If you love scary games as much as I do, you’ve probably already heard all about the new multi-platform survival horror game The Evil Within. Known as Psychobreak in Japan, The Evil Within is a return to the classic survival horror genre initially popularized by the Resident Evil franchise (The Evil Within is directed by Shinji Mikami, director of the original Resident Evil and the so-called “father of survival horror”). Recent horror games have been criticized for putting too much emphasis on action and exploding zombie heads and for generally being, well, not all that scary actually. Once you’ve been numbed by too much formulaic brain-splattering, it’s hard to remember what it means to be truly scared, so this new advert by Playstation Japan for The Evil Within seeks to prove just how scary the game is, with science!

The premise of the advert is pretty simple. 50 human test subjects are divided into two groups and tasked with either playing through a section of The Evil Within or watching a horror movie selected by experts for being “the scariest horror movie of all time”. At the beginning and end of both tasks, the participants have their levels of salivary α-amylase tested using tongue strips. Amylase is known as a biomarker for intense fear, so the idea is that the higher the level of salivary α-amylase, the higher the fear.

▼Open wide!

After compiling the data, the results speak for themselves!

Players of The Evil Within showed significantly higher levels of amylase compared with viewers of the horror movie.

Furthermore, while fear levels for the horror movie rose to a gradual peak and then began to taper off, The Evil Within prompted steady fear levels throughout.

▼ The look of abject terror.



So, what did the test players have to say about the game?

“It’s the kind of fear you can’t run away from.”

“There’s not even one second of relief from feeling scared.”

“With a game, I have to save myself with my own hands.”

“If you’re just watching a movie, it’s like it’s happening to someone else.”

“I could hear my heart pounding while I was playing.”

“I was constantly saying no, no, get away, get away.”

“I just kept thinking, what on earth can I do here? I have to do something quick or he’s gonna find me.”

“I screamed out loud for the first time in ages.”

“He cut me… right in the neck… ugh…”

“I was soooooooo scared!”

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not this game looks scary enough to chill your bones, perhaps this advert can convince you! I’m on my second playthrough of The Evil Within right now, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to go back to sleeping with the lights off again within the next couple of months or so…

Source: YouTube
Images: screenshots via YouTube