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The Evil Within

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
The Evil Within Game Poster Image
Extremely gory and scary adventure challenges mature gamers.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game wasn't created with any positive messages, other than the fact that your character is a "good guy" hero.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play as a detective who investigates mysterious happenings inside a mental hospital. Sebastian Castellanos seems like an admirable protagonist; he uses his smarts and weapons to stay alive and kill the enemies.

Ease of Play

Not too difficult, especially if you have any experience with Shinji Mikami's other games, such as the Resident Evil series. Players can choose between "easy" and "hard" difficulty levels.



Extremely violent, bloody, and gory. Players can use a number of weapons such as pistols, hatchets, crossbows, knives, and shotguns to kill enemies that are mostly humanoid creatures. When the protagonist perishes, "death scenes" are equally graphic, including dismemberment, beheading, and disemboweling.


Strong profanity, including words such as "f--k" and "s--t," used in dialogue sequences and uttered by the protagonist when he's discovered by an enemy.


Optional downloadable content (DLC) has been announced for $20.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Evil Within has extreme graphic violence, blood, and gore. Players can shoot, stab, and blow up creatures that are running around an abandoned hospital. Gamers will see beheadings, dismemberments, and disembowelments, along with large pools of blood and machines that rip people apart -- not to mention the horror element of being chased by ax-wielding enemies. There's also strong profanity ("f--k," "s--t," and more) throughout dialogue sequences and gameplay.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMokona1 June 5, 2015

You worry too much

Yes, evil within is violent. What did you expect exactly? It's survival horror. When I saw the 5 on the language I nearly started laughing. Is this what co... Continue reading
Parent of a 14 year old Written byJWilliams303 October 20, 2014

Intense and Dark Game

I was excited about this game coming out and couldn't wait to play it. I've heard a lot of good things about the game and what all to expect in it. It... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byNinjaNate October 29, 2014

Amazing Horror Game!

This game isn't all that bad since it gives a positive message to kids for example: Teamwork. yes, you can kill, stab, shoot monsters but thats only becaus... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDarksouls444 October 17, 2014

A real scare fest

scarier than the reviews said just wow.

What's it about?

Conceived and developed by Shinji Mikami -- creator of the iconic Resident Evil series -- and the team at Tokyo's Tango Gameworks, THE EVIL WITHIN is a creepy, gory "survival horror" game about a young detective who investigates strange happenings in a psychiatric hospital. A distress call is sent to the police about a mass murder on the premises, and, sure enough, Det. Sebastian Castellanos finds dismembered corpses, bloodstained walls, and an evil presence still roaming through the corridors and rooms. Worst of all, he can't get out. Using limited weapons and the environment, gamers must stay alive long enough to evade (or attack) these hellish creatures and escape from the hospital. The third-person single-player game challenges players to figure out a way to escape, which isn't easy, as there are enemies, traps, and other obstacles at every turn.

Is it any good?

Despite a few random issues -- some long load times, a lead character with no personality whatsoever, and lip-syncing that doesn't match and breaks the suspension of disbelief (probably because the game was ported from the Japanese version, called Psycho Break) -- The Evil Within is a chilling, thrilling adventure. Fans of survival horror will appreciate this game's challenging scenarios, such as being chased by someone who wants to trap you in a cage, hiding in a locker as someone tears apart a room with a chainsaw, or sneaking past a butcher chopping up body parts. Ammo for your weapons is scarce, which adds to the tension. The high-resolution graphics, smart lighting techniques, and creepy atmosphere nicely add to the fright, even if many of the levels are linear in design.

Though it's not perfect, those who love survival horror games will be happy to know that The Evil Within was worth the wait; the genre is alive and well in this gory offering from Mikami-san. It's definitely something for mature gamers to play with the lights off and speakers cranked. But it's unquestionably not for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes The Evil Within scary. Is it the gore? The limited ammo? The fear of the unknown? The psychiatric hospital setting? Why is it sometimes fun to be scared?

  • Talk about video game violence. Why do you think it appeals to gamers? How can players make sure that behavior exhibited in video games doesn't roll over into real life?

Game details

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