Outlast 2 is a first-person horror game which explores not only external threats, but also how the mind breaks under significant duress. The game puts you in the shoes of Blake Langermann, a cameraman working with his wife, Lynn. The two are investigative journalists willing to take risks and dig deep to uncover the stories no one else dares to touch. Blake and Lynn are following a trail of clues which started with the seemingly impossible murder of an unknown pregnant woman. The clues—and a seemingly random helicopter crash—lead you both miles into the Arizona desert, to a darkness so deep that no one can shed light upon it, and a corruption so profound that losing your mind may be the only outcome.
Outlast 2 is a supremely terrifying experience
Outlast 2’s narrative is filled with various twists and turns centered on the Christian belief. The game explores not only what is happening directly around you, but also how it connects with events occurring throughout the world. The game tells a very dark tale which explores topics like child abuse, murder, sexual assault and suicide among other issues gamers may not be comfortable with. The original Outlast was disturbing in a rather stereotypical manner because it dealt with an insane asylum—a trope which has been explored in film and television for decades. However, Outlast 2 tackles more serious matters which aren’t common in video games. Some of them are only recently being discussed due to pictures like Imperium and Spotlight.
The game’s narrative is mostly told through letters and other writings scattered across the environment. These documents detail the history of the cult, its enemies, and what foul practices they’ve been involved in. The role of Blake seems to be relegated to that of an observer here. There are certain sections where you’re forced to witness horrific acts but can’t do anything to stop them. It’s unclear whether they’re there for shock value because much of what’s depicted is hinted at throughout the documents. Like Resident Evil 7, your main mission is to find your wife, except it doesn’t go according to plan. The real narrative involving the cult is much more appealing.
Horrific acts seem to only be present for shock value
For those unfamiliar with the series, Outlast is known for its stealth mechanics and lack of weaponry. Initial teasers for Outlast 2 made it seem as though you had the ability to wield melee implements but that turned out to be a vicious enemy. Certain enhancements like the ability to push select foes away using quick time events and health packs have been added to make the title more dynamic, but it may not be enough of a change from the previous entries in the franchise. However, unlike the first game, the camera plays an even bigger role because it can detect footsteps and other subtle sounds. This helps you evade enemies because you don’t have to rely solely on your sight.
Stealth and evasion are still the hallmarks of the game and they’re more intense than ever. You can hide in even more locations and have to act quickly because enemies seem more aggressive than the first title. Outlast 2 is a tense experience and the chase sequences have to be the highlight of the game. The gameplay is meant to scare you and you will be scared. It’s beyond terrifying! Plus, the fact that it appears to run at 1080p 60 FPS makes it a smooth scare.
Outlast 2 doesn’t feel like it innovates enough over its prequel
Overall, Outlast 2 is a thrilling horror experience despite its frustrating moments. It’s time that the series got the ability to properly fight back because being penalized for minuscule mistakes again and again can get tiresome. You’re going to die a lot in Outlast 2 and you feel utterly helpless. This detracts from the enjoyment because you’re forced to repeat the same section a dozen times. If you loved Resident Evil 7, but want a game which is much more hardcore because you can’t punish your foes, then Outlast 2 is the way to go.