Review – The Evil Within 2 (2017)
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Survival Horror
Director: John Johanas
Release Date: October 13th 2017
I recently revisited the criminally underrated Evil Within 2 for review and I loved almost every second I spent in this insane world. The Evil Within 2 does what all great sequels should aim to do, which is to take the best concepts and systems from the first game and expand on them, while adding in some fresh concepts and discard a lot of the excess fat that dragged the first game down.
This game is a much more streamlined action-horror adventure than the first entry and while it starts out with some creepy and uneasy moments, it focuses more on the action element than the horror side of things in comparison with the first game. I do however feel that the game finds a nice equal balance of horror and action, in a way that feels reminiscent of the modern classic, Resident Evil 4. Even though Shinji Mikami didn’t direct this game as he did the first entry, this one actually feels more like a traditional Shinji Mikami game.
The villain that torments you for the first third of the game is brilliant, he is engaging, threatening and over the top in all of the best possible ways. The one issue I have with him is that he is sadly killed off far too early and replaced with a more bland, less entertaining villain.
There is also some ropey voice acting present in the game, the actor who plays Kidman has been changed from the first game and the new VO artist isn’t quite as engaging in her performance. The actor playing the protagonist’s daughter Lily, is also quite awkward and stilted sounding. There are also some strange lines of dialogue that don’t feel very natural and come across a bit pantomime, but it should be remembered that this is a Japanese game, written in Japanese and then translated into English.
I did experience some technical issues whilst playing through the final third of the game, mostly to do with the use of the radio transmitter and I experienced one slight hiccup with the in-game physics. Unfortunately, although these weren’t game-breaking issues, they are still present 4 years after the game’s initial release, meaning I am forced to knock a point off of my overall score.
In summary though, this is a damn good time for any horror fan out there. The fact that this game is a great deal easier than the first may bother some of the more hardcore gamers out there, but for me it was fine as I mostly play games for the story anyway rather than the challenge. The optional first person mode is also a nice addition and adds a cool incentive to play through the New Game Plus.
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