Outlast 2 review for PS4, Xbox One, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Red Barrels
Developer: Red Barrels
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

It?s been some time since my last session with the original Outlast. This was a game I read a ton about and couldn?t wait to play. Then it came out and I didn?t get to play for several months after its release. This wait built up tension and nerve-racking anxiety that I couldn?t wait to experience. While there have been plenty of games before it that have included scare factors into the games, nothing prepares you for what you experience in Outlast.

With Outlast, my biggest love/hate about it was that you simply are unable to defend yourself. This is survival horror in its purest form. In the original, it took place in an asylum and took inspiration from games like Silent Hill and movies like Jacob?s Ladder. This was the perfect atmosphere for Outlast and it worked in almost every way.

In Outlast 2, the setting has changed and gives it a much more terrifying setting. Don?t get me wrong, being in a claustrophobic asylum is enough to freak me out in the original. The thing is, it?s not until you experience Outlast 2, that you can truly appreciate legit jump scares and tension throughout the story. This time you are somewhere in the canyons of Arizona, and in between you will come across eerie villages, dilapidated churches and even your trippy mind game type of location transitions that the original had.

One minute you?re running for your life and the next you are in an elementary school classroom where things can get even weirder. This is Outlast at its best and the only gripe I really had with my time playing was the relentless difficulty. Clearly, this is a game that?s out to punish you, but being a ?Soulsborne? player, the difficulty can be a bit much. In the same regard, one could say, if it were real life, you?d be dead. And they?d probably be right.

The one mechanic that would help the frustrations would be a simple evasive move or the ability to knock something in the way to give you a couple extra seconds to escape. You can only run. I get it, that?s something that this game is known for. At the same time, the restriction takes away from the overall experience at times.

As you progress through the trippy acid trip filled story, I found myself more and more confused as to what is going on. One minute you are trying to find your wife, whom was taken by the crazy cult in the town, to being in the middle of a religious war between said cult and another group that is against the cult?s beliefs. It?s as bizarre as it sounds and you need to play to get a better understanding as it contains spoilers.

Despite spending a majority of the game running for your life, the atmosphere, enemies and environments contain some of the most eerily disturbing assets I?ve seen in a game. As a horror movie buff, you get a real sense of appreciation and inspiration for some classic horror movies. While clearly not for everyone, Outlast 2 is a memorable fright fest that packs the appropriate types of jump scares and gore galore. If you haven?t tried, make sure to play the original first. I will be going back to the first games DLC entitled ?The Whistleblower? in the near future.

Grade: B+