Screenshot of Outlast 2 Game Cover

What is Outlast 2?

Outlast 2 is a sequel to the popular first-person survival horror video game Outlast. Both were published and developed by Red Barrels and can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. The 2nd game in the series was released on April 25, 2017 and has another journalist at the cornerstone of its narrative. This time the adventure takes place in the Arizona desert in the wake of a helicopter crash. Despite numerous delays caused by lengthy development, the game enjoyed critical acclaim.

Key facts about Outlast 2

  • Outlast 2 captures the very essence of the predecessor and it is a story driven title.
  • The horror atmosphere is brilliantly created through unsettling sounds and gloomy visuals.
  • Outlast 2 has a strong narrative and a side story enhanced by hallucinations.
  • The gameplay has changed little from the previous game and lacks variety.
  • Outlast 2 chase sequences are frightening, but can get repetitive after some point.

Gameplay of Outlast 2

Outlast 2 gameplay bears many similarities to its previous answer, using the same proven first-person survival horror elements. They found footage narrative is once again present, as an investigative journalist ventures in a remote village near the Colorado Plateau. Players can’t fight and there are no weapons to defend themselves, so they need to use stealth tactics. There are only a couple of instances when hand to hand combat is possible but these are heavily scripted.

Crouching, jumping, walking, running and climbing over obstacles are the core Outlast 2 gameplay mechanics. Compared to the previous game in the series, players have a limiting stamina meter, so they need to manage their energy. Saving strength and thinking a couple of steps in advance are essential things to do to survive seemingly crushing odds.

The trustworthy camcorder fitted with nightvision capabilities is the most reliable instrument at their disposal. Developers decided to provide players with a more complex and accurate instrument. Given the fact that the central character is a skill cameraman, he uses a more advanced device. There is also an inventory system that helps players manage the items collected. They can display the evidence recorded and use the items at their disposal to heal or find shelter.

Screenshot of Outlast 2 Eerie Night

Plot of Outlast 2

Blake Langermann is the protagonist of the Outlast 2 plot, an investment journalist whose helicopter crashes in the Arizona desert. With his wife missing and the helicopter pilot found skinned alive at the crash site, Blake start searching the nearby village. He finds his wife there, prisoner of "Papa" Sullivan Knoth, the leader of the mysterious cult inhabiting the village. Langermann manages to release his wife and the two escape but only briefly, as they are captured once again.

This time in the hands of the Heretics and their leader Val, he is once again saved by Ethan a former member of Knoth's cult. This is where the plot of Outlast 2 gets more sinister, as Blake flees from one chapel to the other. As players learn more about the fate of the protagonist’s wife, the lead character suffers from hallucinations. He remembers some frightening and painful memories from childhood, which evolve into proper side quests.

Players have the option of sticking to the main Outlast 2 plot or dwell more on these memories, therefore expand the side missions. In the main narrative, they learn more about the cause of the sudden insanity that affects all the inhabitants of the remote village. Apparently, the same Murkoff Corporation featured in original game was responsible for conducting sinister experiments that resulted in widespread madness.

In the final stages of the narrative, Blake is reunited with Lynn and the couple escapes from the town. Shortly after, his wife gives birth to a child, but doesn’t survive and Langermann faints as she dies. When he comes back to his senses, he sees Knoth and his followers who commit mass suicide. The game concludes with the protagonist having one more childhood memory then everything fades to black.

Screenshot of Outlast 2 Dread Forest

Development of Outlast 2

The success of the first game in the series was so great that development of Outlast 2 started immediately after. The team working on the game expected the new title to be ready on time, based on how smooth things went with the original. If the first one only required six months to complete, the sequel took significantly longer to produce and was affected by many delays. They decided to choose an entirely new location without straying too far from the core of the horror survival for person shooter.

On October 28, Red Barrels proudly announced over social media that they were actively working on a new game. Several trailers and short videos were released over the next couple of months, to create hype for the upcoming game. A teaser trailer was unveiled on YouTube and the official release date was set for late 2016. It quickly became obvious that they will miss the deadline and the new estimate pushed the game slightly later for the first quarter of the next year.

In the end, development of Outlast 2 took four months more and players only had the chance to try it out in April 2015. The game demo however was showcased at the prestigious PAX East 2016 event and later on at the E3 convention. The game has a stellar soundtrack, easy to recognize by the fans of the previous game in the series. Samuel Laflamme worked on the Outlast trailer and he returned for the sequel.

Where can I download Outlast 2?

A Outlast 2 download is readily available for those who have a Steam account. This is where the game was unveiled in April 2017 and where the other games in the series can still be found. Fans of the original probably chose to buy it from the developer’s website and they can do the same for the sequel.

Red Barrels offers bundles and discounts for those who choose to buy both games and the expansion. The game takes a steep departure from classic first-person shooters and horror games. For a more classic and conservative experience, players should choose F.E.A.R, F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin or F.E.A.R 3.

Screenshot of Outlast 2 Night Vision

What are others saying about Outlast 2?

Outlast 2 created tremendous hype among those who have played the original game.  Outlast set the bar very high for developers to meet the high expectations. The decision to change the setting didn’t affect the new game as it was just as appreciated as the prequel. However, there were many who found the gameplay to be too similar and to some extent restrictive.

When it came to the horror video game experience, both games are just as frightening. Some fans complain about the fact that the story is convoluted and many were not happy with how the game ended. The thematic elements were also criticized by some as too brutal. Others were not very happy with lightning and sound effects. Overall, Outlast 2 reviews scored high marks with both players and critics. They all agreed that it is a worthy successor for the first-person horror game.

My Rating of Outlast 2

Outlast was truly a surprising and immensely rewarding experience at the time the game hit the stores. Just like most of those who have played the original game, I had high expectations for Outlast 2. I have to admit that they were largely met, although I wasn’t swept off my feet by the new game. Had I played this the first time, then I would probably rank it just as high as in previous answer. As it is, this is a way to continue a winning streak of horror survival video games that promote the unique gameplay.

I agree with those who found the Outlast 2 plot a little bit twisted and complicated by the hallucinations. However, I like the manner in which developers used side quests to add a new layer of complexity to the narrative. It was fun roaming the fields and trying to evade those maniacs. At the same time, it was always scary and sometimes downright terrifying. There were few changes to the gameplay, but then again it’s not like you have too many games like Outlast 2 out there. All in all, I don’t regret a moment spent in game and a review score of 8/10 should reflect my appreciation for this title.