Here's what The Evil Within 2's difficulty levels change

Now that The Evil Within 2 has launched, you may have already started your journey to save Sebastian’s daughter and fight lots of horrible things that give you life-long nightmares. If you’ve yet to begin your nightmarish adventure, however, then Tango Gameworks' explanation of the game’s difficulty levels might help start you off on the right foot. 

The Evil Within has four difficulty levels: casual, survival, nightmare and classic. You’ll be able to change your mind and pick a lower difficulty while playing, but you won’t be able to pick a higher one if that ends up being too easy, so it pays to know exactly what the differences are. 

Casual difficulty is for people who mostly just want to experience the story. Items are plentiful, enemies can be killed easily, there’s aim assist if you want it and the Bottle Break ability is unlocked straight away, ensuring that you can escape grabs if you’ve got a bottle in your inventory. 

On survival difficulty, enemies are more numerous, and resources are fewer so you probably won’t always have enough ammo, for instance, to take them all out. A slow and steady approach is what Tango Gameworks recommends, and you’ll need to keep an eye on your inventory to make sure you don’t run out of important resources. Aim assist is available in this mode as well. 

In the first game, nightmare difficulty was for more experienced players who had already fought their way through the game. In The Evil Within 2, it’s unlocked right from the start and, in terms of challenge, sits somewhere between the last game’s survival and nightmare modes. It’s meant to be tricky, then, but still viable for your first playthrough. Ammunition is very rare, crafting is absolutely necessary, items in general are scarce and enemies are tougher. Aim assist is also not available. “It’ll be rough, but it’ll be tense,” says the developer. 

Finally, there’s classic mode. You’ll need to finish the game to unlock this mode, and while it’s similar to nightmare, it does come with some additional obstacles. There are no autosaves, for instance, and only a limited number of saves. You’ll get 7 chances to save throughout the game, and that’s your lot. Also, you won’t be able to upgrade Sebastian or your weapons at any point. Sounds awful! 

At least you’ll get some extra assistance based on the difficulty level you picked the first time around. Finishing the game nets you new weapons and more crafting supplies for your New Game + run. 

The Evil Within 2 is out now on Steam and the Humble Store for £39.99/$59.99. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.