Face your fears
So you think you know what you're up against in The Evil Within. You've seen the lurching masses of grey-faced undead, the spider-armed women, the water creatures with human molars that are unsettling for reasons you can't quite describe. With that in your back pocket, you think you're ready to face all that's within the evil. You know who else thinks like that? People who get their faces stomped or neck ripped out by a chest-burster because they were not prepared!!!
Lucky for you, I've compiled a description of each of The Evil Within's most terrifying monsters, so you can see what you're up against ahead of time. Think of it as a public service, putting the info out there so you know if you can handle all this evil in the first place. You're about to go down the blood chute into a monster death-pile (and that's not hyperbole), so better study up before they sink their claws into you. And they will get their claws into you. Trust me.
WARNING: THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD. When I say every monster, I DO mean every monster.
In an utterly unprecedented twist, the world of The Evil Within is populated by mangled, shambling creatures called the Haunted, which are neither alive nor dead. It is worth shaking off the sarcasm to note that the Haunted aren't your average shuffling horde, and treating them as such will get you ripped to pieces.
It's hard to explain the origins of the Haunted without leaping into a bloody spoiler pit, so I'll keep it vague. Something really bad happened to all of them and now their minds have more holes than swiss cheese. They seem to respond to only two things: the lighthouse atop Beacon Mental Hospital, and you. Poor, squishy you. They don't even want to eat your flesh or anything, all they want is to throw you on the ground and curb stomp you without hesitation. You're going to want to do everything you can to stay well out of their reach. Or put a knife in the back of their heads. Either or.
Take the Haunted, make them smarter, give them creepy safety masks and heavy artillery, and you have the Masked Men. Yaaaay. These clown-faced creep-sacks are twice as threatening as other Haunted for the sheer fact that they can navigate environmental hazards and traps much better, and even one poses a serious threat to your survival. They're also much harder to take out with headshots because of their bulletproof masks. While it feels great to shoot that off their face, you'll often waste more ammo doing it than you can afford. They also get better weapons as the game progresses, and spotting one of those masks hovering over a machine gun will totally ruin your day.
The trick is to outsmart these guys before they can take you down. Even a smart Haunted has a few screws loose, and will still walk into a trap,stick their head into your crosshairs, or explode when you throw a grenade at them. Keep that in mind if you don't want to get killed by a crazy murder clown. *shiver*
A hulking, metal-skulled brute and Pyramid Head's squarer cousin, The Keeper is all about keeping precious things safe. Not that you'd know, because you're not on the list, and he's happy to massacre anything he's not protecting. According to the development team, The Keeper is the inspiration for much of the game's signature look. You can see the resemblance too: from his faceless geometric head to his disconcerting butcher's apron, the Keeper is an imposing and deeply unsettling figure. You'll often find him dragging corpses around and dropping barbed-wire traps for the unaware to tromp into. Make sure he doesn't see you with his lack of eyes or he'll quickly acquaint you with the business end of his spiked knapsack, because of course he has that.
The Keeper may not be fast, given his size, but he does have one nasty trick that will keep you running scared. As long as there's a safe nearby, he can possess it and regenerate in the goriest fashion possible like a safe-based Agent Smith. So if you see him in line at the bank RUN!
Sadists--men with metal head-masks and chainsaws who would make Quentin Tarantino weep with joy--should be familiar to anyone who saw The Evil Within's early gameplay demos. The guy who chases Sebastian around the mental hospital's bloody basement is one of them, which gives a clear picture of how much you should NOT mess with these guys. Though they're easily the least intelligent creatures you'll encounter outside standard Haunted, they don't need smarts to drive a spinning saw blade through Sebastian's back and out his chest.
These dudes seem to have a sixth sense for detecting when you just got through some challenging stuff and would rather not die, which is when they tend to show up. Even one slash of that saw too close to home will break you into 1000 bloody pieces, so try to stay outside swinging radius. That's just good advice in general, really.
