In a spooky theater inside the Bethesda booth at E3 2013, lucky attendees had their nerves set on edge by the new game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, who was in attendance himself to introduce the gameplay demo of The Evil Within.
“We are making a truly horrifying game and taking survival horror back to its roots,” he claimed as the game's logo glowed eerily on the screen, “You will experience unimaginable terror and the triumph of overcoming those fears.”
With that and a few words of thanks we were introduced to Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is responding in the demo to an emergency call at a castle-like asylum in the middle of an unnamed city. A squad of first-responding police cars are at the scene, but they are all empty with no signs of their drivers or a struggle. Inside though, the bodies of doctors and patients are strewn around. A check of security camera monitors reveal a cloaked figure moving almost too fast to see as he kills a pair of panicking police officers. When he suddenly looks right at the camera Sebastian is not only taken aback, but also suddenly attacked by the figure that has somehow appeared behind him.
When Detective Castellanos comes to, he is hanging upside down in a human meat locker. He plays dead as a massive misshapen butcher cleaves the body next to him in half with several meaty thwaks, then escapes Tomb Raider-style by swinging over to reach a knife stuck in a nearby body. Free but trapped in the butcher's lair, Detective Castellanos must sneak around the butcher who is more than a physical match for him. A scripted tripwire alarm gives him away and he must flee in earnest, a task hampered after the butcher nicks him with his chainsaw.
As if the situation wasn't dire enough, Detective Castellanos is quickly forced into a chamber where a pair of spinning blades are quickly closing in on him from each side threatening to turn him into ground beef. After a very narrow escape, eventually Detective Castellanos reaches an elevator and escapes out the front of the Asylum only to find the city around him in complete ruins.
The demo then jumps ahead into the main part of the game as Detective Castellanos defends himself from zombie-like creatures with his pistol and some nail-flinging traps. Unexpectedly, in the middle of a house defense sequence, he turns to go down a hall and the world suddenly shifts and he's in a completely different place. After this strange hallway is done playing tricks on him (first by flooding itself with blood The Shining-style, then continually getting longer) the door at the end opens into an operating room where an only passably female creature with long black hair and much longer arms, legs and fingernails than any human should possess attacks Detective Castellanos pinning him to the ground as the demo ended.
The Evil Within will be out for current (360, PS3, PC) and the next generation consoles (Xbox One, PS4) 2014.