The Evil Within, also known as Psychobreak (サイコブレイク, Saikobureiku?) in Japan, is a survival-horror video game developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was directed by Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil & a former Resident Evil 4 director. The game utilizes id Tech 5 engine that has been modified to suit the game.
The Evil Within was released on October 14 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Having arrived, they find a massacre has taken place inside the hospital, with the place now seemingly deserted. After finding a sole survivor, Sebastian witnesses through the hospital CCTV, fellow K.C.P.D officers running from and firing upon an unseen force. They are then brutally killed by a disfigured, supernatural, hooded man, who then appears behind Sebastian and attacks him, knocking him unconscious. Sebastian then awakes in the basement of the Hospital, and is forced to flee flee from a monstrous man wielding a chainsaw.
Upon reuniting with his colleagues, they attempt to escape via ambulance while Krimson City is destroyed and rearranged by a massive earthquake, eventually causing them to crash. Freeing himself from the wreckage, Sebastian wanders through unnatural forests and abandoned buildings full of monstrous creatures, and witnesses the apparition of a disfigured man in a white hood. Trapped in the nightmare world, Sebastian encounters one of Beacon's doctors, Marcelo Jimenez, who is searching for his patient, Leslie Withers. Jimenez identifies the hooded stranger stalking them as Ruvik.
Sebastian eventually reunites with Joseph, though it is shortly revealed that Joseph is suffering from a strange form of transformation which compels him into a murderous rage. While he is able to control it for the most part, Joseph warns Sebastian to be wary of him if he turns. The two eventually find and rescue Kidman from drowning in a crude contraption, though they are soon separated again after hearing the high pitched noise.
Elsewhere, Kidman is being forced to relive memories of her indoctrination into an organization known as Mobius. It is revealed that Kidman is actually an undercover agent, sent by Mobius to retrieve Leslie from Jimenez, apparently as leverage to force Jimenez to continue working for them. Jimenez had been working with Mobius on a project known as STEM - a machine capable of uniting minds into one, with one influencing mind at its center. Jimenez activated STEM without Mobius' permission - signaled by the high-pitched noise - but Mobius anticipated this, and trained Kidman to navigate the STEM world and retrieve Leslie.
Sebastian learns of the story of Ruvik, born Ruben Victoriano, through various memories that Ruvik places him in. Ruben was an intellectually gifted but mentally unstable child, and was close to his sister, Laura. While playing in a barn on their family's estate, Laura was killed and Ruben severely burned after the barn was set on fire as an act of revenge against their parents. Ruben's father began hiding him in the basement of the family manor. Deeply traumatized over Laura's death, Ruben eventually killed both of his parents, took control of their fortune, and continued to "donate" money to Beacon Mental Hospital in exchange for test subjects for his experiments into the human psyche.
Ruvik began designing STEM as a means for him to reshape reality, so that he could physically travel back into his memories and live his life again with Laura. Jimenez then took notice of Ruvik's work, and revealed it to Mobius, who wished to use it for their own purposes. However, with the machine only being calibrated to work with Ruvik as its center, Mobius were forced to use Ruvik's brain after killing him, which allowed Ruvik to maintain control of the STEM world. Kidman realizes that Mobius in fact wants the meek Leslie as a replacement for Ruvik's brain - an easily manipulated 'blank slate' mind, which they can use to power STEM and create a world of their own design.
When Dr. Jimenez, aided by Sebastian, tries to use Leslie to return to reality, he realizes that Ruvik wants to transfer his mind to a compatible host, and escape into the real world. A beast created from Ruvik's subconscious then kills Jimenez, and Ruvik scatters the group across his mind. Kidman finds Leslie first, and is about to shoot him to prevent Ruvik from using him as a host, when Sebastian and Joseph intervene, prompting her to shoot Joseph, before Ruvik separates them again. Kidman tries desperately to turn against Mobius, but realizes that she has been given a serum which has allowed Mobius to travel into the STEM world with her.
Sebastian finds Leslie, and guides him back to the hospital. At the top of the lighthouse, he sees his own body in a bathtub hooked to the STEM machine. Kidman arrives and attempts to convince Sebastian that Leslie has to die. Ruvik interrupts them, gets hold of Leslie, and absorbs him.
