Parasite Eve is an action role-playing game with many horror elements. Movement in the various environments is free. Movement in the "world map" (which is a map of Manhattan) is limited to specific destinations. Upon the player walking over a "hot spot," there's a chance of a random encounter. Each time the encounter occurs, the likelihood of the battle reoccurring decreases. Enemies materialize suddenly and though there is no shift to a separate battle screen, the player is bound within a perimeter of unseen barriers until the battle is over, either by defeating all enemies or using the Escape command.