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The Evil Within 2 - Welcome to Resident Hill


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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get this but I'm curiously unexcited about it. I can't even remember what happened in the first game and I completed it. I hope it kind of wipes the slate clean in terms of story because the plot of the first game was convoluted nonsense.

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Holy crap I didn’t realise this is out in a week. Where the hell did the year go!

I’m watching this one quite closely. The first one had some secret sauce even though it’s totally not so,etching I should like and was a technical shit show. Loved it.

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19 hours ago, Majora said:

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get this but I'm curiously unexcited about it. I can't even remember what happened in the first game and I completed it. I hope it kind of wipes the slate clean in terms of story because the plot of the first game was convoluted nonsense.

 

The first game felt like Mikami going through his notebook and stitching together all the scraps he hadn't found a place for elsewhere, so I hope TEW 2 is a bit more cohesive. The story was bobbins, agreed, but I think the only thing you need to remember is that the Castellanos and others were wired into a virtual Matrix style world and he's forced to return to it in the sequel to try and reach his daughter. 

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I've been avoiding a lot of the stuff but from what I've seen so far, the first game did all the world-building and this is a separate tale set in that world. Much like how the first Resi's main points were 'here's this setting, here's some monsters, here's how they can exist within the world', thus opening up Resi 2 for a more straightforward tale - you know where the zombies have come from and who was behind it, now here's a more straightforward story within it'. 

 

I could be wrong but a great deal of this game seems to be about how EW1 was its own thing, and now it's set in stone what the Stem is, we've got a magnificent bastard serial killer in to take control of it.

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Info dump, courtesy of GAF.

 

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The Evil Within 2 is a sequel to the 2014 action-stealth survival-horror hit (the original game at this point has sold around 5 million copies), featuring Sebastian Castellanos (the protagonist of the first game) three years after the events that occurred in Beacon Mental Hospital. He tried to find those responsible for what happened to him but with no leads and his wild tales making people think he went mad, he lost his job at the KCPD and spirals into self-destruction at the end of a bottle. Out of nowhere, Juli Kidman (a character who experienced the same events Sebastian did in the original and the protagonist of two of the DLC chapters for the original game) returns and reveals to Sebastian that his daughter, Lily, who he thought had died in a house fire many years ago, is actually alive. And if Sebastian will do something to help a shady organization known as Mobius (the organization that Kidman works for), he may be able to save her.

The game is a sequel to the original game and does take place after events of the original, but they have confirmed playing the original game is not a necessity. Apparently they've prepared a 'catch-up' within the game itself to learn the important information from the original game for those who want to dive straight into the sequel. One important piece to know is that the original TEW and this sequel primarily take place in a system known as 'STEM', which in basic is a machine that connects peoples brains together to mentally exist in another world. To quote one of the writers of The Evil Within 2, think of STEM like The Matrix if it was run by Freddy Krueger. The purpose of STEM is still unknown at this time outside of its origins and that Mobius seems to really want a stable STEM system for their own agenda we will apparently learn more about in TEW2.

 

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STEM needs a person (known as a 'Core') at the center of it to unify the different people who get attached to the machine. The Core basically works as the 'administrator' unit of the STEM, everyone within the STEM is a mental projection of themselves but the only person with full control is the Core. Without a Core, people's own mental spaces can begin to run wild and conjure things from the subconscious, and there seems to be an especially strong knack for the STEM to conjure up a person's innermost fears in weird ways. Lily was apparently the 'Core' of a STEM unit that Mobius had made and kept running, hosting a utopian city known as Union. However for reasons unknown, Lily just suddenly disappeared from within her own STEM. Mobius does not know how or why, but with her gone things have begun to go to hell in Union, as people are beginning to lose themselves to a nightmare within the STEM, and some of the people inside have gone on a power trip to take control of Union to change it into their own vision of utopia. They're all mentally stuck there until the Core returns and can't be extracted, but people can still go in. Mobius sent in several units of their own to respond and try to control and find out what happened to the Core, but things go south. In a last ditch effort to save all the time and money they've put into this STEM, they've contacted Sebastian as their last hope. He both has experience with STEM being a survivor of the Beacon Mental Hospital incident, and as Lily's father maybe injecting him into the STEM can get some sort of response out of Lily, wherever she is. Sebastian, broken and without much to lose, and given a chance to save his daughter, accepts this deal and enters into STEM one more time.

