Posts tagged The Evil Within
Shortly after the prequel, just a few days later in fact, I finished tEW2, so with both fresh in mind here’s my quick impressions
+, +, +, +, + maaan a bit of open worldness, that was mega cool! I mean sure, it wasn’t anywhere on the level of polish or variety of a Dying Light or Dead Island, nor the consistency of a Elder Scrolls, but hey, it was there, and it was great, some player choice, even some attempts at secondary quests for a few hours made exploring each train and house a thrill of my own making as I felt I didn’t HAVE to be there, and therefore felt responsibility
-, – unfortunately the commitment to this direction was not that great, with a world that was pretty empty, and most importantly badly chosen in being bland: contemporary environments make little in visual interest (where for example EW1 had some 18-19th century visuals which were great)
+, – the main story was pretty “meh” for me. Had some good parts, but also some boring parts, and a lot of missed opportunities for it to being genuinely interesting by trying to be super bland. “Father and daughter”… says it all unfortunately and this was stretched for player motivation, from introducing the daughter to the unreasonable coincidence that’s never satisfactorily explained as to why she’s also super important to “the evil corporation” (yeah, another one, how unoriginal and cowardly), as is he. Of all the people in the world, these two.
-, -, +, + the game has a lot of mediocrity. I mean the prequel had awesome parts and reeeally really bad parts, this one doesn’t have the bad parts, but is also mostly missing the excellent moments/locations
+, + much muuch less “instant death” moments. I mean they were still there so that’s a minus, but still MUCH better than the prequel.
-, -, +, +, – there’s a rather memorable antagonist as the photographer, which rather annoyed me being a typical serial killer policeman story with some gore, though there were also some memorable visuals. Still, because it was so linear it felt constraining.
+, + the game has some well done surrealist moments and scenes, locations with an Escher-esque feel and even interesting ideas such as micro time loops
+, +, +, +, -, + they made this SUPER huge move that I always wonder why more games don’t and that made a HUGE impact to my experience: they allowed me to play in first person 90% of the time. MAaaan that was greeeat! Contributed a lot to the enjoyment of the world, the open world and the memories in general. Sure, it didn’t feel AS beautiful visually as 3rd person but it was totally worth getting over the feeling that something is missing for the sake of the great immersive first person experience, even if it was a bit unpolished at times (breaking those huge boxes felt silly, the collision felt bad with the knife, as was with the little key statuettes… ). What a FANTASTIC move! This added a LOT to my game and was a main reason for me buying it and enjoying it as much as I did. I wish more games did this.
Overall I’d give this game a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. It was a decent AAA game with some nice moments and some “meh” moments. It took us about 17h of gameplay to finish it, out of which I think about half were exciting, and the rest were linear so-so story. It was enjoyable enough to finish, and never as horrible as the prequel when I abandoned it for months. Would I super recommend this game? I guess not, but it’s okay.
+, +, + remarkable production values
+, +, +, + epic length/value for money. It felt like 3 times as long as I was expecting, and all continuing not with stretched content but with constantly new locations and set-piece moments
+ the classical music sections such as the safe zone were nice, in the rest i didn’t remember/notice/like any special music. The credits has a bit of it.
-, -, – a lot of gore and shock horror, way too much and way too rudely in your face in my opinion
+, +, + the overall story felt pretty interesting
-, – it felt often very “gamey” … like contrived with game elements, enemies spawning, strongly scripted moments (in the bad sense) like enemies appearing at certain moments, no freedom, and the occasional totally gratuitous twist just to say put you in a “now you’re shooting a machine gun”, “now you’re locked in a moving elevator + shooting gallery”
+, +, +, + some really spectacular locations in variety, and also in production values, with little recycling and amazingly done. I often couldn’t believe this is not some prerendered scene because so much of the environment was changing around me, buildings falling/changing/ending up in new places…
+, +, + nice story twists, original story and a nice twist on horror with even some science elements
-, -, -, – overdone gore
+ some of the most spectacular game OR movie street city crasing/earthquake scenes I’ve ever seen
-, -, – bad pacing… too much tension and disgusting things without alternating with peace/contemplation/observation/something different… it tried to keep the beat too long too stressful leading to often just wanting to close it and for months not looking forward to start it again
+, + but in the end did because of the great production values
-, -, -, – a LOT of one shot kills and unfair moments.
