Tango’s new game, The Evil Within 2, left me feeling exhausted. Thinking back on my some more or less 20 hours with the game, I feel like I’ve been through an ordeal.
The Evil Within 2 puts you in a simulated world called Union—what was meant to be a happy little town turned to a post-apocalyptic mess with a Silent Hill-esque chasm. It also happens to be overrun by monsters and just because things were going too well… a psychopathic serial killer.
Among all of that, there you are trying to locate and save a little girl named Lily, your (presumed dead) daughter.
Tango doesn’t really hold back when it comes to disturbing scenes. The first cut-scene of the game, you watch a young girl burn to death. Not long after you witness a man’s head explode repeatedly. If that’s not bad enough, you’ll soon after watch someone force-fed some sort of gunk till he chokes.
While not exactly open world, the Evil Within 2 is a big sandbox, with good room to explore. After receiving a communications device which you get early on in the game, you can track whereabouts of main missions as well as the optional side ventures that don’t stray too far from the game, and add to the experience.
The game doesn’t stray too far from its stomach-churning moments— which I think helps highlight the psychological horror bits more than just terrifying with jump scares. The tortured antagonists and manifestations of guilt-driven grief were also a bonus to the whole “psychological” part as well. But fret not, if you’re a fan of jump scares, the infected natives are more that ready to serve up cheap frights.
Of course like any survival game, you can never go wrong with more weapons and ammo. I found myself abandoning the main story arc and exploring every inch of the urban sprawl.
The loot was often well guarded, and with a tiny pistol, I was forced to stealth my way through instead of going full Rambo making use of two modes of cover – one allowing you to hug surfaces when crouched and attack, and the other gives you a greyed-out silhouette when hiding in long grass.
The Evil Within 2 does struggle at times with delivering convincing dialogue with its B-movie trappings, jarring narratives, and ham-fisted voice acting. Your character regularly spews repetitive pedestrian lines like “What the hell?” and “Ugh, who comes up with this stuff?”
I won’t lie, it does help break the horror spell and reduce the stress, but there are points in the game where I’m shouting “just shut up”…. The lines really ruin the ambiance.
Graphics wise, the game does well for most of the part. However, you do get the feeling that not everything was given the full attention of the design team as there are times when parts of the environment, such as cupboards and drawers, can feel quite flat. However, it does help you differentiate between the items you can interact with and the ones that you can’t.
According to my memory archives from all the survival games I’ve played, the controls were slightly different to regular ones. It wasn’t too much of an issue, until I was “ambushed” by a mini-horde of “infected natives” and couldn’t really fight back. That was definitely a significant stress factor for me because well, I don’t like dying.
Overall, The Evil Within 2 is a definite upgrade from its predecessor. It kept my palms sweaty and genuinely tense thanks to a strict adherence to the most essential survival horror rule: you should always be on the back foot.
The Evil Within 2 is available on the PlayStation 4 at Suggested Retail Price of SGD 74.90 (Disc version).