One of the big goals of The Evil Within 2 is to make a much better story than the original, with a cast of more likable and human characters. They have voiced they think the story of the game will be a surprise for many people, especially when it kicks into gear during the second half of the game. We will certainly see soon enough.

 

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The Evil Within 2 is a third-person survival-horror game with some deeper level of action, stealth, and trap mechanics. One goal for the team in TEW2 was to make the player have more options while playing than the original game; in the original the game was mostly linear and often there was but one way to progress. They've worked at making it so different people can use different playstyles to get through the same scenarios in very different ways.

When you start The Evil Within 2, there are three difficulty levels: Casual, Survival, and Nightmare. Casual is easier than Casual in the original TEW, but still not quite a cakewalk. It's recommended for players who want to not get too frustrated and are here for the story and experience rather than challenge. There's a variety of gameplay changes to make the game easier, including some abilities you need to usually spend resources on to upgrade being unlocked from the start, less and easier enemy placement, more resources in general, and other things you can turn on/off to make the game easier (like aim assist, which is an available option on Casual and Survival but not Nightmare and above). In contrast, Nightmare difficulty is recommended for people who like survival-horror games, it is apparently around the level of challenge of Survival in the original game, and has changes made for those who have more experience in the genre. It's also confirmed there's an unlockable difficulty which is NOT Akumu Mode from the original (no one-hit kills from everything) which will have limited saving, remixed scenarios, and other surprises we'll have to see when the game releases.

 

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You are not defenseless in TEW, you get a knife and a handgun relatively early, and can gain more weapons over the course of the game such as shotguns, sniper rifles, crossbows, and more. Combat has seen improvements from the original, including a much wider camera when aiming, now being able to do a quick-turn, and a more extensive weapon upgrade system. In TEW2, you'll find Weapon Parts and High-Grade Weapon Parts, which can be used to both upgrade your weapon and repair broken weapons you find when you locate all the weapon parts. You must choose what to use your weapon parts on, as there's not nearly enough to upgrade all your weapons and repair all weapons you find in the game in a single playthrough (though the game does have New Game+).

However, this is a survival-horror game. You do have limited resources and ammo, and have other options than just fighting. You need to pick and choose your battles, as while there are new options to sacrifice certain resources for others (there's an extended crafting element in the game compared to the original to let you choose what to make), you can and will run out of ammo if you go crazy with shooting monsters up.


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You can 'build' a Sebastian that's more oriented to fighting, however. Like the original TEW, there is an upgrade system for Sebastian himself using Green Gel (and a new Red Gel). You collect it from enemies and around the environment, though in a single playthrough it's impossible to fully upgrade Sebastian, so again you must pick and choose where to use your upgrade gel. Sebastian can upgrade his abilities in five area: Health, Stealth, Combat, Recovery, and Athleticism. Some upgrades are straight forward, such as increased max health, increased stamina, steadier aim... But there's some new and special quirks you can get too. Some quirks you can upgrade include having one-hit kill attacks no longer kill you, just nearly kill you but leave you alive with either a little or a lot of health left. Another quirk helps give Sebastian a small chance to dodge and avoid damage from certain types of attacks. There's also crazier abilities you can get, though they are expensive and to get them you'll need to focus on unlocking them. These abilities include a curb-stomp move to kill enemies on the ground, an ability to slow-down time while you're aiming, and a combo-like ability where your default gun damage is lower but you can start to get a 'combo', every time you shoot an enemy before the combo timer runs out you deliver more and more damage with each shot, increasing the damage output until either you run out of time and the combo ends or you run out of ammo. The crazier abilities are crazy expensive though, and you need to pick and choose what you want to upgrade with gel as you play to fit your playstyle.

Stealth has seen some big improvements since the original game as well, now allowing you to take and move from cover for stealth, a more refined enemy detection system and better use of light/darkness, sounds, and more environmental uses to distract monsters.

Traps have also been expanded, while still using the Crossbow as the basis for special elemental weapons, their purpose and abilities have been increased (for example, you may use an electric bolt in a pool of water to have the expected result or use a ire bolt on oil or grass to spread some chaos), as well as some new types of traps such as being able to set down trip wires or a detonation mine that makes a distinct sound to attract nearby enemies.

