It was a scream that startled the neighbours. I'd been fumbling around a blackened basement looking for the power switch when something grabbed my ankle. It didn't have any legs. And it was trying to eat me.
If you played last year's ridiculously scary The Evil Within, you know the kind of scream I'm talking about. Ear-piercing, followed by nervous giggling. If you're nodding in agreement, then congratulations are in order: you survived one of the most horrifying games in living memory.
The only question is, why would you dare go back? After bloody battles with brutal butchers, tentacle-faced zombies and something called a "Boxhead", the only proper thing to do is go outside, smell the roses and never, ever play that game again.
And yet, there's something addictive about The Evil Within's oppressive atmosphere, its skin-crawling horror, that sense of dread you get when you venture into a new room, wondering what insanity you'll find next. You can't look ... but you must.
If you're aching for more, you twisted sadist, then there's good news: two new add-on packs have been released for The Evil Within, and they're essential purchases for anyone wanting more from Shinji Mikami's terrifying world.
Read more: The Evil Within will scare you to pieces
They're value for money, too: The Assignment and The Consequence will set you back about $15, giving you more than three hours of gameplay each. Over four chapters, the focus here is on Juli Kidman, Sebastian Castellanos' sidekick from the original game. Waking up injured in an ambulance, you're tasked with finding out what started this bloodsoaked mess. And if you want to survive, you'll need to change tactics.
First, you don't want to take on any of Mikami's monsters this time around. The emphasis here is on stealth. As Juli, voiced expertly by Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, you won't be given guns or weapons to take out those gruesome ghouls. Instead, you'll need to sneak into airducts, hide behind pot plants, and use bottles, yelps and phones as distractions to work your way past them. This might be a disappointment for those aching for a bashing, but the satisfaction you get from prank calling zombies, luring them into rooms with a phone, and slamming the door shut behind them is unbeatable.
Scares are regular, and terrifying. Some fantastically inventive set pieces are on offer, like sneaking around a factory floor past feasting zombie spider hedgehogs. Or cowering behind a desk from the boss lady with a beaming searchlight for a face. And Juli's trippy dream sequences are reminiscent of the original Silent Hill, distorting reality and making you see things that aren't really there. Along with an oppressive soundtrack that can make a simple rocking chair send chills down your spine, this is a further reminder that Shinji Mikami is a scare guru like no other. Yes, these new Evil Within chapters will give you plenty of bang for your buck. But the therapy you'll need once you've finished playing them is another expense altogether.