The Evil Within 2 | Video Game Review | Recommendations & Discussion
The Evil Within 2 is the direct sequel to The Evil Within. It was released on October 13, 2017 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. I bought it for the PlayStation 4. It is a survival-horror video game that has a more open-world concept than its predecessor, which had more of a linear story.
The History of The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2
In The Evil Within 2, you play the character Sebastian Castellanos, who, in The Evil Within, was a detective investigating a mental hospital where a mass murder occurred. In the first game, Sebastian found himself drawn into the mind of madman named Ruvik via a device called STEM, and experienced many horrific events while connected to Ruvik. The Evil Within follows Sebastian as he navigates Ruvik's memories via STEM and fights his way out.
In The Evil Within 2, we learn that Sebastian's daughter, Lily Castellanos, has been murdered along with her nanny in a house fire. Sebastian is a confused and broken man, and he is no longer presented as a pillar of strength, like he was in The Evil Within.
We learn that Sebastian has been forced to have therapy sessions with a psychiatrist, who convinces him that his experiences with Ruvik were only a figment of his imagination. Sebastian believes this until he is contacted by his former partner, Kidman.
During Sebastian's meeting with Kidman, we soon learn that Lily is actually alive and connected to STEM, which horrifies Sebastian. It seems that Mobius, the malevolent organization that wanted to control STEM in The Evil Within, has taken control of STEM and has been using Lily to create a utopia. This, of course, fails, because any time a person who is also connected to STEM has nefarious intentions, they can (and will) corrupt any utopia that is built and try to mold it into a world of their choosing.
Mobius added people to STEM after subjecting them to psychological testing and interviews, but soon found out that the most devious of minds had lied to them and infiltrated STEM, thus fracturing the utopia that was to be the town of Union.
If You Love This Game, You May Also Love:
The Evil Within (2014)
Until Dawn (2015)
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (2009)
Heavy Rain (2010)
BioShock 2 (2010)
There is a scene where you hear the torture of a woman. There are many scenes where you are walking through blood that looks to be about a couple feet deep. There are several scenes where you see bodies that have been tortured (but they are burned, so you don't see any gore). There are several scenes where people who have just been killed are frozen in slow motion, but the images aren't too graphic. You may see blood droplets flying in mid-air, but no close-ups of gore or anything.
How Does Gameplay in The Evil Within 2 Compare to The Evil Within?
The Evil Within Environment
I found the gameplay in The Evil Within to be tricky, because it was set up as a true survival-horror game, which usually means that the player barely gets enough ammo and health-related items to survive. Survival-horror games may focus on hiding from enemies, distracting enemies with thrown objects such as bottles, and sneaking around. The Evil Within had all of these aspects, which made the game somewhat difficult for me. I like to be able to shoot instead of run away, or be given the option to either hide completely, kind of like Dishonored 2. Nothing scares me more than running from an enemy I know will kill me if they catch me because I have no defenses.
The Evil Within Bosses
The most difficult part of that game for me was the boss fights, as sometimes I'd run out of ammo no matter how sparingly I used it, and I had to reload and go back to an earlier part of the game to save enough ammo specifically for a boss fight. I would feel a certain kind of panic knowing that I might encounter a boss and not have nearly enough ammo to fight them until they either retreated or were dead.
In The Evil Within, the main bosses were the Sadist (chainsaw guy), The Keeper (boxhead guy), Laura (many-armed black-haired woman), and Ruvik. There were other enemies, but these were the most difficult for me.
The Evil Within 2 Bosses
In The Evil Within 2, you deal with three main bosses: Stefano (camera guy), Theodore Wallace (church guy), and Myra. The difference in game play between the first game and the second are very noticeable. The bosses are much easier to beat in the second game because there is more ammo (depending on what difficulty you play). Even in the lowest difficulty setting, The Evil Within's bosses were very difficult to beat, which to me, was more aggravating than fun, and took away from the story. If you were frustrated by the boss fights in the first game, you might very well like the second game because they are just plain easier.
The Evil Within 2 Environment, Loot & Weapons
As far as the environment in The Evil Within 2, I liked it a lot more than the first game. There were a significant amount of weapons, ammo, and chances to get both green and red gel so you could acquire better weapons, health, and capabilities such as stealth. I felt better prepared to fight enemies and I thought it was a lot more fun to be able to explore and make the game more of my own experience.
