Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

After Silent Hill, Alan Wake, Resident Evil, it was hard not to notice the secondary nature of The Evil Within – Tango Gameworks went out of its way to make every frame in its work correspond to the canons of the genre. Nevertheless, without pretending to be original, the project turned out to be a high-quality, well-staged psychological thriller that can captivate for hours.

A few years later, during which the horror genre has been enriched with a considerable number of new ideas, the press is introduced to the demo version of The Evil Within 2. And it reveals the same ambitions of the developers – to imitate and match.

Evil Within 2 game review

A cheerful smile on the face of an unfortunate creature always evokes horror.

Evil on chicken legs

If the plot of The Evil Within was reminiscent of something in the spirit of the “Blood Massacre with a Chainsaw” and frightened precisely with its cruel naturalism, then in the second part of the event they are immediately mystified. Sebastian Castellanos is categorically unlucky: in the opening video, we are told that some “they” are holding his daughter, watching him and controlling every step. There is a chance to save the child, but for this our sufferer will have to return to STEM.

The Evil Within 2 takes right off the bat and is not going to slow down – miracles and trash start here right away. The hero exits the elevator, finds himself in a gloomy room in which hanged people hang from the ceiling like garlands. The exit suddenly disappears, then reappears, and behind the door Sebastian is waiting for a sorcerer-photographer, blinding the hero with a bright flash. When the perception of light normalizes, he already finds himself in a completely different room. And in a couple of moments we will meet a huge fleshy creature with a circular saw in his hand and the head of a Baba Yaga from a Soviet film. Or rather, with several heads at once …

Sebastian keeps repeating the signature question: “What the hell is going on here?” Ironically, only he does not understand something here. We have already guessed everything: what is happening is what can be called a deep mystery syndrome – the desire of the developers to throw supernatural dust into their eyes so that, looking through the plot through it, no one could understand what he sees: either depth, or hole. And here all methods are good: frequent color changes, visual and auditory distortions, “ghostly” voices and crying babies.

In time, Sebastian will understand everything. And something will not understand. Did everything that happened happen like that? Or vice versa? In general, did it happen? Or did it happen, but not in the way we thought? ..

Evil Within 2 game review

Primitive riddles “for show” are available.

In Wonderland

In the second part, Castellanos is literally constantly in a schizophrenic delirium – either time will stop, then the space around will change, then some other psychedelic indecency will happen … Perhaps the presented demo deliberately consisted of such “bright” situations, but the developers obviously went too far.

The hero is constantly moving between layers of reality (let’s call it that for now), sometimes getting into a world that operates according to the laws we know, where you can take a break and discuss the situation over the radio with your friend Kidman. Everything is more or less calm here: you can walk around human streets, fight monsters, and figure out the plot.

The locations here are quite spacious, including both places for research activities and spaces for exciting stealth and interaction with creatures. Here you yourself constantly create curious scenarios without any scripts: run around the roofs and trucks, shooting monsters, hide from the chase in an empty bus, try to get out of the round dance of the dead wrapped around you. There is a good, soul-loving zombie apocalypse all around, and you plunge into the pleasant atmosphere of survival horror…

The arsenal includes a pistol, a shotgun, a sniper rifle and an entertaining crossbow equipped with several types of arrows. Everything is subject to improvement, but nothing from which they will not be allowed to shoot from the heart. The gameplay at Tango Gameworks is exemplary. Priority is given to stealth, quiet crouching, distracting bottle throws, and behind-the-scenes kills. I do not like? Forced – cartridges, as expected, are an exotic resource, and ordinary monsters, even in the best scenario, after hitting the head, do not always take a horizontal position.

During the time allotted to us, I managed to fight with two “bosses”. Creatures are really interesting: a shapeless something with a camera sticking out of the neck and a smiling lady with ten heads. The battles are very tense, but the developers have not done anything breakthrough. A typical situation: our hero still does not understand anything, he has one knife from the weapon, and then, breaking through the wall, a malicious monster appears and goes towards him with an unambiguous purpose. Unnerving music sounds, we look around – there is nowhere to run. And it’s getting closer… You start fidgeting in your chair. Further – running along the corridors, ventilation shafts and unexpected salvation in the form of teleportation to another world. Scary, but… boring.

Evil Within 2 game review

Guess what is the weakest point of the monsters?

With the world on a string

The Evil Within 2 will appeal to all fans of unhurried, stealth-oriented horror, full of mysticism and answering one question with another. Everything here is like a textbook: before an important meeting with a monster, you will be led along a long corridor, in which you will be blinded a dozen times by some kind of light effect, dumbfounded by a trick with space (there was a door – where did it go?) and will torment you with the figure of a mysterious person appearing all around out of nowhere and whispering strange things to you.

From the understandable world of the undead, we now and then find ourselves in a wild, surreal space, where madness, the expected cruelty and the irresistible desire of the developers to be like Silent Hill rule the ball.

Yes, we played Resident Evil VII and we know how disgusting the scenes are in which dirty, ugly lunatics feed their victims with wormy lasciviousness. Yes, we’ve played Silent Hill and we know how to infuse level design with deep symbolism. All these family portraits, cameras, mysterious melodies are familiar to us. And we played Outlast and we know what it’s like to run from monsters along narrow corridors. But here you are constantly fed with this, while the events are as mystified, covered with deliberate mystery, as far as it is possible.

In general, plot moves that allow double reading have always been appreciated by the public. However, this time, the way The Evil Within 2 sticks out its charms with what ostentatious diligence, as if putting the inscription on the window: “Here, here, look, we will have the most twisted plot here!” Repels. There seems to be an intrigue, but it lies in front of you like a rotten piece of meat. In all these “What the hell is going on here?” already tired of dealing with it.

By no means can I say that the demo of The Evil Within 2 seemed to me of poor quality. No, the staging is on top, the rhythm needed for horror is well maintained, the monsters are colorful, and the graphics are impressive. However, at every step you feel that this game has long been passed and studied by you. Like any genre, horror films have certain rules and laws. And the mistake of the developers is that they did not deviate a single step from them, doing everything strictly according to the template. The feeling of secondary in general does not spoil the pleasure of the gameplay – the emotions here are still the same. But because of it, there is a feeling of some strange passive boredom, which gets along with adrenaline rushes at any meeting with monsters.

Evil Within 2 game review

Every photographer has their own quirks.

***

Deliberate, open mystification of the plot and flirting with uncontrolled surrealism in our time is unlikely to surprise anyone. Intrigue for the sake of intrigue – it no longer works, it’s hackneyed and vulgar. Tango Gameworks will definitely deliver a bunch of tense cutscenes, ugly monsters, and scary moments. However, the presentation of the plot and the traditional approach to the gameplay of The Evil Within 2 are somewhat repulsive – they do not feel ambition and inspiration.

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