Sebastian battles a gigantic creature created from Ruvik's subconscious and defeats it, waking up in the bathtub. He pulls himself off the machine, removes Ruvik's brain from the STEM, and crushes it. He wakes up in the tub again with Kidman by his side, monitoring him and Joseph, who is unconscious in a second tub next to him; Kidman motions for Sebastian to stay quiet. Sebastian falls unconscious, and later wakes up in the same tub, with no one around except for the bodies of Jimenez and Connelly. As police and S.W.A.T. reinforcements arrive, Sebastian exits the hospital and notices Leslie walking out of the main gates. Sebastian has a brief headache — a sign of Ruvik’s influence on subjects within the STEM — which causes him to lose sight of Leslie. It is implied that Ruvik has returned to the real world, and is able to influence those who were connected to his machine, intending to take revenge on the organization that betrayed him.
The game primarily focuses on 3 key gameplay elements:
- Survival Horror - The player must navigate through the hostile game world with limited resources. This requires the player to use their wits to survive and correctly manage their few resources as they encounter various terrors and dangers throughout the game.
- Traps and Puzzles - The player not only needs to struggle to survive, but also face dangerous traps and mechanisms. Being careless with traps can cause death. However, the player can also utilize the traps to their own advantage.
- Alternating Environments - Throughout the game, the environments may change without warning in real-time based on the player's actions, adding more variables to the game.
While exploring, the camera is set behind the player and is able to freely move them around. However, the camera can also change views sometimes. During combat, aiming puts the camera in over-the-shoulder mode. Combat isn't usually forced upon the player; as supplies are scarce in the game, the player can run away and hide, avoid the enemy by sneaking or performing stealth kills. The player also has access to a last resort weapon called the Agony Crossbow, capable of utilizing various bolts. The player can shoot them either at enemies or onto surfaces, setting them up as traps.
In case of inventory managing, the player can bring up a circular menu to change items/weapons anytime. At the same time, the player is also able to set the items to a designated shortcut so that they are able to quickly change items/weapons in real-time. Depending on the difficulty, the player can only carry a specified amount of items and ammunition by default, but can choose to upgrade the amount later on.
- Haunted - The most common enemies in the entire game. They are hapless victims who lost themselves to the destructive and uncontrollable nature of the STEM system, twisting and deforming their appearances into hideous zombie-like beings, melded awry with objects like barbed wire, glass, rope and nails. They can wield an incredible variety of weapons, and at times can demonstrate impressive combat maneuvers. Though they endure a tremendous amount of damage in battle, they have a particular weakness to fire, similarly to the man who took of them their lives, Ruvik. They can also be found in an invisible variety.
- AlterEgo - In contrast to the Haunted, AlterEgos are victims of STEM who had dissociative identity disorder, and as such, both of the consciousness' manifested themselves within the system, becoming shambling husks of their former selves: pink, corpse-like creatures, pulsating muscles bursting through their stomachs, and two heads fighting over the same body, the hostile personality overtaking the host personality, living off of it like a parasite, spewing acid from its tumor-like maw, razor-sharp teeth always snapping, moaning in agony. If they come near Sebastian they will slash at him with their bone-claw like hands, or try and grab him and take a substantial amount of health by biting into him. They will also vomit acid, and, at times, release an insectoid-like creature from it's stomach at the end of a long tentacle, crushing Sebastian's head if it manages to latch on. These foul creatures are brought down quickest by destroying the parasite head. Newborn versions of these creatures, known as The Babies, can be seen crawling and hopping around in a few places of the game, and can easily be killed by stomping and kicking, or simply walking on them.
- Trauma - Tall, naked humanoids with pale skin and drooping flesh where a face would normally be. They are manifestations of Ruvik's immense hatred for the religion that was brought upon him as a child, shown by the large wooden beams they carry on their backs. They have no forearms, but rather a massive hook-clawed gauntlet attached to their right arm, while their left arm chained to the beam on it's back, which it will angrily tear off if it is damaged enough. Apart from slashing at Sebastian with their gauntlets, or charging at him with them plowing the ground, they will sometimes lob the large hook (chained to the second beam) forward several feet, attempting to snag Sebastian, and pull him back to them, impaling him on their gauntlets.
