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The Evil Within 2

Gun Powder B

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Couldn't find a thread on it, and just picked it up on a Steam sale. Thoughts so far:

It's pretty good but honestly why do they keep making survival horror games more like Silent Hill these days? Too much supernatural. I mean sure, the premise is based off of science fiction but they seem to believe that science and the supernatural go hand in hand. There's only one game I played where that kind of formula works, and that's Parasite Eve. Why is Parasite Eve an exception to the norm? Because the factors of science and weapon customization are predominant in the game, along with good character arcs, whilst the supernatural ethereal Eve character is complimentary to that, and it's done quite well, sort of like the FPS game F.E.A.R., but with much more depth.

I kinda digress though, despite that bad flaw TEW2 does narrative, character building, weapon upgrades, and ammo crafting pretty well (but nothing extraordinary), the monsters are a bit repetitive but finding clever ammo saving new ways to bring them down is fun in its own right. The world, despite it's overreliance on the supernatural, does have a certain degree of openness to it, but jumps back to linearity soon after and vice versa, keeping it both open and claustrophobic at the same time. You really have to go out of your way to look for supplies or you risk running completely dry on ammo or health.

Plot is almost a carbon copy of Silent Hill "man looking for his very young daughter" but its interlaced with psychological elements like psychopathy and sociopathy, which white collar law enforcement enthusiasts seem to love. "Let's understand the POS before we blow his brains out" seems in line with federal law enforcement types, and this certainly contains those kinds of elements.

So far not bad, but I kinda miss survival horror of yore, where it was all about science fiction, weapons, and simple but colorful and memorable characters that keep it interesting and far less nuance.

TLDR version:

Pretty good but too much Silent Hill, not enough Resident Evil or Parasite Eve :p
 

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Couldn't find a thread on it, and just picked it up on a Steam sale. Thoughts so far:

It's pretty good but honestly why do they keep making survival horror games more like Silent Hill these days? Too much supernatural. I mean sure, the premise is based off of science fiction but they seem to believe that science and the supernatural go hand in hand. There's only one game I played where that kind of formula works, and that's Parasite Eve. Why is Parasite Eve an exception to the norm? Because the factors of science and weapon customization are predominant in the game, along with good character arcs, whilst the supernatural ethereal Eve character is complimentary to that, and it's done quite well, sort of like the FPS game F.E.A.R., but with much more depth.

I kinda digress though, despite that bad flaw TEW2 does narrative, character building, weapon upgrades, and ammo crafting pretty well (but nothing extraordinary), the monsters are a bit repetitive but finding clever ammo saving new ways to bring them down is fun in its own right. The world, despite it's overreliance on the supernatural, does have a certain degree of openness to it, but jumps back to linearity soon after and vice versa, keeping it both open and claustrophobic at the same time. You really have to go out of your way to look for supplies or you risk running completely dry on ammo or health.

Plot is almost a carbon copy of Silent Hill "man looking for his very young daughter" but its interlaced with psychological elements like psychopathy and sociopathy, which white collar law enforcement enthusiasts seem to love. "Let's understand the POS before we blow his brains out" seems in line with federal law enforcement types, and this certainly contains those kinds of elements.

So far not bad, but I kinda miss survival horror of yore, where it was all about science fiction, weapons, and simple but colorful and memorable characters that keep it interesting and far less nuance.

TLDR version:

Pretty good but too much Silent Hill, not enough Resident Evil or Parasite Eve :p
Parasite eve and resident are next level horror games, so would you recommend it or not? I Haven't played it before
 

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I did like THE EVIL WITHIN 2. The plot is very contrived, but it flows better than in the original. Most monsters are not that interesting, even though I did like stuff like the final boss' design. They also managed to get the hallucination mechanics from RE 3.5 working - sure, the Anima enemy is scripted, but that's the only way something like that can actually work. All in all, it's a nice designer survival horror game, picking up elements from pretty much everything else (Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Outlast, The Last of Us, Dead Space etc.).
 

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I decided to give it another go just recently. I had a bad first impression of it last time I played it, which was on Survival mode I think. This time I played it on Nightmare and enjoyed it much more. You have to crank up the difficulty level a bit to appreciate skills like auto takedowns from corner cover, and also the tendency of enemies to only run so far to look for you. It's just so easy to lose them compared to the first game.

Then I watched a 3 hr 15 min playthrough/guide on Classic mode, which has no auto saves or Sebastian or weapon upgrades, and allows only 7 manual saves. Then I realized the game is way easier than I thought. I mean that room in the Marrow where you have to wait for a door you unlocked via doing that tuning puzzle, the one that is supposed to be your first chaotic encounter down there, can all be avoided easily.

