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The Evil Within 2 review

The original The Evil Within’s setting of the mind of a psychopath; a whole world contained within a mind that others could access through a device, made for some excellent horror, and allowed elements such as pacing, logical world building, and even characterisation to take a back seat. With the sequel, more care has been taken to establish motivation and character personalities, playing more on emotion within the same madness of a mind-made world of horror.

The mind hosting the frights this time around is that of the protagonist’s, Sebastian Castellanos, daughter, who was abducted by the sinister MOBIUS, those behind the Beacon Hospital event from the original. This organisation have, once again, created a world that others can inhabit, something has gone wrong and now they rely on you to figure out what and save their operatives as well as your daughter.

Indeed, The Evil Within 2’s stronger focus on character gives it a Silent Hill 2 feel initially, this is further explored by a shift from linear environments to several open ones. However, while the psychology of Sebastian is mostly well played on in dialogue, boss encounters and general enemies fail to represent the trauma and fear of the protagonist in any meaningful way. In fact they’re a little disappointing in general, lacking the same originality and over-the-top gruesomeness as in the first title. Considering the visual are leagues ahead in detail and lighting, as well as featuring a far more varied colour palette, this is surprising and a bit of a let-down.

Fortunately, there’s still plenty of frightening encounters and environments to get your blood pumping. Despite spending a fair amount of time in the three open areas, there’s still plenty of corridors and more linear areas that allow for some creepy and tense exploration, playing on audio and the ‘close the shoulder’ camera to really play on the fear of the unknown. The open areas, meanwhile, are a little more action orientated but still do a good job getting the scares in with enough corners hiding terrors and copious amounts of items and side missions to encourage you to explore every nook and cranny. Moreover, the new ability to craft items means less collecting specific ammo types and more collecting material to craft what you want. This brilliantly allows you to create ammo for your preferred weapon rather than forcing you to use them all.

Additionally, the crafting mechanic creates a clever risk verses reward situation where crafting items in the field costs significantly more than returning to a safe house and crafting there. It forces you to frequently decide between trekking through enemy infested areas to get somewhere safe or taking the hit to materials and crafting where you are allowing you to continue. This is especially effective in the first few hours where a couple of hits is enough to put you down and your ammo count is pathetically small.

Even when ammo is more abundant, you’re never fully prepared for the enemy encounters. Stealth is the best way to proceed, avoiding combat as much as possible, and when it does kick-off, the open areas allow you to retreat, which is often a smart choice. Additionally, a more nuanced tree of abilities, both passive and active, can be unlocked with green goo as with the original title, and these help you shape Sebastian into the character you want for the play style you’ve chosen. Still, it’s a difficult game where a lapse in focus can easily result in your demise.

The Evil Within 2 is a great horror game that improves upon the original in movement, characterisation and inventory management brilliantly, but drops the ball a little when it comes to enemy originality and scares. This is partially due to the open areas offering a different experience but more so it’s a simple lack of creativity on the developer’s side. Still, it’s an attractive looking title with an intriguing setting and enough frightening encounters to put you on edge, less original but more refined.

Thanks to Xbox and Bethesda for supporting TiX

The Evil Within – Every Last Bullet Trailer

Learn the basics of surviving as Detective Sebastian Castellanos in the new video from Bethesda, Every Last Bullet.

If you haven’t yet done so, previously a new pre-order incentive – The Fighting Chance Pack has been unveiled as detailed below. With launch imending, now is no better time to pre-order The Evil Within from your favourite retailers…

The Fighting Chance Pack provides players with a handful of additional items that may help them stave off death for a moment longer and includes:

  • Medical Kit – A vital health enhancement to enable Sebastian to fight on.
  • Green Gel – Used to upgrade Sebastian’s attributes.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun and Three Shells – A larger and more formidable shotgun than the regular shotgun, it’s useful for tight situations with multiple encroaching enemies.
  • An Incendiary Agony Bolt – Capable of showering nearby enemies with damaging fire sparks.
  • A Poison Agony Bolt – Will draw enemies towards it and poison them, allowing Sebastian time for a quick escape.

The Evil Within releases in North America and Europe on Tuesday, October 14th. The game will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.

The Evil Within – New Release Date with New Trailer

evil within packs

Bethesda has revealed that The Evil Within will now be available in North America on October 21st, 2014, in Australia on October 23rd, 2014, and throughout Europe on October 24th, 2014. Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have asked for additional time to further balance and refine the game in order to deliver the polished, terrifying pure survival horror experience they set out to create. Additionally today a new pre-order incentive – The Fighting Chance Pack has been unveiled.

The Fighting Chance Pack provides players with a handful of additional items that may help them stave off death for a moment longer and includes:

  • Medical Kit – A vital health enhancement to enable Sebastian to fight on.
  • Green Gel – Used to upgrade Sebastian’s attributes.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun and Three Shells – A larger and more formidable shotgun than the regular shotgun, it’s useful for tight situations with multiple encroaching enemies.
  • An Incendiary Agony Bolt – Capable of showering nearby enemies with damaging fire sparks.
  • A Poison Agony Bolt – Will draw enemies towards it and poison them, allowing Sebastian time for a quick escape.

Both the new release date and pre-order incentive are highlighted in the latest video below.

The Evil Within Release Date Set for August 2014

evil within packs

Bethesda has announced that The Evil Within, the new survival horror game from legendary director, Shinji Mikami, will be available in North America on August 26th, 2014 and throughout Europe on August 29th, 2014. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and other platforms.

Developed by Shinji Mikami and the talented team at Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within embodies the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story are combined to create an immersive world that will bring you to the height of tension. With limited resources at your disposal, you’ll fight for survival and experience profound fear in this perfect blend of horror and action.

While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners encounter a mysterious and powerful force. After seeing the slaughter of fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead. Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what’s behind this evil force.

We’ll hopefully have a review in due course!