First let me stress: I love, love horror, and when I got my hands on The Evil Within in late 2014 I was practically glued to the game during my time off school for Christmas. To this day I still think it’s a pretty underrated game, so naturally when a sequel was announced earlier this year at E3 I was on board immediately. The first game featured a very immersive story sprawling with interesting characters, a solid crafting/upgrading system, and one of the best blends of traditional and psychological horror I’ve ever seen. From the little time I’ve spent with its sequel, all of these features appear to very much still be intact, on top of being gracefully improved.
After the events of the first game, Sebastian learns from a colleague that his daughter who he previously thought had died is in fact still alive, and thus sets out accordingly to track her down at any cost.
The opening chapter features Sebastian’s house burning to the ground and is a very scenic and visually breathtaking first step into the madness that will soon be upon you. Sebastian eventually finds himself being chased by some creepy clusterfuck menace, let’s call it, in classic cat and mouse fashion. The game is pretty linear up to this point in all but a bad way, but once the third chapter begins the tone for the game is set and fundamentally tests the player.
Sebastian eventually gets a hold of a communicator and has to explore an open urban area that is infested with zombies. The game wastes no time in showing you that it’s not afraid to kick your ass, and it does this very adequately. Throughout this chapter players will learn to craft and upgrade, fight and avoid enemies, and be smart and conservative when it comes to item usage. Like the first game, The Evil Within 2 allows for items to be upgraded in any desired order. Materials can now be found throughout the world allowing for Sebastian to craft last resort items on the go. I found I was rewarded for exploration just as much as I was punished for it, and I absolutely love that.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game from what little I’ve played of it thus far, but I do have to mention that the loading times are quite poor (at least as far as the PS4 version of the game is concerned). For a game that is practically certain to kick your ass at some point or another, and likely make you repeat the same sequences over and over, this flaw is a really big deal and kills some otherwise fantastic pacing and momentum. That’s just one minor setback that pales in comparison to the brilliance the game has otherwise offered me so far, and I’m eager as all hell to move forward.