"The Evil Within is a wonderfully horrifying experience, but I have some minor gripes. Texture pop-in is distracting from time to time, and a handful of archaic trial-and-error instant-death moments – like fleeing down a hallway from an invulnerable beast – become tedious instead of scary after a few repeated attempts. I died 64 times, and while I know the vast majority of those were my fault, the rest of my failures felt like remnants of the worst elements of the modern Resident Evil games. Speaking of which, the story and actors are as cheesy and heavy-handed as ever. The premise of detective Castellanos enduring a perpetually warping nightmare is great, but the driving narrative forces are at best enigmatic and at worst embarrassing.
Horror fans shouldn’t let the disappointing story deter them one bit, however. Few Paranormal Activity fans care how these malevolent demons come back again and again – what truly matters is that the audience’s nerves are frayed until they’re raw. The Evil Within excels at keeping your palms sweaty while delivering a harrowingly rewarding gameplay trial. Watching the credits roll with a sigh of relief doesn’t feel like winning; it feels like surviving."