Earlier this year, I engaged in the latest of the legendary horror survival series, “Resident Evil.” Overall, I thought it was a solid entry and did a lot of things right, which included a switch to the first-person perspective for the controlled character(s). However, I suspected, once I completed my first run-through, that a second go-around would yield a less satisfactory experience and I was correct. Whether you believe replay value is important or not, it means more bang for your buck, and who in their right minds would not support that? 

One thing I wondered about was my personal lack of experience in playing games from this genre. Recently, I was finally able to get my hands on another such game. This time, coming from the team at Bethesda. Yes, adventure is more f their forte, but they have also dabbled in science fiction and horror more, of late. While “Prey” was a good game, it seemed to lack some of the qualities one might expect from Bethesda. 

With the latest entry of “The Evil Within,” my previous experience was zero, but at least, this time, I now had prior education for the genre.

As the game opened up, I noticed the usual great graphics and sound that Bethesda generates. However, I was not wowed by the story and actually found it to be rather unoriginal and over-emotional. The perspective of the main character, Sebastian Castellanos, from the controller’s angle, seemed a bit odd. I was thinking, “Am I looking at the side of him or the back? Is this a hybrid or a mix-up?” OK, so I prefer a first-person perspective. Here is the thing, though: as awkward as the camera angle might have been, after a little bit of time, I was over it. 

For the first couple of segments, you might not feel scared, but it is a trap. The fright picks up rapidly and, although, the atmosphere was not as effective as in “RE7,” you should not be disappointed. Once you feel a couple of jolts, you will not be able to stay relaxed as well as you likely did early on.

After I reached the more “open-world” part of the game, I was pleased to see something a lot more similar to that in the vein of “Elder Scrolls” or “Fallout.”This is what one expects, for only good reasons, as a gamer.

As I mentioned before, the graphics and sound were impressive, but they did not impress beyond reasonable expectations. I like the style of it, certainly more than what I recall from “Prey,” but “RE7”was better in this respect. What I can say with plenty of conviction is that “The Evil Within 2” has excellent variety, both in style and gameplay. It should translate to better replay value and nothing specific about the game is bad. In retrospect, I think I was too critical of “RE7.” These two games are about even, overall.

Director: John Johanas
Writers: Syoji Ishimine and Trent Haaga
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release: October 13th, 2017

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