In­ner demons

The Evil Within 2

GAX (Malaysia) - - REVIEW - By Ian Chee

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.

CON­CLU­SION

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.

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