The Evil Within 2, also known as Psychobreak 2 (サイコブレイク2 , Saiko Bureiku 2?) in Japan, is a survival horror/psychological thriller video game developed by Tango Gameworks, and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is a direct sequel to The Evil Within and was developed on a modified id Tech 5 engine known as "STEM Engine".
Unlike the first installment, series creator Shinji Mikami doesn't hold executive control over the game's development. He does, however, remain on board as a consultant and supervisor, as John Johanas took over duties as game director.
|The article or section below may contain minor to major plot spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.|
Three years after the events at Beacon Mental Hospital, Sebastian Castellanos has left the Krimson City Police Department and continues to be haunted by his experiences at Beacon, the disappearance of his wife Myra, and the death of his daughter Lily in a house fire. Sebastian is then approached by former partner and Mobius agent Juli Kidman, who reveals to him that Lily is still alive since Mobius faked her death. However, Mobius now needs Sebastian's help in saving her. Sebastian is brought to a secret Mobius facility where he meets the Administrator, who further explains that Lily is being used as the Core for a new STEM system to simulate an idyllic town called Union. However, some time ago, Mobius lost contact with Lily and their agents inside Union, and they no longer have any control over the STEM. Sebastian reluctantly agrees to help Mobius so that he has a chance to save Lily and enter the STEM.
Upon entering Union, Sebastian quickly finds that the town has been turned into a nightmare realm where all of the inhabitants have either been killed or mutated into bloodthirsty monsters. In addition, Sebastian witnesses a mysterious photographer with supernatural powers hunting down and murdering Mobius operatives. He manages to meet Liam O'Neal, a surviving Mobius agent who helps Sebastian track Lily's whereabouts. As Sebastian follows her trail, he realizes that Lily has been kidnapped by the photographer, who reveals himself as Stephano Valentini, a serial killer who had managed to infiltrate Union. Another surviving Mobius operative, Yukiko Hoffman, explains that Stephano's status as a pyschopath gives him a measure of control over the STEM, granting him his powers. Sebastian tracks down Stephano, who reveals that he had originally kidnapped Lily under orders from another party, but decided to keep her for himself to exploit her powers as the Core. Sebastian kills Stephano, but is shocked to see Myra spirit Lily away.
Sebastian is then approached by Father Theodore Wallace, who attempts to convince Sebastian to join him to seize Lily from Myra since Stephano betrayed him. Sebastian, mistrustful of Theodore, refuses and is banished to a forest outside Union where he meets with Esmeralda Torres. She reveals to him that she, Kidman, Theodore, and Myra had conspired to break Lily out of STEM and destroy Mobius from within. However, the plan went awry when Theodore decided to kidnap Lily for himself. Sebastian goes to check on O'Neal to find a new lead but discovers that he has already been corrupted by Theodore. Sebastian rescues Hoffman from O'Neal and is forced to kill him, though O'Neal tells them how to find Theodore with his dying breath. Sebastian and Esmeralda assault Theodore's realm, but the attack fails when Theodore disables Sebastian by using his own guilt and self doubt against him. Sebastian is visited by a vision of Myra, who assures him that what happened to Lily wasn't his fault and that he should focus on saving her.
When Sebastian wakes up, he finds out that Esmeralda had sacrificed herself to get him to safety. Hoffman tells him that Theodore has erected his stronghold in the center of Union. Both Sebastian and Hoffman assault Theodore's stronghold, but Hoffman is killed after helping Sebastian breach the stronghold. Sebastian then fights his way to and defeats Theodore, who is killed by Myra. However, Myra tells Sebastian to leave the STEM and leave her and Lily alone. Confused, Sebastian follows Myra to a recreation of their home.
Sebastian finally confronts Myra, whose desire to protect Lily has warped her into a monster determined to keep Lily locked in the STEM for her own safety. He reluctantly battles Myra and defeats her, knocking her back to her senses. She tells Sebastian to take Lily out of the STEM, revealing that she is planning to sacrifice herself to take Lily's place as the Core and destroy Mobius by overloading the chips in their brains that keep them connected to the STEM. Meanwhile, in the real world, Kidman is ordered by the Administrator to eliminate Sebastian. She disobeys him and helps Sebastian and Lily escape the STEM while Myra enacts her plan, killing The Administrator and all Mobius operatives. Now free from Mobius, Sebastian, Lily, and Kidman leave the facility.
In a post-credits scene, Sebastian parts ways with Kidman and goes off to live a new life with Lily. Elsewhere, an abandoned STEM terminal begins activating.
