A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game wasn't created with any positive messages, other than the fact that your character is a "good guy" hero.
Positive Role Models
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Optional downloadable content (DLC) has been announced for $20.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.