It’s not common for horror games to deviate from the traditionally linear gameplay experience, and for good reason. With player freedom comes the opportunity to push boundaries, to tread the lines between immersive horror and entertaining, exploitive discoveries. Think of every time you stacked fruit on an NPC’s head in Skyrim, for example, or that one silly instance when a quest-giver approached you in The Witcher from the other side of a wall. While undoubtedly humorous, these instances nonetheless break immersion and in doing so, become the enemy of every game that ever tried to sway the player with an atmospherically creepy setting.
Still, a dedication to linearity doesn’t necessarily mean developers can’t provide the player with an abundance of options. In a recent post on Bethesda’s website, the developers of upcoming horror game The Evil Within 2 elaborated on the many options players will be faced with while enjoying the game’s rather frightening-looking experience.
“The world of The Evil Within 2 is full of possibilities. With some of the larger stages we’ve created, we’re opening up Union to the player’s wishes and unique playstyles. Through the layout of the world, as well as the crafting and customization systems in the game, we’re providing you with the freedom to take on the challenges in front of you however you choose.”
The above statement, which came from Game Director John Johanas, references the world of “Union,” which is referring to the in-game setting where most of the story will be taking place. In Union, players will have access to a wide variety of items and resources that can be used to craft special tools for Sebastian to use. While these craftables will chiefly be ammunitions for weapons, the player will also be able to create healing supplies with which they can treat Sebastian’s wounds.
There’s also a considerably greater range of upgrade options for Sebastian himself. “Customization for Sebastian breaks down into five categories, which include parameter upgrades like ‘recover more health from healing items’ and ‘reduce reticle sway when firing weapons.’” These five categories are detailed below:
Health – Increase Sebastian’s total health-pool by investing Green Gel into this tree. This will leave him a more formidable character who is capable of surviving attacks that would otherwise be lethal.
Stealth – Nothing builds adrenaline like hiding from monsters. With the skills in this tree, players will have the option of sneaking up on enemies and dispatching them instantly with “Sneak Kills.”
Combat – Exactly as it sounds, the combat tree increases the damage of Sebastian’s melee abilities while reducing the recoil he suffers when using a firearm.
Recovery – Similarly to the health tree, dropping points into recovery will help Sebastian survive the trials of Union by granting him increased health recovery and a rare chance to automatically consume a health syringe instead of dying.
Athleticism – This will simply give Sebastian an increased stamina-pool, as well as a chance to evade incoming attacks from enemies.
For more information about The Evil Within 2, be sure to check out the post yourself, or explore the rest of Bethesda’s website for previous developer posts and community discussions. The game is set to launch on Friday the 13th in October for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.