Kyle Nakasaka ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The long awaited sequel to Red Barrels‘s fresh IP, Outlast, has finally dropped. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Outlast 2 has finally arrived. Dropping the premise of the first game entirely, Outlast 2 takes up a fresh new story following the ongoings of Blake Langermann, a reporter who crashes in the Arizona desert, alongside his wife Lynn, while searching for clues regarding the inexplicable death of a pregnant woman, only referred to as Jane Doe. Fans of the first game will be greeted to a new environment with the same premise as the first: outlast.
Outlast 2 finds itself initially jarring as you are awoken inside a helicopter and surrounded by functioning members of society. Truly though, it is a little jarring, with a lot of your exposition being laid out for you via an unskippable helicopter scene where your wife tells you about Jane Doe. After crashing, they throw you a few new tricks such as checking your belt, which will show you what your objective is, as well as how many batteries and bandages you have.
Yeah, bandages are a thing now (as if they had to make the game any harder). But once you have all that down, you are sent off into the world to outlast.
You will also be thrown for a bit of a loop when it comes to the plot, too. Whereas Outlast tackled the abandoned asylum brand of horror, Outlast 2 takes you on an adventure through a Rosemary’s Baby themed Arizona desert. For those of you unfamiliar with said film, all you need to know is one word: cults. Yes, Outlast 2 lets you immerse yourself in a world where not one, but two cults get to chase you to the ends of the earth—one for those who take their Bible with a side of murder and one for those who wind down their day by praying to their dear Lord Satan. As you can see, it’s a bit different from Outlast already.
While different in a few regards, Outlast 2 is still nothing short of a well executed horror game as well as a great direction for the series to move in. The controls are as clean as they were in the first game and some revamped graphics allow for a truly eerie and unsettling environment to be crafted. Trying to escape a Christian cult only to be chased the opposite direction by Satanic ritualists is truly a horrifying experience. There are a few missteps the game takes such as unclear objectives and difficult encounters, however.
Outlast 2 primarily takes place outside, which makes for some very gruesome experiences, but it also makes your destination a lot less clear at times. This, in turn, makes the chase sequences exponentially more difficult as it is very easy to lead yourself into a dead end and ultimately, your doom. In addition, some of the enemy pathing is ridiculously strong to the point where hiding is near pointless. Stacking that on top of nonlinear level design can make certain encounters infuriating.
While there are some quirks to the game, there was nothing bad about it. Sure, the level design is nonlinear and the bosses are significantly stronger, but I wouldn’t say that they are bad features by any means. They can become overwhelming at times, but generally the new changes are enjoyable. Outlast 2 is a worthy sequel to the original, and for those of you who have yet to play, go find a copy. This game is sure to scare you as much as, if not more than, the original.