The Consequence is a direct sequel to the great previous DLC, The Assignment. The story starts right where The Assignment left off, so if you haven’t played part 1 you will most likely have a hard time understanding everything that happens during part 2. While the first DLC had a solid stealth based game-play, The Consequence has an abrupt change in pacing that results in a disjointed experience.
The Nightmare Continues
The storytelling in The Consequence is mostly to blame for the pacing issues. While we were presented with new information on Juli and her employers in the previous DLC there were many questions that still weren’t answered. It makes perfect sense for the developers to save the big reveals until part 2, but in this case the result is that there are a lot of loose threads to tie up in a short time. The DLC does not only focus on Juli and her employers anymore, but gives us a little more insight into Sebastian’s past as well. Covering Juli, her employers and their history with Ruvik, in addition to Sebastian means a lot of storytelling in a 4 hour DLC.
An interesting aspect of all the new information that we and Juli learn during her journey, is the changes it makes to her character. For example, she starts off as a cold agent with no regard for her partners, Sebastian and Joseph. As The Consequence unfolds, there is a change in her tone when referring to them, and she seems to genuinely regret the situation she put them in. While her change happens fast and feels a bit forced, I think the developers did the best they could in the limited time a DLC allows for. I also appreciate that they made Juli a developing character with more layers. During the DLCs, she becomes a more compelling character than the static Sebastian.
As in the first DLC, the weaving of Juli’s and Sebastian’s stories is very well done. When the characters meet during their journeys, it feels just as natural when playing as Juli. How she ended up in situations from the core game flows very well with the rest of her story. In The Consequence you get to see some cut-scenes from the core game as the characters meet up. They end up feeling new and fresh because you now see them from Juli’s point of view, and the dialogue get a new meaning.
The DLC does a great job of answering many questions and fleshing out a lot of the events that led up to the core game’s story. The core had a very open ending that could potentially set up for a sequel, and the DLC ends in a similar way. Most questions are answered, but there is new information and some twists introduced that left me literally mind blown. No new story DLCs have been announced, so I can only hope for a full sequel that will let us continue the story.
A Disjointed Journey
With all these story elements to cover, the game-play seems to have gotten less attention this time around. The tight and solid stealth from the previous DLC is mostly gone. Juli is still very vulnerable and die in one or two hits, so when you have to use stealth it can still be a tense experience. However, it seems a bit easier to get through these areas this time around. I only used items to distract my enemies once or twice as it wasn’t much of a hassle to get past them. I missed the incredibly tense and dreadful stealth from The Assignment when playing through The Consequence. There were moments that I felt the stealth had become more about me hunting the enemies instead of trying to hide from them.
The mood and game-play is also interrupted by the storytelling. Some sequences don’t even have enemies at all – the focus is on Juli exploring areas and discovering information and flashbacks. The DLC struggles with finding a balance between story and game-play, you’re either doing one or the other. It becomes hard to get as emotionally involved and horrified as usual when you are constantly distracted by sequences that are not at all threatening.
Not that there aren’t great moments in the DLC. The boss fights are as fun and tense as in The Assignment. Puzzles are interesting and some are even harder than in the previous DLC. The Consequence, like its predecessor, is made up of almost all new areas, with the exceptions of areas where Juli and Sebastian meet. The environments look as great and disturbing as ever. A certain wall covered in eyeballs completely freaked me out, for example.
The game-play is also shaken up by giving Juli the ability to defend herself and fight back on some occasions. While these sequences completely break most of the tension of the game, there is no denying the incredible sense of satisfaction of finally being able to hit back after all that hiding in fear. Juli will still die after a hit or two, so you still feel a bit panicked during these sequences.
The Consequence is another great DLC for The Evil Within. In terms of game-play, it does not live up to the brilliance of the previous DLC. It becomes a disjointed experience that is not able to balance game-play, horror atmosphere, and storytelling. It does have some great sequences, environments, and boss fights. The story answers a lot of questions and fleshes out the background story leading up the core game. Juli becomes a layered character that is a lot more compelling than Sebastian. There is some new reveals and twists that left me hungry for more. I can only hope that a full sequel is announced in the near future. And hopefully, we will get to play as Juli again as well.