Video Games

'Outlast 2' review: Follow the light

(Credit: Red Barrels Studio)

Want a real-time test of your own morality? "Outlast 2" accomplishes that in a very frightening way. "Outlast" was released back in 2013 and with its massive success, we were given a sequel from our nightmares, even if the two games aren['t connected in any way, save for the protagonist.

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"Outlast 2" focuses on Blake Langermann, our unlucky cameraman who needs to find his wife, Lynn, after being taken from a helicopter crash.

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Blake and his wife were looking for information of a murdered pregnant woman, Jane Doe. Once Blake arises from the debris of the crash, he wanders around Arizona for Lynn, while getting himself caught in the middle of a religious battle between the people who inhabit these hills.

Every now and then, Blake has visions of his old school which has a dark secret of its own -- a suicide of a fellow schoolmate, and a close friend of Blake's, Jessica. Even in the deformed hills of Arizona, or a local catholic school, grim tales have no bias for where they lurk.

"Outlast 2" has painful and direct imagery, rooms filled with blood, corpses, and enough creepy dolls to open up a few factories. It may get redundant seeing that same doll looking at you every now and then, but it won’t make you any less uncomfortable. There is no other choice than to accept the countless number of bodies, because that might as well be the terrain of the game. 

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Blake's path isn’t a linear one, which I did not expect. The game largely takes place in the woods, with a small number of houses available to loot for batteries and bandages. That’s not even that hard part of maneuvering. Players will easily find themselves hugging the edge of a cornfield or the deep woods just to not get turned around or ambushed.

Some of the paths encountered don't show the player where to go next, but they do feed the human nature of following the light. Lighting throughout the game are like little hints to open certain doors or objectives. No matter how dark it may be, or how lost the player feels like they are, if you see even the tiniest speck of light, that’s mostly a good sign for navigation.

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This game is terriffic about making the player act in immoral ways. For example, you can be a bystander in a situation where the player knows something isn't right and action needs to be taken, but nothing can be done because you are limited by the actions of the game. The player has to endure the feeling of being locked inside a body, that physically cannot not do what you need him too. No matter how bad it makes the player feel, you have to have the stomach to walk away. 

"Outlast 2" is a ride that once you get off, you will always remember what happened there. The game works with a heavily religious story line, which can be a turn off or a sensitive topic for some players. Getting lost or turned around did happen more than often with the way the game was laid out, but that does allow for unique approaches or exploration. Whenever you put down the controller, whatever you do, do not turn off the light. 

Verdict: 8/10

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