With less than a month until the release of The Evil Within 2, this week I had the chance to spend some more time with the survival horror game’s second chapter. Even though I only spent an hour with The Evil Within 2, the portion that I played was packed full of memorable messed up moments that stayed with me long after my playthrough. Here’s the five creepiest moments from the hands-on demo.
Playing with Perception
Not contempt with retracing the footsteps of its predecessor, the gameplay of The Evil Within 2 focuses a lot more on the exploratory nature of an open-world setting. However, the game is at its terrifying best when it takes this open-world freedom away and accosts you with a set piece you must engage with in order to progress further through the story.
Immediately upon starting the demo, I was confronted by an army of seemingly lifeless figures hanging in unison from a roof. Against my better judgement, I made my way through the bodies until I was stopped by a dead end. When I turned around, I realised that not only had the outlay of the room changed, but all the hanging bodies had collectively shifted to a different position to reveal a door that I’m pretty sure was not there beforehand. It’s great to see that the sequel has kept the original game’s penchant for disorienting players by constantly messing with their perception.
What has multiple heads, a body comprised of varying grotesque body parts and a saw blade for an arm? The Evil Within 2’s new waking nightmare, Guardian. Thankfully, coming face to face(s) with Guardian was only momentary, as I was chased by her instantly and had to haul ass in order to get as far away from the abhorrent abomination as humanly possible. Whether Guardian is another form of Reborn Laura or just a relative of hers is unsure, but one thing is for certain, this is definitely not the last Detective Sebastian Castellanos will be seeing of her.
Haunted and Hungry
The enemies known as The Haunted make a return in The Evil Within 2 and are just as dangerous as ever. I completely forgot how resilient and brutal they can be and was immediately humbled whenever I thought I could go in with guns blazing against a pack of them. Although their default way of getting around is by lumbering idly, whenever I was spotted by them, I was always impressed and horrified at just how quickly they closed in on me to try and kill me. As seen below, one second you’re lining up a headshot, the next, you’re taking a knife to the face.
Whoever came up with the phrase “Mother knows best” had obviously never seen how The Haunted treat their offspring. While searching the streets for Sebastian’s daughter Lily, I came across a woman in a house feeding dinner to what appears to be her son. The only thing is, this mother gone mad was forcefully shoving fistfuls of offal into his mouth while concurrently slamming his head onto the dining table. It was quite a visceral scene that left me feeling equally disgusted and squeamish. On the bright side, it’s good to know that along with murder, one of The Haunted’s top priorities is looking after their children – even if their methods are questionable…
The Chase is On
Unfortunately, no pace on foot is safe from the horrors of The Evil Within 2. If you’re not being chased by Guardian or The Haunted, you’ll most likely be getting stalked by the deathly figure of this unknown ethereal woman. In a very tense sequence, I found myself trapped with her in a dilapidated hospital ward, with my only way out requiring me to find a key card to a door. As she drifted eerily through the ward in search of me, she sung a chilling song that echoed through the vacant halls and sent a shiver down my spine. Once I’d found the card, I thought I was home free until I proceeded to run directly into her. I practically jumped out of my skin when this happened but thankfully was able to evade her grasp and make it out safely. I’m not sure what role she’ll be playing in the game’s larger narrative – but this scene really illustrated to me The Evil Within series innate ability to effectively instill fear in both its uptempo and slower moments.
It will be interesting see how The Evil Within 2 fares now that it’s shed its linear skin – but the early signs definitely look promising.
The Evil Within 2 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Friday, October 13th.