Developer: Red Barrels
Publisher: Red Barrels
Outlast 2 is an intense first person survival horror and psychological horror game.
You and your wife are investigative journalists venturing deep into the desert in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the unusual murder of an unidentified pregnant woman. Upon your arrival, you find yourself in the company of religious fanatics who perform gruesome and unspeakable acts in the name of their faith. There are some references made to the first Outlast and Whistleblower DLC that you need to know for Outlast 2 to make a bit more sense, so I do recommend playing those prior to Outlast 2.
Armed only with your camera, you are completely vulnerable to enemies. I find this style of horror game more nerve wracking than other games like Resident Evil where you have a way to fight back. You’ll need to make use of the terrain, sneak around, and hide from hostiles. If you get discovered, you better run for your life. It is possible to be one shotted, but that only happened to me a couple times. Thankfully, it usually took 2 hits to die, and there were sufficient bandages around to heal yourself after being injured.
Collecting notes, and recording events plays a large role in understanding the the story. Expect to use your camera a lot. Fortunately, you can keep your camera out without it draining the batteries. However, using the camera’s night vision or microphone will drain them, so you’ll need to scavenge for batteries along your journey.
The night vision is absolutely necessary to navigate through the dark areas, and the microphone is extremely helpful for other areas where your vision is obstructed, like the corn fields.
- intriguing and bizarre story
- suspenseful atmosphere that’s absolutely fantastic, and it does an impeccable job at delivering an extremely immersive horror experience that had me feeling scared, anxious, and at the edge of my seat on a regular basis
- excellent environments that are often dark, eerie, and quite grotesque with dismembered corpses and blood everywhere
- the chases are insanely terrifying, and will certainly get your heart racing (they’re more frequent here than in Outlast 2)
- the jump scares are plentiful, and often successful (but there will be times when you’re expecting them)
- the voice acting is fine, but the music and ambiance where the game really shines
- performance is solid (Win10, GTX 1070, i7-6500k, 32GB RAM on max)
- controls are fully customizable, and there is full controller support
- the story may be confusing (for some), and it may be difficult to understand what exactly is going on – there are bits of the story that the player is expected to fill in, and some things are left open to interpretation
- possible bug where a few times during the playthrough enemies were chasing, but then just stood outside of where you’re hiding without pulling you out of your hiding spot or dropping aggro either; when this happened it seemed like the only option was to run out into the enemy and hope for the best
- when you die, you are sometimes respawned with enemies already aggroed on you causing you to run immediately or sometimes die again
- the recording system the camera uses is really annoying, and the time to record is way too long to create the small snip-it of video you actually get from it; not to mention the fact that you have to be aiming at a specific area, and there are sometimes where you won’t have any idea what it is while recording it (it would have been nice to have commentary from these recordings actually play while making the video)
- (nitpick) it was sometimes unclear of which way to go, and it sometimes resulted in dying if you’re being chased
- (nitpick) no windowed borderless mode (alt-tabbing is quite slow, and using alt+enter actually broke my game and required me to force quit it a couple times to fix it)
The game took me about 6 hours to finish, but it would have been closer to 6.5 hours if I had read all the documents while streaming my playthrough instead of just doing it afterwards. It’s not a super long game, but the length felt just right.
Ultimately, Outlast 2 is not for the faint of heart. I quite enjoyed the survival horror aspects that made me feel scared, and anxious, but I wish the story had been more clear cut like the first game was. I had a lot of fun playing Outlast 2, but I still think Outlast and the Whistleblower DLC were better and more polished.