E3 Bethesda preview: 'The Evil Within' brings new horror, 'Wolfenstein' fights new Nazis

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Bethesda definitely wasn't catering to a general audience with the three games it was showing at E3 in 2013. The studio brought a new survival horror title called "The Evil Within," a loving homage to the "Wolfenstein" series called "Wolfenstein: The New Order" and "The Elder Scrolls Online", which didn't get much of a presentation during a press demonstration but was open for all attendees to play.

A hefty "The Evil Within" demo was played during the media presentation that gave a sense of the game's style of horror. The intent with the title is to bring the "survival horror" back to its roots, and "The Evil Within" featured plenty of familiar tropes of the genre. The demo featured a mutilated butcher-style enemy who needs to be evaded, and the chase sequences, in which the player didn't look back to see how far away the butcher was, definitely echo chase nightmares. The chasing section had no HUD and didn't offer the main character Sebastian any weapons with which to combat the enemy.

A separate portion of the game showed a different element of "The Evil Within's" brand of horror. Sebastian walks down a corridor in the mental hospital in which the game is set, but it constantly shifts between different locations and realities. It's unclear if it's the world or Sebastian's mental state that is unstable in this situation. During this sequence, Sebastian did have weapons and a minimalist HUD, unlike the earlier sequence. "The Evil Within" showed promise for fans of the horror genre, but it remains to be seen how and if it will set itself apart from others of its ilk. The title is due out in 2014 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

In a separate vein, "Wolfenstein: The New Order" showed a fresh take on the "Wolfenstein" series. The first "Wolfenstein" title came out in 1981, and the franchise has come far in the three decades since. This new action adventure shooter is set in 1960 in an alternate universe where the Nazis won World War II. Developer MachineGames is a huge fan of the original titles in the series, but the team member on hand to present the game said the company also made an effort to give series protagonist William "B.J." Blazkowicz more of a personality.

"New Order" picks up after William was in a coma for 14 years, so both he and the player come into this alternate universe fresh. William's partner is a girl named Anya, while one of the main villains is a woman named Frau Engel. One scene shown to press showcased a different kind of "Wolfenstein" experience, as William needed to use his wit to convince Engel that he is of pure blood so that she didn't realize he's actually an enemy. Though that's a marked change from previous "Wolfenstein" games, a different scene showed that there still will be plenty of high action combat sequences. "Wolfeinstein: The New Order" is due in stores at Christmas, and will come out on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.

As for "The Elder Scrolls Online," the title was made available for all E3 attendees to play to get a feel for the experience. Because of that, there wasn't much of a presentation for it in the media briefing, but there was the promise of new and familiar locations within the "Elder Scrolls" world that will be made playable in the game. "The Elder Scrolls Online" is the first open-ended multiplayer installment in the "Elder Scrolls" series, though players will find it familiar as the view is still a first-person perspective with both hands showing. "The Elder Scrolls Online" is due out in Spring 2014 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Mac.

Photo/Video credit: Bethesda