Little Sect of Horrors: Outlast 2 Review
Outlast 2 has been anticipated by horror fans since the day it was announced, and personally, I couldn’t wait. The first Outlast delivered a hide or die style game that had you running for your life in a worn down mental asylum with some crazy shenanigans happening throughout. Outlast 2 takes the same premise but throws you into a cult-riddled town filled with psychopathic worshippers and heart-wrenching monsters. Once I finished the game I couldn’t wait to jump into a review and talk about my feelings towards the game. So buckle up!
Outlast 2 throws you into the shoes of Blake Langermann, journalist who alongside his wife are sent to do a journalism assignment. During their helicopter ride there, the chopper crashes leaving the journalists stranded in a town called Temple Gate, a cult ran piece of civilization. This cult happens to be absolutely insane and just wants to kill you, of course. The story then sends you on a trip to find your fiancé and escape the hell that is Temple Gate. I must admit, I enjoyed the story for the sequel more than the first. I was in love with the idea of taking us into a southern horror type of game, sort of like Resident Evil 7, which I was also highly fond of. The game gives you a sense of dread throughout and makes you actually feel for your own safety and this is a quality many developers should pick up on.
The game is also strange. Really strange, in fact. The game swaps back and forth between dreams and reality, and honestly, it’s hard to catch onto at first, but once you understand what is going on its pretty easy to understand. The one thing that I found hard to keep up with was the religion the cult is based around. Now, I won’t delve into the religion but the cult revolves around Christianity with major twists and the game is strictly revolved around the religion aspect so it would be easy for someone to feel distraught playing the game. If you can get past it however, the game’s focus and story around the religion is highly intriguing.
The graphics on this game are very well done. Even better than Resident Evil 7 and I was highly impressed with those graphics, as well. The lighting is perfect, also. Where this game is copying the gameplay of the first, the game is super dark requiring you to use the night vision on your camera. The lighting of the moon shining down on this hell town, with the windmills in the distance and structures that make you feel eerie, the game presents a great atmosphere that could make the toughest person feel uneasy.
Another thing worth noting is that the game is quite open for players to explore at times. Most of the time you are being chased by lunatic madmen, but nonetheless its open. There are run down homes and barns and other structures that are open to explore, if you can do so without getting caught that is and this added to the true horror aspect of the game.
Onto the gameplay; the game relies heavily on the run or hide playstyle which the first game followed. Some people don’t prefer this gameplay, but I think it is the best type of horror in gaming. Horror, to me, needs to have a sense of dread and helplessness and survival horror gives off this vibe and I love it. There is absolutely no way to defend yourself other than running away from your threat, hiding, and hoping they do not find you or you are screwed.
The sounds and music of this game are honestly the best part. From the moment you start your terrifying adventure through Temple Gate you are overwhelmed with ambient sounds of the wind howling, brutal screams that could make your ears bleed in the distance, and the dilapidated sounds of old wood and trees. The sounds immerse you into a world Red Barrels wanted you to feel scared in and it works marvelously.
The story of the game is a great ride; however, it is short. It took me about 10 hours total to beat and this is due to the exploring I tried to do during my playthrough. This is justifiable though considering the game is only $30 dollars or $40 if you buy the physical copy like I did which contains the first Outlast and its DLC. The story sends you on a twisted journey as stated above to find your fiancé and get the hell out of dodge, but of course things go wrong and you become overwhelmed with psycho enemies trying to murder you. This is a game that is hard to explain too much about the story without spoiling it so I will leave with a final note stating that the story is indeed great, however short.
In the end, Outlast 2 is a game that had me terror-stricken by the first 30 minutes. The game is filled with horror aspects that companies should notice and I said this about Resident Evil 7 as well and they both correlate to the same characteristic. The game does horror right. It truly doesn’t rely too much on jump scares although there are plenty. It pertains highly to psychological horror and deep south horror which makes it all worth the wait that some fans went through. If you’re a horror aficionado such as myself, you will probably enjoy Outlast 2 and especially if you enjoyed the first game. Personally, I believe the second is better than the first and this judgment comes rarely. I enjoyed that the game wasn’t straight linear and there was at least a little exploration that could be done and I preferred the setting for the sequel more. Also, I won’t spoil it but there is a fan theory circulating that the first and second game connect. If you’re curious, give it a look. Anyway, Outlast 2 is a terrifying thrill ride that will leave you on the edge of your seat within the first 30 minutes of popping in the disc or opening the application. Until next time, stay scary gamers!