The Evil Within 2 is a survival horror game and the the second game in the series produced by Shinji Mikami. He is also known for creating other survival horror games like Resident Evil and Dino Crisis.
I played the first game, The Evil Within, previously. For that game, I did stop playing for nearly half a year because I just didn’t feel like playing it anymore. And when I did finish the game, I only felt a sense of relief that I finished a game but it wasn’t that memorable.
Yet, I decided to give The Evil Within 2 a try on Saturday, 6 Jan 2018, several months after it was released because I felt like playing some new games.
Until now, I have only finished up to chapter 3 and below are my thoughts so far.
Game Environment and Atmosphere
Like the first game, The Evil Within 2 has a great in-game environment. Almost every location as far as I have been to invoke the feeling of dread and trepidation.
The game also rely a quite a fair bit on foggy environment, which is not that different from Silent Hill.
The game also has a great deal amount of gore, blood, and violence. There are bodies and blood pools everywhere. All that contributes to the sense that the world is going mad. Since the game take place inside of a mind-like world and given the game title, the bodies and blood pools is quite fitting.
There are different kind of enemies. Most of the time you will encounter zombie like creatures which can be quite tough to kill.
Then there are near un-killable creatures like the following that could appear during certain game moments or events.
It is usually enemies like this kind that send chills down your spine and you just want to run.
Story and Gameplay
I have not gone that far into the story. What I have experienced so far does feel like it’s been done before. It’s not that particularly interesting nor was it boring.
To tell the player a story, the game relies on flashbacks quite often. Those flashbacks show you what had happened during the in-game 3 year period and certain key moments from the first game. The transitions are very well-done. It was no different when the game attempts to move on to the next chapter. With that, the experience is not detracted in anyway.
The gameplay saw some minor changes in this new game.
For a start, weapon upgrade has changed. You get to craft items and upgrade weapons through the use of workbench. In the previous game, weapon upgrades can be done through the same menu used to upgrade your abilities when you go back to the safe room. With workbench, they are more numerous in the game world that allow you to upgrade more often. That is a good thing. With that, you don’t need to find the mirror, which serves as a portal between different areas of the game and make the jump.
The world is also more open that allow you to roam around. With that, you get to do side quests. That was something missing from the first game. With side quests, often you will get more ammunition, access to certain areas, find those locker keys, etc. The first game mostly forces you to move along a fixed path. Personally, I prefer a limited open-world setting rather than forcing you to go from point A to point B linearly. So the second game definitely is better with the current open-world implementation.
The graphical settings are pretty much maxed out on the machine I play the game on. With that kind of settings, it did help to bring out the game atmosphere. Normally, for modern games, I would expect playing the game on 1440p will result in some choppiness in scenes with more action. Thus far, I haven’t faced any and that’s a good thing. This just show that the game engine is pretty well-polished by the game developer.
I think this game is better than the first. It is more polished, the gameplay felt that it has matured, and the characters are kind of better developed compared to the first game.
To me, this is a great example of what happens when a game studio focus on what make a survival horror game great instead of trying to appeal to a bigger market.