This article is about the video game. For other uses, see The Evil Within (disambiguation).
The Evil Within[a] is a third-personsurvival horrorvideo game developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was directed by Resident Evil series creator, Shinji Mikami, and was released worldwide in October 2014 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
The game centers on protagonist Sebastian Castellanos as he is pulled through a distorted world full of nightmarish locations and horrid creatures. Played in a third-person perspective, players battle disfigured nightmare-like enemies, including bosses, using guns and melee weapons, and progress through the levels, avoiding traps, using stealth, and finding collectables.
The Evil Within received a generally positive reception upon release; praise was mostly directed at the game's horror elements and atmosphere, while criticism was directed at the game's story and characters. A sequel, The Evil Within 2, was released on October 13, 2017.
The single-player story is arranged in chapters, which players complete in order to progress through the story. The game is played from a third-person perspective in which scavenging for supplies and learning when to fight or run are key factors in surviving the dangers of the game. Such dangers include: bear traps, barbed wire traps, bombs, and spike traps; 'The Haunted', the game's most common enemy; 'Reborn Laura', a multi limbed, long haired, crawling creature; Ruvik, the game's main antagonist; 'The Keeper', a large humanoid with a safe as a head who wields a large meat tenderizer hammer; and 'Sadist', a large humanoid wearing a spiked metal mask on his face, wielding a chainsaw covered in blood.
Sebastian Castellanos, the protagonist, needs to make use of the environment and things he may find in order to survive. The game world can transform during scripted events and as a result of player actions, altering locations and creating new paths or teleporting the player to new areas. Castellanos must use medical items to restore health; some of these items cause temporary hallucinogenic effects. By collecting vials of 'Green Gel' hidden throughout the game, players can upgrade Castellanos' abilities; more ammunition, extra stamina, and additional health are some of the upgrades.
Players have a safe house called 'Safe Haven' that can be accessed during scripted events and by finding mirrors. The safe house is a mental hospital and has several accessible areas such as a save point, an upgrade room (where the player may upgrade Sebastian's skills), and the safe room where keys are used to open storage safes which contain useful items such as green gel and ammunition. These keys are collected by finding and breaking 'Madonna' statues hidden throughout the game's levels. There is a nurse called Tatiana who greets Sebastian when he teleports to the safe house.
The player has access to various weapons such as a revolver, shotgun, sniper rifle, knife, grenades, and the 'Agony Crossbow', a projectile weapon that fires bolts capable of freezing, blinding, electrocuting, or exploding enemies. Ammunition for weapons is very scarce, but mechanical components can be harvested to craft additional bolts. One source of components, bombs, serve as traps that react to the player's proximity or movement. Bombs can be stuck to walls or the floor, in chests, and in vending machines. The bombs can be disarmed via a minigame. Melee combat is designed only to create distance between the player and enemies, although the player can instantly kill some unaware enemies after sneaking behind them. Enemies that are downed or incapacitated are capable of reviving; to avoid this, players may set fire to the downed enemy using a limited supply of matches to permanently defeat them. Certain items in the environment, such as bottles, can be thrown to stun or distract enemies.
There are seven different types of collectables in The Evil Within: 'Personal Documents'; Sebastian's personal log, detailing his life as a detective and his life with his wife and daughter. 'Documents'; the personal logs of other characters. 'Map Fragments'; pieces of the game's map; once collected, they are stored at the safe house. 'Newspapers'; newspapers detailing events concerning or involving Sebastian. 'Missing Persons Posters'; posters of characters Sebastian encounters throughout the game who have been reported missing. 'Audio Tapes'; tapes containing a recording that can be played which are recorded by characters through the game. Collectables can be found in levels themselves or in the safe house.
The player unlocks several bonuses for completing the game. Extra weapons, character models and bios, 'AKUMU' difficulty (the game's hardest difficulty level), and New Game+ are some of the unlocks.
