After taking a lifetime on The Evil Within 2 I was tired and depressed that I had beaten the game. I spent 20 hours on it and it felt ambitious, tense, and brutal at times, but it left me wanting more and excited although depressed that I had beaten it. The Evil Within 2 is cheesy and at times doesn’t maintain a consistent tone but it’s really really good.
Tango Gameworks has done a phenomenal job this time around and cleaning up the problems that the original game had like taking away bits and pieces of Japanese Horror and replacing it with a mix of Western and Japanese Horror to make the game at least approachable to someone like me. The Evil Within 2 is about Sebastian Castellanos and his descent into STEM to find his daughter who he thought was dead adding some sort of emotional attachment to keep you going that wasn’t present at all during the original game. Sebastian, however, is more dull then he was in the original game and despite having gone through this before, he still quips out the stupid and cheesy dialogue that was present in the first game. I thought Tango Gameworks would make Sebastian similar to Issac Clarke during Dead Space 2, make him have more personality and making him have more depth but I guess not.
The game’s secondary and primary casts don’t fare much better as well. Aside from an interesting character, they’re there just to push the story forward and the weird and cheesy dialogue makes you feel like you’re witnessing a B-Movie but it feels like Tango missed the mark to not further develop the characters.
However, this is still very much The Evil Within. The world remains weird and malleable but alot more open then the original game’s location of the hospital, the world changes all the time and at any time which keeps things fresh and interesting. The world this time around is more open, you can do anything you want although it isn’t a true open world like Fallout or The Elder Scrolls but you can anything you want just as long as you have the resources to do it. It’s a mini-sandbox, Union is a sprawling mess of old-timey diners, white picket fences, and a main street that ends at a gaping hole and the rest of it is lost to atmosphere and aesthetics. It’s very small-town America.
Exploration is more rewarding here then how it is in the original game. Exploration is vital to your survival, exploring yields great results in The Evil Within 2: from Green Gel, weapon parts, and gunpowder are scarce but necessary to survive. I was frequently putting Sebastian into danger as I was exploring but I came out with rewards and I usually just hoarded gunpowder and nearly everything so once I came to a good spot, I could just upgrade Sebastian and his weapons and have ammo for days. I recommend you to hoard as well.
The story here in The Evil Within 2 is quite unusual, as the first half is tonally and physically different from the second half. Sebastian begins his journey into STEM which is a mystery that’s sorta explained but not really and with a weak boss fight which made me miss the opening hours of the original were non-stop action and non-stop climatic encounters.
It’s second half though, travels at breakneck speed and is focused on Sebastian’s broader task and it’s implications for Sebastian. The second half felt like a different game and it felt like it was telling me two different stories with the second half being stronger and much better then the first half of the game. It’s never inconsistent though which is a plus although the tone of the game feels inconsistent. The world however is absolutely gorgeous in Upscale 4K and 1440p on PC, the dim corridors, lighting, the overall look of the world comes to life and I must applaud Tango Gameworks on the graphical fidelity, it looks much much better then the original game.
The Evil Within 2 gives you more options to play how you want to play without sacrificing anything, except maybe the horror part of it. It doesn’t feel as scary as the original or other games but it is definitely tense. The plot feels disjointed at times, and weak characters including the protagonist make it slow at first but as soon as you get into the rhythm of things, The Evil Within 2 ramps up. Tango Gameworks has created a masterful game with some weak spots but overall a very good game.