After finishing The Evil Within 2 I was exhausted, like I’d been through an ordeal. Thinking back on my 20 hours with it, I had. The Evil Within 2 is an ambitious, genuinely tense, and at times brutally difficult experience, but one that left me exhilarated. Like the original before it, The Evil Within 2 may not know how to deliver convincing dialogue or maintain a consistent tone, but it does know that the mark of pure survival horror is to leave you feeling like you only just survived, time after time after time.
Developer Tango Gameworks has done a good job at a cleaner set-up this time around by sending protagonist Sebastian Castellanos to rescue his thought-dead daughter from The Evil Within’s version of the Matrix, called STEM - adding some vital emotional stakes that were lacking in the original. Sebastian himself, on the other hand, is somehow even more dull three years later. Despite having gone through all this once before, he still regularly quips mundanities at the weirdness of it all. Pedestrian lines like “What the hell?” and “Ugh, who comes up with this stuff?” break the horror spell, and most of the time I just wanted him to shut up and let the creepy world around him speak for itself.