While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder at Beacon Mental Hospital, Krimson City police detective Sebastian Castellanos, his partner Joseph Oda, and Junior Detective Juli Kidman find themselves suddenly thrown into an unreal world, after hearing a high-pitched noise. Shortly after this occurs, Sebastian is separated from his partners and is forced to flee from a monstrous man wielding a chainsaw. Upon reuniting with his colleagues, they attempt to escape via ambulance while Krimson City is destroyed and rearranged by a massive earthquake, eventually causing them to crash. Freeing himself from the wreckage, Sebastian wanders through unnatural forests and abandoned buildings full of monstrous creatures, and witnesses the apparition of a disfigured man in a white hood. Trapped in the nightmare world, Sebastian encounters one of Beacon's doctors, Marcelo Jimenez, who is searching for his patient, Leslie Withers. Jimenez identifies the hooded stranger stalking them as Ruvik.
Sebastian eventually reunites with Joseph, though it is shortly revealed that Joseph is suffering from a strange form of transformation which compels him into a murderous rage. While he is able to control it for the most part, Joseph warns Sebastian to be wary of him if he turns. The two eventually find and rescue Kidman from drowning in a crude contraption, though they are soon separated again after hearing the high pitched noise.
Elsewhere, Kidman is being forced to relive memories of her indoctrination into an organization known as Mobius. It is revealed that Kidman is actually an undercover agent, sent by Mobius to retrieve Leslie from Jimenez, apparently as leverage to force Jimenez to continue working for them. Jimenez had been working with Mobius on a project known as STEM - a machine capable of uniting minds into one, with one influencing mind at its center. Jimenez activated STEM without Mobius' permission - signaled by the high-pitched noise - but Mobius anticipated this, and trained Kidman to navigate the STEM world and retrieve Leslie.
Sebastian learns of the story of Ruvik, born Ruben Victoriano, through various memories that Ruvik places him in. Ruben was an intellectually gifted but mentally unstable child, and was close to his sister, Laura. While playing in a barn on their family's estate, Laura was killed and Ruben severely burned after the barn was set on fire as an act of revenge against their parents. Ruben's father began hiding him in the basement of the family manor. Deeply traumatized over Laura's death, Ruben eventually killed both of his parents, took control of their fortune, and continued to "donate" money to Beacon Mental Hospital in exchange for test subjects for his experiments into the human psyche.
Ruvik began designing STEM as a means for him to reshape reality, so that he could physically travel back into his memories and live his life again with Laura. Jimenez then took notice of Ruvik's work, and revealed it to Mobius, who wished to use it for their own purposes. However, with the machine only being calibrated to work with Ruvik as its center, Mobius were forced to use Ruvik's brain after killing him, which allowed Ruvik to maintain control of the STEM world. Kidman realizes that Mobius in fact wants the meek Leslie as a replacement for Ruvik's brain - an easily manipulated 'blank slate' mind, which they can use to power STEM and create a world of their own design.
When Dr. Jimenez, aided by Sebastian, tries to use Leslie to return to reality, he realizes that Ruvik wants to transfer his mind to a compatible host, and escape into the real world. A beast created from Ruvik's subconscious then kills Jimenez, and Ruvik scatters the group across his mind. Kidman finds Leslie first, and is about to shoot him to prevent Ruvik from using him as a host, when Sebastian and Joseph intervene, prompting her to shoot Joseph, before Ruvik separates them again. Kidman tries desperately to turn against Mobius, but realizes that she has been given a serum which has allowed Mobius to travel into the STEM world with her.
Sebastian finds Leslie, and guides him back to the hospital. At the top of the lighthouse, he sees his own body in a bathtub hooked to the STEM machine. Kidman arrives and attempts to convince Sebastian that Leslie has to die. Ruvik interrupts them, gets hold of Leslie, and absorbs him.
Sebastian battles a gigantic creature created from Ruvik's subconscious and defeats it, waking up in the bathtub. He pulls himself off the machine, removes Ruvik's brain from the STEM, and crushes it. He wakes up in the tub again with Kidman by his side, monitoring him and Joseph, who is unconscious in a second tub next to him; Kidman motions for Sebastian to stay quiet. Sebastian falls unconscious, and later wakes up in the same tub, with no one around except for the bodies of Jimenez and Connelly. As police and S.W.A.T. reinforcements arrive, Sebastian exits the hospital and notices Leslie walking out of the main gates. Sebastian has a brief headache — a sign of Ruvik’s influence on subjects within the STEM — which causes him to lose sight of Leslie. It is implied that Ruvik has returned to the real world, and is able to influence those who were connected to his machine, intending to take revenge on the organization that betrayed him.
