I am a massive fan of horror games, jump scare games and any other games that make me shit my pants. Currently, the only game that has done this for me is Alien Isolation. This is due to me watching all the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver when I was growing up. I would hide behind a pillow and jump at every time an Alien would enter the scene. As growing up, the Alien moves became more of a must watch, but introducing an Alien game, where you would play a loan person, with just the basic’s of weaponry to keep you safe, well is my worse nightmare and trust me, when I first saw the alien, I turned the game off and went to get a coffee and a very long break, before I turned it back on. The chances of me playing the game in a virtual world are nigh on, never going to happen.
I also delved into Capcom’s latest horror game reboot, Resident Evil, this was more or less all jump scares, something a lot of gamers love, for me, yes I enjoyed but also wanted more at the end, which is good, so I am hoping for another Resident Evil from Capcom in 2019. Now comes Bethesda’s The Evil Within 2 from developer Tango Gameworks, can this game, make me shit my pants and want to hide behind my gaming chair? let’s find out.
Welcome back to STEM, hell you could call it, a perverse version of your worse nightmare of what hell could be, in a town called Union. The game picks up several years after the events of the original, as we find detective Sebastian Castellanos, feeling the guilt over the loss of his family and haunted by visions of his last visit to the world of nightmares. You would think it would be over and he would not want to go back, but after an organisation called Mobius offers him a chance to set things right and rescue his daughter Lily, who was believed to of died five years ago in a tragic fire, Sebastian re-enters the horrifying world of Union (STEM) and your journey begins.
When you enter Union a sense of Deja vu enters your mind, have I seen this before, this looks the same, as Sebastian falls for the same tricks the original game set before him, but it is not all the same as you soon find out. The Areas are much bigger, there is more to see and find, more characters to talk to, more intuitive enemies and more aggressive.
Somewhat rather early in the game you will gain a communication device that tracks the whereabouts of your daughter Lily, as well as a host of side quests, if you decide to move away from the main story arc and concentrate on the side events (quests) you will get to meet with characters, find elements that talk about Union, caches and weapons, I found doing side events were a must, or just wondering around and exploring every nook and cranny. Be warned though weapons caches are where guarded, and thanks to the new games cover systems you are now able to hug surfaces when crouched or hide in long grass as a greyed out silhouette.
The new cover system might not be to everyone liking as it sort of detracts from the survival aspects of the original, which was using distractions to control the enemy, it felt more like a survival horror, with this new cover system in place, it sort of moves away from the survival aspect and more of a hide and go seek. You will also find areas are less populated, but the enemies are more in your face (aggressive) and will hunt you down, they take a little longer than before to get bored or looking for you, or wanting to rip your guts out.
So since AI in the game is now more aggressive, the developers have implemented an in-game visibility indicator which is switched on by default to help you navigate around the areas. I found this to be highly required and highly recommend, unless you are a die-hard type of person with balls or vagina’s hard as steel, mine are more like jelly.
You are alone in this world when it comes to taking down the horrors that are all around, so you will need to be ready, tactics and strategy will be your best friend. You will find many ways of taking down the enemy, from setting a lite petrol, to sending electric through water, to old faithful’s, guns and knives. The environments offer tactics to try and test in all zones, maybe you are being chased by a number of enemies and need to find a quick way of taking them out? you have a way of lighting a fire, sending shocks through water? find a way of doing this, like a petrol station oil spill or a water extinguisher which can create a puddle? just look around and make a note, just in case you need help at some point due to a failed attempt, or you are being chased by a horse of evil shits and just need a quick multi kill.
The Evil Within 2 also offers a new Crafting system, that allows you to create a number of items from bullets to crossbow ammunition and even health pots, just to name a few things. Everything can be done when adventuring or on crafting benches found is safe houses. If you are to create things on the move it will cost you more to create, so its best to keep to the safe housing when it comes to creating anything.
If you can not be bothered to use the crafting systems there is plenty of ammunition to be had hidden around the world of Union. Not only that you will find characters trying to exit this world, that you can talk too, find information about Union etc, it is a nice added addition. You can not ignore safe houses altogether as they contain mirrors that give you access to Sebastian’s office and trade in Green Gel to upgrade your abilities, something I wish was real in the real world.
**Slight Spoiler in RED**
After you have spent some time in the game getting to grips with gameplay and reading and playing through the story, you might still be wondering WTF has his Daughter Lily got to do with everything. Well, we find out that Lily is the reason behind the STEM network, in which Union is housed, and to get her out, you will need to take on two art lovers that are also a bit demented, they are Stefano Valentini and Father Theodore Wallace. These two mentally unstable fellows will have you on a hinge throughout the story and during intense battles.
To get to these two foes will you find yourself wondering narrowly linked corridors take on a number of shit scary foes, unsettling messages and mysterious doors. There is one enemy that comes to mind, a she-devil, comprised of corpses and saw blades, damn, designed well and portrayed as hell itself would create and send after you.
There are plenty of enemies and bosses to dig yourself into here and the majority of them will have you pissing in your pants if you get unsettled with horror games.
Resident Evil and Alien Isolation are games set apart from this, and The Evil Within 2 is an intense horror game, that will keep you on your toes, searching and exploring everything. The new cover system makes the game more intense and less of a survival horror, it is a love/hate relationship. The new crafting system is a great implementation and adds depth to an already flushed out game. The enemies are varied and well designed, the bosses are hard and frustrating at times, the best thing though is how aggressive enemies are now, and how far they will go to hunt you down.
This game keeps you on your toes, makes you watch every angle, I would say force you to check out areas for ways to take down the enemy, though I did not do this at first until I needed to. I enjoyed roaming around the huge environments and finding well placed hidden sections, finding caches, weapons and added story elements.
Overall, The Evil Within 2 is a huge turn around from its original outing and for some, they will love all the changes, and for some, they will hate it, for me though it was a great outing in a horrific world, that I certainly would not like to visit anytime soon.