The Evil Within 2 Review – Every Bullet Counts
Three years after the release of the original, The Evil Within 2 has launched, promising more creepiness. With the survival horror genre fading, can The Evil Within 2 help bring the genre back? Check out our review and find out what we thought.
The Evil Within 2 Review
Like the first The Evil Within, you play as Sebastion Castellanos. He is no longer a detective after the incident from the first game – he is now a drunk and haunted by the events of his past. Shortly after a horrific nightmare, he awakes in a bar to his old friend Kidman. She informs him that his daughter is alive and he needs to save her. After some resistance, you are transported back into STEM and tasked with finding Mobius agents and your daughter. You are quickly introduced to a new antagonist who takes photos of his victims right at the moment they die. This all leads into another STEM nightmare that Castellanos has to solve. Overall the game will run you about 17-20 hours, depending on the difficulty level chosen.
There are a few key changes from the original, including a new crafting system. This allows you to craft ammo for your weapons and to upgrade the weapons with supplies you find in the game. There are more open environments that encourage exploration, with various items to be found. Side missions are in the game and they often times reward you with new weapons or loot. While the basic enemies are similar to the ones in the last game, they are transformed and require more damage to take down. There are also a few new enemies you have to face. Files, Locker Keys, and Nurse Tatinia all make a return from the original game. You still level up using the green gel and by sitting in a death trap looking chair.
Combat is the game’s bread and butter. How you go about the combat is up to you. Stealth plays a very large role this time around. Stealth kills and bottle tossing help you avoid wasting precious ammo. However, when you do get into a fight, you have a plenty of weapons at your disposal. Headshots are the best shots to take, but they aren’t easy to land. The crosshair sways a bit and even the aim assist doesn’t do much to help you land on the head. Top that off with the enemies charging at you and moving erratically, and you have a very hard target to hit. Sometimes the best option is to run and see if you can’t lose the monsters chasing you. If you get ganged up on by more than two it will likely be game over for you. The challenge early on can be rough but it is still rewarding and fun.
A lot of survival horror games are about resource and inventory management, and The Evil Within 2 nails that aspect. Having a surplus of ammo just doesn’t happen. If it does happen, you are about to fight something very large and very strong. Scavenging for gunpowder in trash bins or searching abandoned buildings is required to survive. You can use your knife anytime you want and it is much quicker in this game, but the damage isn’t great. The locker keys will help you when you’re in a rut by providing extra ammo or supplies but they are limited. There are ammo pouches that increase your max ammo capacity to over 100 in some cases. I found this funny because having over 30 shots in most guns never happened.
The style of The Evil Within 2 is certainly unique in quite a terrifying way. Bloody corpses, disturbing paintings, and gruesome creatures litter the world. The whole time you play you will rarely feel at ease, either from noises or what you are seeing. The most freaky of the bunch is a ghost lady who hunts Sebastion down once she is spawned. She calls out his name while humming the tune to Clair De Lune. In an almost Nemesis like style from Resident Evil 3, she can appear anywhere and if she touches you it is game over. Other nasty creatures will also be hunting you. If you are easily disturbed the game might actually be a bit too much for you.
The Evil Within 2 is not without its problems. The enemy AI can be tricked at points, making the stealth game easier. There were times when I’d run from an enemy and enter a bush only for them to lose sight of me while I was right in front of them. It almost felt like the enemies had a certain radius that they could be in and if they passed that radius, they had to go back to their area. It doesn’t happen a ton but I noticed it a few times. Movement can feel a bit clunky at times as well as you get caught on little things often. You can traverse up and over things easier, but things not programmed to be jumped over don’t apply. Little rocks and certain ledges, for instance, can get you caught in a bad spot.
The Evil Within 2 took what The Evil Within did and improved upon it in every way. If you need to scratch the survival horror itch, The Evil Within 2 is an easy sell.