Game: The Evil Within 2
Consoles: Xbox One, PS4 (reviewed), PC
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Tango Gameworks
The horrors that terrify the most are the ones that inhabit the mind. Tango Gameworks focused on that element of fear and delivered a new IP in the form of The Evil Within. Instead of navigating a haunted mansion or forcing players to defend themselves against a zombie horde, The Evil Within trapped players within the twisted mind of a tortured soul. As Sebastian Castellanos, players fought hard to survive the Beacon Mental Hospital incident. While Castellanos may have escaped with his life intact, his mental state drove him to find answers at the bottom of a bottle as he investigated Mobius. Once new revelations about his daughter arises, Castellanos gets hooked up to Mobius’ STEM contraption once more to confront a new host of horrors. Welcome to The Evil Within 2.
As soon as the opening dream sequence begins, it’s easy to notice just how much more impressive the visuals are. Everything looks so well defined, plus the dismembered bodies and creepy crawlies that stalk you look even creeper with a fresh coat of paint. Castellanos’ new disheveled look truly makes him look like a man who’s desperate to find out the truth behind his predicament. Instead of exploring a bunch of disconnected locales one after the other, this sequel places you within Union. This once quaint little town serves as a hub world that features more chances for side quests and item hunting. The new nonlinear approach featured here makes the whole terrifying experience all the more rewarding. The Evil Within 2’s side quests introduce essential memories from Castellanos’ disheartening past, sections that require you to stay quiet and escape some deformed creature and moments that require you to aid a future ally.
Besides all the new open world navigation you’ll experience, you’ll be thrust into a chase against more well defined and extremely threatening personalities. These psychopaths truly test the limit of Castellanos’ mental state as they transport him to frightening planes of existence. You’ll have a much easier time understanding what’s transpiring in front of you since this sequel has a clearer focus. The mind games that players soldiered through in the first game return with much creepier experiences to endure. These sections range from nail-biting stealth instances to more action-oriented boss fights. The Evil Within 2 has great pacing and knows just when to raise the stakes and calm everything down until a new danger rears its ugly head. Each chapter delivers something unique that will stay with you long after you finally save Castellanos’ daughter.
While The Evil Within 2 looks great, it suffers at times due to random moments of texture pop in. Too often did I come across mailboxes, trash cans or other environmental objects that phased into existence or clip in and out of place. There were also times where I blasted an enemy into a nearby object and witnessed them rag doll uncontrollably or get stuck within something that they shouldn’t be connected to at all. Even with those technical issues popping up from time to time, I still found myself trudging through the madness presented to me within Union’s fractured world.
This is a how a sequel should be made. The Evil Within 2 introduces new villains, new monsters, new moments that play with the mind and a more open approach to completing your goals. The story is more engaging and focused as it centers more on Castellanos and the search for his daughter. Tango Gameworks has delivered an experience that realizes the full potential hinted at in the first game. The visual and technical problems that spring up from time to time stick out like a sore thumb. But The Evil Within 2 will keep you engaged to the point where those issues won’t disrupt your horror-filled journey too much.
- The more nonlinear approach to exploring Union is much preferred
- There’s a good amount of moments that are extremely tense or focused on action
- The plot is easier to comprehend over its predecessor’s story
- There are some random cases of texture pop in/late loading