Making games is not easy; in fact, it’s one of the hardest creative feats that you can take on, especially as a one person team. When you first start An Evil Existence, a logo appears – “solo developer” – yet that shouldn’t scare you off. However, it becomes unfortunately pretty clear through the game that this developer was in over their head. This title has horrible gameplay, pacing, level design, graphics, and sound. So much so that there is hardly any positive aspect to this experience. It was an unbelievable slog to get through this, and I often found myself either incredibly bored or just frustrated at the amateur game design throughout. It’s mercifully short, at probably only around two hours in length. At a price of $19.99/£19.99 though there’s absolutely no way I can recommend that anyone should drop cash on a lackluster experience like this.
You start as an investigation team looking at a famous case of child twins who killed and ate people. This leads you to investigating their house and events progress from there. It was truly difficult to understand what was going on most of the time, and often much of the exposition that was given had grammatical errors. There is little attempt to explain the continuity and you seemingly go to vastly different areas without any explanation. I felt so lost about the entire plot that eventually I gave up trying to understand what was going on, instead just attempting to push through the levels.
This was difficult though because nothing is ever really explained in the game design either. You enter levels with a vague idea of what to do, and left to generally figure it out because it’s usually pretty simple. However, there are a few moments in An Evil Existence where I had absolutely no idea what to do, and simply wandered around waiting for something to happen.
Nothing ever actually really “works” though. Firstly, the environments are ugly and bland looking, there’s horrible pop-in, and frame drops hit throughout. It honestly looks like some sort of student project than a completed game. This comes out through the gameplay design as well. Combat barely ever happens, but when it does the execution is totally messed up: you just stand there and swing randomly at the enemy until it’s dead. There is no real complexity; every enemy is beaten by just mashing the trigger. Eventually you get some ranged weapons but even these encounters just end up with the player blasting the enemy with no real thought.
The puzzles suffer the same horrible execution – there are none that require any serious thought or creativity. In fact, they honestly come across more like roadblocks than anything else, frustratingly halting the pace in order to find some random code or item to ensure progress. None of them were fun to take in either, nearly always seeming rushed.
An Evil Existence is not particularly scary, and most of that is probably down to the ridiculous animation and sound of all the main enemies. Most of them come across as some random nondescript person – for instance, there’s a creepy old lady and a bloodied lady. Every threat is so janky though that I never actually felt threatened in any serious way. It’s genuinely more funny than anything else, with many of the animations and monsters leaving me chuckling instead of screaming.
Without the responsibility of reviewing An Evil Existence, I don’t think I would have ever made it through the game. In fact, I know I would have given up five minutes into it; it starts poor and never gets better.
If you hadn’t guessed by now, nothing in An Evil Existence feels like it fits together; there is no flow to the gameplay, it’s janky and broken, the load times are incredibly long, the graphical glitches are prevalent, and there are constant frame drops. It’s shocking that something like this has even made it through to the Xbox Store. It may seem like I am being harsh, however when you include the high asking price, you’re essentially paying for two hours of punishment and boredom.
There is no reason, absolutely no reason, to buy An Evil Existence on Xbox One. Please, don’t waste your money.