Review: The Evil Within 2 (PS4)

Review: The Evil Within 2 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro, PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: The Evil Within 2
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (31.79 GB)
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 547 of the podcast at 121:40.
Episode 547 - Evil Raw Turismo

Gameplay:
The horror genre tends to be pretty hit or miss with me – mostly miss. I either find the situations so absurd that I laugh my way through them or I’m bored and annoyed that my time is being wasted. Not so with The Evil Within 2. There’s a good sci-fi tinged premise and a wonderful creep factor that kept me engaged and disturbed the entire time.

Minor spoilers follow
You’re back as Sebastian Castellanos as this picks up some unspecified time after the first game. Your former partner Kidman shows up and tells you that your daughter, who you thought died in a fire, was actually taken by Mobius and used as the stabilizing force for this thing called STEM.

It’s kind of like Inception where people are connected and live within this shared dream world. Your daughter seems to have disconnected and disappeared which caused the whole environment to destabilize. An extraction team was sent in to investigate and fix things but now they’re missing too.

It’s a good premise that ensures at least some cooperation and it’s a great way to pull Castellanos back into the narrative. Once you’re in, there’s a limited open world to explore and you’re rewarded for doing so with weapons, upgrades, and collectibles. Digging around will also help open up some of the backstory and give you a better idea of what’s going on in here.

You can approach things in whatever order you want and you’ll need to use different tactics for the various situations you come upon. Stealth, tactical, run and gun, they can all be used to great effect when necessary but you’ll spend a lot of your time exploring the world and searching for your daughter.

This is a nightmare landscape in a town that looks and feels real, but things are breaking down and falling apart. The town’s inhabitants have become twisted nightmarish creatures that will attack you the moment they see or hear you. You’ll need to keep your distance to skirt around them or hide in bushes and foliage.

Stealth takedowns are possible or you can use other weapons such as the crossbow which can be upgraded. You can also craft different types of ammo like bullets, electric bolts and more. The crafting mechanic should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s played Dead Island or even The Last of Us. It’s not too complicated but it’s a good way to keep you engaged and searching as you wander through the desolate landscape.

The main bad guy, Stephano, is killing and torturing people and he appears to be after your daughter. He has a crazy camera that takes pictures which will freeze a short time loop within an area. It’s usually where someone is in the process of dying. He’s the one that generates the imaginative and twisted bosses you’ll be facing throughout the story and he’s one hell of an adversary.

I love the semi-open world aspect of the game and it feels grounded enough to be really creepy to the point that it has genuine scares and chills for me which is rare. There’s a good hook with the story and enough going on in the world that I didn’t want to stop.

Visuals:
The visuals are great but the character models don’t work as well in the scenes with a lot of dialogue. Otherwise, this creepy landscape locked in a seemingly perpetual night will keep you on your toes. The interiors are detailed and decomposing at the same time, helping up the “ick” factor.

This is a world that you just want to get out of as soon as possible. Everywhere you turn, every structure you enter, every creature you encounter is enough to make you want to leave immediately. If I wasn’t searching for my lost daughter, I’d question why I should even be in here. It’s that messed up.

Audio:
The audio is fantastic for setting the tone. When played with headphones it really had me twisting and turning at times, plus some of the sounds are just freaky scary weird.

While the character models may look a little odd in the dialogue heavy scenes, the voice acting itself is excellent.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
The Evil Within 2 is a wonderfully creepy game. Even with the fantastical premise, it’s grounded enough to be genuinely scary and engaging throughout. There’s a certain urgency to the game in that you’re looking for your lost daughter which really helps keep things moving. The setting, the characters, the story, it all comes together in a great package that’s well worth a go.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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