The Evil Within The Assignment Review – Fantastic Visuals meets Cumbersome Gameplay

Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within sees the first of a two part DLC extra which is available now on console and PC for a fair price. However, with a change of pace from the main game is this a worthwhile excursion. Take a look at our The Evil Within The Assignment review for the full picture.

Today we take a look at Shinji Mikami’s/Tango Gameworks The Evil Within downloadable content ‘The Assignment’ which comes in at just £6.99 and comprises of two extra chapters to add to the already lengthy game. Players assume the role of sidekick detective Juli Kidman as she fulfils a shady role alongside the protagonist of the main game Sebastian Castellanos. This time round Juli is alone as we learn what happens to her during the events of the main game, which if you haven’t played there’s moments where the three investigators get split up. It’s a great opportunity to experience the horrors from another perspective except unfortunately the game switches up the gameplay style to make things less free form and more taxing.

What was great about the main game as Sebastian was the eclectic mix of stealth and action gameplay to tackle the many levels. Unfortunately, this has been stripped back here with an over reliance on pure stealth which in many ways would be fine but not if you’re expecting more of the same gameplay from the main story. The stealth mostly works but there are some dodgy moments where trial and error rather than skill comes into play which is a bit of shame. Unlike Sebastian, Juli is unable to attack her enemies whilst sneaking about until half way through the game which means a fair bit of unhindered sneaking which might not suit all players. The enemy AI system is a bit hit and miss here where it’s not always clear what their direction is or to predict movements to sneak past. When coupled with some awkward key prompts and camera angles makes things a bit harder than what it should be. Players can use lures to good effect but when faced with invisible enemies it becomes all the more fiddly. Perhaps this is deliberate to heighten the tension, but in reality is cause for some frustration.

Negatives aside though and there’s some excellent audio visuals moments throughout the three hour campaign which is divided into two chapters. The visual elements are second to none with a real flamboyant approach to warped mindsets and imposing twisted character designs. The locations are suitably dreary, but also drenched in some fine details – especially during the opening of chapter one making the game sparkle at the right moments and keeping the player hooked despite an abundance of dimly lit tight spaces.

There’s some issue with performance though as the framerate tends to dip quite often even when using a high end system. This isn’t a major issue but is noticeable when it occurs. Luckily players are given a few options to tinker with making the game more bespoke.

To conclude, The Assignment serves as a decent addition to the main game offering more madness from the depths of Shinji Mikami’s great design process. There’s some truly wonderful set piece moments that could have you screaming at the display, but by and large the game’s pacing is pretty consistent and well suited to a more methodical approach. Action gamers really need not apply here and it’s pure stealth with a little bit of aggression thrown in during the latter portion of the experience. If you’re keen on expanding on the original game and can ignore some slightly wonky controls, camera angles and frustrating enemy encounters in places then you’ll find much enjoyment here especially for the reasonably pitched asking price. If trial and error fused with slow paced creeping about isn’t your forte then you might struggle a bit but will undoubtedly be bowled over by the excellent visual quality.

Score – 7.5/10

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.