Review: The Evil Within 2

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Life’s tough on Sebas­ti­an.

After his last trip into the gru­e­so­me world of Stem he thought he’d be done with all of this hor­ror. His for­mer col­league Kid­man sud­den­ly appears and offers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to the trau­ma­ti­zed ex-cop to save his long lost dead daugh­ter. The catch: She’s being used as con­trol modu­le for the new Stem-sys­tem which is super unsta­ble and brea­king down. Short­ly the­re­af­ter Sebas­ti­an finds him­s­elf in the simu­la­ted city Uni­on which is about to fall apart. Des­troy­ed apart­ment blocks are floa­ting in the sky. Despi­te the dis­tur­bing view Uni­on seems more cohe­rent than the fever dream of the first game.

The­re are still sud­den chan­ges of sce­ne­ry but due to the fact the simu­la­ted city of Uni­on is estab­lished as the main game world, you wouldn’t stumb­le through the game aim­less­ly. Also you won’t con­stant­ly ask yours­elf if this is real so there’s no real sur­pri­se.

The lack of sur­pri­ses is a recur­ring the­me in the game’s sto­ry. Unfor­tu­n­et­ly you encoun­ter one cli­ché after ano­t­her: the sha­dy orga­ni­sa­ti­on which runs the Stem-sys­tem, Sebastian’s old-fashio­ned moti­va­tions and well-known zom­bie designs. Over­all it’s a decent hor­ror best-of with no sur­pri­ses.

The game­play is more inte­res­ting though. The Evil Wit­hin 2 is using open world ele­ments inspi­te of other games in the gen­re. Ins­tead of a line­ar expe­ri­ence, play­ers are pre­sen­ted a who­le aray of are­as which are not mas­si­ve but can be explo­red a bit. There’s all sorts of upgrades, side­quests and other dis­trac­tions to be found wit­hin them.

You can play with dif­fe­rent ide­as in Sebastian’s rewor­ked and immens­ly expan­ded upgrade path. Tan­go Game­works pro­vi­des play­ers with use­ful abi­li­ties for any kind of play­style. In our run we focu­sed on a ste­alt­hy approach with a touch of com­bat skills which made sen­se sin­ce we saved up the scar­ce­ly avail­ab­le ammu­ni­ti­on to kill the ever ambu­s­hing enemies.

Luck­i­ly you have there’s a way to craft ammo. You find com­pon­ents such as gun­pow­der and nails throughout the game world and craft objec­ts in any kind of form. This enab­les you to focus on cer­tain wea­pons which you can upgrade with wea­pon parts.

Visual­ly The Evil Wit­hin 2 is espe­ci­al­ly appe­aling becau­se of its ligh­t­ing effec­ts. ID Engi­ne has its trou­bles with loa­ding of tex­tures and pop-ins but even when a lar­ge crowd of mons­ters covers the who­le screen and a lot of effec­ts are dis­play­ed the frame­ra­te is ever so smooth on our review­ed Xbox One ver­si­on.

Speaking of the design of enemies for the final time, the super­b­ly orches­tra­ted boss fights lea­ven the mono­to­ny mas­ter­ful­ly.

Gameplay video: Patrick plays the 1st hour into The Evil Within 2


The Evil Wit­hin 2 is at the end of the day a mas­si­ve impro­ve­ment com­pa­red to its pre­quel. The sto­ry doesn’t win us over with ori­gi­na­li­ty but the impro­ved skill sys­tem, the unusu­al decisi­on to design the game with an open world as well as the smooth and fun game­play more than make up for that.

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