Developer: Tango Gameworks
Release Date: 10/13/17
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (played on PS4)
ESRB/PEGI: M/PEGI 18
MSRP: $59.99 USD
By Jose Gonzalez / DicloniusGames
You can never truly escape your past. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you run from it, it always catches up to you. For Sebastian, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In The Evil Within 2, former KCPD Detective Sebastian Castellanos enters the vivid and freaky environment of STEM yet again under the supervision of Mobius Operative Julia Kidman. This time, Sebastian enters the seemingly idyllic town of Union as he searches for answers concerning his thought-to-be-dead wife and daughter. While it looks idyllic and peaceful, Union is nothing more than a sadistic trip through his own hellish nightmare he went through in the first game.
While staying similar graphically, The Evil Within 2 looks masterfully beautiful. The town of Union represents what a suburban town would look like if it were trapped in one of the many circles of hell. The town itself looks great on the outside, but once you’re trapped in the hellish world Sebastian experiences around him, Union becomes anything and everything but idyllic. It becomes a personal playground for his inner demons to emerge and punish him for his past.
The monsters and enemies are your standard zombie but not zombie-like monsters except for the boss monsters themselves like a man obsessed with his photography and art, another who acts like a religious zealot bent on reminding you of your sins every five minutes and a gooey glue monster that will leave your head spinning once you discover its’ true identity along with other familiar enemies from his past.
Sebastian himself looks like he’s been on a life-altering alcoholic binge as he looks vastly different from the first game. He looks like a man whose taken a beating and at times doesn’t want to get up but with the motivation of finding his daughter and wife, he always has a reason to keep moving forward.
The other supporting characters in the game do their pars well but also fall short. Torres comes off as your standard hardened operative with a stick up her ass while O’Neal and Sykes are just two guys running around with no clue and in need of constant hand holding and errand running from Sebastian.
The gameplay remains at its’ core the same, but also adds some flavor to it that keeps it interesting and at times, fresh.
For instance, the addition of crafting ammo at crafting tables in safehouses and in your own personal safehouse resembling a police station gives the game vibes from The Last of Us and when you can pick ideas from one of Naughty Dog’s standout games, you’re doing something right. Also at the crafting table, you’re able to upgrade your weapons with weapon parts and high-grade weapon parts found within the environment as the high-grade parts allow players to level up their weapons for better effectiveness.
Also added to the game are red gels. Red gels enhance Sebastian’s abilities like stealth, combat, as well as others while the green gel does the same as it did in the first game. The red gels are a scarce resource but are also a priority if players intend on surviving within Union and fully upgrading Sebastian.
Overall, The Evil Within 2 is an awesome game, but sometimes forces you to emphasize on stealth rather than brute run-and-gun gameplay when you start as Sebastian is weak with the default abilities. It’s not until you level him up that you can cause some major carnage upon the hellish nightmare of Union. The appearance of old foes like Box Head and Laura give a neat nod to the first game. The addition of crafting ammo and red gels for upgrades encourages exploration in order to survive and gather resources even though you can still find ammo conventionally. The game adds enough to keep gamers interested while keeping its’ core intact and incorporating the new additions in a way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of gameplay.
FINAL SCORE: 8