The Evil Within began development in late 2010 under the codename "Project Zwei".Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami served as the game's director, with development taking place at his studio Tango Gameworks. The studio was bought by ZeniMax Media in 2010, shortly after development began. Mikami said that he wanted to make a survival horror game as he believed that contemporary horror games relied more on action than survival.
The game was announced in April 2013. Believing that the tropes of the survival horror had become predictable over time, the design deliberately attempts to make the player feel powerless by taking place in confined spaces, limiting ammunition, and presenting near-invincible enemies that promote running and hiding over engaging in combat. Art director Naoki Katakai said that the design concept of enemies, such as those wrapped in barbed wire or filled with glass shards, is that they are victims suffering under a greater evil. The asylum itself was inspired by the Winchester Mystery House, a Californian mansion famous for its architectural curiosities.The Evil Within is built on the id Tech 5 modified by Tango Gameworks with a new dynamic renderer enabling dynamic lighting to the game. Tessellation is also added. On April 15, 2013, and over the next few days, Bethesda Softworks revealed a series of short cryptic videos teasing the new game, officially announcing it on April 19, 2013, revealing the title, the platforms it will be released on, and a live-action teaser trailer. A second trailer was released on September 17, 2013 and an extended gameplay video was revealed on September 27, 2013. Bethesda announced that the game had gone gold on September 25, 2014.
The Evil Within was released in October 2014. In Japan, the game was released as Psycho Break. The Japanese version had to remove gore-related content to receive a D-content rating (allowing its sale to customers 17 years of age or older) to avoid limiting its potential audience; this content can be restored via optional DLC.
Warner Bros. Movie World in Queensland, Australia, created a maze populated with real-life characters from the game as part of its annual Fright Nights event to promote the game. Prior to the game's release, Titan Comics released a four-part mini series set before the events of the main gameThe Art of the Evil Within, a book collecting concept art and behind-the-scenes material from the game, was released by Dark Horse Comics alongside the game on October 14, 2014.
The game also features downloadable content (DLC) missions which feature Juli Kidman and the enemy, the Keeper, as playable characters. A story-based campaign following Kidman was released as two separate DLC packs, which introduced new enemies, locations, and focus on unsolved mysteries from the main game. The first of the two DLCs, titled The Assignment was released on all platforms in March 2015 worldwide, while The Consequence followed later in April 2015. The final DLC content, The Executioner, follows the character called The Keeper through a series of mission-based levels with sadistic objectives. The content allows players to play in a first-person perspective and was released on May 25, 2015.The Evil Within is prominently used in cosplay.
The Evil Within received generally positive reviews from critics upon release. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Xbox One version 79/100 based on 24 reviews, the PlayStation 4 version 75/100 based on 65 reviews and the Microsoft Windows version 68/100 based on 18 reviews.
Computer and Video Games (CVG) described it as "the game Resident Evil 5 should have been", although they were critical of some technical issues.VideoGamer.com liked the gunplay and horror, but disliked the story and its pacing, stating: "The Evil Within has enough magic to make it a worthy investment."Destructoid said: "[The game] will definitely scratch the itch of someone who has been pining for a return to the older days of gaming, but everyone else who has come to expect that certain layer of polish likely won't be amused."Polygon's Philip Kollar summed up his thoughts by saying: "The Evil Within has great moments where the excellent combat and creepy environmental design come together. But those moments are fleeting, inevitably sapped of their delightful terror by design choices that feel trapped in the glory days of a decade ago."
GamesRadar's Ashley Reed gave the game a 3.5/5, commending the game for providing innovation and a story that keeps the player involved. Even though she mostly liked the game, Reed had several criticisms, stating: "The Evil Within stumbles in a few too many places to be Mikami's magnum opus. It artificially forces players into punishing combat scenarios more times than can be ignored, and plots and themes with great promise end up sputtering out in disheartening fashion. Still, it would be wrong to dismiss all the things it does right. Between a gorefest that's thoroughly engrossing, amazing feelings of triumph created by the imposing difficulty, and a plot that gets to the core of some very unsettling themes, The Evil Within brings enough to the table that it deserves a taste."
