"The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world."

- G-Man, Half-Life 2

The Evil Within 2

By Saki Diaz | 06 Jan 2018
A descent back into madness, players play as a broken Sebastian Castellanos. A few years after the first game, players once more immerse themselves into the mind of Seb. This time entering a world called Union, where not everything is as it seems in this small quiet town. Come and enter Union, the perfect town.

A Broken Detective with a Mission

The Evil Within 2 follows retired detective Sebastian Castellanos, a few years after the events of The Evil Within. Haunted by the horrific experience he went through in Beacon Hospital, Sebastian hunts for the secret organization known as MOBIUS, in hopes to get answers about what happened. Descending into his addiction to alcohol, as well as remembering his dead daughter, leaves him crossing paths with his former partner Juli Kidman, a secret agent for MOBIUS.

Kidman explains to Sebastian that his results and experiences in Beacon have caught the eye of MOBIUS -- they need him. Therefore, they give him a proposition: help them and save his daughter who was thought to be dead or let her perish for real. As Sebastian readily agrees, he enters the small town of Union. A town meant to be the perfect haven but turned into a hellish nightmare. Residents of the small town have turned into the same horrific zombie creatures found in the first game, while newer larger enemies patrol the dark corners, stalking Sebastian.

As Sebastian explores the small town, he comes face to face with new enemies. He meets the person behind the nightmare, called Stefano Valentini. An ďartistĒ with a murderous taste, who created the hellish landscape. He isnít the central villain though. Unlike Ruvik from the first game, Stefano is just one of the many villains that will do anything to make Union their pawn. This makes discovering who the central villain is a bit confusing, but adds to how bad things are in the small town.

Open World Horror Game

The Evil Within focused on a very linear story. If any exploration was done, it would only be a few rooms that would reward you with some extra ammo. The Evil Within 2 changes that perspective by opening the doors to an open world playstyle. Not as expansive, but just enough as to where it gives players a chance to explore the town and its secrets. At first glance, the game can be a bit overwhelming, especially when the enemies are tougher on a normal difficulty level.

Itís imperative that Sebastian retrieves classic weapons first revealed in The Evil Within. As each side quest passes, he gains a considerable amount of weapons and ammo that will ensure his survival. The Evil Within 2 introduces a new save/checkpoint system called Safehouses. Similar to the use of the mirrors, these points in the map will have him meet with other people trapped in MOBIUS who will aid him. These NPCís either give him information about the events that transpire in Union or info on certain characters. Inside these Safehouses are also extra ammo that can be picked up on the first visit. Itís a place where players can recover and regroup to plan their next strategy and destination. They serve as a perfect break from the horrors of the town.

Hiding and sneaking around in this world is easier too. The first game relied on players to distract foes, to either escape or to sneak a kill on enemies. The Evil Within 2 forces players to hide by creating open areas with only bushes or walls to hide behind. It introduces the game mechanic of hugging the walls or hiding in bushes. These hiding measures will cover Sebastian and grey him out, in hopes that any enemies passing will be lost in the shrubs and not be able to see Sebastian. It is difficult to master but it does offer a more interactive environment for players -- players have to use their environment in order to bypass huge crowds of enemies, not just a bottle. Puddles can offer a source of a trap if used properly, and oil barrels are good to use when huge enemies or bosses come near.

A Level-Up System that is Balanced

The Evil Within 2 still includes the famous world inside the mirror. A location deep inside Sebastianís mind that allows him to communicate easier and freely to Kidman as he is inside STEM, this is where most of the levelling up will occur. The first game introduced the currency known to most gamers as brain goo. This allowed players to level up stats on Sebastian while also levelling up his weapons. The issue with that design was the need to choose what was most important to level up for players. If players wanted to level up their shotgun, for example, they would have to sacrifice another stat, such as Sebastianís stamina bar.

This was fixed in The Evil Within 2, players now have two types of currencies to level up Sebastian. While brain goo is still used to level up Sebastian's health and stamina bar, spare parts are now used to level up his weapons. Spare parts in the first game were used to build ammo for the Agony Crossbow and to build certain traps, but this time around they improve the stats on Sebastian's guns. This new improved system is far fairer and makes players feel like they have a chance against enemies.

Final Thoughts

The Evil Within 2 lives up to what the first game started. A horror survival game that resembles Resident Evil, but is still its own thing. It has amazing graphics that leave a horror master itching for more, and players will enjoy the new take on the series. It not only feels fresh but leaves players wanting more. It fixes issues that arose in the first game while still keeping true to its style. The different villains are a bit unnerving as they do mess up the story, and most arenít as memorable as Ruvik from the first game. Nonetheless, The Evil Within 2 is a powerful horror game that is a must play for horror fans.

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The Good

A perfect transition to open world survival.
The tension sticks throughout the game.
A balanced level-up system.
New ways to save in the new style of checkpoints.

The Bad

Too many villains in the story loses the focus.
New stealth system which feels a little easy.
The aiming is horrendous even with aim assist on.


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