 

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But the enemies and dangers of Union have also seen an increase in nightmarish variety and threat since the original game as well. The main zombie-like enemies of the game are known as "Losts", lost souls to Union, who will not go down easily if their brain isn't taken out (and headshots have to be precise, as you can shoot off part of their faces rather than hitting them squarely in the brain). There are also new crazier types of the main enemy forces, including a type known as Hysterics who are far more aggressive, sporadic, relentless.

The enemy train doesn't stop there though, there's all sorts of weird twisted monstrosities within Union. Some of the biggest monsters can not be killed, but the screen tints to a blue tone when you're around a foe who is unbeatable to let you know not to mess with it (some unstopable forces wander dynamically through the game world). There is a much bigger enemy variety than the original game.
 

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The game takes place in a mentalscape small American town known as Union. The Evil Within 2 compared to the original game will have more open levels to explore, but the game itself is not an open world game. A more apt comparison is some hybrid of the original Silent Hill and Silent Hill Downpour. The game has a chapter system like the original, and still has linear levels and areas. However, in-between main story chapters you'll go to larger, more explorable levels with optional stuff to do in them. There isn't a whole big 'open world', as much as there's 'provinces' of Union you'll go to. In the original Silent Hill, in-between the main stages you went back to the town itself. The town is never 100% fully explorable, but you reach different segments which fill the in-between from the main locales. This is the easiest way to describe Union, you go to different sections of the town in-between the main locations, which act more like larger levels you can explore. And there are side-questions and optional places to explore, which are handled similarly to Silent Hill Downpour. Instead of receiving quests from NPCs or having to destroy X Losts or whatever, you instead find optional stuff to do more organically by exploring Union, stumbling on oddities and mysteries, and taking part in optional gameplay scenarios that flow with the exploration of the town.

You can also choose to skip all of this and just rush to the next story bit, or take the time to explore these sequences. These are great chances to restock and resupply, but be warned that this isn't a safe space, when exploring you can stumble upon horrors you'll have to overcome and other dangers and oddities.

 

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One tool that helps you in these segments is your communicator, which is something you use to talk to Juli Kidman with back in the real world but also helps you out in Union. It gives you where 'signals' from traces of Lily are that can point you to the next objective, but it also picks up on nearby sounds and odd waves being given off in Union, which if you choose you may use to try to track down optional stuff to partake in... Though not all waves are safe or friendly.

It's also been said by Shinki Mikami (producer) and the game's director, John Johanas, that the side-quests and Union become a smaller part of the game in the second half when the story really starts kicking off, which is an intentional design decision for pacing. Their presence will lessen over the course of the game as things begin to kick into gear.

 

The game is running on a custom engine by Tango Gameworks, which uses some of the skeleton of both idTech 5 & 6 within it. A Frankenstein Engine, of sorts. They put it together to fit their own needs, but have aimed to elevate some issues of the original, including reducing and removing many load times, lowering the amount and time of texture pop-ins with the engine, allowing much easier HD resolutions and 60fps (on PC, console FPS hasn't been confirmed yet), and to have a lusher lighting system for them and to allow much bigger levels.

The game will support PS4 Pro and Xbox One X Enhancement, being able to run at 4K on PC, PS4 Pro, and XOX. It also has HDR support on all platforms. 


TWO MORE DAYS. :omg:

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I think I made it to chapter 4 of the first game and moved on to something else. But recently I’ve been watching a playthrough and feeling like I stopped playing just before it became RE4.5.

 

My PC can’t run it and with the PS4 in the living room my chance of revisiting it would be very limited. Bugger.

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I am one of the select few who thought the first one was fab - sure there were one or two pain points, but IMO the good far outweighed the bad. It had the best atmosphere ever, plus it had Mikami headshots and a very Mikami shotgun. ☺

 

The enemies were pretty memorable and well designed too - there was lots of variety. Even the invisible ones created some ace nervy tension when fighting them (watching for a footstep in a puddle or a chair/table to move). 

 

I am hopefully assuming the not so great bits have been tweaked (useless melee, silly running stamina) or eliminated (unforeseeable one hit kills etc). If so I cannot wait for this, it is going to seriously rock! ☺

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It was seeing the shotgun headshots that made me regret not playing the game for longer. I think something else just came along and the nature of the game made it difficult to play in the living room. 

