It’s a dark and twisted atmosphere created by none other than the originator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami. Shinji and his company Tango Gameworks has breathe new life into what drives fear, what defines horror and what strikes “the evil within.” Three years since the original installment, what awaits our protagonist, Sebastian Castellanos.
After dealing with the devilish nightmare and losing his family, his wife Myra disappeared and daughter Lily burned in a fire, The Evil Within 2 takes place three years later with a emotionally broken detective drinking his life away. From a dark, disturbing dream Sebastian wakes up to see Juli Kidman, his old partner with Krimson City Police Department who secretly works for Mobius, revealing his daughter Lily is very much alive, but missing.
Mobius has taken and used Lily’s mind to create STEM, a parallel world controlled by Sebastian’s daughter. The group behind his daughter’s supposed death is now in need of Sebastian and guilt trips him to find the daughter he thought was lost.
Passing through sends our protagonist to Union, a town created by STEM that resembles a city, but is clearly becomes something else. You’re tasked with also finding and trusting other Mobius agents throughout Union, which is easier for you than the a few agents you come across.
Interacting inside the STEM is possible by using an item called the communicator which allows you to talk to Kidman inside of Union, location others (including Lily) and essentially utilize as a map to help you around the city based on the objective or side mission. With 17 chapters, there’s much to find and discover within the city.
The enemies inside of the STEM are strong and highly aggressive. There were so many times I found myself crouching everywhere in hopes to avoid the undead only to have them pick up my movement and spot in almost immediately. The bosses are even more of a threat for various reasons to where dying sometimes felt necessary and inevitable.
With some of the mutated foes you can attempt to crouch behind them and go for the stealth kill. Just be prepared if that doesn’t work in your favor. I stabbed a zombie in the back only to have it take a step forward, turn around and engage in a knife fight with me. Yes, they’re equipped with knifes, hatchets and even chainsaws. As a backup you can also throw bottles to distract them as well, if that’s your preference.
In a sense The Evil Within 2 give you the choice of playing it safe or guns blazing. Be forewarned however that bullets are scarce so haven’t enough distance and aiming down your sight is a huge advantage in progressing throughout the campaign. Another thing to keep in consideration is the extremely slow aiming and reloading of weapons.
The difficulty settles after a while thanks to a few upgrade and crafting options. As you locate herbs, green and red gels you can go to Tatiana, a nurse with the ability to modify your skill tree, increasing your health, stamina and more. There are also plenty of weapon parts scattered through that will be crucial to survival as you can make bullets, increase your bullet clip capacity, reload time an even the rate of firing.
The Evil Within 2 is truly incredible. Gameplay from the very beginning takes you straight to the heart of the story and never lets up. Delivering roughly 20-30 hours of content, based on if you look to 100% the game, including the New Game Plus mode available after finishing the original story, there’s a monster around every corner with the intent of ripping you into more limbs than you’ll find in the streets and abandon warehouses.
Respectfully though for a horror game, it didn’t present as many jump scares as some may hope, especially Resident Evil fans. While providing some intense moments, most scenes are quite predictable slightly removing that flair that makes a terrifying moment as frightening as the writers anticipated.
There are also a few small, though not game breaking bugs I noticed while running through the campaign. Most noticeable were zombies that glitched in between cars, one that was supposed to be inside of a rattling truck though clearly in the middle of the street, chains that simply disappeared as the undead approached a locked gate and zombies that managed to get on rooftops without climbing.
Visually The Evil Within has the look of a horror game, providing the right setting to make you cringe. Characters, the environment and mutated enemies look very realistic, producing a greater presentation than its predecessor. If that’s not enough the grotesque zombies and mutilated agents are more than enough to set the atmosphere of a nightmare far more than a certain Crystal lake or Elm Street