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It’s remarkable how much of a departure The Evil Within’s first story DLC, The Assignment, is from the main game. Where the original is all about bullets and confrontation - albeit with a blundering lug of a character - The Assignment is more about staying in the shadows, avoiding enemies, and keeping a cool head in the face of terrifying monsters. It’s the sleek black cat to The Evil Within’s big shaggy dog, and a great addition to Game Director Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks’ new survival horror universe.
The Assignment’s three-and-a-half-hour story runs concurrently with the main game’s, filling us in on what Juli Kidman – a detective, or perhaps an agent for a sinister agency? – was up to during her mysterious absences. Throughout, you’ll see original protagonist Sebastian and his partner Joseph in familiar situations, which adds to a sense of a much bigger and wonderfully ominous picture.
This story is still as high-concept as it ever was, but it helps that Kidman is a more knowledgeable character than Sebastian from the get-go, and more likable, too. Voiced with confidence by Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter, she’s a more reactive, and therefore believably realistic, character. Carpenter even sells Kidman’s somewhat cliched backstory, told through audio tapes, with a performance that avoids theatrics.
Physically, Kidman is less powerful than Sebastian. Roughly 95% of the time she is unarmed, and there is no upgrade system in The Assignment. Instead, her skillset focuses on stealth. Kidman can lure enemies by calling out while taking cover against walls or other objects, throw bottles to distract them, move without running out of puff, and auto-heal rather than use syringes.
These abilities work well – for the most part. The Evil Within’s old-school controls don’t always lend themselves to fluid movements, and occasionally I got stuck to a surface or unintentionally popped out of crouch when trying to turn a corner. The ‘stealth attack’, introduced later into the episode, also feels a bit haphazardly implemented – that became an issue for me when a boss fight relied on it.
But considering how thrilling it was to play a survival horror game with nothing at my disposal but a torch, I didn’t mind much. I spent a lot of the time running blindly with my heart thumping, hoping a distracted enemy wasn’t now in pursuit, or yelling in triumph after locking one in a room. Without a weapon, the tension builds quickly.
Adrenaline is encouraged by The Assignment's sinister environments. Tango has once again done some wonderful things with lighting, with many of its twisted corporate interiors drenched in sickly, flickering fluorescence, and others in dirty, wet shadow. I frequently found myself crouched behind flimsy cover in the dark, terrified to turn on my torch, as footsteps ever so slowly made their way towards me.
Although their A.I. isn’t as sophisticated as, say, Alien: Isolation’s, enemies in The Assignment will pursue and kill you quickly, so you’ll want to avoid confrontation at all cost. While I would have liked a little more variation in enemy design, and perhaps more threatening enemies overall (l died considerably less here than in the main game) there is a particularly vicious recurring enemy in The Assignment that I loved. To describe it at all would spoil, but it’s up there with The Evil Within’s keepers and Resident Evil 4’s regenerators; in other words, a Mikami Special.
The Assignment offers up a thrilling three-and-a-half hours in The Evil Within’s grimy universe. Its stealthy gameplay, beautifully designed environments, and refreshingly grounded protagonist make it stand out from the main game, and a cliffhanger ending suggests there’s much more good stuff to come in part two: The Consequence.
Хейл в шоке отпрянул, поняв, что она не шутит: Сьюзан Флетчер никогда еще до него не дотрагивалась, даже руки не коснулась. Правда, это было не то прикосновение, какое он рисовал в воображении, представляя себе их первый физический контакт, но все же… Хейл долго с изумлением смотрел на нее, затем медленно повернулся и направился к своему терминалу.
Одно ему было абсолютно ясно: распрекрасная Сьюзан Флетчер бьется над чем-то очень важным, и можно поклясться, что это никакая не диагностика. ГЛАВА 28 Сеньор Ролдан восседал за своим столом в агентстве сопровождения Белена, чрезвычайно довольный тем, как умело обошел глупую полицейскую ловушку. Немецкий акцент и просьба снять девушку на ночь - это же очевидная подстава.