Bethesda and Tango Gameworks have joined up again to give us a second crack at The Evil Within, and this year’s PAX West demo may have been the greatest game demo experience ever. Before you question my sanity, let me explain myself a bit. The Evil Within 2 demo dropped us into a mission very early on in the game’s story, and that’s usually a good place to drop a demo. It doesn’t leave the player with a ton of questions to ask, and still gets the same hook from the beginning of the game. So that’s a solid choice to make if you want to sell your game to players. But The Evil Within 2 isn’t the only game to do that by far.
No, what made this demo better than any other demo is that it managed to hit all the necessary points for a horror game. We had the creepy illusions, the feeling like someone is watching you, rooms re-arranging around us, a multi-headed monster chasing us, and some good old zombie killing. Even better, the demo managed to actually make me damn apprehensive of what was going to happen to me. Which is usually the bit that horror games tend to miss, relying just on jump-scare tactics and shock value. But not The Evil Within 2. Even when walking down a deserted road with absolutely no hideous creatures lying in wait around the next corner, I was sitting there on the edge of my seat trying to look over my shoulders both in game and in actuality.\
And the story behind the mission doesn’t hurt matters either. We’re left with very little in the way of solid information at the end of the mission, but that’s just what’s so great about it. Now I’ve seen enough of the game that I want to know how it ends, which means Bethesda and Tango have done their jobs and hooked me. I now want to buy The Evil Within 2.
As for the actual gameplay, the controls are the same as the first time around. For those who didn’t play the first game, well, the controls are easy to pick up. And since the sequel directly builds off of the first game, you may want to snag that first. Otherwise, well, some simple logic should get you the gist. You’re on a hunt for your daughter who you thought was dead, and you run across some spooky monsters. Pretty simple right?
The game has a scaling difficulty setting, which means you can get as much of a challenge out of The Evil Within 2 as you like. So if you’re here for the story, you can go a bit lighter on the combat, or you can max your enemy stats out and go for a pretty challenging experience. It’s always nice to have that kind of option, especially in a game where you might want to bypass some of the difficulty to enjoy the horrifying tale that awaits.
Basically, what I’m trying to say here, is that Tango and Bethesda managed to hit all of the major points necessary for a game demo, and did so in a way that left the player wanting more. Which is the entire goal of a demo. So, kudos guys. You got me.