Note: While we don’t normally review comics, this is a particularly notable one that bridges The Evil Within games together – so it’s worth our time. Meet The Evil Within: The Interlude.
Human beings have always been an inquisitive species. We are never satisfied with the information presented to us and are constantly seeking the unknown and the hidden. As with all of humanity, when I watch a movie, play a game, or read a great book, I too need to know more. I want to learn the story of what happened in the events leading up to and then after the main narrative is finished; it’s the history behind it all that fascinates me the most. I must find out where these characters have been and what will become of them when a writer’s pen has become silent. For fans of The Evil Within, and those whose brains are just as inquisitive, you’re about to get a little more of the story surrounding Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his struggle to maintain his grip on reality.
The Evil Within: The Interlude is a two-part comic continuation of the game that bears its name, bridging the gap between the first and second instalments. Maintaining the same esthetic players are used to, Writer Ryan O’Sullivan and artists Szymon Kudranski and Damien Worm have constructed a continuation to the story at hand, all the while, leaving readers with a deep anticipation for the sequel.
For those who have never played The Evil Within, I won’t spoil anything, but I highly recommend you give it a shot. It’s only recently that I had an opportunity to try the first in the series; as survival horror goes, it’s fantastic. The game has a way of making the player exceptionally uncomfortable, with grotesque backdrops and Silent Hill inspired manifestations throughout.
Just as in the game, Interlude has a way of jarring the readers with sudden time cuts and brutal imagery, leaving one to ask themselves if what they’re seeing is real. Like our protagonist, Det. Castellanos, I too felt like I was beginning to fall down the rabbit hole of mystery and desperation. Was I, like the detective, going crazy? Is what we see with our own eyes the real thing, or are we trapped inside the Matrix, desperately trying to claw our way out?
Ryan O’Sullivan’s writing doesn’t reveal too much to the reader and allows you to second-guess everything. Mr. O’Sullivan has a way of luring you in and then warping your sense of reality without warning. I felt as if the writer was keeping a dark secret, but refused to tell me out of some spiteful pleasure. For those familiar with O’Sullivan’s Turncoat graphic novel, you will notice a similar writing style that hooks the reader without divulging too much too quickly.
The artwork by Kudranski and Worm has a bleakness to it that can be a bit off-putting, in a good way. I felt truly uncomfortable reading this at times; it was as if what I saw was taunting me in a way. To maintain that level of paranoia and fear in comic form, just like in the game that inspired it, is a testament to the skills of those involved in its creation.
Although I had to read a few spoilers to get a sense of what this comic referenced from the first game, I am now incredibly excited for the sequel and the continuation of this mind-bending story. As the reader, you’re not supposed to know what’s real and what’s not, but Interlude acts as a perfect bridge in which to cross over into the unknown. If The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2 are centred around a twisted world, intricately woven together like a dark and sinister quilt, Interlude is the bloody thread that binds it all together.
If you’ve never played the original game, I highly recommend you do so first, before reading this short but engrossing comic. By the time I finished part 2, there seemed to be more questions than answers, but that’s just how something of this nature should be. Readers will get their appetites teased, but the main course of answers to this Pandora’s Box will come when you close the book and pick up that controller.
Please note, I’ve kept this review spoiler free (both game[s] and comic), and ask that those commenting below please do the same.