Jackie Earle Haley The Evil Within The Assignment

After the Resident Evil game franchise’s slow descent into full-blown action movie territory, many gamers have been craving a return to traditional survival horror. Well, Raccoon City fans will have to settle for a HD remaster of Resident Evil, but the series maestro, Shinji Mikami, is taking his talents to Bethesda with the seriously scary-looking The Evil Within. Set to release on October 14, the game puts you in the shoes of Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is called in to investigate a grisly mass murder at a psychiatric hospital. Naturally, nothing good can come from investigating murders at psychiatric hospitals, and Castellanos is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakes, he is trapped in a horrifying basement dungeon filled with all manner of gruesome supernatural creatures and crazed loons hellbent on separating him from his flesh. Sounds scary, right? Having played the game for an hour or so, I can assure you that you’ll want to invest in Depends before this October.

Now, Bethesda is taking you behind the screams with a new video showcasing the game’s considerable voice acting talent. Stepping into the bloody vest of Detective Castellanos is Hell on Wheels‘ Anson Mount, who is evidently a huge video gaming fan and has admired Mikami’s work for quite some time. Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter will be playing Sebastian’s junior partner, Detective Juli Kidman, and the game’s main antagonist, Ruvik, will be voiced by someone who put terror into our hearts as Rorschach in Watchmen, Jackie Earle Haley. It also helps that Haley has played Freddie Krueger too, so you know his horror credentials are bona fide. The very best part, though, might be Mount’s favorite part too: watching the Japanese actors go through the terrifying motion capture required for the game’s many thrills, chills, and spills. If your heart rate is soaring after watching The Evil Within gameplay videos, you’ll always have these lightbulb-covered dudes to help bring you back to reality.

The Evil Within is available October 14 on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.


Anson Mount, bethesda, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Carpenter, resident evil, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror, The Evil Within, video, video games, voice acting

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Video Game / The Evil Within

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
The Evil Within is an 2014 game developed by Tango Gameworks, directed by Shinji Mikami, and published by Bethesda. The game is said to be an attempt to return to Survival Horror.The story is about a detective, Sebastian Castellanos, who is beginning an investigation of a huge homicide in Beacon Mental Hospital with his partners, Joseph Oda and Juli "Kid" Kidman. After a short venture into the building, the trio view a man on a security tape moving at insane speeds, and are drawn into a reality-altering nightmare. As the world shifts and changes around him, Sebastian struggles to survive. As he fights against a legion of horrific monstrosities, Sebastian's world begins to unravel, and it appears that not all is how it seems to be...Three DLCs have been released after the original game: The Assignment, The Consequence, and The Executioner. The final DLC is considered non-canon, but the first two are a genuine expansion on the story. A sequel, The Evil Within 2, was released on October 13th, 2017.

The Evil Within has the following Tropes:

  • Action Girl: For a rookie, Juli Kidman is a good shot with her gun. However, it later turns out that she's no rookie at all.
  • Actionized Sequel: Inverted with The Assignment and The Consequence, which has relatively little combat and a much larger focus on stealth and interactive story sequences. Instead, she gets far less weapons, an Enemy-Detecting Radar, and a Take Cover! mechanic.
    • Played Straight with The Executioner, which, while still featuring the resource management of the game, places you in the shoes of The Keeper, who has a much higher chance of defeating his enemies given his range of traps and melee weapons.
  • Adult Fear: It's revealed in notebooks you find lying around that Sebastian and Myra lost their five-year-old child in a house fire. In the same vein, young Ruben and Laura are trapped in a barn that's set on fire by begrudged townsfolk; Laura dies, while Ruben is left very badly scarred (both physically and mentally.)
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sebastian gets called 'Seb' by Joseph, which is turned on its head when Ruvik corners Sebastian and uses the same nickname to establish just how much control he has over everyone.
  • All Just a Dream: According to Shinji Mikami himself, the game takes place within the mind of an insane individual, if not several. The STEM system causes Ruvik to have conscious effect upon the world, but everyone linked to STEM has a part in it. This isn't a good thing, as in the STEM system, Your Mind Makes It Real, and you can die in real life if you die in the dreams.
