So, I just finally finished The Evil Within after playing it in spurts over the past few months.
Again, as before, I have mixed feelings. One of the most interesting (albeit nonsensical) mechanics in the game is dropping matches to burn fallen enemies and, depending on proximity, nearby live enemies, resulting in instant kills. The detection for when and from how far away you can drop said matches is infuriatingly inconsistent even though the proximity effect always works like a charm (and is hugely satisfying). If they'd only made this one mechanic work better, the game would've been improved to a massive degree. It still wouldn't have the inspiration or freshness of the early RE games, but it would have successfully presented a nice addition to a a tried-and-true formula.
I do still recommend The Evil Within if you're a diehard survival horror fan. Although the game is not scary (at least not on lower difficulty levels), its mechanics use RE 4 as a starting point and depart in some interesting directions that allow for more potential levels of challenge. Let me explain: in RE4, Leon had unlimited sprinting ability. In EW, Sebastian has a severely gimped sprinting ability (no doubt due to his raging alcoholism) which you can optionally upgrade by spending green gel (the game's currency). You can forego said upgrades (which also cover ammo capacity, weapon damage, and other parameters) for the ultimate test of skill and resource management. And I mean it, dear readers, when I say that this game is hard on the higher two difficulty levels. Probably the hardest gaming experience I've ever had the displeasure to witness, and I've beaten all of From Software's "Souls" games. "Akumu" is the name of the hardest difficulty. In it, every enemy attack results in a one-hit kill, and that in a game featuring frequent unexpected ambushes. "Akumu" also ramps up the number and aggressiveness of these enemies, forcing you to remain constantly aware.
I will say that the bosses in this game require a lot of strategizing which got very tricky in the later chapters. I have some questions for others of you who have completed this game. Vexer, I have you in mind in particular.
1. What was your go-to strategy for late bosses that require a lot of zoning/management of space? I'm thinking of Laura and the final Sadist in particular.
2. What was your favorite weapon?
3. Did you find stealth attacks to be reliable enough to base a strategy off of for any of the levels?