Resident Evil

The Evil Within 2 was ahead of its time

The Evil Within 2 was ahead of its time
Written by ga_dahmani
The Evil Within 2 was ahead of its time

Video game sequels are hard to create. The developers should try to please fans of the original while also offering enough new ideas to create value by revisiting the same world. A careful tightrope must be walked to not alienate the original fanbase, but evolve the series into something new. When the sequel to the evil inside was released in 2017, it managed to push the survival horror genre forward with its new ideas, but it was still overlooked by most of the gamers.


Released at a time when survival horror was in a slump and fans of the original game just wanted a continuation of that experience. the evil within 2 dared to do something different. However, despite being rejected by the very fans it tried to serve, this brilliant sequel managed to not only fully realize creator Shinji Mikami’s vision, but also bring some incredibly fresh ideas to the genre.

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the evil within 2 It begins as a traditional sequel, once again bringing back protagonist Sebastián Castellanos. He is pushed into the Matrix-such as the STEM system, where he is drawn into a quest to rescue his daughter Lily, whose consciousness is trapped inside the machine. The game quickly eschews the linear nature of the original and instead places Sebastian in a STEM-created environment that features multiple open-world areas connected by linear level sequences. It is through this design that the sequel showcases its unique approach to survival horror.


Starting with the open world, EW2 uses its design to constantly keep players on edge. Enemies stalk the streets as players navigate the environment, following the main story and completing side quests in whatever order they see fit. This mechanic alone makes the game feel fresh when it comes to survival horror experiences and allows players to traverse the large environments in a variety of ways. Players can sneak through neighborhoods, stealthily killing enemies one by one, or fire a pistol into the air and funnel enemies into a specific area for a quick ambient kill with an explosive barrel.


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the evil within 2 encourages players to explore the world and not just search for weapons and equipment. The player can pick up random signals on Sebastian’s radio, often leading to very unexpected encounters. An example is an unassuming house, where players can stumble upon a sequence that lures Sebastian back to the Beacon Mental Hospital from the first game and also unleashes a hideous ghost-like monstrosity that haunts the player throughout the game, by same as Mr. .X character from the resident evil 2 Redo. All this sequence can be lost, and it is in those surprises that the evil within 2 keeps players constantly wary of what might be discovered next.


Each open world section leads to a more linear sequence, and the game doesn’t falter with the design of these levels either. Players are constantly forced into intentionally creepy scenarios and confusing events that work very well in the ever-changing environment created by STEM. For example, Sebastian fights a psychopathic killer and self-proclaimed artist, Stefano Valentini. He’s a serial killer obsessed with photographing victims at the moment of his death, and Sebastian gets caught up in his galleries, which purposely change and rearrange his design in terrifying and fascinating ways.


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Players can walk through a hallway littered with grotesque images of Valentini’s victims, only to turn around and find themselves in another room entirely, ambushed by Valentini as he taunts Sebastian and takes a picture of him. As the gallery shifts and contorts with each new room, the sequence builds tension, creating a chilling experience that rivals almost anything in the original game. This combination of connected open world areas with tightly designed linear sequences is an incredibly effective technique that appeared years before. Resident Evil Village it was praised for doing essentially the same thing.

the evil within 2 it occupies a particularly unfortunate space of being a groundbreaking sequel that alienated purist fans from the original game and thus lost many of them before it had a chance to win them over with its unique design. Although the future of the series as a whole is unclear, now is a good time to revisit this brilliant sequel and experience a fresh take on the survival horror genre that can perhaps be better appreciated with a modern eye.

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