All you have to do after tuning the door is climb midway up the nearby ladder. Enemies will climb up and down the ladder and no-clip through you, unable to harm you. The real kicker is, after a short while following the door finally unlocking, all the enemies just de-spawn. I don't think this is necessarily an oversight by the devs either, because I know from personal experience the "Laura Arms" fake Ruvic used could not hurt you if on a ladder.
 

Gun Powder B

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After hearing reports about people running out of weapons and supplies and not being able to progress in the game, I decided to be as fiscally conservative as possible and center my stats around power shots and ammo conservation (pretty much my standard modus operandi) and I never once had a problem running out of juice and wound up with more gun powder and bolts than I ever needed.

It's just common sense really, people are just so normalized to CoD that they think they can shoot up the place like Rambo and the game will just hand them unlimited ammo. What seems normal and natural for me appears to be hard for the average player and it does get on my nerves sometimes, tbh.
 

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After hearing reports about people running out of weapons and supplies and not being able to progress in the game, I decided to be as fiscally conservative as possible and center my stats around power shots and ammo conservation (pretty much my standard modus operandi) and I never once had a problem running out of juice and wound up with more gun powder and bolts than I ever needed.

It's just common sense really, people are just so normalized to CoD that they think they can shoot up the place like Rambo and the game will just hand them unlimited ammo. What seems normal and natural for me appears to be hard for the average player and it does get on my nerves sometimes, tbh.
Literally my experience with Code Veronica. That's the problem with survival horror games being so niche. I feel like people are too used to horror games where you just walk through stuff or run away from something that whenever they do play a survival horror game that requires you to engage in combat, they just treat it like any other action game and end up struggling or being put off by the entire concept.

That's why Resident Evil 4 was so popular. The game just keeps throwing enemies and ammo at you that it just begins to feel like a shooter. But even that game still has its skill curve and I've seen people struggle through it or even claim to be completely out of ammo and it just makes me cringe because I know exactly how they were playing.
 

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You should play the first one instead; it's a much better game in terms of horror and blends science with the supernatural in a much more profound way. The second one has a very cliché narrative with a weak villain and too many dead-end subplots. Are the graphics better? Yes. Is the gameplay and controls smoother? Yes. But that's about it, for everything else the first one reigns superior.
 

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After hearing reports about people running out of weapons and supplies and not being able to progress in the game, I decided to be as fiscally conservative as possible and center my stats around power shots and ammo conservation (pretty much my standard modus operandi) and I never once had a problem running out of juice and wound up with more gun powder and bolts than I ever needed.

It's just common sense really, people are just so normalized to CoD that they think they can shoot up the place like Rambo and the game will just hand them unlimited ammo. What seems normal and natural for me appears to be hard for the average player and it does get on my nerves sometimes, tbh.
Oh I totally get the face palming about the over-criticism by the spray and prey type, but I also don't think they need to make it SO easy to get through spots without any need for combat at all, that would otherwise be very scary moments. The room I exampled is made to look like you're trapped in and have to fight, but it's anything but that. In fact there are many places where you can easily escape an otherwise scary situation just by simple observation. Like the part where you see Stefano leaving the warehouse where you're looking for Lilly. He summonses 3 Spawns (those weird looking mutated people dogs), then leaves. If you so much as beforehand notice the cart that can be moved near the wall you can climb, which leads to a plank providing a way over the fence, all you need do is fire one shock bolt to stun the first two Spawns as soon as they appear, then fire a pistol round at the 3rd that rushes you, then easily escape via the cart.

Now I know most might not notice that cart escape on first play through, but the first game was FAR better at ramping up difficulty on subsequent playthroughs, so it had far more replay value. On Akumu you'd die from one hit, there was less loot dropped by corpses, the enemies were more aware and faster, and the wall mines were better used to kill vs loot, because they were damn near impossible to disarm. To your point about too many gripes though, I really feel the reason they gave TEW2 things like auto takedowns from corner cover, and enemies not looking for you very hard, was too many people claimed the first game was too hard. IMO a well made survival horror game should have to be studied well to master. I mean hell, even RE4, a game often criticized for having too much health and ammo, had more tough forced combat segments than this game does.
 