    • Even worse: Sebastian and his friends may have been in a dreamworld even before you drive to the hospital at the start of the game; unless Ruvik was somehow able to kill people as a mental projection from a brain in a jar in the real world, he couldn't have killed all those people in the lobby. This is also supported by the radio in their police car going haywire and emitting the same Brown Note screech that plagues the group while they're in the dreamworld. Which means you're in some sort of layered reality: first you're in Real-ish World, get sucked into Ruvik's mind via a STEM system within the Real-ish world, then get sucked into a further iteration later (we see Sebastian wake himself up from being connected to a STEM twice). Mind Screw does not even begin to describe it. The latter can be explained away as Juli putting Sebastian back into the tub after he destroys Ruvik's brain and faints in order to trick her colleagues into thinking he died in the simulation (allowing him to sneak away and go free later on). This is supported by the fact that Sebastian doesn't have the connecting wire attached to his spine the second time he wakes up. However, there is still no explanation as to how Ruvik could kill people in the real world if they weren't attached to the STEM machine.
    • The Consequence sheds a little more light on this. It's revealed that the STEM system in the hospital is operated by wireless transmission. Jimenez activated the STEM just as Sebastian and Co were on their way to the hospital (Signified by the squealing noise they heard on the radio.), pulling them into the STEM system and into Ruvik's reality.
    • The tl;dr version: yes.
      • Additionally, in the DLC: The Administrator may never have been real. Late in The Consequence we find a file where Juli gets injected and hypnotized by a female agent, not the Administrator as we saw. The Torn Letter for Consequence, from Ruvik, indicates a "man from Mobius" once tried to connect himself to STEM and got that weird mark burned on him. The Administrator seems to be partly a memory of a person who may have once existed, and also the personification of some sort of drug or conditioning meant to keep Kidman in line while she's inside STEM. Then again, at the very end of the game, Myra tells Kidman that 'he' is waiting for a full debriefing...
  • All There in the Manual: The model viewer you unlock after beating the game fleshes out the characters a little more and shows the name of each monster and their backstory.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The main game suffers from this, raising questions like: is Ruvik in Leslie's body? Did he die before being successfully transported into the machine? Did Sebastian even see Leslie or was it his imagination? Where is Joseph? Is Sebastian awake, or just in a another dream layer?The Assignment and The Consequence help clear most of it up.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: You can almost hear Sebastian thinking "Fuck. My. Life." when he sees the giant spinning carousel with prison cages attached to the top (and snipers who use them as cover), a deadly maze filled with traps below, and two room-spanning giant blades of death that will kill anyone who isn't ducking underneath them. Complete with carnie music! It's implied that the whole nightmare is based on an amusement park Ruvik went to once.
  • An Arm and a Leg: If you successfully escape from Laura the second time, she will grab Sebastian through the bars of the elevator and refuse to let go until the moving lift severs both the arms she was holding him with.
  • Anachronism Stew: Deliberately invoked in some areas of the game, such as a medieval church that has electrical lights and elevators, which is pointed out by Joseph. Later justified, in that said locations are literally fantasies of Ruvik's, and don't need to hew closely to era-appropriate tech.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The final DLC, The Executioner, is a first person Beat 'em Up in the perspective of the Keeper.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: A more sinister variation; to show that he has the upper hand (and because he loves tormenting people), Ruvik sets out bait that will deliberately get his victims worked up. It's implied that this is why Joseph is constantly in danger, in order to get an emotional response out of his partner Sebastian.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game allows you to decrease the difficulty level in the mid of the game if you think it is too much for you to handle. However you cannot increase the difficulty level once you have lowered it down.
    • The game can be very scarce with checkpoints, but when reaching a sequence where you're fighting or working around multiple Haunted, you'll get a checkpoint when you've made significant progress.
