For the past few years, my gaming experience has been somewhat limited to only Bethesda's "Triple A" releases. From 2017 to till now, I've ended up playing most of their games except Doom. The thing is, I'm very much drawn to their dystopic world-building. That may be because I've watched so many movies and shows that portray an apocalyptic world caused by science like mad max or the man in the high castle. And now, my taste of game selections is heavily influenced by that.
The Evil Within 2 poster
I have mentioned this quite a few times in my previous blogs that I do not like anything horror. I've always avoided playing Silent hill or Resident evil games or watching movies like Annabelle or paranormal activity. But The Evil Within 2 is unlike any of those. It's not inherently a horror game.
Successful horror films heavily depend on cinematics, BGM, and gore blood-chilling jump scares. But those tricks are not sufficiently adaptable in gaming. Even then, you see some of these in-game cut scenes very carefully designed to inflict sudden fright in viewers, but they are not as effective in games as they are in films. But that's not the case with this game.
The Evil Within 2 is a sci-fi survival horror, a game that is visually very aesthetic.
Its critical focal point is despite being a horror game its set in a very immersive open-world environment. Bethesda managed to produce something that transcends above any genre-based bindings. It's a horror game none the less. Still, even then, if you just change the character skins and disturbing texture packs, it'll feel like any other good survival non-horror RPG.
I Haven't played the previous installment, so I can't compare it to the original one.
The Evil Within 2 is a third-person survival horror shooter that can be played in three difficulties. But to enjoy the gaming experience and the in-game cut scenes at the same pace, players are advised even by the creators to play it in casual mode. I, too, recommend it.
The most crucial element in any survival game is crafting, like collecting resources and upgrading weapons, health, and skills. Like those, in this one, you can craft things at any time anywhere. But if you want to do it quicker, then you have to find a workbench, and it saves time. In Fallout games, you can upgrade your skills by collecting specific items. In this one, it's called a green gel. It's like skill perks from Tomb Raider.
Another thing a player uses is The Communicator. It's a unique item that marks resources, mission objectives, and vice versa. You can pop it on in resonance points while it reveals specific plot points showing what had happened in the past. Unlike most of the other horror games, The Evil Within 2 is set on an open world. And it's pretty immersive and you can either confront enemies silently or guns blazing. I prefer stealth as boss fights use up most of your resources.
This game is supposedly set after quite a long period after the first game. You follow Sebastian Castellones, an ex-cop who left service after his daughter Lily died in a house fire. And his wife Myra blamed it all on him and left. This event left Sebastian with a broken heart until Juli, a former colleague, approaches him. She now works for an organization named Mobius that seeks to dominate the world. They've created a device called Stem using which humans can form a hive mind. Inside the machine their lies a core, another living human being whose mind works as a host. Stem uses the "Core" to create a virtual world based in the "mind" of the host, and others can roam in there.
So, Juli comes to Sebastian with news of her daughter. She, according to her, didn't die and is now being used as a core in a Stem system. She then takes him to that facility where the new machine is. There the meet another guy named The Ambassador who tells Sebastian the situation lily is in. He says that using her, they've formed a simulation of a town called The Union. But somehow, they have now no control over the simulation anymore. They can't access or contact the agents in town, and so is now asking for help from Sebastian.
And the game moves forward from there where Sebastian tries to save her daughter from the Union
All the screenshots are taken from here
My Experience Playing the Game:
Id tech 5 is a game engine that many of the Bethesda games are based on. But The Evil Within two donned a modified it tech 5 engine called Stem (like the in-game machine) and it buttery smooth. It's not like I haven't died in the game. I did plenty of times and mostly in boss fights. But oh boy, I had such a blast.
When the camera moved from 3rd person to an over the shoulder shot while transitioning to cut scenes, you can do nothing but look at the game while you are amazed. I've never seen a game cast a fire so beautifully except maybe in Uncharted 4.
My favorite boss was Stefano Valentini, a serial killer obsessed with cameras. His boss fight was so freaking creepy that it's giving me goosebumps even while I'm writing this. Like you'll be trapped in a photo gallery like a maze with him while you fight, while a Giant eye in the sky keeps looking down at you. What more do you need to freak out? This boss was so well designed that it was utterly horrifying yet stunning and elegant.
But, the only thing I did not like was the shortage of resources. Like the enemies would drop so few items that if you do not play carefully, you'll lose most of your stuff before reaching the next boss. I suppose that's why it's a semi open-world experience so you can kill random low powered NPCs and collect resources.
The coders supposedly wrote a mind-boggling 5.1 million lines for this game. That is an imposing feat to achieve. And the passion seeped through to the game in the form of carefully designed smaller details. Like, if its Lore's grow to be strong enough in the next releases, it has the potential to overtake Resident Evil in terms of popularity. And it's already trendy in japan due to its creative director being a Japanese, and the game was released there in a different name "Psycho Break 2".
If you have a knack for horror games, then you already know or played this one. But if you did not, you are very welcome to try. You'll not be disappointed.
And please, leave a comment below if you've liked reading my content. PEACE