Overall - 50%
The larger scope of Outlast 2 does more harm than good. The confines of the Asylum from the first Outlast made for great chase scenes and intimate jump scares. With too much ground to cover, cheap kills, and weird transitions, Outlast 2 aimed too high for its own good. Its interesting story isn't enough to cover up for its poor design.
Outlast 2 builds on the terror and atmosphere that the original Outlast created. Does this title carry the series forward in a good way, or should it have stayed a one hit wonder? Check out our review and find out what we think.
Outlast 2 Review
Outlast 2 has you playing as Blake Langerman, cameraman and husband of the reporter Lynn Langerman who is searching for info on a murdered pregnant woman. Everything starts off fine, with you flying in a helicopter somewhere in Arizona. A random bright light appears, and your chopper goes out of control, sending you crashing into the woods below. Separated from your wife and armed only with a (terrible) camera, you have to go through a crazy cultist village to find her. The story has plenty of twists and turns along with disturbing moments and savage kills. You can expect it to run you anywhere from 6-10 hours, depending on how you play.
The core of the gameplay is pretty similar to the first game: you cannot fight, meaning you either hide or you die. Your camera has night vision, so you can see in the dark to an extent. This has to be the worst night vision on a camera ever, because you can hardly see anything most of the time. I get that it’s meant to be dark and creepy, but this gets really irritating as the game goes on. Your camera runs on batteries, so you have to find those as you progress or else you can’t see. If you run out of batteries, it is pretty much game over unless the way is lit, which is very rare. Outside of batteries, you can also pick up bandages to heal yourself up after taking damage. It is really hard to believe that Blake wouldn’t just pick up a shovel and defend himself in this situation.
The sneaking and hiding parts work fine for the most part. Where the game fails is in most of the chase scenes. Due to the lack of vision granted by the camera, you just have to guess where you are running a lot of the time. This is fine when it works, but when it doesn’t work you end up dying. What ultimately ends up happening is you run around looking for a small hole to crawl through or looking for the correct door to enter. One wrong turn and you’re dead, back to doing the same section until you figure out where to go. If it happened once or twice, I wouldn’t mention it, but this is a recurring theme throughout the game. It isn’t a matter of “git gud;” it is matter of how the game is designed. Repeatedly dying over and over with no clue where to go is not fun.
There are also these weird flashback-type segments that transition into progressing in the normal game. These sections are fine on their own, but why you still progress in the normal part of the game is a bit off-putting. Not only that, but the supplies you use in this part are also used during the normal section of the game. I will say that the flashback scenes do help tell the story of Blake, so I am glad they were included. They are also home to some of the most terrifying and creepy parts of the game. The story gets dark fast, and the flashbacks play a huge part of that. The worst part is that why you progress in the normal game isn’t really explained – you are just expected to go with it.
The frame rate was solid and we didn’t run into any crashes or major bugs.
The larger scope of Outlast 2 does more harm than good. The confines of the Asylum from the first Outlast made for great chase scenes and intimate jump scares. With too much ground to cover, cheap kills, and weird transitions, Outlast 2 aimed too high for its own good. Its interesting story isn’t enough to cover up for its poor design.