The Evil Within is a "survival horror" game that begins in a psychiatric hospital. After receiving a warning of a "mysterious event" taking place at the hospital, a first response team is sent in to investigate, but contact is soon lost. As an ace cop, it's up to you to go in and figure out the truth behind what's going on.
That said, while it may sound like you have to do some detective work, there are no puzzles, and no crime scenes to explore here. Instead, what you'll do is play your way through fifteen levels, fighting zombies, and doing your best to survive. With very little in the way of health, and even less in the way of ammo, you'll have to pick and choose your fights, as running away is a very real option when you find yourself outmanned or outgunned.
However, despite having several difficulty levels, the Evil Within is a very tricky game. Even on the easiest settings, you'll rarely find more than a few spare bullets with which to defend yourself against countless zombies. With a limited stamina bar, you can't run for that long, so getting away from zombies once they've got close to you is easier said than done - especially as once you've taken a few hits and your health has turned red, you can't run at all. Meanwhile, there are also several regular bosses that appear that can kill you in a single hit, and have an incredible reach - so are incredibly hard to survive. Add in the fact that there's no map, no waypoints, and no way of checking your mission objectives (even though it's pretty hard to figure out what you're meant to be doing at times), when combined with the game's extreme, graphic content, and this is a game that's best suited to more experienced, older players.
As a horror game that relies on up close images of gore to get its scares across, there's a lot for parents to keep in mind about The Evil Within. With frequent, extreme bloody gore from the very start, you'll often find bodies that have been dismembered or torn apart, exposed organs, or in several sections of the games, heads with the top of the skull removed, exposing the brain. These actually make up on of the puzzles in the game, where you have to study a diagram, listen to an audio recording, and then insert a probe in the brain in the right place. On inserting the probe in one of these puzzles, the face will start to move and react. It's incredibly creepy.
Oddly, while the game does have an option in the menu to disable extreme content, it actually has next to no effect on the game. Even with the content "disabled", most scenes are identical, with exactly the same levels of over the top violence and gore, with only the aforementioned brain puzzle being different, as the brains are replaced with models instead. Even so, every other bit of gore in the game stays the same.
While there's little in the way of sexual content, the game does feature frequent swearing, including f**k and s**t.
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