October 29, 2017

The Evil Within 2 - Review

The Evil Within 2 brings back Sebastian Castellanos, but with the loss of Shinji Mikami from the directors chair, does a new director help push this series forward, or is it more of a stumble in the dark?

This game is clearly a sequel to its predecessor, The Evil Within. This is shown within the first few minutes of the game where the main protagonist, Sebastian, is still reeling from the events of that game. For players, like myself, who have never played the first game, it's not hard to work out what had happened or what Sebastian's motivations and goal is for this sequel.

The first half of the game clearly lets players know the genre is easily a 'Survival Horror' by having Sebastian's mind log into a system named STEM. This clearly isn't the real world, but somewhat of a alternate reality...and with the 1st third of the game having a knife wielding antagonist (amongst other twisted creatures etc), you definitely know you're in a 'survival' game. The 'Horror' element really kicks in by the 2nd third of the game when all sorts of twisted and creepy creature are more prominent in the game. Without spoiling the game too much for people who haven't played it as yet, the game basically revolves around Sebastian trying to find his daughter.

While only having been released this year, the game sadly comes across as if it was inspired by games of consoles past, keeping one foot firmly in the history of the horror genre. If you've ever played Resident Evil, this game has a similar feel to it when trying to move Sebastian around the levels, whether it's shooting, dodging or even trying to run away from enemies, the controls feel clunky, sluggish...and just slow. A lot of time it feels so dated to the point where it felt like a you're playing Resident Evil with a different skin on the characters and enemies. That being said, this could be done purposefully to give players a bit of a challenge so they're not as agile and may easily dodge or move away from enemies. Whatever the reason is, it'll most likely come across very frustrating.

Much like Resident Evil, the graphics aren't exactly the best if you're comparing it to the standard games that are widely available these days. Characters move awkwardly at times when speaking, and feel rather stiff. This almost made the game feel as though it's some international film where it had been voice dubbed. There are a lot of moments where characters feel as though their movements are over exaggerated, and should be part of some Power Rangers episode.

Overall, the game really feel like a B-grade horror film...even it's stereotypical characters, dialogue and story puts the nails in the coffin. However, one thing that the game does well is put you into a 'Horror' environment really well, making you sweat as enemies are around. This could be an accumulation of a few things, from the clunky controls, the lighting effects they use (hard to see dark corridors), or even the fantastic soundtrack and SFX they use.

The Evil Within 2 does succeed at providing a very atmospheric game, which will likely creep most players out, with minimal fuss, so I definitely don't recommend anyone playing this in the dark.

Thanks to Bethesda for supplying the game for review

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