Lucy O'Brien of IGN gave it a positive score of 8.7 out of 10 in her review of the game. She praised the gameplay and horror of the game, but criticized the boring protagonist, Sebastian, and the saggy and convoluted plot, stating that "while its story does end up buckling under its own ambition, there is little here that takes away from the joy of experiencing survival horror under the steady hands of a master of the craft."
Christopher Livingston from PC Gamer gave it a mixed review, praising the survival portions of the game, tense and often exciting atmosphere, satisfying stealth, exciting action sequences, as well as the nicely detailed environment, but criticizing the recycled, and very often, not scary bosses, poor character models, late texture pop-ins, sluggish control, frustrating camera angles, limited video options and poor decision on the aspect ratio. He stated that all these technical issues has dragged The Evil Within from enjoyably challenging to needlessly frustrating.
Tim Turi from Game Informer praised its high replay value, jump scares, well-executed lighting, dark, unpredictable world, as well as the sounds of enemies, but criticizing the distracting texture pop-in and disappointing story. He summarized the game as "an unnerving experience that keep your palms sweaty while delivering a harrowingly rewarding gameplay trial."
Shaun McInnis of GameSpot spoke well of its striking atmosphere, tense combat that encourages resourcefulness, and rewarding skill progression system, but criticizing the nonsensical story and forgettable characters, autosave system, and a few frustrating boss fights.
As the aspect ratio of the game received criticism, a patch was released on June 23, 2015 that allows players to play the game in full screen.
The Evil Within was the second best selling game in the United Kingdom for all-formats during the week of its release. In the United States, the game was the third best selling game of October 2014. The game set the record for the highest-selling first month of sales for a new survival horror intellectual property (IP), but the record was later broken by Dying Light, when it released in January 2015.
At E3 2017, Bethesda revealed the trailer for a sequel, The Evil Within 2. The game takes place three years after the events of the original game and will feature Sebastian returning to STEM to look for Lily, his believed-to-be dead daughter. The game was released on October 13, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Last Chance Pack was announced as a pre-order bonus on July 19, 2017, it includes an exclusive handgun, some crafting items, and some healing items. It is similar to The Fighting Chance Pack from the first game. 
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Piece together Kidman's past in The Assignment DLC for The Evil Within using our complete collectibles guide, showing you how to solve every puzzle and crack every safe.
Grab all eight letter scraps to piece together a final secret message in this DLC, finally offering up a few answers to the twisty events surrounding The Evil Within and its brain-centric story. Kidman's role finally makes a little more sense, and all the Personnel Files and Audio Logs provide more details into her past and the mysterious Mobias organization. Get all the clues before the second part comes out -- scroll down for hints and tips revealing every collectible location in The Assignment.
Find even more hidden goods and pull extra hours out of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 -- browse the complete Episode 3 collectibles guide and prepare for the explosive finale.
The Assignment - Complete Collectibles Guide
Note: Safe codes are randomized.
When hunting for Letter Scraps, look for locked safes in the environment. There are several types of puzzles you'll need to solve to open them; a finger print number key puzzle, an alternating light puzzle, and a pattern puzzle.
Collect all eight scraps to complete the hidden letter and unlock the "A Warning" trophy / achievement.
Search for Mobius symbols to find secrets. Mobius symbols are black or red spray-painted markings with stars and a nail. Sometimes these symbols are incomplete. Look for statues to shine your flashlight onto to match the complete Mobius icon.
Chapter 1: The Oath - Collectible Locations
Personnel File #1: At the start of the first chapter, Kidman will drop into a cave after being attacked by a Haunted cop. Down the path, watch for a branching road on the right. There's a chair in the dead end with the first file.
Audio Tape #1: This tape is hard to miss. After leaving the pristine Mobius facility, you'll go down a hallway with a dead body in the center. The tape is right next to the body. Picking it up will trigger the Haunted to attack.
