that just isn't a sufficient criticism to me.

How much criticism do you need!? It just sounds like you want to buy it and nothing will deter you. So buy it, but I think he pretty much made it clear that The Evil Within is a lackluster piece of shit.. Maybe you are just too hard to please haha. My friend got this game and I was so excited to watch him play it. He popped the disc in and 30 minutes later I was ready to be anywhere else but there watching him play it.

I think its a fantastic game personally. Though, even before the game was released I predicted on this forum the game would get torn a new one by the interwebs. It's a horror game in the way it delivers tension rather than full-on scares like Alien Isolation or Outlast. You are constantly outnumbered and low on ammo so having an extra bullet can mean the difference between life or death. The game plays like a slower-paced Resident Evil 4 and goes through all of that game's motions: creepy village, haunted mansion, collapsed urban terrain, all the way dowh to..you guessed it. Even the enemies behave similarly as Ganados with the same types like the axe wielding one, the chainsaw wielding one, the armed one etc. And remember the ride in the pick-up truck in RE4? Well this game has you similarly covered. :p There is even an Umbrella-like conspiracy.

To be honest this is the game I wanted RE5 to be, and I can't really think of a higher praise I can give Evil Within. I enjoyed this game way, way more than every other game released this year. It's atmospheric and tense yet it still has fun and satisfying gameplay(something nearly every horror game lacks). Those who say Mikami doesn't understand horror, I disagree. But his style of horror has always been about racketing up the tension, yet still having the means to fight back. This concept is what makes a fun game and is something more 'pure' horror games like Alien and Outlast misses the mark on. Mikami has this technique down as I just find his (survival horror) games satisfying in ways other games don't. Throw in a few kick-ass classic horror movie references and you have vintage Mikami stuff.

I even liked the story and the protagonist, Sebastian. The story is like what you get if you mix The Cell with Inception. I agree with Yahtzee that the levels don't make sense, but that is the point as you're literally in the mind of a psychopath(that's also why Psychobreak is a more appropriate title for the game). Sebastian had to endure something similair as Ruvik's childhood trauma(which explains the village/mansion levels and enemy types) but he carries it with a typical stoic demeanor(though when you leave the controller idle you'll notice he's in a bad place mentally). Without venturing into spoiler territory when Sebastian's partner wants to attempt suicide more light is shed on the matter.

Horrible things happened to characters in this game but it's often told so matter-of-factly and without any 'woe is me' garbage that it lacks any emotional punch. Which is another thing I really like about the game. I always find overly emotional displays of sappy drama really irritating so there being a mere whisper of suffering(which is a distinctly Japanese thing I guess as I only know Japanese games that do this) much more interesting and intriguing.

So yeah, if you're only slightly interested in the game just check it out for yourself to see if you like it or not. Yahtzee's taste in games might not be your own.

babinro:

Agreed.

The game is horrible with mouse and keyboard on PC but with a gamepad it feels just as good as the gamecube version. I've never played it on the Wii so I don't know if that would still be considered the definitive version of RE4.

Highly recommend it on PC with a 360 controller though.

Gamecube vs. Wii versions are both good on their own. The Wii version though has more of a courser interface rather than trying to hassle with the faintly visible laser pointer with the R Analogue, or more appropriately in this case, C Stick. Some waggle capabilities, but Capcom were smart and had buttons that did the same thing as the gimmicky nonsense (4 e.g. the use of the knife). It's not for everybody, but many like it more than the GC version.

CAPTCHA: "top ten"
Many say it's the definitive version of the game, so I won't argue with your machine logic.

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