'The Evil Within 2' Review Roundup: Sequel Successfully Combines Survival Horror With Open World Elements

The Evil Within 2, the sequel to the survival horror game published by Bethesda in October 2014, has successfully combined the best parts of the original title with open world elements to create a more memorable experience for fans of the genre.

While the game is not without its flaws, The Evil Within 2 has garnered mostly positive early reviews in advance of its release date of Oct. 13, which just so happens to be Friday the 13th.

The Evil Within 2: Better Than The Original?

The original The Evil Within, released almost exactly three years ago, was described by USgamer's Mike Williams as a game that felt like a hodgepodge of every horror idea that director Shinji Mikami thought of. The Evil Within 2, however, improves upon the efforts of its predecessor by addressing most of the problems in the original title.

The story of The Evil Within 2 picks up several years after the first game, with protagonist Sebastian Castellanos in the doldrums. He is given a chance by an organization to overcome his guilt for losing his family by entering a nightmare version of reality and rescuing his daughter from the dangerous world known as Union.

According to GameSpot's Alessandro Fillari, The Evil Within 2 feels more adventurous compared to the isolated levels of its predecessor. There are also more side characters for additional interaction and optional events for added variety, with exploration remaining enjoyable throughout gameplay.

Polygon's Philip Kollar said that he was astounded by the fusion of open world gameplay and the horror context of The Evil Within 2. Despite the game dropping the familiar linear structure of most survival horror games, its pacing does not suffer, as the surprises keep coming.

Pitfalls Of 'The Evil Within 2'

The Evil Within 2 still has its negative points though. Lewis White of Attack of the Fanboy, for example, wrote that he felt that none of the optional content in the game should be optional, but rather should fitted into the main campaign levels due to their importance to the story and for the players' survival.

Fillari also noted that the game comes with certain technical glitches and leads to frustrating situations and weird pacing problems.

Being a survival horror game, there is the expected difficulty of having limited ammunition and healing items, which might not sit well with casual players. However, this is more of a limitation of the genre and not The Evil Within 2 itself.

The Evil Within 2: The Verdict

Windows Central's Paul Acevedo sums things up by saying that The Evil Within 2 has an interesting and frightening story, with interesting missions set in an open world environment that will keep players hooked.

With Resident Evil 7 and now also The Evil Within 2, it looks like the survival horror genre has been revived. The sequel is now available for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 

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