They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If true, P.T. is over in the corner blushing right now.
You see, Evil Inside, a new horror game from independent game developer JanduSoft, imitates P.T. so much that it’s hard not to consider it a blatant rip off at times. Its saving grace is that actually playing P.T. is next to impossible now for most, while Evil Inside is readily available on nearly every format imaginable. Though that doesn’t mean horror fans should rush to buy it.
Evil Inside has a premise that’s becoming a little old now. Basically, there was a nice, happy family, but things went wrong. The father of the family reportedly killed his wife and threw her body into the bottom of a well. Arrested for the crime, he’s now serving a jail sentence. You assume the role of Mark, the eldest son in the family. Keen to contact his mother, he seeks to put together a broken Ouija board. Though does he really want to discover the truth of what happened to her?
Taking place pretty much entirely in the family’s house, Evil Inside gives off a P.T. vibe from the get-go. First, there’s the fact that it’s laid out pretty similarly. Then you start playing and discover that many more elements are familiar. From a spooky lady assumed to be your mother peering down at you from the floor above, to the cries of a child, the tactics employed here to put you at unease are predictable and unoriginal.
And then there are the jump scares – the many, many jump scares. From apparitions suddenly appearing in front of your face as you move through the corridors of your house, to the lights momentarily flicking on and off to present a ghastly sight in front of you, Evil Inside loves using cheap tactics to momentarily scare you. It’s not clever horror, but it works as intended – how can you not jump out of your skin at a sudden loud noise accompanied by a gruesome image?
Gameplay wise, however, Evil Inside leaves a lot to be desired. You basically make your way through the house, examining any rooms that are open. Ultimately, once one or more jump scares have occurred or you’ve interacted with an item, the door to the basement will open up, where a piece of Ouija board can be found. Pick it up and yet another door opens behind you. Travel through the corridor that it reveals and you’ll find yourself in yet another loop of the house.
We won’t say how many loops there are because that would spoil things, but within each loop there are new scares to be found and the odd simple puzzle to solve. The real kicker is that you’ll have probably completed Evil Inside in less than an hour. And once you’re done, there’s zero reason to go back.
We played through the PS5 version of Evil Inside, which perhaps made for a more immersive experience thanks to the realism of our surroundings. Though that’s not to say that Evil Inside is technically impressive. Some aspects of the game’s visuals are mediocre, such as a snooker table in the basement that looks way too shiny, while the framerate appears to be erratic in places.
By far the worst aspects of Evil Inside are its writing and voice acting – both are terrible. Clunky lines are delivered clumsily and without any emotion whatsoever. The saving grace is that there’s not much of either as you make your way through the many loops of the house.
So, should you buy Evil Inside? Probably not unless you’re really desperate to be reminded of P.T., or truly love jump scares. Though even then, the fact that it’s only an hour long should make you think twice. On the balance of things it’s not a terrible horror game, but it brings nothing new to the table at all. It tries to mimic P.T. but is inferior to it in pretty much every way. Even worse, you have to pay for the pleasure.
Evil Inside Review: GameSpew’s Score