The Evil Within 2
Resident Evil meets The Last of Us
Three years after the first game was released, we now have the sequel to The Evil Within that saw Shinji Mikami take another shot at the survival horror genre. Only this time, he’s taking a back seat, credited as producer, while leaving directorial duties to John Johanas. Despite this, we’ve experienced a pretty good sequel to the series that comes with a slightly different flavor of survival horror.
Once again, we join in the adventures of Sebastian Castellanos, three years after the events of The Evil Within. Already broken by the first visit into the artificial world called STEM, he is pulled back (again) into another one, this time in search of his daughter whom he thought was dead. This new world is called Union, a small town that’s breaking down, while its inhabitants are either already dead or turning into bloodthirsty monsters reminiscent of the Haunted from the first game. Ammo is scarce as usual – arguably even more so because on the rare occasion you do find resources, it’s materials to craft ammo instead. You do these at workbenches that you stumble along the way, or on the fly for more resources consumed.
And you find these crafting resources in semi-open world maps as you progress through the story. Doing so is perilous, but often rewarding as you sometimes discover hints that guide you to more resources. And if you go the stealth route, systematically killing enemies quietly will save you ammo, while netting you Green Gel, the mysterious goo from the first game that you’ll use to acquire or upgrade skills. There’s a lot from the first game that makes a return here – definitely more so than your average sequel.
Character growth killing the suspense
Sebastian starts his new dive into STEM a very broken person, and as such is easily affected by the twisted world, made worse only by his broken mind. The atmosphere is as creepy as usual with the occasional spikes, but thanks to the semi-open world nature of the game, there are less places for good jump scares, which make them more effective whenever the few that are done well pop up. In fact, most of the scares do come from the earlier bits of the game.
But as you progress through the game, Sebastian starts picking himself up, becoming more and more mentally stable. Adding to his previous experience in a similarly twisted STEM world, by the end of the game, he becomes so calm and collected that he starts giving his foes the jump instead, and is less affected by the illusions of STEM. While it’s great to see a character grow so much within the span of a game, it sort of has the reverse effect on the horror department, which is a weird dilemma to have in a survival horror title.
A great sequel with a twist, even if the main character is too mentally strong for it by the end.
Crafting and upgrading is reminiscent of The Last of Us in some way.