The Evil Within 2 was revealed at Bethesda’s E3 press conference this year and it rightfully raised some eyebrows. The original was not received well by professional critics nor casuals alike which invites a great deal of confusion as to why a sequel was ever green-lighted. However, if one is to view this under a charitable lens, they would acknowledge that The Evil Within has a uniquely committed player base that salivates at the sight of survival horror titles that adopt the formula initially introduced in Resident Evil 4.
Regardless, the sequel aims to further modernize the player’s experience by invoking more content and encouraging player freedom, according to Pete Hines (PR Representative, spokesperson). This is accomplished by expanding environmental areas in size and drenching them with side content. It is important to note that these side activities will not be story-related. The purpose of indulging in such distractions is additional resources such as ammo, upgrade materials, and perhaps even some exclusive rewards. I would place my emphasis on the optional aspect of these side quests, this is to say, one need not complete them to advance the narrative. Moreover, a new crafting system will be added alongside the familiar ability, weapon, and capacity upgrades.
The crafting system will allow the player to craft a specific type of ammo for an accommodating weapon. This poses an overarching issue that may reduce the challenge expected of the title from the core player-base. Rather than distributing resources randomly throughout the environment and forcing creative combinations out of the player to safely advance, the player may simply prioritize one weapon and one ammo type accompanying it to breeze through otherwise formidable opponents. Couple this with the surplus of resources granted from completing side activities and the striking difficulty evaporates. This will surely alienate the dedicated players unless a new tier of difficulty is unlocked upon a first play-through. The most troubling revelation about Tango Gameworks, as a developer, is conforming to modern standards of gaming for a wider appeal, which in turn, abandons their most loyal supporters.
Despite all, only time will tell if pitchforks and poor reviews are in order. The Evil Within 2 is scheduled for release on October 13, 2017.