First Impressions | [2065] The Evil Within review - A metric ton of blood | Action/ Adventure reviews @ReviewStudio.net

The Evil Within review - A metric ton of blood

First Impressions

The Evil Within feels very Resident Evil. Enemy design, locations, characters, all of them are very familiar, and you often encounter big-baddies that you'd you met at least once in earlier RE series.

However, there's one major problem with the game, and that's the 2.5:1 aspect ratio, which adds two massive black bars, taking off around 30% screen-space. It's so jarring and distracting that even when something is chewing my face off, I can't get into the swing of the swings, because I have to squint to get a better picture of the damn thing choking on my eyes. 

The Evil Within - Black bars

Of course, Bethesda revealed the game's console commands that allow you to play the game without any black-bars, but that just zooms in the game, giving you a better view of Sebastian's back, and cutting some of the side screen-space.

Optimization

The game crashed on me twice, before I had to turn down the AA to MLAA, because SMAA made The Evil Within cry. It ran smoothly for most of the time, if you consider 30FPS smooth. Because, you see, it's capped at 30FPS.

Like the aspect-ratio, Bethesda provided console commands to unlock the frame-rate cap. With my AMD R9 280X, Intel I5 2500K and the 8GB DD3, I got between 40 to 65 frames, at max settings. It's strange that a game using 70% screen-space and a whole lotta brown and red (with average / bad texture quality) runs worse than both Alien: Isolation and Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor.

Controls are also fiddly as hell. Mister Castellano is not really good at precise movements. I died far more than I should have while trying to disarm traps, and was often caught up by enemies, because turning around a corner is something Sebastian didn't learn in school.

Aiming is automatic if you're close to the enemies, but if you're too close, you get to see the barb-wired zombie's insides, and if you happen to try and shoot while out of range, you'll end up wasting bullets (which is particularly troublesome when you consider how important ammo is).

The Evil Within - Graphics Options

As for the options menu. It's decent, but it lacks several important things, such as a nice FoV slider, VSync, Texture Resolution. Controls can also be mapped, though with KB and mouse, mister Castelanno doesn't walk properly. Ah, and you remember those almost mandatory debugging tools? Using them will disable your achievements, and Bethesda doesn't officially support any tweaking.

Minimum System Requirements

CPU

Core i7-860S Quad 2.5GHz or an equivalent 4+ core CPU

RAM

4 GB RAM

HDD

50GB available

Video

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or an equivalent 1GB VRAM card

Operating System

Win Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Win 8.1

Network

-

 

Gaming Rig

CPU

Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3300 Mhz

RAM

Corsair 8GB, DDR3

HDD

OCZ Agility3 60GB, SATA3

Video

Sapphire Dual-X R9 280X

Operating System

Windows 7

Network

Broadband

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