I’m A Believer

Happy Weekend TAY!

I’m hoping for a better weekend than the past week. I’ve been dealing with some stomach woes (flu?) for the past several days and I’ll be happy to get some more substantial sleep this weekend.

All that downtime last week meant I was able to put a good amount of energy into The Evil Within. Director Shinji Mikami has finally made me a believer in Resident Evil and all it took was a different game engine, a different publisher, and a fresh take with a new title.

22 hours into The Evil Within and I’m still having a blast. I know many weren’t sold on the game when they played it and I wonder if that had to do with the platform they played it on. Eventually, all the versions of The Evil Within shed the 2.35:1 aspect ratio that saw black bars on the top and bottom of the screen in favour of a full-screen presentation. However, I think it is the framerate that might make or break this game.

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The Evil Within is made on the id Tech 5 engine which powered the phenomenal Rage and Wolfenstein: The New Order. This is a game engine that was designed for an id Software first-person shooter, which is some of the best and smoothest shooting out there. Those buttery mechanics are only fully realized at 60fps or higher and I believe that The Evil Within’s combat is also better experienced at this higher frame rate (and a mouse and keyboard).

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I played around a little with the Xbox One controller when I first started with The Evil Within but quickly migrated to the mouse and keyboard for a much better command of the first-person combat. While The Evil Within is a third-person game and does a fantastic stealth game in this mode, the firearm combat is basically a first-person shooter and is a silky smooth experience at 60fps. Also, given the survival aspects of the game, I am constantly (and wonderfully) always low on ammunition, making a good headshot a necessity. The speed of the combat, often against a horde of zombies, feels infinitely better with mouse aiming rather than the imprecise nature of a controller. I’m sure you can still have a good time with The Evil Within at 30fps(ish) on consoles, but I think the marriage of a mouse and keyboard and 60fps on PC makes this game sing.

I’m surprised at how tense the game can be and it has had me jumping on a few occasions. The gameplay is also fantastic and it doesn’t hurt that it is beautiful while in action with some of the best creature designs that I’ve ever seen.

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While I have little to complain about regarding The Evil Within; the few shortcomings are mostly with the dialogue and the acting. The story itself is not bad but it would have been better served with better writing. I don’t know if this is a translation issue, but Bethesda really should have had a second look at the script. Whether intentional or not, The Evil Within also suffers from the awful and stilted delivery from the actors that the Resident Evil games are known for. This is not a good thing, it isn’t funny or campy and only detracts from the excellent gameplay. Still, when the game isn’t talking, it is truly a great horror title.

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It is supposed to be a rainy and snowy weekend around here, so I imagine my family will be indoors watching horror movies and decorating for Halloween when the weather permits. Hopefully, I’ll get in some more BotW with my kid, we’ve been having a grand time with that and are making some good progress with the little time we can devote to it.

My wife and I are likely nearing the end of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and we’ve been blown away by that fantastic title. I don’t even want to talk too much about it as it is a game that needs to be experienced...if you are up for a very dark tale. Otherwise, it will be The Evil Within for me this weekend.

So, what are you playing this weekend?