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Review The Evil Within 2 (PS4): Adequate sequel but it was missing something!

genre: survival horror, action
year: 2017

The Evil Within was a title you simply could not escape from since it was hyped up to be a horror masterpiece. And some agreed with this notion. Some didn't. To me it seemed that most were very disappointed since The Evil Within was far from innovative or scary. One reviewer was so adamant how laughably bad it was he convinced me not to get all excited about it. Until I managed to get it on sale. While I agree that it wasn't a game that scared the hell out of you it sure had plenty of moments full of creepiness and dread. Actually it was a title that did suck me in and got me all immersed into it's bizarre world. Enter The Evil Within 2. And again people got hyped. Only this time the majority praised the hell out of it. So are they right?

The game definitely is a worthy successor. For me it did offer hours of fun and engagement. However all the time while I was playing I did get the feeling the tone and atmosphere was vastly different. Of course the surprise factor is gone so you basically know what to expect. There are a few surprises that will catch you off guard. But to say that you will get terrified? Absolutely not. Say what you want about the original. It had a certain dread right from the start. You never truly felt safe since it made sure that even in the places you considered safe things could happen. The Evil Within 2 has removed that threat. A safe house truly is safe. So safe in fact that you have a safe house within a safe house. And in this safe house you will encounter a familiar face. This doesn't make sense and they haven't even bothered explaining. Still in hindsight it was nice to have them add an element from the original game. There are more elements that return which is understandable and yet I think the developers dropped the bal here creative wise. If this simulated world is new then why does it looks like a poor copy of Beacon. And why do the creatures more or less act in the same way? Don't get me wrong. It never gets tiring to eliminate enemies especially stealth wise. Although it took a little longer to get that satisfaction since the developers thought it necessary to screw the hit detection and make Sebastian shoot and move like he was constantly drunk. A couple of upgrades made it more tolerable. 

But the biggest problem with this game that it's not weird and twisted even when there are creatures lurking around you wouldn't want to meet ever. They rarely are mythical or terrifying. I barely cared for any of them. The bosses also didn't have the same impact of the ones in The Evil Within. For most of them you don't even get their back story. The story is barely compelling. Actually it's downright generic. They could have remedied this if they had dared to play around with the Stem and it's concept. How easy it would have been to create a dream within a dream where each time they could have changed some of the game's rules. It would have kept you on your toes and definitely would have made events more suspenseful. Or if that would have been too ambitious they could have made the open world a little more interesting by adding more venues to explore and giving you more freedom to go where you want. I had expected a lot more side quests. The STEM is ideal to implement crazy horror stories And why not give us the option to revisit the levels to collect the items you have missed? Forgot a locker key? Tough. You need to finish the game and go for it in a second play through. You know how easy it is to miss something in an open world? I do try to explore every nook and cranny as much as possible. However I don't really have the time or patience to do so with every game. Especially if narrative wise you don't get rewarded for it. For example. There is an event where you get the opportunity to rescue a woman. After having successfully saved her from a mob of The Lost she retreats in a house and remains there. But you never get to find out what happens to her after your adventure. At first it seemed to me that she was connected to the ghost lady (Anima) but unfortunately there is no document or item to back that up. Wouldn't it be something if this supposedly innocent woman is deliberately baiting you so that Anima gets the chance to catch you? Speaking of Anima. Once you encounter her you keep running into her and she feels the need to chase you. A cool idea. But ultimately meaningless. You don't get to know anything about her or why exactly she is chasing you. She could be a manifestation of Sebastian's fears or trauma. But every creature and human in the game could be something to represent that. So I wished they would have done more with her.  

Like I said I did have fun. However I couldn't stop thinking about the original and how it impacted me more than this. Especially since a lot seem to like and praise this sequel more than the original.  I am not entirely done with this review since I am about to replay the sequel but for now this will have to do. 

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