    • Any time you're forced to Run or Die from a boss enemy you have an unlimited sprint gauge, and your revolver will have all the bullets it needs the few scripted times you have to shoot something to avoid immediate death, even if you were completely out of handgun ammo.
    • Failing to fight off the final boss in the main game, with the rocket launcher, and the game will have Ruvik go down in one rocket after the third death.
    • Since one of the morgue locker keys can only be obtained if you kill Laura in Chapter 10, which is basically impossible unless you've sufficiently upgraded your guns, have tons of ammo, are on New Game+, or all three, at least two keys can be found in random lockers, guaranteeing that you'll be able to open them all in a single playthrough.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Heresy and Ruvik.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Rocket Launcher in New Game+. Ridiculously powerful, but you can't move while it's equipped, it does not one-shot most bosses, and seating in a new missile takes long enough for said bosses to easily get in close to you. Using it on bosses without stunning or freezing them first is a bad idea.
    • A DLC for the game unlocks a double-barreled shotgun, an incendiary bolt and a poison bolt. They're all immensely powerful but is compensated by the fact that none of them can be upgraded (not to mention, in the case of the shotgun, it only holds two shells and can fire pretty quickly, making it recommended to go against enemies that are either standalone or in small groups when using it).
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Implied Trope, as Ruvik completed his goal of getting to Leslie, which allowed him to escape to the real world in a new body.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: It's heavily implied that Ruvik killed animals in his childhood.
  • Bear Trap: Some of the traps encountered in the game. The game seems to love hiding them in tall grass and under grimy water, too.
  • Big Bad: Ruvik, the enigmatic hooded man responsible for pulling you into his twisted world.
  • The Blank: At one point, Sebastian will run into Leslie in the Asylum. When he turns to face Sebastian, his face is a smooth, eerily-glowing reflective surface.
  • Blood Bath: There's a pool in the hospital that's filled with blood and human remains.
  • Bedlam House: The mental hospital seems to have been a front for scientists to randomly stick needles, barbed wire, and questionable substances into test subjects. And to ship victims to Ruvik for his "research." And eventually, for Ruvik and Dr. Jimenez to collaborate on their brain-connecting machine.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sebastian manages to escape from the machine (and possibly destroy Ruvik's brain), exposing the operation to the masses. Unfortunately, it's highly likely that Ruvik managed to escape from the machine into Leslie's body, and is now free to roam the city. Alongside this, Joseph is nowhere to be found and Kidman's goals remain unknown.
    • With The Assignment and The Consequence, the STEM is revealed to have a remote signal, and that Jimenez activated it while inside Beacon Hospital, regardless of those - likely Sebastian and his partners - caught up in it, trapping them in the STEM with Ruvik. Kidman and Sebastian may have escaped, but several innocent people who were going about their day were either slaughtered or driven to madness inside the STEM.
    • Further still, at the end of The Consequence, Kidman ends up with a strange mark on her arm and no memory of how she got outside of the STEM. We hear The Director's voice over her's one final time, implying she might not have escaped after all. Also, Kidman saves Sebastian by declaring him dead, but we can see the organisation carrying away Joseph in the background. He's thus probably alive, but now at the mercy of Mobius.
  • Body Horror
    • Many of the enemies are twisted and warped in visceral ways, and they seem to favor mutilation. In general, the game has a theme of driving objects into the brain while its owner's still alive and wrapping skin in barbed wire - tightly. Even the upgrade system appears to be sticking things into Sebastian's brain.
    • At one point in the game Sebastian himself has to stick needles into brains as part of a puzzle; what makes it truly squicky is that the decapitated heads still look around while you operate on them.
    • Blow part of a zombie's head off and you may notice their brain is covered in barbed wire.
  • Body Motifs: There's a lot of focus on images of the human brain.
  • Bond One-Liner: Sticking around to finish off the Sentinel has Sebastian quipping "Bad dog." after it keels over.
  • Book Ends: Sebastian begins the game by entering Beacon Mental Hospital with his two partners. Sebastian re-enters the hospital in the final chapter of the game for the final show-down with Ruvik. The game concludes with Sebastian finally leaving the hospital, albeit having lost both of his partners.
