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Best Modes for The Evil Within

It gets MORE evil???
Enemies in The Evil Within
Image via Tango Gameworks

In the realm of survival horror, few games have managed to captivate players quite like The Evil Within. Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, this spine-tingling series has become a benchmark for atmospheric horror experiences.

With its dark and twisted narrative, grotesque roster of creatures, and ever-present sense of unending dread, The Evil Within makes for a truly terrifying experience; thankfully, however, it also offers a multitude of game modes to cater to different player preferences. In this article, we delve into the best modes that this acclaimed title has to offer, and which one you should choose for your next playthrough!

Best Modes for The Evil Within

Survival horror has always held a unique allure for gamers, offering an adrenaline-pumping blend of tension, fear, and excitement. In the shadowy realm of survival horror, few franchises have managed to cast such a chilling spell as The Evil Within.

Central to its appeal are its various game modes, each designed to cater to different player preferences and skill levels; there are more than a few for players to choose from, but the best one is undeniably Nightmare.

Nightmare mode in The Evil Within is one of the toughest modes that the game has to offer, and it can only be unlocked after you’ve already completed the game once. Despite this, however, it remains the best option for players seeking the ultimate experience in The Evil Within.

According to the developers, Nightmare mode is the intended difficulty that the game is meant to be played on. So, for fans looking to play The Evil Within as optimally as possible, Nightmare mode is the way to go!

If you don’t think that you’re quite up to the task of Nightmare yet, however, then it’s recommended that you work your way up to it on Survival mode first. Survival mode is largely considered to be The Evil Within’s “medium” difficulty, so it’s the perfect difficulty to play your first playthrough on.

What Makes Nightmare Mode So Difficult?

We’ve gone over why Nightmare mode is the best mode to choose in The Evil Within, despite its difficulty, but not why it’s so very difficult. The only changes that Nightmare mode really makes to the game involve enemies and bosses, but that’s more than enough for most players to shy away from it.

In Nightmare mode, all enemies are extremely intelligent, hard-hitting, and merciless. They all also have extremely erratic patrol patterns that are impossible to memorize, and they love to unexpectedly ambush players whenever given the opportunity.

Additionally, all bosses in the game become exponentially harder to beat, and it’s actually wiser for players to flee from them than to try to fight them. The rewards that any of the bosses may offer once defeated aren’t worth the blood, sweat, tears, and more blood that it takes to beat them.

Shooting an Enemy in The Evil Within
Image via Tango Gameworks

You might be thinking that this all sounds pretty brutal, but Nightmare isn’t even the highest difficulty that The Evil Within has to offer!

Related: 5 Best Horror Games on Game Pass

All Playable Modes in The Evil Within

There are four playable modes for The Evil Within base game: Casual, Survival, Nightmare, and AKUMU. There’s also a fifth mode called KURAYAMI, but that’s only included in the DLC.

Here are the specifics of each of the modes in The Evil Within:

  • Casual – Casual mode is the easiest difficulty setting in The Evil Within. This mode offers more of a narrative experience than anything else, so it’s the perfect mode to play on if you’re more interested in the lore than the gore!
  • Survival – Survival mode is the default difficulty setting in The Evil Within, and it is the most popular mode for players on their first playthrough. This mode offers a relatively balanced mix of storytelling and challenging gameplay, so it’s the perfect choice for the average gamer.
  • Nightmare – Nightmare mode is one of the most difficult settings in The Evil Within and the ideal mode to play the game on, according to the developers. This game mode is extremely difficult and nearly impossible to beat, making it the perfect option for anyone trying to challenge themselves!
  • AKUMU – AKUMU is the most difficult mode in The Evil Within. If you thought Nightmare was bad, then you don’t want anything to do with AKUMU! This mode isn’t just for players trying to challenge themselves, it’s for masochists.

No matter what game mode you decide to go with in The Evil Within, you’re sure to have one of the wildest, most heart-pounding gaming experiences of your life!

The Evil Within series offers a range of game modes, catering to players of all skill levels and horror tolerance. Whether you’re seeking a tense narrative experience, an intense survival challenge, or a downright masochistic horror trial, there’s a mode to suit your preferences!

If you love testing the limits of your sanity with survival horror games like The Evil Within, then you’ve come to the right place! Check out Gamer Journalist’s recommendations for the Best Survival Horror Games for Halloween and the Best Xbox 360 Zombie Games!

About the author

Allysen Pierce

Allysen Pierce is a freelance writer with a passion for gaming who has been a part of the Gamer Journalist team since May 2022. Her main passions are horror games and dating sims (especially combinations of the two), but she has been known to play literally anything that is put in front of her. Her current favorite games include Skyrim, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Cult of the Lamb, Slaughter Horse, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. When she's not playing games (or writing about them), she can be found reading, baking, watching horror movies, or playing with her cat.

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