Taking the formula set forth by the original entry and improving on it in nearly every way, The Evil Within 2 is a stellar second entry in this horror-action series. Opening up the environments allows the player to discover the scares it has in store at their own pace. The Evil Within 2 also makes some smart improvements to the combat, making encounters feel more tense and requiring some smart planning to get through. The story is a lot more cohesive this time around and has a clear arc that runs through the game and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The Evil Within 2 evokes the better parts of Resident Evil 4 in many ways and deserves the spot as the 8th best game of 2017.
The only thing I knew for sure about The Executioner before booting it up was that it was going to feature playing as the Keeper from the main game. After a brief opening cinematic, the game faded into a first-person view. I paused for a moment expecting some more story before it panned out to third-person view like in the main campaign. As I thumbed the analog stick just to make sure, the Keeper responded to my input and I let out a surprised and excited cry as it dawned on me that this part of the game was going to be different.
The story in the main campaign of The Evil Within was confusing. It jumped around quite a bit and was, at times, hard to follow. Personally, I kind of get into that sort of thing, but I could easily see how it turned some people off. The first piece of DLC in the season pass, The Assignment, certainly doesn’t stray from this formula, but it does offer some answers regarding some of the randomness found within the game’s formula. It also changes up the gameplay in a meaningful way by taking the focus off of combat and placing it more on stealth. With each of these features, Tango Gameworks makes a reasonably strong argument to come back to last year’s survival horror title for an extra scare.
Aside from what I’d seen in a few trailers, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into The Evil Within for the first time. Since Resident Evil was the series that got me into horror across all mediums and Shinji Mikami, the man behind that series, was at the helm for this game, I knew I would likely be on board. What I ended up with was a horror experience that was reminiscent of the past games that I loved, delightfully atmospheric and occasionally frustrating.