-, -, – made worse by long loads. Any game that has so many unfair player kills should at the very least instant load… but still the problem is unexcusable because:
-, -, – it doesn’t make story sense. Every time the protagonist said “phew, i made it” all i could think is, “no, no, you didn’t, you died sooo many times. this movie would’ve ended so far before”.
+, + there’s moments where it felt satisfying, an environmental puzzle which made sense, or where being careful was rewarded with a payoff giving a Dark Souls style satisfaction of overcoming adversity in an interesting setting, but then they were also killed off by others which were simply arbitrary and felt random
+, – the horror/supernatural/fiction setting can be a wonderful thing a fascinating world to discover… but it turns out it can also feel like “a nightmare” in a more literal and unpleasant sense in that it feels arbitrary. I mentioned Dark Souls earlier, at least those worlds felt consistent in the rules, and in the world .. here sometimes it was interesting, sometimes random.
+ if one could strip away all the bad design choices in this game you’d end up with a game with a cinematic spectacle rivaling an Uncharted game and reminiscent of Resident Evil 4…. too bad there’s also all the frustration
Overall I’ll give the game a 0. It’s weird. For the high production values and length and the interesting story i’m tempted to give it a 1 or even a 2, but then I remembered all the moments it made me soooo hate it, like seriously angry, with cheap and random deaths, with boss battles, with repeated pointless frustration. There were even moments even close to the end where i had settled on -1 despite all the pluses because along with the greats there were so many horrible things it did and backward choices, but in the end I guess it deserves a 0 on a -5 to 5 scale. I can imagine people really admiring and appreciating some things in it, but I can also imagine people who like I felt at times feel like throwing the disk against a wall and promising to themselves to never again buy a game from this dev because they don’t entertain but rather abuse their players… but yearh, then there’s the good portions with are impressively professionally done and the great variety in locations and the interesting story elements…. so overall, well, it’s a draw. It was frustrating enough to not deserve the standard 1 that i give to mediocre but AAA games, and yet there were great moments and content in there. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I did buy the sequel and I’ll give it a try hoping they’ve kept the good and thrown away the bad… we’ll see.
PS: I’ll end this more critical review with and example of one of the redeeming sides of this game, it’s sometimes fascinating environments, of great variety, one of which is this mansion, which shows how much nice historical building research they did
– found the beginning incredibly lame. From the kids and families to the whole badly drawn/silly Bethesdaland graphics, found it horrible. I laughed hard in approval when the very smart woman I love that I got to watch it with said whoever had this idea for the presentation should be if not fired at least moved to a whooole other department. The only way I can imagine this as justified is as a PR stunt to humanize the otherwise and disarm critics of otherwise violent games
+ Doom & Fallout 4 VR, yep, that’s a reason to consider VR! Finally full games … I’m curious if one can play them without puking.
– Elder scrolls online focusing on player reactions to a (n old) trailer, found it lame
– elder scrolls CCG, might be good, but underwhelming in this context
+, – Skyrim on switch, on one hand exciting to finally have a serious game on the console, on the other hand… presented in that silly style…
+, +, – new Dishonored content, Daud, promising story= yeaayy!!! Downside: seems like cg animation, no gameplay, no location, particularly surprising given the September launch timeframe. Not a good sign.
-, – Quake Champions (though I played the heck out of quake 3 as Anarky) damn, yet another online class based team shooter a la Overwatch, even worse instead of letting it rise or fall based on it’s merits as a game it’s presented with actors and the mandatory politically correct token woman shown winning. Game might be okay but I’m rating here the presentation so for me it was a negative.
+, + The evil within 2: cool surprise, cool cg, lots of symbolism, multiple mood changes, at times it felt like a Alan Wake wannabe, at others like a Quantum Break attempt, and it even had some Death Stranding weird simbolism before returning to the game in which the actual gameplay/locations were a mixed bunch
+, +, + Wolfenstein 2 epic legendary from the surprise, the world, the cg, the media references, the humor, and then the great looking gameplay and environment design, all wrapped in great presentation. Simply stellar.
+ I was repeatedly surprised by all the games being for this year. Was expecting some kind of at least tease for an elder scrolls, but i understand why it’s smarter to keep the iron hot for titles which are imminent and this was of the conferences I’ve seen so far quite unique and impressive. Was there anything not launching this year?
Overall I’d give it a +3 on the impressions, great games, even if presented in what I found to be lame silly packaging.