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Frag Maniac

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You should play the first one instead; it's a much better game in terms of horror and blends science with the supernatural in a much more profound way. The second one has a very cliché narrative with a weak villain and too many dead-end subplots. Are the graphics better? Yes. Is the gameplay and controls smoother? Yes. But that's about it, for everything else the first one reigns superior.
So true, TEW2 also has FAR too many places you can easily sneak by or stun and run too. I mean let's really look at the facts regarding the enemies that are tough by conventional means. There's not a single Guardian you need to kill, even the first one can easily be avoided by having it follow you through the gated areas, then losing it as you circle clockwise around the building, then shoot the barrels to clear your path and get to the basement door. There's a wee bit of stress opening the door, as they prolonged it a bit with a QTE mash, but if need be you can fire a shock bolt near it, and if you snuck well, chances are you'll be able to pick it back up. All along the way you can pick up some nice loot as well mind you.

Same thing with Laments, they are SO easy to sneak by, or if you want their gel, just do 2 sneak attacks. Harbingers are tough to kill by conventional means, but there's really only one you're forced to fight, and on Nightmare I beat him with just sneak attacks. I mean I wasn't even managing my stealth all that well and got hit a few times, but the fight was still very manageable, and not what I'd call scary. Hysteric, again, easily killed with 2 sneak attacks. Disciples, one that many fear on the "Fire Walk", are easily killed with a shock or shotgun, then stomp, one shot in the head with a snipe, or about 5 pistol rounds to the head. Mind you on Classic Mode it's even easier because there's less of them. Lastly, Gluttons, a head shot with a harpoon, or even easier, one smoke bolt placed nearby will make them explode, which can also kill any Lost near them.

I mean the game has it's moments. If you really want to push yourself and kill every enemy, or try to sneak kill all Harbingers (I gave up on the one that circles John's Coffee House and Bakery), it certainly can be challenging, but as a survival horror game, where the main goal is to save the kid, surviving by any means, it has far too many easy outs that allow you to avoid any tough combat. Some might say, but if you don't kill, you don't get XP. True, but the tons of resources and ammo you save are easily enough to get you through any enemies, including bosses, you are forced to kill.

I look at this game as more of a slick noir cinematic experience than a true survival horror game, and it's a shame, because Shinji Mikami's work used to be THE gold standard for survival horror.
 
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Frag Maniac

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I wouldn't go that far, he does have a spotty record, however yes, everything he does is worth looking into.
Sure, spotty lately, and I didn't even mention that Ghostwire Tokyo looks like contrived mage stuff to me, so am not interested in that either. For myself and many though, it didn't get much better than Shinji's old stuff. I can't help but think though that TEW2 being so much easier to play than the original was a combination of pressure from dumb players, and ZeniMax asking them to dumb it down a bit. It just doesn't seem like something Mikami would do.

Still though, I can't help but hope for an Evil Within 3, but with many of the more hardcore elements of the first game. They did have a bit of a cliffhanger post credits scene in TEW2, where at the abandoned Mobius facility it looked like the STEM system had been reawakened. I took that as Myra pleading for Sebastian to come save her. The scene with Sebastian and Myra was kinda made to look like Myra was reluctant to want to abandon him and Lilly.

It might be possible she survived somewhere in the Marrow, since the damage shown there was minimal compared to Union City, which was crumbling holistically. If there's a game built around that, they'll have to introduce some new elements though to keep it fresh. We might even see Ruvik parading around as Leslie, possibly having built a whole new world of horrors via STEM. With STEM and the virtual nature of these games, anything is possible really.
 
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Rain611

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TEW was alright but I wasn't crazy about TEW2. Then again I felt like the controls were kinda janky and I didn't find the story to be anything too special and I don't like having to put in effort to enjoy a game so if it doesn't hook me pretty quickly I don't bother anymore. I'd much rather play Silent Hill or Resident Evil.
 

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TEW was alright but I wasn't crazy about TEW2. Then again I felt like the controls were kinda janky and I didn't find the story to be anything too special and I don't like having to put in effort to enjoy a game so if it doesn't hook me pretty quickly I don't bother anymore. I'd much rather play Silent Hill or Resident Evil.

I do agree about the controls being kinda s****y and the gameplay and plot being a bit annoying at times but if "effort" means thinking and planning some kind of good build or playstyle to survive especially on higher difficulties then more thinking skills required I certainly welcome. Then you got games like Elden Ring where you actually have to search online and jump through tons of hoops to figure out how to get certain equipment because you would never be able to figure it out on your own w/o help that I do think goes a bit too far.
 

Rain611

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Yea I have no problem putting effort into difficult games to beat them as long as they interest me, and TEW2 just doesn't do that for me.
 

Frag Maniac

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Then you got games like Elden Ring where you actually have to search online and jump through tons of hoops to figure out how to get certain equipment because you would never be able to figure it out on your own w/o help that I do think goes a bit too far.

