What is it?
The trailer for the Evil Within 2 made one of the biggest splashes at E3 this year, but it left many people, particularly those who hadn’t played the first game, scratching their heads in confusion and wondering what the hell sort of twisted minds worked at Bethesda/Tango Gameworks. So here’s a rundown for those of you who skipped the first game. I’ll try to keep it as light on spoilers as possible, but it’s hard to describe what makes the Evil Within so great without a few basic spoilers.
Imagine you’re stuck in a machine that allows you to share someone else’s thoughts and dreams, like in Inception, except the machine only works by stimulating the fear center of the brain and no-one has conscious control of the experience or even knows that they’re plugged in to said machine, with the exception of one twisted, murderous psychopath looking for revenge. That is the dilemma facing local police detective and unwilling protagonist Sebastian Castellanos, who honestly thought he was just going to investigate a homicide report at the local asylum.
No really. Bethesda was rather cagey and silent about the actual premise of the first Evil Within game when marketing it, possibly in an effort to avoid spoilers, and consequently the game came off looking like a rather generic horror, when in reality it has a lot more to offer.
Take, for example, the monsters that you face. A lot of thought and interesting psychological reasoning has been put into their design. Many of the more generic monsters that you face are the twisted remnants of the asylum patients who have been sucked into the machine with you, while one boss monster is a manifestation of the primary villain’s social anxiety and introversion, and another is a manifestation of his desire to get revenge on those who have wronged him.
The protagonists are fairly interesting as well, with Sebastian’s tragic past slowly revealing itself over the course of the game, and his complicated relationships with his partners Joseph Oda and Juli Kidman providing both heart-warming and completely heart-breaking moments.
The Evil Within won’t be for everyone though. It’s just as violent and terrifying as you would expect, with enough blood, gore and terror to satisfy even the most hardened horror game fan.
How do I get into it?
The Evil Within was released for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC in 2014. The sequel comes out on Friday the 13th of October 2017 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. You may be thinking of jumping into the second game without playing the first, but I wouldn’t recommend it. From what we’ve seen so far the story, setting and the monsters in The Evil Within 2 draw a lot from the first game, so take some time in the months leading up to the Evil Within 2’s release to go back and see where it all began.
Get it if you like…
The older Resident Evil games, psychological horror, grizzled detectives, or if you just like the idea of facing down a terrifying and indestructible dog monster for no other reason than to recover your partner’s missing glasses.