It has become increasingly rare for a videogame to release with a DLC add-on or expansion. During Bethesda’s E3 press conference, I was prepared for the inevitable DLC for The Evil Within 2, one of my favorite games of last year. Surprisingly, there was no announcement, which came as a shock as the first title had 3 DLC’s add-ons that were honestly unnecessary. But after looking back at my time with The Evil Within 2, I came to the conclusion that there no DLC needed.
It was a strangely complete experience and one that wrapped up neatly. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any DLC announcements in the near future, but if we’re being honest, this is the rare example of a title that does not need any add-ons. It isn’t a perfect game by any means, some of the enemy AI was pretty dumb and it didn’t feel as tense as the original, but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The Evil Within 2 transitioned from a linear experience to a non-linear one and it was all for the better.
There was enough to do in-between primary objectives because the town of Unity, while small, was dense and there was enough secrets that could keep the player entertained for hours. There was a surprising amount of diversity, numerous houses, warehouses, and sheds could be entered and looted. If you were unlucky or just aloof like I was in my first playthrough, you would wander into a house and immediately be thrown into a side-quest. This one in particular featured a specter and it was a nice change of pace as you couldn’t shoot your way out of the situation.
The first entry in the series would clock in at around 20 hours but it did suffer from some pacing issues as at times it felt like you were being rushed through some areas. Those segments were primarily due to being chased by some monster ripped straight from your nightmares. For the sequel, players had the option to explore their surroundings as they saw fit and you could even transition from the marrow, the underground tunnels, to other areas in Unity. My first playthrough was around 25 hours as in these types of games, I can get lost in completing side quests.
What’s crazy about The Evil Within 2 is that in a generation of ambiguous or open-endings, the door felt as if it closed on the franchise. Now there is a small post-credits scene and this could potentially set up a sequel, but as for the main character Sebastian, his story for the most part feels wrapped up. In a way, The Evil Within 2 is a throwback to a time in which games were released complete with no DLC needed to wrap up loose ends. Almost every side character you meet has their individual arcs wrapped up and with the exception of Kidman, I don’t see a reason to return to Unity or Mobius.
Complete games aren’t rare when you think about titles produces independent or smaller studios. Budgets are usually smaller and there just isn’t funds to create any add-ons to the game. It’s primarily why you have Kickstarter goals, the intent is to always go over so that you can add more content. So when you see that The Evil Within 2 is a complete experience, it bizarre because its coming from one of the largest publishers in the industry in Bethesda. The announcement of the title came at E3 last year and it was a pleasant surprise as it was totally unexpected. It was even more unexpected after I finished the game and came away completely satisfied at its conclusion.
If there is another entry in The Evil Within series, I hope that it follows the foundation of The Evil Within 2 which is an example of a sequel being superior to the original. This of course all depends on the overall sales of the game, which from what I read at VGChartz, wasn’t all that strong, taking in less than half of the original game. While I believe that horror franchises should learn from the mistakes of the Resident Evil series, which went action-heavy for its fifth and sixth entry, The Evil Within 2 does an excellent job in balancing its action and horror, which is what makes it a strong entry in the genre. Survival-horror games usually don’t sell well anyway as if you aren’t an established franchise, you get left on the shelf.
Here’s hoping that this isn’t the case with this franchise. I don’t know what direction it could take in the future, but my guess, something with Ruvik, the antagonist from the first game. I was hoping he’d make an appearance in The Evil Within 2, but how knows, he might appear if a sequel surfaces.