The Evil Within 2

Things just keep on get­ting stranger and stranger

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - PREVIEW - Josh West

If the road to hell is paved with good in­ten­tions, Se­bas­tian Castel­lanos is go­ing some­where far darker and more in­sid­i­ous. We won’t pre­tend to to­tally un­der­stand what went down in The EvilWithin (to be hon­est, we aren’t sure the lo­cal­iza­tion team knew ei­ther), but what we do know for cer­tain is that this is one down-on­his-luck de­tec­tive that can’t seem to catch a break. Lost his job, be­trayed by his pro­tégé, hunted by mon­sters, and, oh yeah, his daugh­ter is back from the dead but miss­ing in ac­tion— what seem­ingly in­nocu­ous part of your day were you moan­ing about ear­lier? Come on, get some per­spec­tive al­ready!

If the orig­i­nal game was di­rec­tor Shinji Mikami’s spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to

Res­i­den­tEvil4, then this se­quel is go­ing to be some­thing else en­tirely. You see, Mikami has stepped out of the di­rec­to­rial chair, dusted it off so it’s all nice and clean, and al­lowed John Jo­hanas to take his place— guid­ing pro­duc­tion fol­low­ing his work on the Juli Kid­man-fo­cused DLCs, The As­sign­ment and The Con­se­quence. And Jo­hanas, quite clearly, has a dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tion to the true na­ture of fear.

TheEvilWithin2 is lean­ing heav­ily into a dif­fer­ent breed of sur­vival hor­ror, pro­mot­ing a cer­tain brand of psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare that should have Si­len­tHill fans up in cel­e­bra­tion and the rest of us cow­er­ing be­hind our couches. The fo­cus is shift­ing away from turn­ing the fa­mil­iar into the far­ci­cal; from the fre­netic gun­play that helped de­fine its pre­de­ces­sor to­wards a more nu­anced—but no less ridicu­lous—as­sault on your psy­chosis. The two DLCs demon­strated that The

EvilWithin could still de­liver ef­fec­tive thrills when gun­play is stripped out of the ex­pe­ri­ence and more em­pha­sis is placed on puz­zle de­sign, stealth, and the nav­i­ga­tions of mad­den­ingly in­sane sce­nar­ios. And that, from what we’ve had a taste of, at least, is what we can ex­pect TheEvilWithin2 to de­liver this Oc­to­ber.

Mis­sion ’n’ ac­tion

The story, as you may ex­pect, is as bizarre as ever. Castel­lanos is back in ac­tion, on a mis­sion to lo­cate and re­cover his (def­i­nitely miss­ing, but maybe also dead) daugh­ter from her own de­te­ri­o­rat­ing mind­scape STEM world (don’t ask). This shared­con­scious­ness night­mare ex­pe­ri­ence that she is gen­er­at­ing (please) be­gins to twist and warp even fur­ther as it be­comes ap­par­ent that she has some­how en­tered her own mind (we told you) and be­come lost within it (not to ask). You asked, didn’t you? Lis­ten, this STEM busi­ness makes about as much sense to us as it does to Castel­lanos, but then that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

The STEM world you’ll be jump­ing into and out of has no link to Krim­son City—the lo­ca­tion of the orig­i­nal game—and so we should ex­pect to meet a whole new cast of char­ac­ters, mon­sters, and odd­i­ties this time around. Union, the name of the new lo­ca­tion, is based around your stereo­typ­i­cal Small Town, USA area, and it’s rock­ing some se­ri­ously creepy vibes. We are talk­ing eyes in the sky, mu­tated mon­strosi­ties with cam­eras for faces, floors that be­come ceil­ings as you at­tempt to round cor­ners, and weird whispers on the wind. If sur­vival hor­ror games have taught us any­thing over the years, it’s that when you start hear­ing whispers on the wind,

that’s when you know you are re­ally up a cer­tain creek with­out your fa­vorite pad­dle.

“We are talk­ing floors that be­come ceil­ings as you at­tempt to round cor­ners”

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