Walkin' and talkin' mystery game Oxenfree has just announced an upcoming sequel with a new cast of talkative spook hunters. Oxenfree II: Lost Signals will follow new characters, but include that natural dialogue system of Night School Studio's original Oxenfree and their more recent Afterparty. You can catch the first spooky trailer right here for the newly-announced sequel that's coming later in 2021.
Set five years after the events of the original, Lost Signals "follows the story of Riley, an environmental researcher who returns to her hometown Camena to investigate mysterious radio frequency signals causing disturbances in electronic equipment throughout the town and stumbles upon ghostly happenings," Night School say.
"Oxenfree is such a special game to us, and it has been an incredible experience to revisit this world," says studio director Sean Krankel. "We’re eager to welcome our players back while inviting newcomers to embark on an adventure with an entirely new cast of characters that retains the weird, heartfelt, and personalized experience of the original."
As with the original, Lost Signals is sure to include plenty of chatter between characters as you adventure. Oxenfree is still sitting in my backlog, good as I've often heard it is, but Samuel Horti has explained for you the joy of Oxenfree's dialogue system. The key bit of it is the timing, and how you can choose to interrupt your friends or stay silent, both of which have impacts on the conversation.
"The cast speak over one another, cut their friends off mid-sentence and leave realistic gaps of silence that stretch on awkwardly until somebody says 'so...', and moves on," Horti says. "It’s all well-written, but the excellent dialogue system means that it’s not really what the characters say that makes them come alive, but when they say it."
Over in RPS's Afterparty review, Alice Bee says that Night School's second game feels even strongre an punchier than their first. It's a totally different tone, mind—funny instead of freaky—but the natural dialogue system works well again and the writing itself is still on point.
So hey, more Oxenfree sounds swell. Perhaps having a sequel creeping up will make me more likely to steal a few hours to play the original one first.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals doesn't have a firm release date yet, but is expected to launch this year. You'll find it over on Steam when it does.