The Evil Within was a gorgeously gross but mechanically divisive game. Review scores spanned the entire scale as many bounced off Shinji Mikami’s attempt to recapture the tense action-horror experience of Resident Evil 4. While others (such as myself) found themselves fully immersed.
Developers Tango Softworks and publisher Bethesda are clearly feeling confident in the upcoming sequel, however - enough as to share nearly a full hour of uncut gameplay stream with us. It should go without saying, but potential spoilers abound.
Funny how so many psychic manifestations look like zombies. Brush up on your undead-bashing skills with these games.
From the footage shown, the most striking difference between the first and second games is going to be scale. While the original was a tightly woven obstacle course of monsters and traps, the sequel - now in the hands of Western director John Johanas - has large chunks of open ground to cover inbetween the more constrained set-piece moments, although even those seem to get up to speed a lot faster, perhaps in response to critique of the first game’s slow and limiting opening sequences.
The setting of the game remains the same… kinda. Gravel-voiced gumshoe Sebastian Castellanos returns as protagonist, diving into a metaphysical, ever-shifting mental hellscape via the mind-linking STEM machine. This time he’s digging into a different mind on a personal mission to find his missing daughter, so the environments and monsters are mostly new, though it seems he’s brought some of his own experiences from last time with him: his old tools from the original game return, including the ever-satisfying crossbow with its craftable elemental bolts.
Sebastian has a lifeline to the physical world this time through a handy radio which gets used in classic Gears of War slow-walking-while-talking expositional scenes. He’s not the only agent sent into this mindscape, although judging from the body count in the footage shown, he’s going to be the last man standing before long. There seems to be a greater focus on free-form stealth, with enemies vastly outnumbering you some open areas, putting a focus on evasion and escape. It definitely feels like the hand of a fresh director is guiding this game, and it’ll be interesting to see how the final product shakes out.
The Evil Within 2 is due out October 13th, and will be released simultaneously for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, available to pre-order for £40