Outlast 2 is the long awaited sequel to the hit 2013 horror game Outlast and this time it’s not a mental institution, but instead a town populated by a religious cult.
Outlast 2 is a lot more story driven than the first game. You are put in the shoes of a journalist Blake Langermann. He and his wife Lynn are investigating the death of a pregnant young woman near an Arizona desert. After their helicopter crashes, Blake awakens to find Lynn missing and their pilot crucified to a cross. He soon finds himself hunted by two cults, who have sinister plans for Lynn and want Blake dead at all costs, so you are put into a place where you have to survive by any means necessary.
Outlast 2 is just like its predecessor: both have a very subtle, hidden story, and by that I mean you have to collect notes to actually understand what is going on in the environments surrounding you. Outlast 2 however is a lot more forgiving in this aspect, as you don’t have to collect every note to understand what is going on.
The story itself is interesting enough to keep you playing until the end, but it has a lot of problems. During the game, you are thrown into school segments quite frequently. These school sections act as a flashback to Blake’s past in Catholic school. What seems to (in theory) be a way to actually help you understand the story ends up actually making it more confusing that it needs to be. Also, the ending of this game is another one of those sequel/DLC bait endings.
Outlast 2 looks absolutely amazing. The environments look incredibly detailed, with the houses in which the cultists reside having a lot of attention of detail; like having portraits of their leader Sullivan Knoth, crosses, and a bunch of other religious items. The design of most sections are incredibly detailed, ranging from caves, churches, slaughterhouses, and a bunch more, making it a treat to look around. Also, the enemies have some cool design choices making them stand out from one another.
Outlast 2 has some amazing audio design. Since this one takes place outside,s you hear a bunch of wilderness noises, which help build amazing atmosphere. Also, noises become a gameplay feature in Outlast 2 (I will cover this in the gameplay section). The orchestral soundtrack is also really good. The tracks used in the chase sequences are amazing and really keep you on the edge of your seat.
Outlast 2 is pretty much identical to the first game apart from a few minor differences. One difference is the aforementioned audio tool. Your camera is equipped with an audio detection tool which helps you track footsteps of your enemies, helping you to avoid them. Another difference is the ability to record the world around you. Once Blake finds a thing that is worth documenting he starts recording. After that you can replay your footage at any point in time. You are now also able to hide in water, but of course not for long as you will run out of breath.
Other than those few things Outlast 2 is a the same game as its predecessor, but it brings a few new problems that weren’t present in the first game. The first Outlast was a very confined game, only being able to run through corridors and small rooms, which made it hard to lose track on where you need to go. Outlast 2 is set outdoors, which makes knowing where you need to go an even bigger pain (more than it needs to be). Sometimes it’s obvious on where you need to go, but most of the time, you won’t know where you really need to be going, and this leads to many deaths, which might become frustrating to some.
The stealth in Outlast 2 isn’t really a good option. Most enemies will spot you even when you’re hiding and will initiate chase sequences. The entire game feels more like a chase sequence as you try and avoid your enemies as long as possible.
I wasn’t a fan of the first Outlast, but I was intrigued by the setting of the sequel and decided to get it. I felt Outlast 2 was a bit better than the first game, but it does have a lot of problems. I don’t recommend getting it at full price. Wait for a discount. If you can get it for less than full retail, you are in for a great thrill ride.