    • When Sebastian leaves the hospital in the first chapter, Joseph is missing. When Sebastian leaves the hospital yet again in the final chapter, Joseph is missing once more.
  • Boom, Headshot: If you land a critical with a gun then the enemy's head will erupt in a fountain of blood. The same effect can be achieved if you or Joseph use an axe on an enemy. However, not all headshots are critical hits, and it's just as possible to just shoot off half of the target's head and have them still come at you, albeit damaged.
  • Boss Battle: Several; all of the "oh dear godrun for your life" variety.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • You get superweapons for New Game+; they're overpowered and ruin the balance of the game, but this is after you already beat it. You have to beat the game (without using any of these rewards) to unlock them: a machine gun, a rocket launcher, and insta-kill brass knuckles.
    • In The Executioner, you can unlock unlimited ammo for all of your weapons after fully upgrading them, and doing certain tasks. These tasks are very difficult, meaning that if you completed them, you probably didn't need unlimited ammo anyway.
  • Brain in a Jar: Ruvik was reduced to this at the hands of Mobius. It's explained that he had rigged STEM to only activate when his brain was connected to it and destroyed the notes that would let them rebuild it otherwise, so he could keep his private fantasy world generator all to himself. Mobius instead went, "Hey, we just need your BRAIN" and ripped it out and attached it. Unfortunately, Ruvik's brain is more conscious and in control of the dream world than they thought it would be, so STEM is still nothing but a useless reality-warping nightmare-generator.
  • Brain Washed: Implied by Tatiana that Sebastian's memories aren't all that he thinks they are.
    Tatiana: "Memories are vague things indeed. It can be easy at times for memories to be distorted by others. That is why they must be cherished..."
  • Broken Bridge: Happens frequently.
  • Brown Note: Occasionally there will be a screech that causes the protagonists to be hit with a splitting headache, and seems to progress their mutation into a Haunted (Joseph and Sebastian briefly turn after experiencing one, but are able to revert back to normal afterwards). Juli, however, is immune to it.
  • Cannibal Larder: You'll find yourself trapped in one during the first 5 minutes of gameplay. It gets worse from there.
  • Chainsaw Good: Ha ha ha...no. No, it isn't. Not when your enemies have it. Though one retrieved from a dead monster does serve as a brief quest item. Though this trope is invoked in The Executioner DLC, where you can get one as a weapon.
    • Controllable Helplessness: And at one point, said monster slices your leg pretty badly, forcing you to limp around as he pursues you.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: It's really not as bad as most sources would say, but yeah, checkpoints generally only happen after you've made a significant amount of progress in the game or before a boss fight.
  • Cop Killer: Ruvik is seen killing several responding officers in the introduction sequence.
  • The Corruption: The process in which a person turns into one of the Haunted: first they start coughing up blood, then their skin begins to bleed and pus, then they lose control of themselves and attack anyone in the vicinity, until eventually they become the glowy-eyed not-zombies you fight in the game. Joseph struggles with it for most of the game, and Sebastian starts to fall prey to it too.
  • Creepy Child: As a boy, Ruvik enjoyed dissecting things a bit too much.
  • Creepy Circus Music: Chapter 10 features a colorful carousel-like contraption blaring a jaunty accordion tune through what sounds like an old Victrola. Said contraption also has several cages dangling from it holding mannequins and a massive razor blade (or blades, on higher difficulty settings) spinning around it, right at neck level. You later hear the same tune coming from a normal, benign merry-go-round in Chapter 11.
  • Creepy Doll: One loading screen features a bunch of bloody mannequins, whose eyes move slowly around.
