"The Evil Within also relies too much on buckets of blood and guts to cover up its poor presentation. The darkness of most stages helps keep the visuals passable for the most part, but there’s a lot of texture pop-in and animations and effects aren’t impressive either. For a game that strangely puts a lot of emphasis on burning up corpses, the fire effects do look decent, but most deaths (either yours or the enemy’s) result in an explosion of body parts. There’s nothing wrong with gory deaths. However, the mood and atmosphere and shock of this kind of gross loses all relevancy just a few hours into the game. You become inundated with the violence so much, it’s just tiresome and dull.
What could have been a return to form for one of the genre’s masters feels like a greatest hits album without any actual hits. The story is a mess, the enemies are slight variations on creatures even Mikami has used before in the past, and the gameplay is trapped in time. The Evil Within is a major disappointment, and even the most devout Mikami fans will have a hard time finding any redeeming qualities."