Platform reviewed on: Xbox one
Also on: PC, Playstation 4
I played the first ”The Evil Within” on August 2017 and i had a very good time. It was one of the most twisted and sinister game i have ever played. I reviewed it on this site as well (for the detailed review click here) and i highly recommend it to anyone willing enter the world of survival horror. In my opinion, it set standards very high for this genre and i thought that a sequel could only mess this glory of the first one. When i first heard that a second game was in the works, i was very skeptical. However, after its price drop i eventually decided to purchase it. Oh boy, whatever thought i had vanished in mere seconds.
You step again in the shoes of Sebastian Castellanos, a detective with a tragic past. This time, he learns from his former apprentice that his considered dead daughter is still alive and that he can find her. However, there is a catch. Sebastian has to revisit STEM from the first game; STEM is something like a brain network that an evil enterprise by the name of Mobius wants to use in order to achieve world domination. This time, the player visits the rural imaginary town of Union within STEM. The game is a pioneer ing, because although being a purely survival horror game, it is half open world and half linear with next to minimum backtracking.
In addition, I thought that ”The Evil Within” franchise could not be more disturbing but i was wrong, again. The developers do a terrific job by constantly playing with your mind. Apart from the typical monsters, you will encounter many memorable antagonists. For the purpose of this review i will mention the first one you encounter right from the start: An ”artist” who adores taking pictures of his victims at the moment of their death. There are a lot of plot twists here but i will not say anything more because i will spoil it for you. Moreover, the game has optional side missions given to you by Mobius members sent inside STEM, further expanding the lore and the game’s duration . The only reason that i will not give it a perfect 10 is that to fully appreciate everything you have to play the first game.
Brilliant. The game is a true spectacle for the eyes. Everything is beautifully designed with a lot of attention to detail. Character models are outstanding; Take a look at Sebastian’s face for example. His beard, wrinkles and scars make him almost life like. Monsters are haunting and terrifying, even the generic enemies with their glowing eyes and erratic movement send chills over your spine when they are searching or hunting you relentlessly. Stealth kill animations are varied this time and encourage you to incorporate stealth tactics even more. During my play through i only encountered 2 flaws. The first one is that open world environments are not as detailed as the linear sections and the second, that in some cut scenes the movement of the characters is not that natural and their lip syncing is a bit off.
The soundtrack of the game is great. If an enemy spots you, the music that kicks in creates tension thus raising the adrenaline in your blood. Voice acting is outstanding as well, even better than the first game. Monsters scream at you if you are spotted notifying their evil intentions towards your character’s body. Sound effects are very good as well; guns feel great upon firing and there are a lot of environmental effects that further immerse you into its atmosphere.
The game play has been also improved vastly. In this game though, i will have to say that if you do not use stealth, especially on higher difficulty levels, you will not survive. Stating that i have good accuracy even while using the Xbox One controller, i found myself a lot of times relying on my last resort (the survival knife) due to ammunition shortage .
There is a crafting system here as well. Sebastian can create ammunition and medicine on special workbenches. You can also create ammunition on the go, but the cost is raised. Furthermore, the shooting mechanism has been augmented as well. The camera does not annoyingly zoom in when aiming. Talking about aiming, there are a lot of weapons here for every taste: shotguns, handguns, flame throwers etc.
In the game there are tons of different enemies. Apart from the generic (but nonetheless dangerous) ”lost”, you will encounter hulks wielding flamethrowers that scorch everything in their path, quadruplets that can easily decapitate you in a few hits and a ghost that can pass through walls and one hit devour you, to name but a few.
Sebastian’s animation is very fluid. Actually, it is one of the most fluid animations i have ever seen on a video game. However, there is some clunkiness but as i have said a lot of times, it is acceptable for a survival horror game. The only bad thing here is that sometimes the A.I. is a bit off: the enemies may not spot you even if you are on plain sight, but this mostly happens as you traverse the city and not in closed environments.
Value for Money:………9.5
I gave 30 Euros and i got compensated with 25 hours of game play. It is by far the largest survival horror game i have ever played and the only one that the sequel managed to surpass its predecessor in almost everything. To fully appreciate it, you must buy and play the first one and its DLCs, which should not cost that much now since it is a game released on 2014. It is a ”must have” for experienced survival horror fans and newcomers alike. ESSENTIAL.
”For effortlessly managing to raise the quality standards for all survival horror games to come after it.”