the evil within 2
Things just keep on getting stranger and stranger
Publisher Bethesda Softworks Developer Tango Gameworks Format xbox One ETA 13 October 2017
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 Evil Within (to be honest, we aren’t sure the localisation 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 Resident Evil 4, 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.
The Evil Within 2 is leaning heavily into a different breed of survival horror, promoting a certain brand of psychological warfare that should have Silent Hill 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 Evil Within 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 The Evil Within 2 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 favourite paddle.
“We are talking floors that become ceilings as you attempt to round corners”