Gameplay in The Evil Within 2 is much streamlined from the clumsy and uncomfortable mechanics of the first game. For starters, movement is greatly smoothed out, allowing Sebastian to better maneuver his surroundings either during combat or when sneaking with greater finesse. The cover mechanics from the Kidman DLCs from the first game have been implemented into this game as well, which allows Sebastian to brace against covers and even peek out at enemies and rounding corners to get away from them with ease. Gunplay is also improved as well, with a nearly tripled amount of unique firearm types compared to the first game.
Partially eschewing the linear design of the first game, The Evil Within 2 consists of several hubworlds that comprise the townscape of Union with rather great freedom, giving him much more options to go about completing his objectives while allowing for more creative opportunities with the placement of collectibles and side stories. As well as this, several side missions can be given by NPC's which will grant the player resources and even weapons for completing them.
Green Gel returns, serving the same purpose as the first game to upgrade Sebastian's stats such as movement speed, stamina maximum health and resistance to damage, as well as being able to grant new abilites such as slow down time while shooting, stealth attack from cover, and give him a chance to automatically dodge certain attacks. However it can no longer be used to upgrade weapons, instead, weapons parts can be collected to and spent to increase weapons' Firepower, Rate of Fire, Capacity and Reload Speed.
The crafting of crossbow ammunition has been expanded upon from the first game, to include crafting of all ammunition types. Each type of ammo needs specific resources. Ammo can be crafted at work benches, or in the field for a higher resource cost.
First Person Mode
An additional feature of The Evil Within 2 is the ability to play the game in a complete first-person perspective. Originally added to the game engine as a one-time gimmick in Chapter 4, the mode was accessible via a console command and proved popular among players. As a result of this, Tango Gameworks have officially included the option to the game via Update 1.04, with additional tweaks to weapon animations and Stealth Kill prompts to address the noted flaws encountered prior to the patch.
First-person mode can be toggled on and off in the Options menu. Perspective change will take place midway through the first chapter, and the game will occasionally switch to third-person during scripted segments, but otherwise the first-person experience will be near-seamless.
The development process of The Evil Within 2 began almost immediately following the release of The Executioner DLC for the first installment. Following several complaints about the first game's overly complicated story and ambitious direction, series creator Shinji Mikami handed over the next game's creative development to John Johanas, who was described by him as a person with "a lot of talent". Mikami himself remained as project supervisor and consultant. The game's script was written by Syoji Ishimine and Trent Haaga, who opted to go with a more psychological approach to the story rather than the predominant shock value of the first, so as to provide players with a more logical and easier to digest plot.
The 2.5:1 aspect ratio featured in the first game was removed due to the mixed response this design choice had received upon its release, even though the team liked it. It was, however, included in the final release as an unlockable setting.
Unlike its predecessor, which ran on id Software's id Tech 5 engine, The Evil Within 2 runs on the STEM engine, an offshoot of id Tech that was custom developed by Tango Gameworks for the game.
|Gameplay • Chapters • Characters & Creatures • Weapons & Equipment|
|Legend: Base Game, New Game+ unlock, Pre-order exclusive|
Characters & Enemies
|Gameplay • Chapters • Characters & Creatures • Weapons & Equipment|
Similar to the first installment of the series, The Evil Within 2 offers additional content to players who pre-purchase the game prior to its official release. Known as the Last Chance Pack, this DLC confers additional items to players starting a new game to give them a leg up in surviving the many horrors of the Union.
The Last Chance Pack contains the following:
- The Burst Handgun
- 1 First-Aid Kit
- 1500 Crafting parts
The following content are also included in the pack but not advertised in the pre-order blurb:
The content of the Last Chance Pack are granted at the start of Chapter 3 when starting a new game. Starting the game again on New Game+ does not give additional copies of the items.
As of current, no additional downloadable content have been planned for The Evil Within 2.
The review aggregator website Metacritic gave the PC version of The Evil Within 2 a 81/100 rating, denoting "generally favorable reviews". According to aggregate scores, the Xbox One port of the game is considered to be the best, sitting at a 82/100 score, while the PlayStation 4 release is regarded as the worst (76/100) due to a multitude of bugs and less-than-optimal optimisation compared to the other versions. Regardless, The Evil Within 2 was considered a commercial success and was nominated for several 2017 Game of the Year awards.
The Evil Within 2 received a much more favorable opinion from critics than its predecessor, with praises aimed at its much more balanced ratio between gameplay and narrative. The departure from the first installment's chapter-based storytelling was noted to have been a major improvement, and the game's open-world design, while not received as well, was lauded for the many interesting narrative opportunities it creates.
- Unlike the first game, fire no longer serves as a weakness for enemies, however it rather ironically has become a signature of one of the games main antagonists, as well as being used psychologically against Sebastian himself.
- The burning newspaper at the beginning of the game is seemingly based on what appears to be an early version of the original script for The Evil Within, with mentions of Sebastian obtaining his knife from a corpse and a chainsaw-wielding enemy.