Evil Within 2, The. QuakeCon 2017 Hands On Review

Evil within 2, The. Video Game Details DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: Tango Gameworks

Genre: Survival horror

Producer: Shinji Mikami

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Release Date: October 13th, 2017

Game Description:

Detective Sebastian Castellanos has lost everything, including his daughter, Lily. To save her, he must descend into the nightmarish world of STEM. Horrifying threats emerge from every corner, and he must rely on his wits to survive. For his one chance at redemption, the only way out is in.

1. Overview:

The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

It is no surprise to see survival horror making a noble return on the video game scene. During its emerging stages, this genre had many outstanding contributors. Resident Evil and Silent Hill are two great titles that may reverberate with many gamers on this topic, survival Horror. Yet, along with its evolution, major developers decided it would be an excellent design to invest heavy action thematics into survival horror. Remove the architecture of dread and uncertainty and put in its place high-powered weaponry and stockpiles of ammo. This idea just did not work. This is subjective. Yet, the sales and feedback speak for themselves. Google; Umbrella Corps, Aliens: Colonial Marines and DeadSpace 3 for some observation on these action/Survival Horror mash ups.

Of course from a business perspective, one admits taking into consideration of giving products to address the masses. First Person Shooter is the rave then, now and into the millennium. Call of Duty is one such title that has monopolized the market. The developers for Survival Horror titles such as Capcom and EA took a risk that didn’t pay off. This is the order of business, learn from defeat, recalibrate and adapt.

For publisher; Bethesda Softworks and developer; Tango Gameworks the forthcoming release The Evil Within 2 marks the next step in survival horror. Coming off the of the success of the 2014 release The Evil Within this second installment offers all demands in an immersive Horror experience.

Between Thursday, August 24th and Friday, August 25th, 2017 I had the magnificent opportunity to attend Quakecon 2017 held in Dallas, Texas. During this event, I had a one-hour session gameplay on The Evil Within 2. Coverage for this title also includes a roundtable conference with Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga. Stay tuned to the excerpt featuring our fielded questions.

The following is a review based on the gameplay that features the first few scenes to…

The Evil Within 2.

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

2. Aesthetics

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

The atmosphere displays a visual construct of nightmares. Mood and immersive feel become aroused by the outstanding computer generated renders. At the start, the player is in command of protagonist Detective Sebastian Castellanos. The scene feels gloomy, at initial glance the area appears to be an abandoned warehouse. It is here that the player can appreciate the artistic craftsmanship. Grime and blood cover the interior. Yet, these visual don’t seem cliché and over-performed. The lighting borders on dimness and complete obscurity thus adding to the fear factor. The protagonist becomes another visual component that arrests attention. Many textures bring this character to life, from the grime, beads of sweat to the facial expressions, all are fascinating. It becomes clear at this point that video game technology has advanced at a considerable pace over the recent years.

During a concise examination, the player will stumble upon a chamber graced with mannequins. It is here that the developers instill some adequate sound cues to enhance fear.

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

From my experience Survival Horror games start with an adrenaline factor. The Evil Within 2 does not shy away from that formula. During the opening level, a demonic female creature seeks to dismember Detective Sebastian Castellanos. The player catches but a glimpse of this monstrous creature before retreating in desperation. Yet, the sight was enough to savor the artistic quality and design of the antagonizing force. This creature has cinematic value.

On the design, The Evil Within 2 has the hallmarks of a calibrated survival Horror title. I got taken aback in awe with the beauty of this nightmarish landscape. Nothing resonated as CGI, the scenes present itself with realism. Obtaining the latest HD display will promote this artwork.

To close, there is one segment that proved to be distressing. With this statement, I cite an intensity on the brutal in-your-face content. During this act, the player stumbles into a home. It is here a brief cutscene unfolds. A mother forced feeds raw meat to a child. The content looks to be human. A close-up display presents the child, he is in distress with his mouth crammed with this inedible source. In frustration the mother slams the child’s face on the table, again and again, murdering him.

Scenes such as this push the envelope of Horror in video games. In my personal viewpoint, I welcome these unnerving images. Watching this scene unfold I could not help but feel disgusted, angered and unsettled. These are sentiments I prefer to feel while playing a video game of this caliber. Game developers are cognizant of the psychological impact this scene provides. It is at this stage that game designers can toy with other conditions of emotions. Will a violent action sequence follow? Will the player have that privilege to dispose of this heartless villain? In this specific incident, both challenges are progressing narratives.

