When you see that Bethesda is the publisher of the game, you can’t help but increase your expectations. After all, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and Dishonored are all excellent, and now the company is investing its resources into the Evil Within 2, the second installment of the survival horror series. No one will blame you if you can’t remember the predecessor from 2014 (we had troubles, too), so let’s take a trip back first for a moment.
A Short Lesson from the EW History
Shinji Mikami, who used to work on Resident Evil, was the director of the original game. The game looked to present that kind of spooky atmosphere in some dream world. That’s where our former detective and current hero Sebastian Castellanos found himself. Although it was a decent game that managed to provide a substantial degree of action and horror, not a lot of people expected a sequel after three years.
In the Evil Within 2, we get more of the same, albeit improved in every aspect. Our dear Seb once again finds himself in a dream world and, despite the fact that he should be used to it by now, he is completely shocked when that happens. The good news is that, since the game takes place in a virtual world, the developers could be incredibly creative with the monsters you fight.
If You Like Resident Evil, You Will Love Evil Within 2
Although Mikami didn’t work on the sequel, the new release kept the recognizable formula and improved it as much as possible. In its essence, EW 2 is a third-person survival-horror game that involves a lot of shooting the undead. You can use a bunch of weapons to tackle a variety of enemies, including a colossal golem bound from saws and corpses and zombies covered in boils. The visual presentation of the enemies is incredible and might be the best aspect of the entire game.
Detective Castellanos finds himself in the Union, a weird illusory suburb full of locations to explore and collect skill points, crafting resources, and ammunition. There are several zones that you can investigate freely. Aside from the main storyline, you also have a bunch of side-quests that are interesting and teach you fundamental skills you will use during your primary search. Although the Evil Within 2 is not a 100% open-world game, it’s as close to it as it can be.
As for the plot, we can’t say that it is complicated. However, we don’t think that was the developers’ goal at all. Instead, we got a general storyline, but with extraordinary monster design, exciting combat system and engaging dialogue that is even humorous at some points.
Are You in for Some Surprises?
You will do a lot of scavenging in the game, but that won’t annoy you most of the times. For example, you will have a task to collect photo slides in pretty creative ways, such as sneaking past a ghost that can walk through walls. Churches are unavoidable in this genre, and you will have to visit them here, too. On that road, you will also face a priest that was possessed, and he is now thirsty for your blood.
Although there is an absolute lack of innovation, that doesn’t mean that the Evil Within two doesn’t spring a surprise or two. That comes along with the fact that the playing area is open for exploring. More often than not, you will need to manage the resources carefully. Sometimes you will also need to bravely head into a building with limited medical supplies and ammo, without even assuming what is waiting for you inside.
Could Be a Bit More Scary
There are some cheap attempts from the in-game creatures to scare you. You can expect zombies appear from under the vehicles or ghosts trying to grab you from the mirrors. Although they may catch you by surprise, there is a difference between that and horror. It’s fun when the game throws an unexpected opponent your way but does it honestly scare you?
EW 2 is a game that nicely combines the aspects of action and resource management that make your survival tougher. The release even delivers a considerable amount of fun, but the lack of genuine scares is something we need to mention when a game calls itself survival-horror.
Monsters, Oh, Beautiful Monsters
On the bright side, the developers got the best possible ratings when it comes to creature design. We already mentioned the colossal golem, but you can also expect a dude that reminds of the Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill, as well as some weird monster, such as the Obscura, a humanoid with some old camera.
Aside from the inspiration for the creatures, the developers also looked to characters from other games (hint Resident Evil). Sebastian’s former partner reminds of Ada Wong, and a guy who is a carbon copy of Albert Wesker runs a secret corporation just like Umbrella.
Do you prefer to Sneak Around or Kill Everything on Your Way?
That is entirely up to you in the Evil Within 2. You will collect skill points by playing various mini-games, such as match-three logic puzzles and later you can spend them on upgrading your abilities. If you are someone who knows how resources can be valuable, you will probably choose the option to sneak around and use your stealth skills. On the other hand, you can just upgrade your stamina and decide to kill as many creatures as possible.
Can You Survive the Negatives?
The question, in the end, is what you are looking for from a survival-horror genre. If you are looking for a profound story that will scare the…out of you, this game is not for you. However, if you are on the hunt for a combo of exciting action and resource management where you get incredible graphics as a bonus, you will enjoy Evil Within 2.
The second sequel does everything better than the first. It improved every aspect, starting from gameplay and ending with graphics and sound. Despite not offering enough innovation, Tango managed to deliver a game that can be extremely fun for all the lovers of the genre.