I will never understand why Outlast caused such a stir back in 2013, more so after playing its sequel. I suppose I get why folks liked it: playing a videogame version of all those found footage horror films you either love or hate… or love to hate, is a pretty nifty thing.
But there were so many valves to turn, jump scares and unsurprising plot twists.
I wasn’t exactly expecting much from Outlast II all things considered. But it was actually all right. Much better in my opinion, despite its similarly overblown story. I’m unsure if this opinion is unpopular or not… guess I’ll find out.
Out went the dialled-in solutions to problems and in went some incredibly vague, tense encounters in which you died repeatedly trying to figure out what the heck you were supposed to do. It also took most of the fight outside, which, contrary to what I would have thought, actually made things more claustrophobic. Suffocating even.
It doesn’t exactly sound fun, I realise, and the developers annoyingly released a patch later, turning down the difficulty. But Outlast II felt like a bloodcurdling blast from my gaming past, when survival horror reigned supreme and was really REALLY hard. Whether that was down to technological limitations of the time or deliberate design choices is anybody’s guess.
It was a better sequel than its predecessor deserved, which doesn’t necessarily say a lot. But there it is anyway: my unvarnished opinion.