April 21, 2015.
As the second part of a three-part DLC package for The Evil Within, The Consequence continues from the cliffhanger ending of The Assignment, following Agent Juli Kidman as she wakes up in a seemingly regular hospital. However, as this is from Mikami’s mind, things don’t stay normal for long and it’s hardly sixty seconds before we’re thrown right back in the deep end. Please note that this review will have very minor spoilers, mainly just the new locations introduced the game, but probably best to warn you anyway.
Like its predecessor, The Consequence doesn’t scrimp on the scares. Building up the atmosphere from the get-go with Kidman losing her flashlight early on, it’s a nerve-racking experience in the dark as your only light source is an endless, albeit unrealistic, supply of green chemical glowsticks. This light does nothing to make the surroundings look any more appealing, only succeeding in casting ugly shadows across the walls and make the environments feel more terrifying that they were before. Being stalked through the dimly-lit tight spaces by the returning floodlight faced monster is intense and feels more effective than the encounters in The Assignment, as you’re pretty much defenceless.
The Consequence is a lot more horror-orientated, taking away pretty much all of the combat and action sequences in order to build a daunting atmosphere as the chapters progress. The only contact Juli has with enemies is either pushing them off buildings or silently taking them down. Any other sort of combat with a frenzied being is practically suicide, and not really having any means of defence other than legging it makes you feel helpless, forcing you into hiding instead of taking charge and knocking some heads together à la Sebastian Castellanos.
A run first, ask questions later approach for The Evil Within is more successful than its usual combat-based gameplay and feels more natural (especially for this expansion), as you more or less navigate from flashback to flashback. Being plot-heavy as it concludes the story of Kidman, the DLC also answers the ambiguous questions that have been left floating around since the base game and nicely ties up all those little loose ends. However, there are a few points where you can feel like a puppet, walking from cutscene to cutscene with no kind of gameplay in between leaving you likely to disengage at times.
Blood-drenched, haunting, and virtually flawless, the environments are once again a runaway success. Introduced in the second expansion are new areas such as Krimson Police Station and the rooftops of Krimson City as buildings collapse all around. The dynamic realism of these environments are stunning, and the introduction of some fresh locations keeps things from feeling like a clone of the last. The use of darkness in the environments is instrumental in The Consequence’s fear factor, with most rooms being doused in shadow; only the flashlight to cut through it all. Claustrophobically enchanting, walls are coated in grime and floors dotted with pools of blood with a mutilated corpse dotted here and there for good measure.
Players hoping to see some new creatures introduced may be disappointed, though, as many of the beasts featured in the previous instalment make a return – with not much in terms of fresh meat making an appearance.
Think of The Evil Within as a cake: a big round sponge, black in colour and flavoured using brains and body parts. Along with its predecessor, The Consequence is like blood-coloured icing, finger bone candles, and human skin shavings which gruesomely perfect this intense Mikami concoction of gore and grizzle. Drenched in atmosphere and relying on running over gunning, The Consequence wreaks havoc on the nerves and leaves players delightfully anticipating the arrival of The Executioner, the final DLC forThe Evil Within.
Read our The Evil Within review, and our take on the first DLC.
Less combat, more survival.
Immersive, nightmarish environments.
Slow at times.
Controls are still sticky.
Drenched in atmosphere and relying on running over gunning, The Consequence wreaks havoc on the nerves and keeps you on your toes at all times.