 

I actually bought the game on PC but the requirements far outstripped my computer. I can at least return to it someday on that format.

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Ok, skimming that GAF info dump has made me a bit more excited. I did quite like the original game but it was definitely flawed as hell too. A frustrating 7. If this can be a more refined, more cohesive version of that, it should be a good time. Also we seem to be getting less and less games like this nowadays so I want to support it.

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I enjoyed the original Evil Within as well – I loved the look of the game, you could almost feel the dust in the air and the grime on the walls. It quite a fuzzy look, but I thought that made it look quite solid and realistic, and it gave the game a VHS vibe. I’m replaying it at the moment, on casual, on NG+, and it’s weirdly relaxing – my character’s super-powerful and has access to all the guns, so I can pretty much blast my way through everything.

 

The story was pretty weird. Throughout the game, it was gradually revealed that you were in a kind of VR environment, exploring someone’s mind, and you periodically saw news reports about missing persons when you reappeared in that hospital ward hub area. I’d assumed that the overall plot was a bit like The Cell, where you’re a copper invading a serial killer’s mind to find the people he’s kidnapped, but some trauma had made you forgot who you were or why you were there. I thought that was quite a good hook for the story, but it went in some other weirdly convoluted and histrionic direction that I can’t really remember the details of.

 

I seem to remember a fake-out bit later on where you briefly wake up in some futuristic VR immersion tank, and then go straight back to the game world, with the implication that the “real” world you come back to at the end is actually still the psychopath’s mind. Maybe I dreamed that bit.

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I played on Normal.

 

Ammo management = reloading the checkpoint if I get I felt I wasted too much ammo. Five shotgun shells to finish one enemy? Reload. Failed to set enemies on fire because of RNG? Reload.  Zero critical hits which means wasting a ton of ammo? Reload.

Bosses = YouTube. I had a ton of issues with many of the bosses because I was doing the fight "wrong". Five shotgun shells, 2 exploding harpoons, 3 sniper shots, 2 grenades. Boss is alive. YouTube tells me "Freeze the boss, fire two fire harpoons (if you do not have that specific weapon upgraded, tough luck), freeze harpoons, one or two more fire harpoons". Done, easy.

 

The above is not a challenge. There is no EUREKA moment. There is no euphoria when you finally get it done.

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1 hour ago, df0 said:

I played on Normal.

 

Ammo management = reloading the checkpoint if I get I felt I wasted too much ammo. Five shotgun shells to finish one enemy? Reload. Failed to set enemies on fire because of RNG? Reload.  Zero critical hits which means wasting a ton of ammo? Reload.

Bosses = YouTube. I had a ton of issues with many of the bosses because I was doing the fight "wrong". Five shotgun shells, 2 exploding harpoons, 3 sniper shots, 2 grenades. Boss is alive. YouTube tells me "Freeze the boss, fire two fire harpoons (if you do not have that specific weapon upgraded, tough luck), freeze harpoons, one or two more fire harpoons". Done, easy.

 

The above is not a challenge. There is no EUREKA moment. There is no euphoria when you finally get it done.


Git gud.

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Price drop at Tesco too.

It's now £40 for the disk. Down £4-5.

Is this an indicator of it's quality as the review feedback comes in to the publisher? of is it just capitalism?

I think I might just use a bunch of club card points on this and take the punt.

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6 minutes ago, Harrisown said:

Price drop at Tesco too.

It's now £40 for the disk. Down £4-5.

Is this an indicator of it's quality as the review feedback comes in to the publisher? of is it just capitalism?

I think I might just use a bunch of club card points on this and take the punt.

 

I wouldn't read anything into it, you've been able to get it at all the usual gaming websites for under 40 quid for a while now.

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18 minutes ago, Harrisown said:

Price drop at Tesco too.

It's now £40 for the disk. Down £4-5.

Is this an indicator of it's quality as the review feedback comes in to the publisher? of is it just capitalism?

I think I might just use a bunch of club card points on this and take the punt.


You're reading way too much into it, happens with almost every game with retailers trying to be cheapest.

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We're into the last few months of the year where prices go all over the place.  Even the bigger games tend to get some sort of price reduction as we get closer to December, hell I expect games released this month to be cheaper by the time black friday comes around.

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