Max Moeller of The Koalition writes: The Evil Within is a divisive franchise. The first game was directed by Resident Evil creator, Shinji Mikami, and was anticipated as his long-awaited return to horror. Upon release, many people loved the game (and much more hated it), but both sides agree that the game was not so much survival horror as it was an action game with psychological horror elements.
With The Evil Within 2, Mikami steps into the producer role, and director John Johanas takes the helm. Under his vision, the sequel moves away from the gritty and claustrophobic levels of Beacon hospital in favor of open areas and the more welcoming town of Union. Johanas doesn’t steer the series into the survival horror experience some may have wanted, but he takes what the original game brought and refines it into a more accessible package.