Anyway, now about the game itself! I was with my buddy when I first started playing the game. It was thrilling to watch the intro cutscene set up the scene for the gameplay. The controls felt fluid to me, although it was clear the full moveset was locked down at the time.
Now, I will talk about what I liked and disliked about the game in general (I played and re-played the game on Survival difficulty)
Things I liked:
-The controls. They were fluid, but felt grounded enough to fit a survival horror game. Running around in circles with the analog stick, along with the analog stick sensitivity (tilt a bit to walk, more to run [different from sprinting, which is faster and uses stamina from the stamina gauge]) reminded me of a 3D platformer's ease of control. You can move and shoot. The sprinting acts like a dodge move, and are encouraged to use it to evade enemies frequently. If you move the camera and just press shoot, you can shoot without aiming with L2/LT. Aiming and shooting in that zoomed-out perspective can be useful for dealing with up close enemies, as zooming in with L2/LT to aim can cause your aim to be too zoomed in to combat them effectively. The zoomed-out aim can be used whilst walking, and animates greatly as well.
-The chapter select feature. You can pick and choose to play your favorite parts of the game, with ease after beating the main game! Don't like the forced stealth of Chapter 1? Skip right to where the game effectively begins for real at Chapter 3! A great feature is you can do this with New Game+, so your equipment and upgrades carry over to the selected chapter if you so choose. IIRC, you can start the selected chapter without New Game+ if you want. Don't worry though, even with upgrades, the game is pretty well-balanced and won't feel like your cheesing your way through with them!
-Variety of tools/options to use against enemies. You got weapons with limited ammo for starters. You got the Agony Crossbow, which enables you to fire special bolts that function in various ways (Flash bolts blinding enemies, which creates an opening you can exploit to assassinate them with a one-hit kill with a knife!, Explosive bolts which can be fired at the ground or wall to be set to detonate when an enemy is nearby, etc.). You got bottles around the environment, which at first seem useless...until you find out they can be used to stun enemies, setting them up for knife assassination! You got matches...pretty useful way to finish off enemies. You can shoot an enemy in the leg, knocking them down, and them use the match to finish them off...a great way to save on ammo. Careful though! The knocked down enemies often lash out at you with their arms and legs, which can hit you and cancel out the match...wasting it with no result. If enemies are close to each other, one match can burn multiple enemies...its great when it happens, but feels random in its implementation...sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.
-The limb-targeting system. In Resident Evils 4 and 5, you can target the limbs of enemies and the enemies would react appropriately...shoot them in the hands, and their weapon will drop. Shoot them in the leg, and they'll stumble. The Evil Within has this feature (notably absent in Resident Evil 6), and it's essential to survival. You want to make every bullet count, so knocking weapons out of enemies' hands and knocking them down to the ground to finish them off with a match comes in handy to save ammo.
-Traps. Both you and the enemies can use them against each other! Deadly as they are, they can provide you yet another way to save on ammo if used properly. Luring an enemy into an explosive trip wire is quite satisfying!
-The ability to use an enemy's weapon when dropped! Let's say an enemy drops an axe. You can pick it up and use it to deal major damage to an enemy once (often one-hit-kills common enemies). After that, the weapon is gone.
-The fading HUD...allows you to soak in the atmosphere outside of combat when exploring. Forgot if this is the default or a setting in the Options
-Certain parts of the game have different camera. Cool way to add variety to the game...glad this feature made it in to the NA versions of the game....in Japan, Resident Evil 4 (Biohazard 4 over there) had panning camera angles for Ashley's segment of the game...a great callback to classic survival horror imo. A shame that feature never made it to other versions of the game...but I digress.
-Hidden statues throughout levels. When shot at, they give the player keys to use at the lockers in the Save Room hospital...when a locker is opened with a key, inside it could be a goodie for a player (ammo, Green Gel, etc.) or nothing at all! It's rewarding to find a hidden statue in a place you never thought you'd find it.
-Going into the inventory slows down time. A nice compromise between not pausing at all (REs 5-7) and pausing entirely (REs 1-4)when accessing inventory. Gives you time to manage your inventory, but still not entirely safe from enemies, as they can attack you still...but their attacks are delayed due to the slow motion.
-Forced walking/running at certain parts. I prefer to be in control at all times, not to have certain controls forced on me as a player. I don't know where this trend started, but it's ridiculous to me...like I get I should run as fast as possible during a chase scene. Don't force me to run automatically just because it's a chase...I want to be able to walk if I wanted to during a chase.
-Story. It was something hard to follow imo. I've seen various discussions and interpretations of the story on here, so I guess the community building aspect was cool...but I wish there was an official explanation offered for what order the events took place in. Sebastian was such a dull main character. I remember the story being billed as one of the big features of the game...and yet to me, it feels like an afterthought. Just look at how the game ended...IIRC,
-Abundance of one-hit deaths...very grating on a first playthrough. The trial-and-error gameplay feels like a cheap way to extend the playtime of the game...a game can be legit challenging without resorting to that (see how RE REmake handled it)
Other thoughts...things that were so-so/uncertain about:
The atmosphere/music. At certain times, the atmosphere can be incredible. Others...meh. The music, however, I found suits the atmospheres well. I wish there were more varieties to the atmospheres...there was a concept art leak that showed castles and such! What we got was great, but it left me craving even more.
The inconsistency of the chapters. On paper, they're supposed to add variety to the game. However, I felt some chapters gone too far to change the experience...some chapters feel like separate games from one another. For example, Chapter 3 is an open level with traps and houses...Chapters 5 and 6 are a callback to RE4 style gameplay...etc.
So those are my thoughts on the game...I have a love/hate relationship with it. It's got alot of good and bad elements to it. I do replay it from time to time, but sometimes the flaws get to me...picking my favorite chapters helps me enjoy the game more than slogging though the parts I don't like. I hoped this game would be more like a successor to REmake...but for what it is, I like it more than I dislike it.