Yes, The Evil Within is the sequel to Resident Evil 4 in all but name and yes, it feels like it would have needed to come out in 2007 for any of its features to feel fresh and YES, it’s essentially just ‘Shinji Mikami’s Greatest Hits’ but…. by fucking Christ is it excellent.
You can gauge whether or not you should purchase The Evil Within by asking yourself one question: “did I enjoy Resi 4”, and if the answer is “yes” then stop what you’re doing and get on board. Is it scary? Not particularly; PT put paid to that, but it is tense, and I mean, heart-attack tense. In the early stages, I would go entire chapters without exhaling. Standard enemies are tough to drop and you could easily spend an entire clip of the scarce ammo trying to get one to just die but this gives way to some serious combat improvisation as you learn to use the tools in your pocket (thank God for matches) and the tools in your environment (disarming bombs is for chumps) to create some breathtaking (and outrageously violent) bursts of action among lengthy sections of unwavering bleakness.
You want a mansion with puzzles? You want a beast of a shotgun? You want hammy dialogue? You want a story that makes no sense but becomes more fun when you realise that it doesn’t matter and that the game is basically just a relentless descent into a series of creative nightmares? Then you can’t go wrong.