Finally bringing the convoluted and muddled story of The Evil Within to a close with yet another bang, The Consequence finds Juli Kidman squaring off with her bosses at Mobius while escaping the twisted STEM landscape for good. While it’s not quite the pleasant surprise that last month’s The Assignment was, this finale is still more than satisfying, adding much more detail to the game’s mythology and featuring more than a few hair-raising scenes.
Picking up immediately where The Assignment left off, Kidman continues to wander throughout Ruvik’s dreamscape in search of Leslie. While many of the revelations thrown at players this time around are retreads of plot points already hit on in The Evil Within, the ending still packs a punch as well as a genuinely surprising and decently believable twist that hints at a spectacular sequel if it’s handled correctly.
The stealth-focused gameplay from The Assignment reigns supreme yet again, although this time around Kidman is given a gun for a handful of scenes, shaking up the combat a bit more yet still leaving her defenseless a majority of the time. Following a simplistic formula, Kidman can throw bottles to distract enemies, use disposable axes to off them by surprise and crawl through vents to sneak through rooms unnoticed. Although the gameplay is unremarkable, it fits into The Evil Within‘s world so well that it’s a wonder the original game didn’t have more of a stealth focus.
Since the gameplay remains unchanged, enemies quickly become old news, leaving the boss characters to pick up the slack in fantastic fashion. The main antagonist from The Assignment, whose design I still refuse to spoil simply because it still frightens me, returns with a vengeance, and the final boss battle is one of the creepiest to hit the scene in a while. Boss battles, similar to the original game, are pulse-pounding affairs that left my palms sweaty and my adrenaline pumping.
Although The Assignment only took about four hours to beat on the first run through, The Consequence barely takes three, pushing ahead at a breakneck pace that suffers with a few oddly padded moments on the back end. For example, the final chapter finds you burning portraits of Ruvik to release Leslie from his psychic grip while avoiding enemies. It’s a strange concept, even for The Evil Within, and although it was only a short distraction, it’s hopefully not an idea the developers plan on building on.
Kidman’s interactions with both Seb and Joseph aren’t explained as well this time around, with her just sort of appearing at times that don’t sync up with the original game. It’s extremely distracting to watch her walk through a door, end up in a random situation with Seb where she knows exactly what’s going on even though she just arrived, and then immediately get separated again. As much work as The Consequence puts into tying up loose ends, it manages to loosen up a few more with these maddening moments.
Oddly enough, even though guns have been reintroduced in this outing, it feels like there are less enemies to deal with and a lot more wandering mixed with watching memories conveniently explain the plot. Some of the plot developments are rushed through in the end, leaving Kidman to wander through empty hallways and observe shady figures describing exactly what’s going on. It’s not the most creative way to convey the plot, but the hidden collectibles are a bit more fun to search out and read through.
As is standard with Mikami games, The Consequence opens up a few new ways to play once the credits roll, including a new mode that leaves the entire campaign drenched in darkness and gives Kidman nothing but a flashlight to survive. It’s thrilling, if not a little irritating, adding plenty of difficulty to the easy campaign.
Despite boasting little to no change from the first DLC entry and clocking in at just under three hours, The Consequence is still a great little add-on, wrapping up a few plot points and offering more of the intense stealth action from The Assignment. Some of the climactic battles are on par with the original game’s hairier moments, and parts of the final boss encounter creeped me out more than any other game has in a while. As a consequence(see what I did there? That’s how Pulitzer’s are won), fans of The Evil Within will have a hauntingly great time with Kidman’s side story.
This review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy of the game, which was given to us for review purposes.
Although it creates a few loose ends while tying up others, The Consequence offers more of the same stealthy scares while boasting a few impressive and memorably freaky boss battles.