Letter Scrap #1: Entering a well-lit room with lockers, you'll need to move a pushcart to exit. Before exiting, look on the table to the right. Press the keys from thickest blood finger-print to the lightest.
Letter Scrap #2: After escaping the creepy spotlight monster, you'll eventually reach a larger two-story room with stairs leading down to double-doors where two Haunted patrol around cubicles. Before going downstairs, look in the blocked hallway past the windowed rooms. There's a crawlspace here. The safe is on the coffee table inside. The code is written on the paintings.
Audio Tape #2: When Kidman reaches a wall with the Mobius symbol, she'll need to shine her flashlight on the statue on the right to complete the image. The wall disappears to reveal double-doors -- check the back left corner for another red Mobius symbol. Shine light on it until a desk appears with the tape.
Letter Scrap #3: In the bottom floor of the Biometrics wing, Kidman needs to kick down a ladder then avoid blind exploding cadavers. From the ladder, sneak right and you'll encounter a cadaver blocking the path forward. Sneak right of that cadaver to find another ladder. Climb up to find another safe. Light up all the squares to unlock it.
Personnel File #2: Look on the desk in the brain scanner office of Biometrics. This is the last device Kidman needs to use before she can activate the bridge hand-scanner.
Letter Scrap #4: In the massive room where Leslie ran through that's accessed after using the hand-scanner, go upstairs and to the cubicles on the left to find a safe. Continue forward on the left office level to find a light shining on red squares -- follow the pattern and light up the corresponding squares on the safe to open it. Shine your light on the red squares to reveal the correct pattern.
Audio Tape #3: From the same large office room, head down the stairs in the back-right. In the basement, look to the left of the double doors to spot this chapter's final collectible.
Chapter 2: Crossing Paths - Collectible Locations
Audio Tape #4: In the sewers, Kidman will encounter invisible stalkers that only become visible in her flashlight beam. Kill the first in the water, then kill the second in the storeroom upstairs. There's a metal gate you need to open with a crank wheel -- ignore it for now and enter the office door to the left of the crank. The tape is on a desk inside.
Letter Scrap #5: After falling into the sewer and shooting the swarm of Haunted and Cadavers that attack, Kidman will crawl out of the debris. There's a ladder on a pillar to the back-right of the room. Climb up and look on the pillar to the right of the catwalk with your flashlight to reveal a code.
Letter Scrap #6: In the sewers, Kidman will need to collect three plugs to power the exit door. Climbing down from the circuit board, look for a wall marked with a red Mobius symbol. Reveal the secret pipe and climb up the ladder to find a safe. Shine Kidman's flashlight on the red squares opposite the safe to reveal the code.
Audio Tape #5: Following the plug sequence, Kidman will enter a square-shaped sparse room with a long hallway and a drop to the left. Before dropping down, check the yellow barrels in the back-right corner to grab an audio tape.
Audio Tape #6: Kidman chases Joseph to a circular stairwell. There's a save point at the bottom of the steps. Up the stairs, pass the first door on the left to find a secret Mobius symbol. Open it with the flashlight, then turn the statue on the right once. Shine your light on the pointer-like symbol and back up to complete a second Mobius symbol. The tape appears in the small alcove.
Personnel File #3: Returning to the creepy old town, Kidman appears in her family's house. Leaving the first room, go down the hall to the right. There's a creepy shadow pointing, but nobody is in the chair -- instead, there's a personnel file.
Letter Scrap #7: Outside the house, follow the stone wall left to a dead-end gate. This is where Sebastian first entered the statue square. There's a wooden platform covered in crates. Smash the crates to reveal a hidden safe. Light up all the squares to unlock the safe.
Audio Tape #7: Past the statue puzzle, Kidman will crawl through a stone passage. There's a save point with three hanging body bags. The audio tape is to the right of the chair.
Letter Scrap #8: Reunited with Leslie, Kidman reaches a strange room with circular pipes on the left. Check out the pipes in the back of the room to discover the final safe. This is another bloody finger-print puzzle, just press the bottoms from most-thick to least-thick.
Kevin Thielenhaus is a freelance writer for The Escapist. Find him on Twitter here.