Review: The Evil Within 2

Erin Holley gets to grips with Tango Gameworks' latest horror hit just in time for the Halloween season.

Erin Holley
30th October 2017
Image: Igdb.com

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Tango Gameworks to drop the much-anticipated horror video game The Evil Within 2. I have been itching to get my hands on the sequel after being blown away by the twisted plot and high-quality gameplay of 2014's The Evil Within.

The Evil Within 2 marks another excellent addition to the increasingly popular, ever growing genre of survival horror. The plot returns to follow the protagonist ex-detective Sebastian Castellanos, several years after the events at Beacon Mental Hospital in the first instalment. Still haunted by his past, he plunges into the ravaged, haunted nightmare of the idyllic town of Union, a simulation created by the Mobius STEM system. Presented with a chance to find his thought to be deceased daughter, Castellanos takes the player to a shattered, zombie-infested wasteland on a desperate search for Lily.

The Evil Within 2 marks another excellent addition to the increasingly popular, ever growing genre of survival horror.

Ostensibly the game is very similar to the 2017 smash hit Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, with parallels of the young girls haunting the protagonists, leading them through decrepit buildings in the search of redemption. This similarity is understandably expected as the first instalment was directed by Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil franchise, who also supervised development of The Evil Within 2.

However, The Evil Within 2 focuses less on interactions with infected humans as seen in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and much more on the battles with mutated monsters. Most haunting of these being the Reborn Laura, a creepy splice of waif-like corpses with multiple heads. She is made even more unsettling by the pained moans and enraged screams it emits as she chases Castellanos with an enormous rotating blade. On that note, the game is quite loud with tortured cries and howls of the mutated undead and if, like me, you have thin walls and flatmates, I would advise in using headphones during the gameplay.

If, like me, you have thin walls and flatmates, I would advise in using headphones during the gameplay.

Fans of gore may be disappointed with the lack of blood and guts throughout the narrative, particularly after the gruesome scenes of the first game. But then again how can you top fighting for your life whilst trying to climb out of a huge vat full of blood, intestines, body parts and of course zombies? Still, since it was the sheer volume of visceral slaughter in the first game that truly captured my horror-loving attention, this second instalment was arguably a bit of a let-down in that regard.

In addition to this, the narrative of the game gets a bit hazy at times with seemingly random side quests hindering the momentum of play. But gamers who dislike the cop-out of a jump scare will be glad to know that this new instalment has relatively few eye-rolling reanimations (when I see a suspiciously innocent dead zombie I tend to try and kill it again-just to be on the safe). Overall, I was really impressed with the game and I sincerely (fingers crossed) hope that in a few years we can get another dose of survival horror in a third instalment.

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