The Evil Within 2, analysis
It’s been three years since Shinji Mikami was back in the news with The Evil Within . The game of Tango Gameworks, announced as the return of the Japanese genius to the Survival Horror, was rather the return to Resident Evil 4. A delivery not without problems (technical, especially) but that dazzled the press and the public for its development. Wh
o was advancing enough to understand what was happening in that world in which we jumped from locations in a seemingly disconnected
way, I could not leave until Sebastian Castellanos’ adventure ended. Three years later, just where the title we are dealing with is also chronologically located, The Evil Within 2 arrives. Many things have changed.
When one finishes The Evil Within, and those who can find destripes in the next two paragraphs will forgive me , it has the feeling that maybe Sebastian is not even the protagonist of the adventure. In fact, there are many theories that indicated th
at maybe the detective did not even exist (something discarded, by the way). The real protagonist, although it sounds crazy, ends up being Ruvik and the world that is built through their fears and nightmares recreated with STEM , the machine
that in the purest Matrix or Inception style connects people in a single place run by the nucleus. How the antagonist tries to es
cape with some body and compatible conscience (does he really get it with Leslie?) While molding Beacon at will is what catches the player who first does not understand anything and, little by little, fits the pieces.
Not here. Here the detective Castellanos, who was the character controlled in the first installment and is again in the sequel, is the true axis of the adventure. A story of redemption that gathers the witness of the two downloadable contents The Assignment
and The Consequence and delves into the unresolved nightmares for the protagonist. The death of his daughter Lilly and the disappearance of his wife Myra. The profile of Sebastián Castellanos is built around a life devastated by both events, and that is wha
t torments the detective. Until at the start of this delivery you are informed that your daughter is alive, that they are using it as the core for a renewed STEM machine and that it has
been lost. That’s when Sebastian knows everything the player learned in the downloadable content: in the first, that his assistant Juli Kidman works
for Mobius – a company that develops these gadgets and dreams of a utopian world connected to the same thought; the second, that his wife is also involved in Mobius and not disappeared as he thought.
So The Evil Within 2 develops and clarifies all the unknowns left by the pack of the first part. What really happened with Castellanos’ daughter and why Kidman and Myra are involved in the STEM project. There are unresolved questions of the first installment t
hat will remain for each one’s theory, since the starting point of the sequel advances directly in that redemption of Castellanos on his past. Aware that
reconnecting to STEM is not the best of ideas, but with the will to find his daughter Lilly, the detective enters the new machine to reach a new world full of horrors: Union. Here dementia is
still present in every corner. Disconnected characters that only have to survive in this parallel world, craving for power from various psychopaths who want to take over Lilly, evolution of other NPCs with unexpected endings … Yes, we still have stage jumps and surpr
ising changes, but unlike the first delivery, the player already knows what is due. The surprise factor is lost, but in return one understands much better why certain characters do what they do or evolve as we see.
Stress and action
It is difficult to define The Evil Within 2 as a Survival Horror game. The genre has evolved significantly since Resident Evil and Silent Hill began to make it fashionable in the mid-nineties. That formula, where the action was not protagonist and yes the great
puzzles, has been lost and it is the titles in first person that, including the renewed Resident Evil 7 , have picked up the baton. With Resident Evil 4 the formula changed, and in fact the first Evil Within embraced more that conc
ept of action with tense moments (and much gore) that not the classic Resident Evil. This delivery follows the same path with much more balance. Although th
e DLCs pointed to another format of exploration and puzzles, the director of these contents, John Jonas,who is in turn the leader of this delivery in the place of Mikami, preferred to maintain the known line of the main game but giving it a touch of its own.
Thus, The Evil Within 2 is a title where the third-person action, stealth and -to a lesser extent- the exploration are mixed with a good eye. If the player is proactive, and should be in proposals of this type, we will rarely suffer real ammuniti
on problems, something that is not at odds with also affirming that we will not sail in the abundance of gunpowder. In fact, when neede
d – final heads – there are areas that are regenerating ammunition to not find ourselves without tools at a given moment. In return, yes, the title i
nvites you to use stealth to move without being detected or to kill enemies silently as a method of saving. Because as we said, it’s one thing not to have supply problems and another to shoot everything that moves.
Both proposals, which are combined throughout the 17 chapters of the adventure, have improved compared to the previous installment. Beginning with stealth, both the options of hiding in bushes and the system of covers, and the possibility of moving bet
ween them, is much more precise and effective, reminding The Last of Us in a much more obvious way than the first delivery. It is a useful system but above all necessary in the open areas in which we will move. The title contin
ues mixing wide spaces-the city Union on the outside- with the most guided but more demanding interiors, and it is at that moment that hiding and running takes all the sense. Sometimes we will find five or six enemies at a time and that, considering the sho
oting system, is not surpassed by a clean shot. We will have some classic aids like the bottles that we can throw to make noise and mislead the monsters or the knife, ideal to kill if we surprise them from behind.
As a shooter, The Evil W
ithin 2 feels more precise and friendly at the controls. The system of confrontations is classic inherited from the games of its type: run a f
ew meters, shoot and when the enemies approach us, to return to run; but convincing in the use of weapons (pistols, sniper, submachine gun, crossbow with all types of ammunition, flamethrowers …) and in
the exchange of them. We never feel that we have control problems because of something other than our skill when it comes to aiming and shootin
g. Yes, we will shoot a lot, but it is not constant. There are areas that can only be overcome by killing certain enemies, but many others where it is not recommended. This is where we feel that the game is quite more balanced than the previous installment:
Here one of the negative points of the game: the enemy AI. The enemies, who are divided into fast and aggressive types of humanoid beasts, are quite clumsyboth in their patterns and when they detect us, offering some un
convincing reactions. Except certain enemies, such as a humanoid spider that moves at high speed or others, such as those equipped with flamethrowers or a huge monster with several heads and legs, the rest – which are the most common – have im
provable behavior. What stands out is the variety of their abilities: some are lit and hard as rocks, others make cries that leave us dazed and, if they cat
ch us, they kill us in a single movement. Special mention to the final heads, that without being especially difficult, have a spectacular staging, particularities to finish them -including interacting with the stage- and a lot of personality.