Following on from its success last year, The Evil Within returns to elaborate on its perplexing story more with its first piece of DLC called "The Assignment". Unlike the main game, where you played as Sebastian Castellanos, this you take on the role of Juli Kidman, giving you the ability to see where her intentions lie. Now, we should warn you that if you haven't played The Evil Within yet, you may want to stop reading as there will be some minor spoilers in regards to the previous plot. But these discussions are important to understand why this DLC is even relevant and also because the connections are very apparent.
As mentioned, The Assignment jumps straight into the story, with the premise being formed around the company behind Stem, Mobius. They were introduced at the end The Evil Within and it left some unanswered questions. It was clear that Kidman was working for them, but the motives and intentions behind her actions were a little unclear and what happened to Ruvik (Ruben Victoriano) was certainly up for debate. Well, what happened to everyone was up for debate.
The Assignment comprises the first part of this two part DLC series and as a result it's safe to assume that the ending of the main game won't be fully explained in this first part. However, there are some interesting insights into just what Kidman was going through during their ordeal and her intentions "“ specifically those involving Leslie. This explores, or rather hints at, some of the decisions she made throughout the main story and reveals a bit about her background. But it's worth pointing out that if you're after solid answers to those difficult questions the game posed, this expansion adds more complexities into the mix, mostly around the location of Kidman during certain points. Anyway, discussing the story any further would take away from playing the DLC itself and if you loved the main game that's one of the predominant reasons for picking it up.
Aside from expanding on the story, gameplay elements that some felt were underutilised in the main game have been brought back in a big way. That means The Assignment is focussed purely on stealth. You will find yourself navigating from area to area, set piece to set piece as you attempt remain hidden. There is next to no combat throughout the entire content of the expansion, which is honestly quite refreshing. The only tool at your disposal is your flashlight, which applies itself to various mechanics that require the use of light to solve or the discovery of hidden information. It's also your only source of light in environments that are often very dark and it adds an extra layer of tension to proceedings.
To help you out a little bit, there's a basic cover system, allowing players to peek around corners, and you can also make noise to lure enemies to their position. More often than not, the gameplay is suitable to a more linear story driven experience, and acts more as a barrier to drive you forward to see where the next door will lead you.
Beyond this the sound design will also impede your progress, making you edgy and overly cautious. Once again, the level of detail and eeriness of noises and sudden sounds is extremely profound. There are instances where the game will hint at something extremely ominous only to reveal that there wasn't anything to be worried about at all. In particular the early introduction of the "˜stalking' type enemy that can only be described as a tall "˜lady' with a giant light for a head makes things all the more tense; they leave you concerned for what lies ahead. This, along with another new enemy that is completely blind, yet extremely deadly, also compliments some returning "˜favourites' from the main story.
For those who are interested in finding out more, you can find yourself looking for more hidden tidbits of information, or collecting the scraps from hidden locked Keeper Heads. And after completing The Assignment, attempt to play through on Kurayami mode, where everything is in a state of perpetual darkness and the only sources of light are some environmental lighting and your actual torch. Expect to feel very tunnel visioned playing in this mode, as even prompts that make you aware of enemies being alerted are removed from this experience.
The Assignment is a unique experience that works in tandem to the main story, but ultimately ends up creating more questions than it answers. In addition, it offers an expanded version of the stealth gameplay seen in the main game, creating a whole new layer of tension. If you played and loved The Evil Within, this is certainly worth experiencing and hopefully The Consequence, which follows this piece of DLC, will clarify things on the story front.
|Amazing sound design|
|Stealth gameplay gives a fresh experience|
|Insights into Kidman and Mobius|
|Having to wait for Part 2.|
|Equally as confusing to understand as the evil within|
|Not too much actual danger|