[su_highlight background=”#3b88ff” color=”#ffffff”]Platforms:PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 | Developer: Tango Gameworks | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | ESRB: M[/su_highlight]
The Evil Within brought players into a whole new world of hell, from the perspective of detective Sebastian Castellanos as he tried make sense of his surroundings. Blending both eastern and western horror with a nice mix of stealth and survival-horror gameplay created a great experience. In the first of three announced DLC’s, The Assignment puts players in the shoes of Juli Kidman, one of Sebastian’s partners. This DLC reveals her true origins and objective: finding Leslie at all costs. My time with The Evil Within was filled with hours of fun and it left me with the impression that the revival of survival-horror has begun — this three hour DLC, The Assignment, furthers that opinion.
The Assignment likes to shift back and forth in time, showing Kidman before the main game with a secret organization known only as Mobius, and then to moments during the main campaign. Letting us see what Juli was doing while Sebastian fought hordes of bizarre monsters. It’s hard to talk about the story in this DLC without spoiling anything, however Kidman must follow her orders to seek out Leslie for her organization at any costs. This makes Sebastian and Joseph expendable. Along the way players will come face-to-face with a new enemy, which I can only describe as a bloodied version of Big Daddy with high heels. Juli is thrust into the mission without any warning, and thanks to a vaccine, is immune to the effects of Ruvik’s influence in the world, giving her an advantage.
One aspect of the DLC that I found favorable yet at the same time disappointing, was the amount of information it contained that was missing from the main campaign. Some of the reveals I found very vital, making it puzzling that Tango Gameworks would make people pay extra for such important details to their overall narrative. Its too early to tell how it will all play out in the end, but I expect Kidman to go through several more pain-inducing trials to find the answers she seeks.
Do not go into The Assignment expecting the same gameplay as the main game. Whereas Sebastian had an arsenal to help his way through the macabre, Kidman is left defenseless with only a simple flashlight. Stealth is a major factor, Juli is required to sneak between corridors, around boxes, and through small vents to access the next area. Hiding behind cover allows her to yell at the enemy to attract them, giving the player the chance to sneak around. Later on she can take the approach of throwing empty bottles and luring the monsters into pits and traps.
Kidman’s flashlight is a very important tool, allowing her to focus on objects and make doorways appear. The flashlight also lets players search for rare objects and guide them through the dark. However, leaving it on can also attract the notice of the creatures sneaking around. While it occurs rarely, she can stealth kill some of the enemies if she happens upon an axe. Later on a certain enemy type might be able to assist you in killing off the zombies as well. The gameplay controls remain the same. There is no upgrade system in the DLC, leaving Kidman not much stamina when running in most scenarios.
Graphics are the same as they were in the main game — still filled with darkness-laden rooms and corridors, and rustic doors. Some of the new areas are contrasted with office environments and lush scenery, not previously seen in The Evil Within. Expect to visit some familiar areas that haven’t changed much. Sound on the other hand has changed, becoming a very valuable ally in The Assignment, especially for much of the stealth sections. Listening for zombies shambling across the courtyard allows you to come up with a strategy on how to avoid any trouble. The slightest unwanted noise could also be your death. Creepy vignettes of classical musical along with a memorable scene and duel will leave your heart pounding. The voice acting is same, with decent performances from the actress who plays Kidman and the members of Mobius. Jackie Earle Haley’s haunting role as Ruvik is still good.
I would say The Assignment is one of the more enjoyable DLCs I’ve played in awhile. Presenting me with new gameplay and teeth-gritting experiences in a three-hour campaign, while providing insightful information to the lore of the series. The only drawback is that this narrative should probably have been included within the main game. Not doing so presents the problem that players must pay more to enjoy the full experience of The Evil Within. For $9.99 The Assignment is a worthy add-on though, and I can’t wait to see where The Consequence takes Kidman.
A Review code for The Assignment was provided by Bethesda for Xbox One.
The Evil Within: The Assignment is available now on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC for $9.99 or as apart of the season pass for $19.99. For all updates on single player news and The Evil Within, follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.