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

3. Controls:

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

The Evil Within 2 offer the conventional configuration in game control. Inventory and attack functions may take time to get acquainted for some. Overall there was no concern during my hands-on gameplay experience. Two years back I had bought a copy of The Evil Within for PlayStation 3 console but due to time constraints, I never had the chance to partake in the game. The Last of Us was the last Survival Horror title I had played and prior to that was DeadSpace 3.

I believe the easy to learn control scheme on The Evil Within 2 will address both veteran and casual gamers.

4. Narrative:

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

As I had mentioned I bought the initial release to this franchise but never got around to playing it. On that note, am unfamiliar with the storyline, arcs, and conflicts. Yet, this did not hinder my gameplay experience. The Evil Within 2 leaves a sufficient plot to as a stand alone experience. Mentions of the comprehensive storyline are given during gameplay. This becomes useful for gamers such as me that are unfamiliar with the story.

The Evil Within 2 carries its own drama to express and branches off into different horrific horizons. From my background on Survival Horror, The Evil Within 2 suggests familiar trappings. It is hard to not equal Detective Sebastian Castellanos with characters such as Isaac Clarke from the DeadSpace franchise or Leon Kennedy from the Resident Evil franchise. Overall these characters get thrust into a situation they don’t want to be in. The ambition for each mimic one another. Each seeks to locate a loved one within in a hellish realm.

My hands-on experience with The Evil Within 2 was limited thus an adequate analysis of the narrative seems incomplete. From what I encountered, am captivated. This storyline and accompanied visuals validate purchasing the game, and a PlayStation 4 console.

5. Originality/Redefining

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

If there is one flaw with The Evil Within 2 it will have to be in individuality. The game appears all too recognizable. There are considerable influences with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. For example, infected homicidal humans have overwhelmed a metropolis. Here the player must practice stealth to evade these creatures. Glass bottles discarded throughout the path become useful. In one critical throw, these bottles can persuade the creature’s attention. This outline describes The Last of Us yet The Evil Within 2 parallels this formula. For a casual gamer, this activity may seem nerve-inducing. For those acquainted with the Survival Horror genre, this becomes monotonous and senseless.

This part of the gameplay turned out to be the undoing. I did not appreciate the imitation gameplay and felt cheated taking part in what appears to be a template gameplay formula.In relationship to the environment, The Evil Within 2 has that visual suggestion of Silent Hill. Still, this is a Survival Horror title and that’s expected.

6. Overall Experience

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

The Evil Within 2 becomes an attention grabber with violent content and suspense. Action oriented gameplay does not establish a presence in this game, good riddance. The developers have taken note on demands from the gaming community. Survival Horror bears priority in every feature of The Evil Within 2.

The control scheme does not present a challenge and once the game starts any gamer can appreciate the sequence of heart-pounding events. Hollywood has taken the Disney route in presenting Horror with its concept of PG-13 categories. I conclude this to decrease the director’s vision. It’s been ages since audiences have witnessed images evocative of Cannibal Holocaust or I Spit on Your Grave. In The Evil Within 2 are a plethora of frightful images. Its presentation is artistic yet disturbing, contributing yet memorable. These are the scenes that are much desired in cinema. The creative minds behind The Evil Within 2 treat Horror connoisseurs with much-coveted displays of carnage.

7. Replay Value

DecayMag.com The Evil Within 2 Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga

As with any Survival Horror title, there are several gameplay preferences to choose from. The Evil Within 2 provides three degrees of difficulty. Here skillful players can try their hand on more challenging approach to the game. Aside from the slate of upcoming DLC (Downloadable content) The Evil Within 2 will have a level of recycling value.

Aside from the above-specified attributes this title carries limited#TheEvbilreplay value. That’s not to suggest that The Evil Within 2 is mediocre. On the contrary, players will have to wait for another more frightening chapter to the franchise. That is something to look forward to.

To conclude my coverage on The Evil Within 2 I present my questions during the roundtable interview with Shinji Mikami (Studio Director), John Johanas (Game Director), Trent Haaga.

Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Amazing | 81-90 Exceptional | 91-100 Perfection

8. Gallery

95 %
95 %
90 %
70 %
Overall Experience
90 %
80 %
Scare Fcator
95 %
Replay Value
80 %
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Ken Artuz is Co-Owner of Meca Ex Studios LLC. Artuz is a New York City Based Photographer with proficiency in Photoshop. His digital artwork was featured in exhibitions SOHO, NYC, twice. Artuz is a graduate of The Institute of Audio Research where he earned his degree in Audio Engineering and Record Production. He also earned certification in Television Production and Field Recording at Lehman College. For Horror Artuz Favors French Extremism and Indie productions. He is a novelist, and screenwriter listens to EBM, Industrial & Witch house and is an avid MMA sports fan. Ken Artuz will create a media empire built on the DecayMag Brand.


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