The original Evil Within was one of the best gaming purchases I made and quickly became one of my favourite most recent horror games. Once I had heard about The Evil Within 2 being released I was so excited and now it is here I am far from disappointed.
The story follows Sebastian Castellanos who finds himself in the company of old friend after finding out his daughter is very much alive despite previous events. He is forced by Mobius to enter STEM to find and save his daughter but to also save himself. After entering STEM Sebastian soon discovers all is not as it should be and he is once again in the depths of a hellish underworld. This time STEM is showing a manifested place called Union. The town is on the brink of destruction and many of the residents are savage corpses.
After a lengthy introduction Sebastian finds himself in Union. Here he is presented with a few options; find and follow the signal from Lily or follow the other signals of other survivors that need help. The Evil Within 2 starts out as a semi open world game. You can choose to follow different side quests which allow you to pick up better weapons and find all manner of useful items before carrying on with the game. There are buildings; collectables and many bins to scavenge through.
Like previously you start out with the basics; a knife and a pistol. Shooting isn’t recommended to begin with as ammo is scarce and the sound of gunfire is a sure fire way to attract the many undead to come running straight for you. Killing them by stealth with a knife isn’t so easy either especially when there is so many of them. The good thing is the undead are easy to outrun and hiding behind a car is usually enough for them to turn and walk away however The Evil Within 2 has a new sound meter added to the eye monitor that opens when an enemy can see you. If you are out of sight but making too much noise then enemies will still be aware of your presence. On top of this enemies are as unpredictable as ever; sneaking up behind them is an anxiety test in itself not knowing if they will turn round and see you that is if one of the others haven’t first. This does add to the atmosphere though and is what makes The Evil Within great; it does not rely on obvious jump scares and it does not need to.
The atmosphere of The Evil Within 2 is as good if not better than it has been before. You are thrust into an open world with not knowing where you should go and what waits around each corner. Sure you are not running away from a chainsaw wielding brute without a weapon and an already gashed leg but traversing a mansion whilst a madman murders people and then keeps their bodies stuck in a time lapse is still as frightening. Also the giant eyeball that blinked once and disappeared down the pitch black corridor as I turned round was enough to make me take a break; although soon I came back to the game to continue forward.
You begin the game with the bare minimum but as you progress through the game you will pick up more weapons and ammunition. Weapons usually come in parts where if you find everything you need you are able to craft using the new crafting system. When you reach a safe haven there is usually a work bench; here you can make ammunition; upgrade weapons using weapon parts and also create healing items. Once available you can even create some of these on the fly. Ammo is scarce so making ammunition with gunpowder is essential to survive in this world and it is by no means an easy game especially later on when all supplies become very low. The game difficulty can be lowered but it cannot be reverted to a higher difficulty setting so it pays to start off on the right foot. A nice new feature is the coffee machines found at each safe haven; these can be used as many times as you like but take a while until they can be used again but when you do they will recover all of Sebastian’s health to full.
Returning features are back such as the electric chair which can be used to upgrade Sebastian’s more physical attributes. Green gel harvested from fallen foes can be used to upgrade Sebastian into a more hardened skinned fighter. Red gel is new type of gel which is used to progress in your skill tree so you can learn more advanced skills. These can be found lying about in key locations throughout the game. The other big feature to return is the locker keys which are found throughout the game hidden in lady statues. They can be quite difficult to find and while some are out in the open some are not; either way it is easy to miss them so it pays to be on the lookout. Obtaining these keys is essential to gaining an advantage if it being extra green gel or extra resources to help on the way.
Graphically The Evil Within 2 is a big improvement over the first; the first game is a great looking in every way but The Evil Within 2 sees that its boundaries have been pushed and visually it is noticeable. Sounds and Ambience are perfect and the feeling of hearing Claire De Lune knowing you are safe is always reassuring.
A PlayStation 4 review code was provided by Bethesda Softworks