This spooky season, consider The Evil Within, the debut horror-action game from Resident Evil co-creator Shinji Mikami and the debut game from Tango Gameworks. This flawed but frightening horror game is currently free to download (and keep) on the Epic Games Store — and is available through both an Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus Extra subscription on consoles.
The Evil Within, with its mix of surreal scares, stealth, and survival horror, exists in the space between the Resident Evil and Silent Hill games. There is a copious amount of gore. In the first couple hours, protagonist Sebastian Castellanos will find himself sliding down a slaughterhouse sluice gate, wading in a pool of blood, and digging through a rotting cadaver in search of a set of keys. There are Saw and Hostel levels of gore and gristle, jump scares, and chase scenes involving chainsaw-wielding butchers. The Evil Within is not for the squeamish.
But as survival horror games go, it has glimpses of greatness — that would shine much stronger in its 2018 sequel, The Evil Within 2. After a rough few hours, The Evil Within starts to hit its stride; it’s worth seeing it through for the full 10- to 12-hour playtime.