The very first Outlast preceded to scare the socks off whoever dared play it. The massive success of the survival horror game led to fans begging for more. With a tall task in order Red Barrels set off giving us a beautifully crafted second installment, Outlast 2.
Outlast 2 puts you in the mind of cameraman Blake Langermann, husband of journalist Lynn Langermann. You start off in a helicopter flying in southern Arizona, investigating a recent murder of a pregnant woman named Jane Doe, when the helicopter is suddenly grounded. Upon waking you find yourself near death, but no wife in sight. You begin to look for her but soon find out you are secluded from civilization and in the territory of a psychotic cult obsessed with God and the “end of times”. The cult is led by a man named Sullivan Knoth who preaches psychotic ideals of killing and death to his followers. You find yourself sneaking in and out of interesting, yet often very gory and horrifying places tracking down your wife. Running from the grasp of the cult members trying to kill you, you have nothing more but your camera’s night vision to help you hide. As you proceed, Blake begins to lose grasp of his sanity and what’s real. He begins having flashbacks to his catholic elementary school where his wife and him went, giving the game an extra sad, yet horrifying layer.
Despite Blake being a relatively generic main character, I began to sense a bit of his personality and felt immersed in his situation, with the help of some great voice acting. This helped breathe life into a very linear story.
I found myself in many different environments and in many different situations. One moment you’re being hung from a cross in the forest, the next you’re in a burning building. At times the map design was a little confusing and unclear which took away from the immersion, but that also ties into something positive. Outlast 2 does not hold your hand. It says “here’s our horrifying world, good luck!”.
Walking through the world, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful sound design. The music was intense when it needed to be, and gone when it wasn’t. There’s nothing like the anxiety you get when the music begins creepily playing.
As far as gameplay goes, it was a bit of a toss up at times. While controlling your character was simple, the in-game AI sometimes made NPCS too dumb, or too sensitive. There was also moments where I felt as if the game had too much “filler” gameplay to extend the experience. While both were slightly annoying, I feel it is in no way a deal breaker for the game.
I feel the ending was interesting and fits the mold for the game perfectly. I left feeling satisfied with Outlast 2. I appreciated that the game didn’t resort to cheap jump scares constantly to scare you, it used just the right touch of mind games to relay a creepy experience.
The Verdict: 8.4/10
As far as horror games go, Outlast 2 is a must play for all horror fans. Its lunacy is its charm, with no holding back when it comes to what you see. Aside from a few problems I would easily recommend this to anyone who wants to be scared!
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Jeremy LeLaCheur is an Associate Writer at MONG who is sometimes a little too sarcastic and charismatic for his own good.