The Evil Within's downloadable content has been... interesting, to say the least. The first two add-ons were stealth-centric, while the latest one, The Executioner, transforms the game into a first-person brawler. What?!
Here's what The Evil Within normally looks like:
A third-person action game focused on shooting zombie-like creatures with guns. Coming from Shinji Mikami, one of the chief creativesbehind Resident Evil, makes that no surprise.
With The Executioner, however, The Evil Within becomes this:
It's first-person, and that's a hammer in the corner! You're actually playing as one of the nastier bad guys from The Evil Within, a lumbering beast with a safe for a head.
Yep, that guy. You get to be him. Given how many times you had to kill that arsehole in the game, it's satisfying to deal out some violent justice with his weapon.
Unfortunately, The Executioner is pretty boring and a little one note. You walk from room to room, bash enemies in the head, and move on. Some bad guys drop coins, which you can use to upgrade your health, weapons, and purchase new ways of enacting violence. There's not much nuance to the whole affair, which isn't how you'd usually describe a Shinji Mikami video game.
Most frustratingly, it's often style over substance. For example, the game switches to a third-person view to properly show off the "executions" that's cool until it prevents you from being able to avoid enemies properly. That said, it does let you watch some amazing kills. Like this:
Oh, and this:
Good game? Maybe not. Disgustingly excellent kills? Yep.
Like the other two add-ons, I've played about an hour and found myself wondering it it's worth moving on. There are so many other video games out right now, I'm not sure I can find the time. These experiments have been fascinating, departures from the usual approach to downloadable content, but I'm mostly interested in what Mikami has to say next.
You can watch me play a little bit of it here, if you'd like.