- The Keeper - A dangerous being within STEM that has a safe wrapped in barbed wire for a head, as a manifestation of the safe where Ruvik kept his research. He wields a large meat tenderizer which is also wrapped in barbed wire as well as a spiked sack filled with the brains of his victims. When killed he will reanimate through a nearby safe. His appearance is similar to that of a butcher, as he wears a plastic apron and protective gloves.
- Laura (Creature) - The horrific reincarnation of Ruvik's sister, who perished in a barn fire to save her brother's life. Ruvik longed to be with her so much that his memory of her manifested itself within STEM, twisted by his rage. She has long black hair and four strong arms with long, sharp claws. Though she wears no clothes, she still has shoes on her feet. Similarly to the Haunted and Ruvik himself, it is revealed that she too has a particular weakness to fire.
- Sadist - A large deranged man wearing a metal apparatus over his face who heavily enjoys mutilating others with his chainsaw, the Sadist is a recurring foe and the first opponent that Sebastian will face in his journey. Though he is usually seen wielding his barbed-wire chainsaw, he can also be seen using a butcher's knife and a rocket launcher.
- Sentinel - A massive guard dog seen outside of Cedar Hill Church, which Sebastian must battle to escape with Joseph and find Leslie in the church. The Sentinel is Nearly seven feet tall, with patches of fur missing, and barbed wire wrapped around the entirety of it's body, as well as orbitoclasts and railroad spikes impaled into it in various areas. It's face seems almost paralyzed, apart from its ability to howl, and a veiny, festering growth leading to the massive maw protruding from it's throat seems to have rendered its lower jaw deformed. Next to it's original eye, now glazed over and milky white, is a massive, yellow eye that seems connected to the growth. It has grown feral due to a consistant diet of human flesh "offerings".
- Zehn - One of the twin giants found chained up within the courtyard before the church. He was left on the doorstep of the church, and soon grew nearly ten feet tall. The right side of the face seems to have a bothersome deformity, resembling a healed burn wound. He wields a stone club, which he will swing about wildly, sometimes even throwing.
- Neun - One of the giants found chained up within the courtyard before the church, and twin brother to Zehn. He was so unstable that a mask was placed over his head, making it so he couldn't see or hear anything. He has a chain protruding outwards from his heart as well. In contrast to his brother, Neun will fight using his arms and legs, and his signature finishing move is to tear Sebastian's arms off and step on his face.
- Heresy - A massive, pustule, spider-like creature born as a result of a person who lost their identity to STEM and went on a rampage, devouring anyone he found. He now has numerous tubes connecting his face to his anus, living eternally off of his own fecal matter. He is the predominant entity found roaming throughout Krimson City, chasing Sebastian and his partners throughout the city, eventually latching onto their bus and battling them. Apart from shaking the bus and using various attack patterns with his legs, he will also release large centipede-like creatures from his tumorous gumma-like masses.
- Ruvik Doppelganger - The results of test subjects who connected on a closer level to Ruvik himself while inside STEM, (though not on a level as close as Leslie's) becoming a doppelganger of him, appearing almost identical in appearance, save for wearing a mental patient outfit rather than no shirt, and having no head inside their hood, only darkness. They can summon Laura-like hands from puddles of blood that will chase Sebastian relentlessly, unless the doppelganger is knocked over or killed. If they catch Sebastian, they will drag him under.
- Quell - A horrid creature born from Ruvik's desire to remain unseen by others, as evidenced by its inherent ability to turn invisible. It possesses six tentacles, which it uses to catch it's victims, and atop its torso is a head with no eyes, but a large mouth that can unhinge back to reveal layers of sharp, jagged teeth. It prefers to hunt it's prey from the shadows, but when forced to, it will come out and fight in the open. It possesses several unique abilities, such as spraying black ink, similarly to an octopus, which will make Sebastian dizzy. It can leap great distances, and move incredibly fast when slithering along the floor or through pipes. When hiding, it will spawn out slug-like creatures that will chase Sebastian around. When invisible, it can be found sticking to walls, the ground, or even sneaking up on Sebastian.