As far as the open-world concept of the game, you can investigate houses in the town of Union for clues, talk to a few people in the game, all which provide small side quests, which helped me to break up the monotony of going from one mission to the next.
I liked the story of The Evil Within 2 more than The Evil Within. In the second game, I felt more connected to Sebastian because there was more information provided about what he had gone through after his encounters with Ruvik, and how his family was essentially ripped apart after his experiences. I never felt as if I was slogging through any part of a game. Sometimes in games, I feel as if I am just playing a level to get through it and really don't care what happens to either the characters or how the story is progressing, but I always felt engaged in this game. I was always interested in what was going to happen next, and paid attention to the cut-scenes.
One of the things that I thought was very well-done in this game, was the encounters with the character Stefano. There was one part where you are walking through a hallway in a mansion where he "creates" his victims. As a serial killer, he takes pleasure in creating art that focuses on the exact moment of the death of his victim. The walk through the hallway in the mansion was especially creepy to me because pictures would appear in frames and you could hear Stefano torturing and killing one of his victims as she pleaded with him. Stefano felt like a true serial-killer personality within the game. He believed fully in his vision of the world he was creating within STEM, and the backstory provided about how he came to view creating "art" in a moment of death was interesting as well, as it was a traumatic experience that caused his views on death to change.
I felt that the writers took time to create Stefano's backstory and he felt fully fleshed out to me. I never felt that Theodore got quite the same treatment, but his character felt a little more like "filler" to me possibly because there either wasn't enough time between Stefano's story and Myra's story to flesh it out, or maybe the writers didn't feel like his story was super important. The gist of his story seemed to be that he was a manipulative, power-hungry, charismatic leader who would trick people into doing what he wanted.
His portion of the story was creepy to me because it featured a lot of walking through a serious amount of blood. I felt that a lot more could have been done to enhance his story, because it just wasn't as powerful to me as the other characters, although it definitely could've been. All of the characters were interesting in their own right, but the two that made the biggest impressions were Stefano and Myra.
The conclusion of the game made it seem like there will be another game. It will possibly a trilogy to tie up the stories of Ruvik, Leslie, Sebastian, Lily, Myra, and Kidman. I would be game for playing even more games, but since the games are strong in story, I'm betting that it will be a trilogy. I'm pretty interested in seeing how all of their stories tie together in another game, especially if it's in the same style that The Evil Within 2 was designed.
Was it Scary?
I wouldn't call it scary per se, but it was a creepy game. There was a lot of work put into the environment and story that made the game increasingly creepy instead of solely relying on jump scares, which I appreciate. I find that I get scared more easily when I am involved in the story rather than being surprised by a monster.
Some of the creepiest parts of the game were:
The scene in Stefano's mansion where you can hear the torture he inflicts on one of his victims creeped me out.
The parts where you encounter the Obscura creature (Stefano's "art"), which is a pair of woman's legs and a camera attached is obviously sexual in nature because it moans as it tries to attack you kind of bothered me. It can crawl on the ceiling, so it surprised me a few times.
The parts where Theodore dwells creeped me out because you had to walk through hallways filled with blood and burned, tortured bodies.
The part with the ghost creature, the Anima, creeped me out because she hums as she floats around (and she's just creepy looking in general) and you can't kill her. You have to hide from her and hope you move to another area before she sees you and sucks the life out of you.
These scenes are so abrupt, that I immediately felt panicked any time the screen turned a blue-gray color and I heard humming.
What scared me about this part was that I couldn't kill her, I just had to run and hide. If that doesn't bother you, then those scenes probably won't be too intense.
It's all relative too. What scares me might not scare other people and vice versa. I get scared of creatures or people in games where you can't fight them and just have to run or run and hide.
I also get scared of the dark and creepy music or atmosphere (like Silent Hill 2 or Alan Wake). If the things I listed above don't bother you, you will probably be okay with playing this game.
Did you enjoy playing this game? Who were your favorite characters? Do you think the makers of the games improved the story and gameplay, or did you like the first game more? Please share your thoughts in the comment section! If you have any questions about The Evil Within 2, I will be glad to answer them.