The Evil Within 2 Review
Disclaimer: PC Aficionado was provided with a code for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions expressed in the review are the writers own and are not influenced by the developer and/or publisher in anyway.
The Evil Within 2 is the sequel of the 2014 release, The Evil Within. It follows a man named Sebastian as he attempts to track down his daughter inside of a computer simulation. The simulation has become unstable as his Daughter, the ‘Core’ of the simulation has gone missing. This has resulted in the world essentially corrupting. Causing the game environment to literally tear itself apart. During the events of the game giant masses of land collapse or separate entirely as well as booming earthquakes that seem to be happening faster and faster. While there is no timer on the game (Thank god) this ups the sense of urgency. We need to find Sebastian’s daughter and we need to find her now.
You are thrown into the small town of Union, a simulation of a seemingly normal rural American town, the kind where everyone knows everyone… quaint. Well, it would be quaint if everyone that once lived there had not become twisted monsters hell-bent on making you their next victim, believe me, they’re very creative when it comes to that.
The Evil Within does a lot well, they’ve taken a great concept and made it even more interesting, a small town overrun with nasties, quite a lot like Silent Hill or perhaps Resident Evil. The added layer of the town being a Simulation really does add a lot, we often have to traverse the ‘Marrow’ of Union. Essentially, behind the scenes of what the computers have created. This enables the scientists, engineers, and technicians to operate on the town without disturbing the residents that are currently living there. As the simulation tears itself apart you have to go into these areas a lot, while not perhaps the reason behind the marrow I felt this added a sinister side to the town, even before the locals got a little bloodthirsty. Were they aware they’re being watched? Did they volunteer to live inside this simulation or do they think they’re out in the real world?
I feel a goldmine was struck when Evil Within embraced this idea, many horrors I’ve played go into this dream sequence type gameplay that leaves you confused, why is this happening? I thought this was a horror, not a strange dream sci-fi simulator. Evil Within has an excuse to distort reality because well… reality isn’t real. Everything you see in the game is not real, the things trying to kill you, the environments. It can all be changed. And now that the simulation is tearing itself you’re the only one that can fix it.
Nothing can be trusted here as you’re the only thing that’s real. Despite that, the risk of death is very VERY real. You die in Union you die in real life.
The environments are sculpted nicely and are visually appealing to look at, despite the pools of blood and constant nighttime caused by corruption of the simulation… although an issue I had was things in the distance would almost glow white for awhile or pop up as I got closer. I didn’t know whether to chalk this down to engine limitations or the actual game itself, being a simulation… I suppose if it is the game slightly breaking as I’m playing it somewhat adds to that and makes it a bit more believable. A happy accident perhaps? As long as it doesn’t screw up my pc I’m fine with it. It’s acceptable with the context of the game.
The characters all look great, from the security teams trying to deal with the monsters to Sebastian himself, Sebastian is a washed-up cop, and that’s exactly what he looks like. The modelers did a great job.
The amount of detail on the models is quite impressive down to the material of the leather on his gun holster. It’s just nice to look at, especially as it’s an over the shoulder it’s mostly what you’re going to be looking at. The best way I can describe the monsters is cancerous. They have horrific growths and stretching veins across their body. I just want them to keep away, just a touch and I feel like I’m going to catch whatever they have. Your run of the mill zombie just has some glowy eyes and blood splatter. Big whoop right? These things redefine what a human monster should look like. Corrupted, just like the simulation they’re stalking you in.
I’ve had a few issues with clipping that have stopped my game dead in its tracks. When exploring the underground regions of Union I found myself stuck in the ceiling twice. No amount of running, meleeing or frustrated keyboard spamming could get me down. I had to resort to a save I made 15 minutes ago, despite this, it’s not happened often enough to become a problem. I feel I’ve brought up the simulation aspect quite a lot, but again I feel this is something the game can use heavily to its advantage. The game already appears slightly… broke, the worlds falling apart, things are not always as they seem. I’m sure a couple of things I’ve come across here or there were actually bugs that came across as just another corruption in the simulation. It’s not every day I say this but a few bugs or texture glitches here or there is not a problem at all if anything it adds to the experience of the game with regards to the situation we’re in.
You’re able to craft ammo and supplies with items you find around the town, this increases the need for exploration, almost every location has items you can find that are actually of use to you in your travels. I feel this prolongs the game, I’m a bit of an obsessive guy when it comes to game exploring. I actually get a bit worried I’m not going to find everything and spend an unhealthy amount of time in single areas. By the time I’m meant to move on I’m kitted out and can slap these monsters about like it’s no real problem. The fact that you’re allowed to do this is fantastic in my opinion. Our exploration is rewarded with power, you take your time to appreciate the environment and find all that valuable loot and you WILL survive. I mean maybe, don’t quote me on that.
I’ve played many horror games in my day; Amnesia, Alien, Resident Evil. I’m a bit of a veteran now and it takes a lot for a game to actually scare me. While I wasn’t consistently scared while playing the game I was definitely spooked. The designs of the NPCs and dark dreary environments really helped build the horror experience. I felt myself saying outloud ‘Nope, **** that’ and to me that makes a good horror, not one that uses cheap jump scares to literally scare you. But one that puts you on the edge of your seat. Is it worth exploring this old warehouse? Well yeah, of course, I’m a sucker for some loot but I’m not going to enjoy it.
The only downside I found, and it isn’t a downside really more of a slight nuisance, is that the game throws about a lot of names, words, and places that I had no idea about. The Evil Within 2 is almost a direct sequel to the first game, the events in the first game don’t affect this one much but they are heavily referenced. An easy solution to this would be a quick summary at the beginning. While I really enjoyed the game the first couple of hours were a struggle, and I find first impressions are vital. If someone is playing this for an hour, has no idea what is going on and doesn’t understand what the characters are saying my money is on them losing interest pretty fast.
However despite this slight hiccup at the start, the game is fantastic and is a must buy for any horror fans, especially those who enjoy Resident Evil or Silent Hill.
- Compelling Story
- Engaging Gameplay
- Good Environments
- Good Music
- Occasional Clipping Issues