Outlast 2 Review Roundup
What do critics think of the horror sequel?
The original Outlast became somewhat of a cult hit when it was released in 2013. Launching first on PC before later coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Outlast earned a 7/10 in our review, with critic Leif Johnson saying "you'll be frequently driven to turn the lights on and calm your fears."
But does the sequel live up to the expectation set by that promising first title? We were already scared by the Outlast 2 demo, and now critic Scott Butterworth has played the full game. He says "the campaign is scary from start to finish," with "expertly crafted" atmosphere and sound design, although the "gameplay starts to wear thin" towards the end. Read more in our full Outlast 2 review.
- Game: Outlast 2
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release: Out now
- Price: US $30 / £24 / AU $40
GameSpot -- 7/10
"In truth, Outlast's 'no weapons' formula worked better as a shorter experience. Stretched over twice the length of the original game, Outlast 2's gameplay starts to wear thin, especially since too many of its scripted chases funnel you down preset paths. At the same time, however, I admire its purity, and to an extent, I'm willing to accept its shortcomings for the sake of true survival horror. The campaign is scary from start to finish and delivers on its promise of unrelenting terror in part because it never allows you to fight back. The atmosphere and sound design are expertly crafted, and Blake's hallucinations elevate the game's story above that of the first. It doesn't do much to build on the original formula, but it unquestionably provides a more polished version of the same idea.
"Think of it as a ride through a really amazing haunted house: you don't have a ton of control and sometimes the ride breaks down for a moment or two, but it's basically guaranteed to leave you scared out of your mind." -- Scott Butterworth [Full review]
IGN -- 8.3/10
"Outlast 2 is a terrifying sequel that builds upon the scares of the 2013 original. Even if its ambitious themes don't always land and navigating through its world can be frustratingly inconsistent, there's more wicked creativity at play here than I've seen in a horror game in a long time. Play it loud, in the dark." -- Lucy O'Brien [Full review]
Game Informer -- 7.75/10
"Although Outlast 2's scares are phenomenal, its narrative struggles to remain cohesive and wraps up hastily. This affected my investment into the story, where my connection to the characters waned frequently. It has clever tricks up its sleeve, and while scary in the moment, their effectiveness suffers in the long run, especially when connecting various story points is difficult. Shock value is relied on constantly, with overt religious themes portrayed in ways some could find carelessly offensive. Even if that doesn't bother you, these topics are often handled without nuance.
"Outlast 2 asks more questions than it answers, and too much is left to your interpretation. This ambiguity might have worked, but it makes the conclusion unsatisfying. Even with its hiccups, it is nonetheless an intense ride that makes you question your sanity. If gory thrills are something you seek, Outlast 2 provides plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat as long as you can look past the clumsy storytelling." -- