The “godfather of horror games”, Shinji Mikami, is back and better than ever before with The Evil Within
2. Taking place just three years after the first game, Sebastian Castellanos, now removed from his old
life and haunted by the nightmarish events at Beacon, is greeted by an old friend and is given some very
surprising news: his thought-to-be-dead daughter, Lily, is alive. The bad news though, is she is trapped
within STEM and the only way to get her back is to go in after her.
This is what sets the entirety of the game in motion and gives the story something that was very much
lacking in the first game; an emotional stake. Sebastion Castellanos willingly re-enters STEM, now with
the hope of rescuing his daughter from within the simulated world of Union and regaining some
semblance of the life he once lived.
Developer Tango Gameworks takes The Evil Within 2 in a new direction, offering a semi-open world,
several new characters to interract with and optional side missions all while keeping the survival horror
aspects of the game abundant and the nightmare-inducing, pyscological twists and turns at a constant.
While the story and dialogue in the game can feel a bit too much like a b-grade horror movie, it doesn’t
detract from the actual gameplay or make the story any less impactful.
The semi-open world of Union is ripe for exploration but preparation is the only way to survive your
curiosity. With nightmarish creatures lurking around every corner, hiding under abandoned vehicles or
waiting behind closed doors; you are always in danger and it can be felt every second your are outside
one of the few safehouses scattered around. Resources are scarce and enemies are plentiful so you
have to decide if the benifits of exploring the dimly lit back alley behind the local coffe shop is worth it.
Just a few hits from any creature can quickly end Sebastion’s search for his daughter. Surviving is hard
but dying is easy.
The Evil Within 2 brings back some of the key features from the first game such as the iconic Green Goo,
upgrades to Sebastion’s core skills, the mysterious locker keys and of course, the lovely nurse Tatiana to
guide you through it all. The Evil Within 2 also adds some new features such as weapon parts to
upgrade the various specs of the deadly weapons you obtain throughout the game without needing to
ration your Green Goo. Red Goo and High Grade Weapon Parts are also new and allow you to progress
further in the upgrading path of your choosing both with Sebastion and his weapons.
While this is a direct sequel, you do not need to have played through the first game to understand what is
going on so newcomers to the world of The Evil Within can jump right in and experience the hellish world
of Union first hand.
The Evil Within 2 greatly expands the scope and freedom of the first game but in my playthough, I felt as
though it did so with some pretty big drawbacks. The first and most important of them being that the
game just doesn’t feel as intense as the first. At no point in my as of yet incomplete playthough did I feel
my heart really start beating faster or my anxiety kicking in about what exatly I was about to walk in to.
No situation felt truly life threatening and left me with that “I can’t believe I just made it through that”
feeling of both awe and excitement. The extravagant, environmentally unstable, horrifying whiplash of
events in the first game is what I loved so much about it and The Evil Within 2 just doesn’t seem to have
as much of that. It almost seems to be missing the horror of the survival horror experience. By no means
does this ruin the game though as it really is amazing in it’s own right and we couldn’t recommend it more.