A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Evil Within 2 is a violent and disturbing action game that's not for kids. Players use a variety of guns and sharp implements to kill monsters, including some that look and act human, and there's copious amounts of blood, gore, and dismemberment. There's also a lot of disturbing images as well as moments where things jump out at you. One monster has an exposed breast, while another is made of dismembered body parts that include someone else's butt, though neither of these are sexy in the least. The dialogue includes such curse words as "f--k" and "s--t." Many rooms in the game have bottles of booze lying around, and one scene has our hero drinking in a bar.
What's it about?
In THE EVIL WITHIN 2, former detective turned drunk Sebastian Castellanos has to save his daughter -- who he believed had been killed in a fire -- by exploring an alternate dimension of her creation. This is done by destroying horrific creatures, solving situational puzzles, and trying not to go crazy, all while trusting the same people who almost killed him during his previous adventure. He'll also have to rely on crafting traps, fighting enemies, and stealthily avoiding danger to survive this nightmare.
Is it any good?
While this is yet another survival horror game where you have to survive frightening situations, its heightened focus on stealth helps it stand out from other titles in the genre. In The Evil Within 2, you explore a freaky world full of bizarre creatures. While there are numerous sections that are about exploring and solving puzzles, large chunks of the game have you wandering around a strange suburb, where you have to use stealth to get past local residents -- who are real monsters -- on your way to complete objectives, or you're forced to kill them quickly before they overwhelm you.
Unfortunately, this is where the game becomes divisive. Because of the street maps and design of the suburb, there are times when you're forced into stealth play to continue, instead of trying to sneak up behind monsters in an attempt to kill them quietly and reduce the threat to your character. That can be challenging, especially if you're used to more action gameplay instead of sticking to the shadows. It also doesn't help that your hero frequently turns his flashlight off without reason and often strolls instead of runs, even when monsters are around -- and even when he does run, it drains his stamina meter, which can be vital to his survival. But many of these problems can be seen as mostly matters of personal preference. When the gameplay gets good, and it frequently does, it's a chilling, disturbing adventure, one that does such a good job of mixing stealth, scares, and shooting gameplay that it's like taking the action of Resident Evil 4 and setting it in the town from Silent Hill. This is why, despite its issues, The Evil Within 2 is a frightening good time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it feel different killing monsters instead of people? How about when you kill monsters who look like people ... because they used to be people?
Talk about substance use and abuse. When the game begins, Sebastian is drowning his sorrows in alcohol. Do you think this is a good way to deal with your problems? Or could it cause more of them?
Discuss putting your life at risk to save someone else. How far would you go to save someone you loved?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: October 11, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.