The Evil Within 2 begins with a jarring gut punch to the feels, and follows that up with some pretty comprehensive explorative pangs of grieving, alcoholism and eventual introduction to the infamous STEM. All in all, the first three chapters are intriguing, pretty and damned scary.
Once again, you take on the role of Sebastian Castellanos. Following the events of the first game, Castellanos has buried himself at the bottom of a bottle after the events that took his daughter Lily away from him. That is until, the fine folks of Mobius come to inform him that his daughter Lily is still alive and trapped in a newly constructed STEM.
Castellanos wastes no time in diving back into fray. His mission is to save Lily and some Mobius operatives that went missing while looking for Lily. Of course, all that is easier said than done, considering the mad and the macabre individuals who have bent the construct of the STEM to their own personalized twisted realms.
If you played the first The Evil Within, you kinda know what to expect here. So far, so good in terms of keeping things cerebrally horrifying. The intro spends very little time on exposition and instead gets you right into the spooky action, which I totally appreciate. The score and sound design are brilliant right out of the gate and go a long way in terms of keeping an eerie tension continually mounting.
Within its first three chapters, I’ve experienced a couple of well-earned jump scares and varied run-ins with three separate extreme scenarios/monsters. One of those run-ins was pretty chilling; as a mother runs into a house in order to force feed a child handfuls of rotting meat filled with maggots while repeating “eat, you are skin and bones” over and over again. When the child begins choking, the mother decides to bash the child’s head open right there on the dining table. Its scenes like this that reminded me how special the first The Evil Within was in the horror community. It is unforgiving, graphic and distinctively beautiful, while also retaining that “nope” factor.
We are off to a good start, with plenty of great stuff waiting around the corner. Don’t miss our full review coming up later this week.
The Evil Within 2 is out Friday, Oct. 13 on PS4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.