Title: Evil Within 2
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Survival Horror, Action
Official Site: Evil Within 2
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Where To Buy: Local Retailers, Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store
At E3 2017 this past summer, everyone was caught off guard when Bethesda announced The Evil Within 2. Its predecessor, The Evil Within, had great promise, but it ultimately fell short in all of the areas important to the horror genre. However, Bethesda and Tango really listened to what their audience had to say and learned from their previous mistakes. The Evil Within 2 is the breath of fresh air that the horror community needed with its terrifying open-world and creative villains.
When Sebastian Castellanos hears that his daughter, Lily, might still be alive, he would do anything to bring her home. Even though he is forced to partner up with the very organization that ruined his life: Mobius. To save his daughter from the clutches of the evil organization, Sebastian must face the horrors of STEM once again. This terrifying tale of redemption will leave you wanting more until the very end.
When I first heard that The Evil Within 2 would be an open-world survival horror game, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Horror games, as we know them, are pretty linear. For the sake of scaring players, there is always a pretty direct path that leads you from one scare to another. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how a horror game would work in an open-world setting, but it was done perfectly. The town of Union, where the game is set, is full of hidden encounters, possibilities, and side missions. I am highly encouraging you to explore; use your communicator to explore every little blip because these side experiences are some of the true gems of the game. Even with such a vast world to explore, the game’s pacing is laid out perfectly. The transitions between exploration, main missions, and side missions are seamless and cohesive.
Trust me when I say, the scares are definitely there despite the non-linear paths you can take. While there are jump scare moments and set-ups in Bethesda’s newest horror, the true terror lies in the atmosphere. Union looks and feels like any small town, which only makes the flame-throwing Harbingers and the giant female saw creatures even more unsettling and terrifying. The Evil Within 2 is a terrific blend of atmospheric scares, tense and suspenseful moments, and just straight up jump scares. They really have set the bar for horror games in the future that will explore making open-world games like this.
One of my major complaints with the first Evil Within was its flat story, and while interestingly designed, uninteresting characters. This is definitely not the case in the sequel. Sebastian’s redemption story and his attempt to save his family is engaging and it will drive you through until the very end. And the human villains created for the game are scarier than the morbid mutations of STEM. Stefano, my personal favorite, is a photographer obsessed with the moment of death while Father Theodore preys on the guilt and pain of your past. There is one more human villain, but I just can’t spoil it for you!
Despite my extremely high praise for the game, there is one major complaint: the gameplay. I wasted countless, precious bullets and bolts as they flew straight through my enemy without doing any damage. In a game where every bullet counts, there’s nothing more frustrating than losing them to poor gameplay and odd hitboxes on enemies. This went on to further lagging gameplay and prompts that resulted in more than a handful of deaths. With quick enemies that lash out with devastating blows, it is frustrating when you can’t fight back the way you want to. Despite this, The Evil Within 2 is one of, if not the, best horror game to come out this year.
It isn’t often that a developer really listens to their audience, and we are so excited that Bethesda did! They took the things that worked well in the original game, and really took a look at the things they needed to work on. The result is a spectacular, open-world survival horror experience that is truly unlike anything in the horror community at the moment. Trust me, you’ll be too afraid to put it down!
Verdict: The Evil Within 2 surpassed my expectations. As someone who wasn’t fond of the first title in the series, I was impressed by the changes Bethesda made. Sebastian’s second dip into STEM has an interesting story, wickedly creative villains, and a tense atmosphere despite its open world. However, there are some gameplay issues that will irritate you to the end. Even with these issues, The Evil Within 2 is a terrifying experience that will keep any horror fan satisfied until the very end.
- Awesome villains
- Great story and pacing
- Terrifying atmosphere
- Fixed the issues of the first game
- Poor gameplay