It has been a great year for the survival horror genre. What with the explosive Resident Evil VII and now The Evil Within 2; the sequel to the 2014 release of The Evil Within. Currently Resident Evil VII is my game of 2017 as I was mighty impressed with the new atmosphere of the mansion and the Bakers really added a creepy twist the campaign. Could anything beat Resident Evil VII? Could there be a video game that surpassed the fright, horror and sadistic nature of the RE VII? My answer is simple: no. Or at least not yet.
The Evil Within 2 is nowhere near as enticing as quest to find Mia in Resident Evil VII. Here’s the thing; The Evil Within 2 is not supposed to be. The Evil Within 2 is its own game which brings a whole new level of horror compared to the first game: The Evil Within. Now we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s explore what really shines about The Evil Within 2.
The Evil Within 2 is nowhere near as gory as the first game. Perhaps Shinji Mikami’s role as Producer rather than director had something to do with the change in vibe in The Evil Within 2. The game serves a plethora of tense moments rather than scary moments in my opinion. I didn’t expect this either as I was hoping for many more jump scares but sadly The Evil Within 2 didn’t provide it. Shelve that and what we have here is a desperate father trying to find his daughter whom he previously believed to be dead from a house fire. It turns out that she is indeed alive after Mobius faked her death. Lily was exploited by Mobius in their efforts to create a new STEM core in a simulated town called Union. Union forms the foundation in The Evil Within 2. Sebastian is recruited by Mobius to try and save Lily after contact was lost. At various points during The Evil Within 2’s story is drip fed through the interactions between Sebastian and other characters. We soon come to realise the wrath of Stefano Valentini too. The plagued and extroverted photographer obsessed with death. Stefano's characters added some vert tense moments in to The Evil Within 2 but I won't spoil the surprises too much for you. Ultimately, I think the pacing of the story is perfect and not overloaded with lengthy cut scenes or dialogue. I am usually put off by lengthy cut scenes and excessive dialogue but the pace of the story really worked in The Evil Within 2.
The Evil Within 2 really capitalises on the the first game. The shooting mechanics feel much more accurate and stable, the evolution of the story is well paced and the setting feels a little more fleshed out and overall The Evil Within 2 is well worth buying.
One of the more polished aspects I The Evil Within 2 is the stealth. Personally I found there to be a lot of opportunities to crawl through the creepy town of Union in various directions. Yes The Evil Within 2 bodes such more of an open world game compared to The Evil Within. In the first game we were limited to corridors and rooms whereas the more open world in The Evil Within 2 gave me more options to approach enemies in different ways. Some of the stealth kills reminded me of moments The Last of Us.
At times The Evil Within 2 can seem a little repetitive. On a few occasions dipping back in to the Marrow felt tiring and unrewarding. Perhaps I’m being a little too critical here but it’s worth pointing out especially if you’re considering binge playing through The Evil Within 2. Additionally, jump scares rarely occur. For me I would have been more satisfied with an experience that threw in more jumpy surprises. Be mindful of this if you’re expecting a scary game. The Evil Within 2 is not overly scary but more like an overly aggressive horror game; the kind that you’ve grown easily desensitised to. Sadly I felt this was about Outlast 2 in that the jump scares lacked.
Expect Union to be wrought with enemies. I played on the medium difficulty and still found there to be quite a few monsters and crazed zombie like creatures scattered around every corner. I really like the variants of enemies too.
Fleeing back to base in The Evil Within 2 provides a welcome break in order to level up. The base is an old office comprising of multiple rooms/areas. Accessing it is the same as it was in The Evil Within in that you are sucked through the mirror. Spending the green gel to develop skills and equipment is all done back at base as it was before. I found the skill tree to be super easy to navigate which was an advantage for me as couples menu systems are a turn off in any game.
So which game is the better experience? The Evil Within or The Evil Within 2? I strongly urge you play them both in order to experience how different each game feels. The Evil Within felt much more closed in and gory whereas the second felt more open and gave players more choice to tackle missions in a less linear manner. Decide on what your expectations are before you play The Evil Within 2. If you like Resident Evil VII and The Last of Us then I predict you'll enjoy The Evil Within 2. If you didn't enjoy those two then play through the fist game first. Whatever you choose you're in for a fierce ride!
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