Aww, Laura. What a pretty--OH MY GOD! Also known as ReBone Laura and Creepy Spider Lady Get Away From Me, her otherwise normal name disguises a grotesque, many-armed monster of Grudge-sized proportions. It's not a very good disguise though, since even before you know her name you get to witness her erupt out of a blood fountain while shrieking equally bloody murder. Just as her appearance implies, you'll want to run away from her as fast as you can, because if she catches you she'll beat your head in until it explodes. How unladylike.
Laura is definitely a demon to watch, and not just when looking over your shoulder as you sprint away. Files found early in the game suggest that someone named Laura is of importance to the world you find yourself in, and there are hints that she wasn't always so demonic. For instance, the developers pointed out that she wears shoes "in order to keep a piece of her humanity." I checked myself and confirmed she totally IS wearing shoes--you know, before she ripped my head off.
Neun and Zehn
You've got double trouble when you're facing off against twins Neun and Zehn. Or actually quadruple trouble, since each one is twice Sebastian's height and weight. Both of these hulking brothers have unique personalities, with Zehn being the shy one and Neun being so aggressive that his eyes and ears have been covered so nothing upsets him too much. Though wouldn't that in and of itself be irritating? Just saying. Either way, both also have their own fighting styles to contend with: Neun will not stop charging until he's steamrolled you, and Zehn can hurl a club that will take off your head. So much for being "shy."
Combating these two has its difficulties, for obvious reasons, and the best strategy seems to be to run around in circles while taking potshots. There's also a hidey-hole in one part of their abode, but fate help you if each twin sits at either entrance. At that point, all that's left to figure out is if you want to be beaten or stomped to death.
Uh, I think this dude's got something on his shoulder. Oh no, my mistake, it's just his other, grosser, angrier head. Silly me, that's part of the territory with the AlterEgos, now please excuse me while I curl up in a ball and cry. Designed to be reminiscent of dual personalities in cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder, this two-headed beast has one head that's the stronger of the pair and dominates the body, while the other goes dismally along for the ride. You might also run into an AlterEgo with only one head, and you'll want to get the hell out of there, because the more vicious of the two heads is about to come bursting out of their collective chest in one hell of a nasty Alien/Total Recall homage.
In addition to all of that, these dudes are so tough that they barely notice grenades going off in their faces. Their big weakness is their legs, which can be blown out from under them with a couple good shotgun blasts. Make sure to stomp and burn though, or they'll kill you by chomping your ankles. Naturally.
You're wandering through a creepy hospital, as will often happen in horror games, and you hear an odd squelching noise in the distance. You look around, finding nothing, in time to see a gurney roll across the floor all on its own. Keep calm, keep calm, the game's only try to scare yo--and the thought ends there because you just got punched to death by nothing with glimpses of something flashing in between. Congratulations, you've just met the invisible Haunted, inexplicably squid-faced shufflers who remain invisible until the moment after they attack. Well isn't that a barrel of
These guys are a massive pain because of how hard they hit and the aforementioned cannot-be-seen quirk, so you have to beat them at their own game. Standing in a puddle helps, because you can see where their steps are and fire in that general direction. Alternatively, you can fire an explosive into a doorway and wait for them to walk over it--but do it fast, or you might accidentally hit them and explode yourself when they attack you. Not that I'd know or anything.
Now this is a monster with a lot of weight on its shoulders. Like, literally--the Trauma Haunted carries a big ol' wooden beam on its back. I suppose that compliments its massive claws and messed-up face, and it sure does the job of making this beast look weird and terrifying. Official word also says the shoulder-beam is a nod toward religious corruption and indoctrination, leading to the idea that this is a bastardization of a prominent religious figure who famously carried a heavy burden and wow that got uncomfortable fast. That's the Trauma Haunted in a nutshell: uncomfortable to look at, uncomfortable to think about, uncomfortable when it's shoving its big metal nails into your gut.
Though the Trauma Haunted just lumbers around most of the time and can be outrun, that doesn't help when you're trapped in a tiny room with it. Which is basically every time you meet one, since it seems that claustrophobic spaces are its natural habitat. My suggestion is to try to outmaneuver it as best you can, because in addition to being freaky and gigantic? It's also a bullet sponge. Greeeeeat.