The Evil Within 2 releases today but unfortunately we don’t have a review ready for you just yet. Instead you can read a bit of our early impressions. By now a lot of you probably know that Bethesda doesn’t give out review codes until a few days before release. For some of the bigger sites on the internet this may not be an issue and they might able to complete the game and crank out a review in just a few days. No complaints here because at least we did get a key but I can’t work that fast. So instead look for the complete review next Friday.
The Evil Within 2 starts off with a bang. You are not stuck in exposition hell for 20 minutes trying to catch up on the entirety of the previous game through full motion videos. Instead you are faced with what can only be described as a parents worse nightmare. Arriving home after dark you find your home ablaze and your young daughter trapped in her bedroom on an upper level. After struggling to make your way to her room you are left with a tense encounter. It also doesn’t feel like it was necessary to play the previous game to enjoy the narrative of this one.
From their you cut away to find out more about Sebastian. He is the hardboiled detective type you would read about in pulp novels. Down on his luck, living in the bottom of a bottle. He lead a charmed life once but now he is divorced and it was brought about because of the circumstances around his child’s death.
While Sebastian may initially come across as a trope and the dialogue from one of his acquaintances is cringe worthy the atmospherics in the game are top notch. The game has a great art style, the character’s faces are done with great detail, and the environments are fleshed out. Items that are scattered out across a room can really help make the scene.
I’m trying to be intentionally vague on these first impressions to avoid spoilers. There is a shadow organization that needs your help but for what reason and for what purpose I’ll leave you to discover for yourself. Some of this stuff is in trailers that are out there already but I don’t want to be the one to ruin anything for you.
Less than 15 minutes after you try to save your daughter from the fire you are faced with another decision that is even more traumatic than that encounter, as impossible as that might be to believe. The Evil Within 2 at the beginning isn’t trying to get jump scares out of it’s players like the original. The sequel is more a psychological thriller than a survival horror game. There is also a sense of black humor so it isn’t entirely depressing (just mostly). At one point you find a slide and a projector and the game tells you they are before camera phones and can most likely be found in the attics of old people and estate sales.
After you start digging into chapter two you find someone suspended in the air slowly falling backwards. They have clearly been shot through the head at what appears to be point blank range. It also appears that they are being photographed and the scene keeps looping in slow motion. To make matters even stranger there is classical music playing in the background.
I’m not far into the game yet and I’m trying to decide what is and what isn’t safe to share. So far the game is shaping up be superior to the first. Look for the rest of the review next week and until then know that The Evil Within 2 is a mind binder.