Outlast 2 only took five minutes of gameplay for me to realise that the original Outlast was no longer the scariest game I had ever played… since that is now Outlast 2!
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this sequel, I must add that it has one of the best warnings I have seen on a game for a long. long time: the screen will go dark and you will see the following: “Outlast 2 contains intense violence, gore, graphic se -xu -al content and strong language. Please enjoy.”
The story is set to a much needed change of scenario in this game. Instead of deep in the depths of a freaky house, you are based somewhere in an equally freaky desert. Starting off on a helicopter with your wife, looking for children who seem to have been disappearing, your chopper unexpectedly loses the engine which results in a magnanimous crash. Forget all the previous disappearances – you need to go and find the missus. The mystery begins with the first body you’ll come across, being some grotesque, ripped apart torso, crucified on a wooden spike (that couldn’t have happened in the crash!) And, so, your journey begins.
The story is fairly interesting but, personally, I found it didn’t quite hook me in. This guy wanted to go and look for scary things, and then when something scary actually happens… it all hits the pan. Reminds me of Brexit voters who lost work when Brexit was officially announced (DVDfever Dom adds: “Or those Remoaners who keep banging on about having a second referendum!” 😉 ).
The first game was new, fresh and an experience that I had never been through before, but the second felt like much the same, albeit in a new setting. A lot of games have managed to continue with many a sequel and keep the franchise going, but what I found out was Outlast’s biggest appeal was how it offered something different from the off. The gameplay was something where I felt most restricted. Generally you walked/ran, but so many times you would be hoping that he would jump up to a ledge, throw a punch and a number of other things that a normal human would do.
There are a few puzzles which are dead easy to work out and a few times where you’re not too sure where to go, but this is quite rare as the game is generally quite linear. You will die a few times, but the dying scenes don’t quite live up to the amazing de -aths in Inside. Frequently, your game plan will be to make a bit of progress, then hide in the light.. The desert is always dark, which didn’t quite make sense as the game took me around 14 hours to finish. (DVDfever Dom: “Maybe it’s a desert in the Alaskan winter? Erm….”)
Graphically, the second game is a step up from the first. I didn’t encounter any areas which I thought looked out of place and some of the visuals really impressed. The use of lighting was impressive and the start of the game (just after the helicopter crash), showed how I was really wowed by the use of colours and shades of light and dark. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the game being spent looking through the lens of a camera, it can look a little grainy… especially, when you have to switch on the night vision, which I was hoping was going to turn out to be X-ray vision. The fantastic graphics worked incredibly well with the atmospheric music, though.
Oh, and as I said it took 14 hours to complete this, make that 25 hours all together if you consider recovery time and changing pants…
Most of the scares weren’t due to the graphics, but moreso the terrifying sound. Playing this game with the sound off would be a completely different experience. Music will tempt you into thinking that you are safe, running to the next area and dying within seconds. You’ll hear a sharp change of the music and suddenly know that you’re in deep trouble. What is so clever about this game is how these audio clues make you feel like you’re really in the situation, but also make you feel like you’re really good at solving ANY tricky situation.
Due to the sounds and graphics of Outlast 2, I found myself “enjoying” the game. It is definitely one which you *endure*, rather than cherish, but it is an experience. I think if I hadn’t just played the first one, I would have liked this even more, but the biggest disappointment is the lack of gameplay differences.
Overall, you have a decent game which will have you ordering more toilet paper… (cue Amazon link for 54 rolls of Andrex toilet paper!)
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Publisher: Red Barrels
- Players: single-player
- HD options: up to 1080p
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.