The Evil Within has created a lot of fans for a good return to the origins of horror survival. Although not shining for originality, in fact, the title produced by Bethesda and developed by Shinji Mikami's team, Tango Gameworks, has been able to satisfy a large part of the audience thanks to an adventure featuring a sliding story and a gameplay that has been able to combine well the various elements drawn from the main exponents of the genre. More than enough - along with a fair amount of sales - to ensure that a Resident Evil dad is present only in the role of producer. Of course, The Evil Within 2, the game promises to build on the predecessor's bases a somewhat less linear and "free" survival experience. But will it succeed?
It's hard to talk about the storyline of The Evil Within 2 without anticipating something to those who did not play the predecessor: the stories are closely related, and chronologically the game takes place a few years after the end of the first chapter. Everything goes around STEM and its capabilities: thanks to this device, Mobius has created Union, a place that reflects the typical quiet American town of the province, populating it with people from the real world. To keep things together and ensure stability, the pure and unspoilt mind of a little girl, Lily, the daughter of detective Castellanos, whom he himself believed died in a fire was chosen. But the baby disappears and the world left without its Core begins to collapse. In general chaos, some psychopathic psychic people find the way to distort the world and give vent to their own murderous instincts. And at this point a Sebastian Castellanos is visibly spoiled, destroyed by past events, and the videogame, dragged into a "mutant" nightmare of fights, madness and violence.
Since the beginning, The Evil Within 2 has an unhealthy and decadent atmosphere with scenarios, especially internal, dirty and corroded, where at each step almost seems to feel the smell of mold, rust and rotten. Not to mention the annoying, overwhelming nauseous feeling that is felt in front of the slaughtered bodies that can be crossed along the way, and at times brutally brutal, in a series of situations that seem to squeeze the eye on the first Silent Hill, but above all the latest Resident Evil 7 and Outlast II, but with fewer scary situations, apart from the appearance of some bosses. Exploring the Union or the distorted and shocking places born of the perverse minds of its inhabitants and some of the most unhelpful characters, such as Stephen and Theodore, do not just mean to find useful clues about the plot, items to upgrade weapons, and Sebastian, or to carry out secondary missions , but also literally fall into the psyche of these individuals, since such places are often the very emanation of their own turbans. Even the creatures, especially the most powerful creatures from which you only have to run, at least in the early hours of play, reflect largely the suffering caused by their madness.
In general the gameplay of The Evil Within 2 does not differ much from that of its predecessor: from this point of view do not expect any kind of alterations, but simple tweaks and some minor additions to vary eg the attack or defense moves of Sebastian, and make them more fluid and functional. Different is the level design: in the game there are still linear sections and non-return points, but there are also large free open explorable areas to visit any previously neglected areas. The developer's idea is to give the players a little bit of breath to overwhelm them with the horror elements and push them to find out more detail on the plot through file search and completion of secondary missions. Some of them use, among other things, a new gadget available to Sebastian, a communicator who notes voices from the past and resonance points that tell the personal stories of other victims, and serve as a guide to certain goals. However, the choice to offer greater freedom of movement in certain areas greatly transforms the gaming experience, because in those flaws other than the others, the video player is plagued with the rhythm and decides whether or not it is worthwhile to dwell in one a certain area more than due, with the risk of finding enemies, or avoiding everything, "saving" bullets and continuing straight on their own way.
To stay dry is quite unlikely to be true, but the amount of bullets is enough to make sure that the player does not abuse too much of the trigger. The title in this sense drives the user to intelligent use of the resources at his disposal, to study the environment and creatures to be put down before tackling the problem and eliminating the threat. This is why it tends to reward the stealth action behind the shields of any kind or within the bushes, killing behind or escaping, at least at the level of greater difficulty, where creatures are more dangerous, despite the fact that the general ones do not shine for acuteness. Otherwise, the action resembles that of a modern third-person shooter, and action must be taken, exploiting, if possible, anything to come to the head of the clash, especially against the bosses who are rather cowardly. Even in this case, the developers have decided on the one hand to stick to the typical styles of classic horror survival, on the other hand to widen the formula with greater environmental interaction with bins, trolleys, gas puddles and crates to slow it down or inflict more damage. The improvements, however, do not all reside on the open map, as The Evil Within 2 also offers a significantly more elaborate development system than the predecessor, separating weapons and character skills. The protagonist, in addition to saving some buildings, can build objects, raise weapons and create ammunition, this time thanks to a series of street-picked items. While in the old dream world within his mind, through the usual "very old" chair and old friend Tatiana, Sebastian can take advantage of the green gelatin obtained by killing monsters to improve his physical characteristics, from damage to resistance to strokes up to that in running and fatigue.
From the Graphic point of view, The Evil Within 2 abandons the predecessor's black bands so that it can be enjoyed in full screen. Visually it almost never reaches peaks of excellence such as leaving the player open-minded, but that does not mean that it is not good to look at it: it is aesthetically superior to the first chapter and thanks to a series of optimizations it offers quite a few exceptionally good external environments (apart from some pop in the distance) that, with a great deal of light management and particle effects, give a good overview. We criticize some of the many interiors in the video game, where, despite the care of the details, it is possible to find points that are covered with rather dense textures, although these never result in poor or low resolution. On this front there is certainly an artistic direction similar to that of the first episode, which we believe is well-suited to represent the twisted worlds arising from the sick psychology of some STEM individuals. A feature that has allowed Tango Gameworks to indulge in optical illusions, unpredictable change settings and transformations, disturbing light games, accurately positioned items, and other escamotage to make the angrier and oppressive atmosphere and mask some imperfection. Beautiful, finally, the polygonal models of the main characters and bosses, although for the first we have facial expressions that are not always persuasive and natural. Noteworthy is the work done on the uploads that are always extremely fast. With regard to the audio sector, the engagement on Italian dubbing, which is globally well-praised and with various voices all in the side, is commendable. Great sound effects and soundtrack, which will more than once make some shiver on the skin of the player, especially when accompanying the appearance of creatures like Soul
The Evil Within 2 is very similar to the production title that preceded it, fell into an even more violent context but able to even touch the psychological chords, and where you can feel a sense of constant unrest, threatened by the looming shapes of monstrous creatures which shake in the shadows. Apart from the larger areas and open, the game does not offer novelty really striking, it is true, but the general tweaks, the gameplay focuses on the Exploration and survival items, and level of challenge as always high, help to give considerable taste to the overall experience and make it deserving of the interest of any enthusiast of the genre
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