Let me just start by saying, I am playing the game on an xbox one, I have installed the 7.5 gb update/patch so everything in the review will take that into account. i am playing on survival difficulty, which is the highest difficulty you can play on from the get go (there is only one difficulty below it which apparently eliminates some puzzles) I will try to avoid spoilers where possible, I am really just trying to give people a chance to weigh in on just how much of the game is quality content and how much of it (if any) I didnt enjoy.
I can appreciate the way the evil within masks its tutorials. Short but sweet opening to the game with chapter 1, a fair few cutscenes, brief introductions for supporting characters. Little game of hide and seek with some stealth, it eases you into that basic mechanic. Perhaps a little jarring for some to know that chapter 1 is so short and linear but it create enough intrigue that you have absolutely have no clue where the game will be headed.Visuals are gorgeous, I recommend playing with grain on because without it a few textures can look horrible. Display border under 'graphics settings' should be a few increments under full width (some cutscene get clipped off by the black bars if you overextend your display width, even if it seems appropriate for your screen). There is terrible pop-in, in cutscenes for some reason and is definitely noticeable. its strange that in this game, the in-game assets are of higher quality than of those in the cutscenes. I also recommend that you crank up the in-game brightness because it can get very dark and some things that should be visible, aren't.
Again another short but sweet, although forgettable tutorial chapter which elaborates on the stealth mechanic as well as introducing you to the games hub/level up area. This chapters also gives you a linear stretch of land and some more cutscene to set the scene. It strange that I discovered even if enemies have their back to you, even with your lantern off they can be alerted. Maybe this is a randomly generated enemy state to mix things up and keep you on your toes. Nice little homage to a certain other shinji mikami game in this games first encounter with a basic enemy type.
Thing start to pick up here, my fave chapter so far. You are introduced to numerous traps and proximity mines for the first time. Great sandbox area where you can navigate however you want, there are no way markers. this is pure survival. I would like to mention Up until now i only found six bullets total and i had to complete chapter 2 and 3 without picking up a single bullet and for the most part in chapter 3. I dont know what other players experience has been but ammo is literally nowhere to be found apart from just before your encounter with the first haunted.
So far I think the chapter system will be hit and miss with someone people, I was originally under the impression that the game would be near seamless, with checkpoints and a save system. The between chapter screen does give you a moment of reprieve but it seems that each chapter was hand crafted as a self contained gameplay experience, so storytelling can seem disjointed and wondering about where you are in the context of the game can be a little jarring. For example, you wonder why they threw you into old european styled village during the night when you literally just crashed in a modern american style city during broad daylight. I hope these questions will be answered later or at least alluded to.
(To Be Continued...)