Yeah that and not being into having to use magic mage skills to beat tough enemies is what puts me off of games like Elden Ring. That said, I finally bit on Chernobylite after seeing footage of the new Enhanced version. I'm hoping it's not going to be a lot of tedious micromanaging. However the game world looks like it's a bit more diverse than I first thought, which when I looked at it before seemed like a nuclear apocalypse version of Matrix, all green. I've also been reading lately that most feel the story and effects are very well done, as is the voice acting.
 

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Chernobylite

Hey thanks, that looks right up my alley, a post nuclear 1st person RPG horror game with Slavic Characteristics? AND has full controller support on Steam? I'll take it! Keep it up you may be my go-to source for game ideas. (y)
 

Frag Maniac

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Hey thanks, that looks right up my alley, a post nuclear 1st person RPG horror game with Slavic Characteristics? AND has full controller support on Steam? I'll take it! Keep it up you may be my go-to source for game ideas. (y)

Yeah definitely Slavic characters, just like STALKER and Metro, though I think it leans more toward STALKER. From what I've read the story is quite different from both though, and has a lot of crazy Sci Fi stuff.

Some are liking the Slavic voice acting so much they're playing it in Russian and reading the subtitles. I could have sworn one of the NPCs you recruit to help you sounds American though, but I could be wrong.
 

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You should play the first one instead; it's a much better game in terms of horror and blends science with the supernatural in a much more profound way.

I did just that and am about half way through it. This one is much more focused on survival horror yes, there's no way in Hell you can just blast your way through this, you gotta be crafty and even stealthy and cunning and use the environments to your advantage. I've been advocating this for 'Resident Evil' for a while now and to tone down on the overt action so perhaps Capcom should take notes from this one, as the gameplay and the horror go good together. Normies would not be able to finish this game for sure, it is quite tough.

The story is still kinda weird though, like a less than perfect blend between 'Silent Hill' and 'Resident Evil'. Something someone named 'Ruvik' goes berserk and researches memory stuff combines reality with memories to save dead sister. But wait! Some evil organization called Umbrella Mobius also wants a piece of that action so gotta deal with them to.

I really think they could have done better than that but the gameplay and horror elements are A-grade, absolutely. :)

EDIT: Come to think of it, 'Alien: Isolation' and 'Amnesia' also came out around the time of 'The Evil Within', and all three games could be considered survival horror with a strong focus on stealth-play. 'Resident Evil' has not done this yet in depth so think if they borrowed examples from these games without going to the extreme lengths these games do it'll be good for the series.
 
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The story is definitely not the strongest aspect of it, but once you've finished the game and rememberd to pay attention to every flashback sequence and memo - it will all make sense. The game's focal story point about dream sharing is a rather fascinating subject in itself.

But yeah, the story being kind of weird is one of the main reasons why the developers chose an American writer for the sequel in order to make the story more straight-forward, simple and "Hollywoodised".
 

Gun Powder B

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Just beat the first 'The Evil Within', talk about a flawed gem! One of those games where you love some aspects of it but dislike others. Some people love the story but hate the gameplay whilst others love the gameplay but hate the story. I'm gearing towards the latter, but not to the extreme, as I don't 'hate' the story, I just think it could have been better, whilst I did love the gameplay but also can acknowledge that the controls can be clunky at times and perhaps not for everyone.

I'd also wager that this could be Mikami's legacy, as I doubt he'll ever make a game this good ever again, which means it should be an influencial title as there's plenty of elements that future developers of horror titles can borrow from to fit into their own vision. That's the good thing about flawed gems, there's always lots of aspects of them you can borrow from if you're willing to "chew the fat" so to speak.

The game does feel a bit "on the rails" at times and there's no backtracking to speak of, they "fixed" this with TEW2 by trying to make some aspects of it more open world, which I do not think is the proper antidote. The proper way to do this I think is to implement some form of Metroidvania, as in, being able to go back to certain locations anytime you want after acquiring certain items that can unlock previously locked areas. To me, that's the perfect middle ground between linearity and "openworldedness". You'd think Mikami would realize this considering he's the creator of 'Resident Evil', but I guess it wasn't a priority for this game, unfortunately. 'The Evil Within 2' did dabble into some backtracking and unlocks, but not on a sufficient scale as you get the feeling that trying to make it more "Open World" took priority.

Not really much else for me to say here, there is some replay value and also much tougher difficulty options for those who really want a challenge or for those who want to go back and collect the things they've missed or upgrade their weapons and have fun. Those also confused with the story may also want to replay it to help piece it together on their second run, which can be a thing for some people who are interested in lore. All-in-all good job Tango and I hope Capcom borrows elements from this game, specifically the "multiple approach of dispatching enemies" style gameplay.
 
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