The Evil Within 2 is a bit like a Max Payne nightmare sequence spun out into a full game. Yeah, there’s stealth and a crafting system, but it’s very much about a man wandering through hideous reflections of his personal hang-ups while commenting gruffly on his own miserable situation. Here’s a run through of some of the horrible things that happened to me while inhabiting the body of fired police detective Sebastian Castellanos.
The first The Evil Within didn't make it onto our list of the best horror games on PC. Maybe this sequel will?
A magical door opened to a worse version of the place I already was
The Evil Within games take place in an alternate dimension called STEM - a sort of dream world shaped by the people most intimately connected to it. Some of those people are murderers, and so it was that my journey into STEM began in a human abattoir. You know, where meat is processed for people burgers or whatever. There’s a market for everything nowadays.
As it turned out, there was no exit to this abattoir, which was totally fine and not hellish in the slightest. Eventually, though, after pushing impotently against the walls, I noticed a door in the back wall where one hadn’t been before. Passing through it, I found myself back in the same room - completely identical but for the presence of a huge mirror along one side.
Stuck to that mirror was a single photograph - showing the face of Sebastian Castellanos. Me. But there was no time to study it, because that’s when a cackling lady with about 13 heads sewn onto her body crashed through the mirror and tried to kill me with a saw.
I looked into the face of circular-saw-induced death
This one happened as I hurtled down a corridor, pursued by a lady suffering upwards of ten bad hair days at once. It was then - officer, I swear - that a man materialised ahead of me. If I had to guess, I’d say he was the murder artist Stefano Valentini from The Evil Within 2’s trailers. He didn’t stick around to say hello, though, instead hurling a knife into my shoulder and promptly dissipating into thin air.
As I scrambled to get up I was cut in half - so cleanly that you could label the two pieces, maybe calling the top bit ‘Sebastian’ and the bottom one ‘Castellanos’.
I shot a lady in the face in her own home
Look, I’m not proud of it, but there were mitigating circumstances.
The home was a manky abode in Union, STEM’s Americana-inspired approximation of a town. Union is the kind of place that has a shop called Knick Knack on the high street, and decaying monsters patrolling its cul-de-sacs looking for bodies to heap into piles.
The lady I shot was a mother I found feeding her son dinner. Again: bear with me.
“Skin and bones,” she told him. “Gotta eat. Skin and bones.” Dinner was on the table - a selection of rotting meats. In a cutscene, Sebastian watched as mummy force-fed her child until pale flesh filled his cheeks and spilled from his stuffed mouth. It’s at this point I took a quick break from the game to gag.
Shortly afterwards, the lady noticed Seb staring and knocked him sprawling face-first onto the floor. I wasn’t particularly sorry when her head exploded all over the hallway table, most likely covering the phonebook in viscera and destroying the contact details of family friends forever. Just the sort of thing that really upsets mums, that.
I shot a lady in the face in her own home again
Look, she stood up again. Who can say exactly why? She wouldn’t be able to tell us if she wanted, on account of the mass of wriggling maggots living where her face used to be. But as soon as I turned my back she began staggering towards me, looking like uncooked calamari. I didn’t stop to ponder her motives, and didn’t stop shooting until she stopped moving for good.
I got trapped in a garage
Hannibal Lecter hid his first victim in a garage. That’s the kind of thing that suddenly seems pertinent when the door to one slams shut behind you. People in other towns keep cars in their garages, but this one in Union contained a man, lying face-down and motionless. As I turned to reopen the door, a second person appeared from behind and started taking chunks out of me. I swore as I hit back. “Bastard”. Thwump. “Jump”. Thwack. “Scares”. Crack.
When a Bethesda representative tapped me on the shoulder to let me know my demo time was up, she did so very gently. These guys know what kind of game they’re making.