The Evil Within review

The father of survival horror is back. But does he have what it takes to regain the crown?

Survival horror is undergoing something of a resurgence right now, with The Creative Assembly's relentlessly terrifying Alien: Isolation representing a new zenith for this style of game. This month's contender for the crown is The Evil Within, which is primarily notable for representing Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s long-awaited return to the genre he helped popularize almost two decades ago.

The Evil Within lets players take control of Sebastian Castellanos, a police detective called in to investigate a spate of brutal murders at an insane asylum, only to find himself pulled into a nightmarish world full of ghoulish apparitions and hideous monsters.

While recent additions in the Resident Evil franchise have focused more on action, this new game is more concerned with stealth, much like Alien: Isolation. Another trait it shares with that title is its cinematic aspiration – which here takes the form of visual cues pilfered from recent horror flicks and the decision to frame visuals in a 2.50:1 ultra-widescreen aspect ratio. This does have a rather deleterious knock-on effect on the core third-person gameplay, though, as it puts restrictions on vertical visibility, hampering what is otherwise a slick and enjoyable scare-'em-up.

The Evil Within, Bethesda, Xbox One/Xbox 360/PS4/PS3/PC, £50 Approx