  • Cute Kitten: "Save Cat" in The Assignment. When you save the game, a black cat with a red ribbon round its neck appears for Kidman to stroke. Once you save the game, you can choose to let Kidman continue to stroke the cat for a few moments before getting back to the action.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: An odd non-fantasy example. A religion is brought up a few times throughout the game, most notably in Kidman's memories of growing up, that bears many similarities to Christianity, yet it's never actually named, only referred to vaguely as "the church." Even the symbol is similar to the crucifix, but with more arms on the sides.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens twice to Juli; first when she's trapped in a box slowly filling up with water, and again when she's surrounded by Haunted and needs Sebastian's help to escape. For the most part though she can take care of herself, and it's actually more common for her co-worker Joseph to be the one in trouble. However, it's subverted as shown in The Assignment and The Consequence, as she was never actually a damsel in distress.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: Given that nosebleeds only happen if someone's reverted back from being a Haunted, this could be an inversion.
  • Degraded Boss: The Keeper returns two more times late in game, and even brings a buddy in the last fight. He isn't any less lethal or easier to kill, but there are only a few extra safes in the meat locker where you have to fight him (and you only need to kill him once before you can escape) and none at all the last area where you face two of him, so once you drop them both they can't respawn. Inverted, however, with the last appearance of the Sadist, who's a lot tougher than he was when you previously dealt with him.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you blow open a Haunted's head to get a good look at its brain, then you can see it's been wrapped in barbed wire.
  • Dirty Business: Kidman hesitates and begins to cry when about to shoot Leslie in the back of the head, showing that while she really doesn't want to kill such an innocent, she has to in order to prevent Ruvik from escaping the STEM system.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • Joseph takes this role in the chapters that he is present; he's thrown into dangerous situations and it's always Sebastian who must rescue him. Played for laughs when Joseph loses his glasses, and it is Sebastian's job to retrieve them. It is later strongly implied that Ruvik places Joseph into these situations to evoke a response from Sebastian.
    • Leslie is being hunted down by Ruvik and by Juli, so spends most of the game hiding or running away in fear.
  • Downloadable Content: Three DLC packs: The Assignment and The Consequence will explore what Juli Kidman did during the events of the main game. In the third DLC, the player takes the role of The Keeper.
  • The Dreaded: Ruvik is too deadly to be fought, and must be eluded. He simply "phases out" when you shoot at him, and even trying to get close to him results in an instant death.
  • Driven to Suicide: Joseph tries to shoot himself to avoid turning into a Haunted. Sebastian tackles him before he can. His speech afterwards implies that this may not be the first time he's thought of it either.
    Joseph: "Sebastian... You ever have the urge to just jump when you're on a high place, or the subway rolls by?
  • Dropped Glasses: Played for laughs. Hesitant, dread-filled laughs.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Keeper's weapon of choice is a massive hammer. You'll learn to fear it.
  • Early Game Hell: In Chapter 1, you have no weapons at all and must limp or sneak your way past a chainsaw maniac who will kill you in one hit. In Chapter 2, you get a gun and may find a couple of bullets for it if you're lucky (and you still need to rely almost entirely on stealth to make it through, if you can't lead a few into the ambient booby-traps). Chapter 3 takes place in a small but intricate maze of a village full of Haunted who would like to stab you, guarded by a sniper in the center of town, but stealth and smart maneuvering can let you backstab a few or throw them into traps, and exploration rewards you with some significant new weapons. As you progress you also find green fluid to upgrade yourself with and you can start carrying more than five measly bullets at once. By the end of the game you'll probably have an impressive arsenal at your command and the enemies that gave you so much hell before are not nearly as threatening. The Chainsaw guy from chapter 1 comes back several times as a miniboss.
  • Easter Egg: In The Consequence, Kidman can stumble upon a hidden room where Spotlight and some Haunted are having a rave. Really!
    • There's another amusing one towards the end of The Consequence: shooting Ruvik's brain brings up a goofy photo of Sebastian, Juli and Joseph before fake credits start to roll before abruptly stopping.
    • Playing The Consequence in Kurayami difficulty note in which the only light source within STEM is Kidman's flashlight/the chemical lights has an amusing one at the end of the sequence where Kidman must locate the generator to turn the lights back on. This being the pitch-dark Kurayami mode, not only do the lights stay off... but the voice of Shinji Mikami is suddenly heard, mockingly saying "You thought the light would turn on? Well too bad!" in Japanese.Nice trolling, Mikami!
