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The Evil Within 2 review
by hcolesmith

A clear improvement over the original title in almost all categories. I did not like The Evil Within, but The Evil Within 2 is a much more polished experience. Gameplay loops feel much more satisfying. The open world is a welcome addition to this genre. I quite liked that this game felt like an amalgam of The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil. It felt like an organic growth from the restrictive linearity of the first title. 

That said, the narrative here still really chugs (which was my chief complaint with this game's predecessor). When the entire game is set basically within a dream reality, it makes it difficult to connect to the events going on with any sort of true consequence. I also didn't like the incorporation of Sebastian's family into the overarching plot of the game. It felt a bit cheap and unearned and as a result dramatic beats never quite hit the mark for me. 

None of this ever really completely soured my experience however. I still quite enjoyed this game!

Other reviews3

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The Evil Within 2 is fantastic Survival horror. Those who liked TEW 1 will like the second Part all the more, since there are many Sideshobations on the first Part (and one or the other cool Surprise, Cue Boss fight). But even those who didn't play it will like the second Part, both as Beginners of the Survival horror or Veteran. TEW 2 is set three Years after the Events of the first Part. Main Character Sebastian Castellanos is plagued by Nightmares, because he keeps reminding himself that he failed to save his young Daughter Lily. Then he learns that she was kidnapped and with her Mind created the Small Town Union and is now in THE STEM (a Machine with which the Mind of one or more person merges, so to speak, and then creates Projections of the Thoughts of it). OSebastian voluntarily embarks on a second Hell Ride, as Union disintegrates as Lily has disappeared in THE STEM, and without her the artificially generated world will collapse. Now disfigured "People," Monsters and Psychopaths are wreaking havoc everywhere. The Story is exciting throughout, has some nice Twists and the Ending, the Ending is just great. I don't want to pre-empt too much, but honestly, the Story is great. Above all, the Gameplay is great. If you Still have a lot of linear areas in TEW 1, you now have an Open-World in TEW 2, namely Union. The Open-World works very well and it invites you to Explore, which is really a Lot of Fun and also rewarded. Occasionally, Side Missions can be accepted, but of course you can also concentrate exclusively on the Main Story. If you get Acquainted with the "Monsters" that populate the Union, you have many Ways of dealing with them. Sneaking, Fighting, turning off a Middle Ground or clever the Opponents, that's all possible. Opponents drop Items such as Resources for making Ammunition or Improving Weapon parts after their Death, but also green Gel. Green Gel is used to improve Sebastian in recurring Psychatrics. Should Sebastian endure more? Sprinting Longer? More Calmer aim? Or sneak faster? Why not, as long as you have the Gel. Also Look Out for small Statues hiding in the World. Breaks them, which gives you Corpse Cellar keys to unlock small Rewards in Psychatrics. I say yes, exploring Union and The surrounding Area is worth it. The Boss Fights are Fun and the Levels of difficulty all feel right. Beginners is not particularly heavy, Survival is a good Middle Ground and Nightmare is fiercer. The Higher the level Of Difficulty, the better you have to weigh up how you want to take action against the Opponents. The Control with Mouse and Keyboard as well as with Controller is good, and the infamous Movie Bars from the first Part no longer exist. Well, not quite, you can "unlock them.":D The Graphics are not the best, but quite honestly, that doesn't hurt the Atmosphere at all. This has succeeded, again and again you are tense and especially when you are again in a dark Hallway, at the end there is a Light and classical Music sounds (everything including screaming people!), you know again that it is really nauseous in Union to Thing goes. In the End, I can only repeat myself again and recommend The Evil Within 2 to anyone who is interested in survival horror or has already played the Predecessor. And even those who otherwise don't dare play survival horror, to whom I say: Do it! Dare The Evil Within 2! It's worth it, and if you have to play on Beginners! :)
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The original game was decent, and I see the sequel as an improvement in what I wish to become a great series of games. The combat system is still well-balanced, the enemies are various, the bosses are challenging and memorable. But The Evil Within 2 brings more than its ancestor by introducing some open world feel and a crafting system, the latter is surprisingly a good fit, and I actually wonder why they didn’t do that in the first game.
However the biggest standout this time is the story and the atmosphere. Of course it has its plot holes and the pace is uneven at times, but at least there’s a feeling that you don’t want to retell the story, so that you won’t spoil somebody’s gaming experience. And unfortunately, this happens not often with modern triple-A games.