The Evil Within 2 won’t be running on the exact same id Tech 5 game engine that powered the original The Evil Within, nor will Tango Gameworks migrate the franchise to id Tech 6, the engine used for Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Instead, Tango has spun id Tech off and created its own game engine specifically tailored toward The Evil Within 2.
This will come as good news to those who ran into performance issues with The Evil Within, including its notoriously dodgy frame rate. Hitting a smooth 60 fps proved tricky thanks to subpar optimisation.
PC players didn’t have it as bad as the console bunch though, with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions capped at 30 frames per second, while performance dips could see it drop into the low 20’s, despite only displaying on 71% of a 16:9 screen due to 'cinematic' black bars.
For The Evil Within 2, the black bars are gone (almost) entirely, reserved as an unlockable for those who beat the game. The game engine being used is an all-new one. The custom-built engine is based on id Tech, although it’s been spun off into its own engine which Tango Gameworks calls the STEM Engine. The name’s based on the STEM system found in The Evil Within. It’s kind of like Assassin’s Creed’s Animus, used to access people’s minds, memories and, more importantly, fears.
While we don’t know the specifics of the STEM Engine, nor indeed which version of id Tech it’s based on, it seems likely that Tango Gameworks has tweaked id’s engine to better suits its game. That could mean better shadows and lighting, or a more dynamic feature set that allows the warping environments we’ve come to expect from The Evil Within. The worry is that Tango Gameworks is essentially going in fresh here, and customising your own engine does open up potential problems with optimisation. We saw with Arkane and the Void Engine (itself an id Tech spin-off) that this caused notable performance issues for Dishonored 2.
The Evil Within 2 launches pretty shortly, on October 13th, for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We’re still awaiting word on the official Evil Within 2 PC system requirements, although we are expecting them along shortly.