    • During Chapter 4 in the main game, you can shoot the Haunted who attempts to throw the woman on the bonfire, thus saving her. If you follow her as she runs away into a cabin, she'll disappear and leave 2000 green gel points behind.
    • During the same chapter, in the same location, several hanging bodies can be found. If you go out of your way to burn all of them, an enormous pig will appear out of nowhere next to the bonfire. It doesn't attack and completely ignores you, but killing it will net you 2000 green gel points.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • At least part of Sebastian's adventure takes place in a strange reality that's accessed through a mysterious mirror... and it's unclear whether this is real, or something that's happening in Sebastian's head. Or, according to Word of God, in someone else's head that he's going through.
    • Another example: Sebastian, at one point, finds himself in a tranquil field of sunflowers, with a barn in the distance... except that the sky is a stark, harsh yellow, and the barn is in complete silhouette. Clearly, something isn't normal here.
    • The game more or less starts out this way, when you find yourself waking up in an elaborate slaughterhouse beneath the hospital with impossible, impractical whirling blade hallways. There is no possible way this thing could actually be beneath the hospital, no matter how unethical they were.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Included in The Assignment without an in-story justification, mainly to make the more stealth-focused gameplay viable.
  • Escort Mission:
    • Finding Joseph in the lower levels of Beacon leads to Sebastian having to escort him through several areas crawling with The Haunted. Luckily he has decent health, will actively try to avoid getting hit, and usually packs a custom .45 caliber M1911A1with infinite ammo, meaning that for many of the fights you can just draw enemies away from him while he blasts them to pieces. Later segments have him either wielding a long-handle axe or a Sniper Rifle from a safe area. Plus, you can infinitely heal him, so even if he gets hit, you can usually get him back up, if you're fast enough.
    • In a couple of areas Juli will also be part of the group; unlike Joseph she doesn't have a health bar, and she's often only with you for a few minutes before you're separated again.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Waking up in a literal human slaughterhouse with a merciless sadist wielding a chainsaw. Dark, bloody, disgusting, and very tense, it sets the tone for the rest of the game.
  • Evil Albino: Ruvik in Leslie's body would definitely qualify.
  • Evil Is Visceral: The game frequently focuses on how badly warped the monsters are, and the horrific results of the experiments that created them.
  • Expy: Many characters from this game seem rather strongly inspired by characters from Resident Evil 4, one of Shinji Mikami's previous works. Sebastian, Juli, and Jimenez have similar personalities or character roles as Leon, Ada, and Luis respectively. This even applies to some of the enemies; the Sadist is similar in function and appearance to Dr. Salvador, for example.
  • Fake Memories: Crops up a lot in The Assignment and The Consequence. Juli Kidman sees things and interacts with things that Sebastian and Joseph never saw, even when she was in the exact same room as them. One time she's arguing with the Administrator from her point of view, while it's really Sebastian. Later on, it's hinted that the Administrator may never have been real at all, which makes every time we flashed back to Mobius in the DLC may have been a falsified, warped or otherwise distorted version of events.
  • Fan Disservice: Reborn Laura is completely naked (not that anything is visible) aside from a pair of shoes. She's also covered in burn scars and pulsating flesh and has four arms with huge clawed hands.
  • Fanservice: After you get Kidman out of her water prison her bra is visible through her wet shirt. There are also a few instances where the camera will be suspiciously low, thus bringing her tight jeans into main focus. This is especially noticeable when she walks up to the administrator to give him the final headshot.
  • Final Boss: The Amalgam, driven by Ruvik.
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: Fire not only is extremely effective on almost every enemy, but it also prevents enemies from rising to fight you in the first place. The reason is connected.
  • For Science!: The following exchange embodies this trope:
    Dr. Jimenez: You can show me your experiments. I can show you "things".
    Ruvik: You wouldn't like them. You'd think they're gross.
    Dr. Jimenez: In science, one must do any number of things a lay person may find... disgusting. I've done things many others would consider... distasteful.

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