The godfather of horror, Shinji Mikami, together with The Evil Within 2 director John Johanas, has open up about what’s in store for the horrific sequel. The first good news is that the letterboxed 2.5:1 aspect ratio is now gone, despite the studio evidently preferring the original direction.
“We understand that it wasn’t something well received, even if internally we liked the direction. This time the game is played in standard format,” Johanas said to IGN. It certainly made The Evil Within feel more claustrophobic but it did carve off a ridiculous amount of screen real estate.
And while Mikami won’t be direction TEW2, he is standing in as producer. He made the decision as he wants Tango Gameworks to be a studio that allows the younger talent the time to shine. An admirable trait, and better than being gamings’ Mugabe, clutching onto control.
Johanas has taken the sequel into a slightly different direction than the original. It’ll still be fairly action oriented, interspersed with moments where the only option is to run and hide rather than stand and fight. Where it differs is the clearer, more focused story that sees Sebastien head back into the world of STEM in an attempt to be reunited with his dead daughter. The shifting realities of STEM won’t be quite as jarring as the original, but there will still be intention disorientation.
The Evil Within 2’s levels also promise to be much less linear. Johanas was keen to emphasise that the sequel won’t be open world but there will be very large areas with multiple directions to go and side objectives to complete, sprinkled with linear sections. It sounds a little like Tango Gameworks is going down a similar route to the likes of Dishonored - ultimately linear but with an array of ways to go up about things and secrets to uncover.
There's an undercurrent that Tango Gameworks could be working on something that's a little special here. The original The Evil Within was often unfairly maligned. It had its flaws but it was a fantastic and varied horror game. If everyone can be improved for the sequel, we could have a Silent Hill 2 situation on our hands.
The Evil Within 2 is out on October 13th for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.