- Amalgam Alpha - The Amalgam Alpha is a beast manifested from the final consciousness of subjects who died while connected to STEM, forming a hulking monstrosity that can teleport to locations and chase Sebastian, or even teleport him, although it lives in the parking garage, where it prowls around on all four of it's limbs searching out victims to devour with the long retractable eyestalk that can emerge from it's back. At the front of it's body are two large heads missing their lower jaws and noses., and with black marks sewn into their forheads where their eyes would be. Atop the base of it's body is the upper half of a man, flopping around in agony as the creature moves. Chains jangle from it's limbs, which serve as both arms and legs. Apart from leaping and using it's body mass, the creature can also pick Sebastian up, and reverse it's body, opening up a gaping aperture in it's body with a purple glow. It's eye will then end up there, though if it catches Sebastian it will swallow him whole. The eyestalk is it's weakness, although it will only reveal itself if Sebastian is well-hidden, save for it's second form.
- Shigyo - An aquatic being born from the consciousness of a woman who drowned while connected to the STEM. It has a relatively bony physique, but possesses long arms, which it uses to pull under anyone who it can't catch with it's mouth. It's body ends in a fish-like tail, and it's head has strands of long, stringy black hair. It's enormous mouth is the only quantifiable feature of it's head, with numerous crooked teeth held down by braces, a manifestation of how unhappy the woman was with her crooked teeth. The creature cannot be fought, and should be avoided at all costs in underwater environments.
- Ruvik - The main antagonist of the game, Ruvik is the man who developed the STEM system almost entirely by himself, and with his brain at the center, he has complete control over everything within it, turning it into a terrible nightmare world that reflects his own psychotic mind. He possesses all manner of abilities within the world he has created, though most frequently used by him are teleporting himself and others, and summoning monsters. He appears as a menacing young man wearing a hooded cloak and pants, the rest of his body ravished by burn scars that constantly cause him pain. The right half of his head is covered with a glass plate, exposing his brain. His primary goal throughout the game is to escape STEM and once again wreak havoc in the real world, seeking vengeance against those who took his life away from him.
- Amalgam - A creature that serves as the final boss of the game. It is a combination of Ruvik and the Amalgam Alpha, among other things, forming a beast nearly 100 feet tall, with various deformed limbs, and a glass dome over it's brain, where Ruvik controls it from. When it's brain is damaged, it's head will transform, a mouth stretching the flesh of the brain and reappearing there.
- Anson Mount - Sebastian Castellanos
- Jennifer Carpenter - Juli Kidman
- Yuri Lowenthal - Joseph Oda
- Aaron Landon - Leslie Withers
- Jackie Earle Haley - Ruvik
- Daniel Riordan - Marcelo Jimenez
- Kiff VandenHeuvel - Oscar Connelly
- Liam O'Brien - Valerio Jimenez
- Julie Granata - Tatiana Gutierrez
- Laura Post - Laura Victoriano
- Jeffery Parise - Ivan Diaz
Those who pre-ordered the game or bought specific copies were provided with a pack called the Fighting Chance Pack, which gives the player some exclusive items, such as the Double Barrel Shotgun, as well as useful extra items found in the base game:
Owing to its graphic nature, the Japanese release of the The Evil Within ("Psychobreak") was heavily edited to censor out the various situations or effects deemed overly gruesome to meet CERO D requirements (a rating of 17+ as opposed to adults-only). Examples of such censorship are the removal of dismemberment and decapitation effects, such that The Haunted no longer blow apart when struck by explosives or headshots, and various corpses are covered up or replaced with generic viscera.
However, Japanese players who are 18-and-up and have reserved a copy of Psychobreak ahead of time were given a redeemable code that restores the game's original graphical content, which was tentatively named "Gore Mode".
The game was revealed in April 2012 under the code name ZWEI with Shinji Mikami being the director. On April 15, 2013 and over the next few days, Bethesda Softworks released a series of short cryptic videos of the new game. It was officially announced in April 19, 2013 revealing the title of the game, the consoles it will be released on and a live action teaser trailer.
- For walkthrough video content, please visit the Walkthrough page.