Final Score: The Evil Within Reviews

Does The Evil Within have what it takes to activate the nostalgia of the games it tries so hard to imitate?


It’s no secret that many Resident Evil fans have been overly excited since the announcement that series creator Shinji Mikami would direct a new expansion into the survival horror genre. Backed by Bethesda and ready to once more revolutionize the genre that he once helped foster to popularity he set forth on a dangerous mission. But does The Evil Within stack up with the creepiness and tense moments that players have come to enjoy from the earlier Resident Evil games? Or is it just another knock-off trying too hard to be something it isn’t? In order to help readers answer these questions we’ve taken the liberty of pulling together a list of some of the hottest reviews we could find around the web.

Shacknews: 6

“… Resident Evil fans will have a serious case of déjà vu when playing The Evil Within. It offers much of the thrills and creepy environments that make the series so enticing, along with some of its frustrations.”

Polygon: 6.5

“It looks like everything is set up for a sweet homecoming, but there's one major problem: It's not 2005 anymore. Many consider Resident Evil 4 to be an all-time classic (myself included), but standards for both action games and horror games have changed. In its attempts to mimic Mikami's past glories, The Evil Within does just fine. But in trying to pass itself off as a video game of 2014, it often falls short.”

IGN: 8.7

The pacing of the action and horror propels you forward at breakneck speed, moving from one climactic encounter to the next with little to no reprieve. Throughout my playthrough, I always felt on the backfoot, and the times when I was really on the backfoot - I’m talking six in the sniper rifle chamber facing a close-combat boss, here - produced some of the most incredible moments I’ve experienced in any video game for years.”

GamesRadar: 3.5 out of 5

A callback to the old-school, Resident Evil gameplay of yore “

The Escapist: 3 out of 5

It's archaic without feeling nostalgic, it's harsh but not entirely fair, and while it tries its hardest to evoke classic survival horror, it lives in the shadow of the games it draws blatant inspiration from.”

Joystiq: 2.5 out of 5

There is no Dark Souls-esque feeling of victory when you finally defeat a boss, just a thankful sigh that you can, perhaps, stop wrestling with the jerk of a camera and the awful sprinting for a while. (Seriously, for a cop, Sebastian gets winded far too easily. Must be a smoker.)”

Game Informer: 9

The Evil Within is what you get when you take the most iconic horror clichés, blend them into a bloody pulp, and spread them across the sturdy bones of Resident Evil 4. I can’t overstate how firmly planted The Evil Within’s roots are in RE 4, but that’s a wonderful thing given the 2005 GameCube title’s legacy. Everything from the core combat, A.I. behavior, and escalation of the enemy types feels like the incredible Capcom classic.” 

AusGamers: 10

Where BioShock Infinite aggressively tugged on heartstrings, The Evil Within tears them from your chest and crucifies you. It strangles you with your own tendrils and feeds you your own beating heart, mouth locked shut and tied with entrails, forcing you to chew and swallow. But when the last sliver slides down the back of your throat, you’ll look up and smile a sadistic smile before asking “more, please”.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 15, 2014 2:00 PM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Final Score: The Evil Within Reviews

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      October 15, 2014 2:38 PM

      I'm really enjoying The Evil Within. Technical flaws aside, I don't see how one could seriously fault it.

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        October 15, 2014 2:40 PM

        I keep trying to talk myself out of it, but I think I REALLY want to play a new RE4. Did I hear right that its one of the few games that run better on XBox than PS4?

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        October 15, 2014 6:23 PM

        Yeah, I'm really liking it. Gorgeous too

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          October 15, 2014 6:40 PM

          Curious as to what normal players think (as opposed to what reviewers think), what do you like so much about it?

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            October 16, 2014 5:28 AM

            It personally gives me a Last of Us vibe (I love third person stealth) which Im really enjoying. Plus its intense.

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              October 16, 2014 10:07 AM

              I loved Last of Us, but I still am cautious of this game. Usually it's a tough time when a developer tries to build off of an older game as much as Evil Within seems to have built off of Resident Evil 4. But then again all I know is the reviews I read to produce this roundup, I haven't actually put any time into the game myself. Might have to give it a go though.

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        October 16, 2014 5:38 AM

        Which version? There seems to be a lot of complaints about the PC version being a piss poor console port.

        I'm hoping that whatever issues there are get resolved eventually, I'm a huge survival horror fan.

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      October 15, 2014 2:40 PM

      GamesRadar should be 3.5 out of 5. :)

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      October 15, 2014 3:03 PM

      I'm not entirely sure how IGN scored this game above Alien: Isolation.

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        October 15, 2014 6:22 PM

        I don't know. After reading all these reviews I was glad I hadn't picked it up yet. Might give it try down the road simply because I'm a massive Resident Evil fan.

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      October 15, 2014 6:39 PM

      Gametrailers loved it. The PC version seems questionable though, so I'll pick it up for PS4 some time (or on a steam sale if they patch some of the issues).

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        October 16, 2014 4:28 AM

        FYI the PC version is the definitive one provided you have a decent machine and a gamepad.

        You'll still get framerate drops but they'll at least be from 60-40s rather than 30-20s.

    • DM7 legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      October 15, 2014 6:58 PM

      My last name is Hawkins too...... hmmmmmmmm long lost brother?!

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      October 16, 2014 2:00 AM

      Hmm, very varied!

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      October 16, 2014 3:29 AM

      I really like this kind of round-up.

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      October 16, 2014 5:39 AM

      What is it about survival horror that divides people so much? Alien Isolation got mixed reviews as well (still loved the shit out of that game).

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        October 16, 2014 6:23 AM

        I think it's a question of whether a game gets everything just right *for you*. For me, I like scary, tense games that manage to make me feel in danger constantly, without ever actually killing me and forcing me to replay a section. When that happens, it totally pulls me out of the game and removes any element of goes back to just being a game. This is where Isolation just doesn't work for me, and from the sound of it, many others.

        I think it also depends a lot on what people expect of the genre. Many games that people call survival horror are, IMO, much aptly classified as tense action games with shitty controls (like early RE titles). If the game is largely about killing monsters, I place it in a very different category than one mostly about hiding, exploring, and being scared.

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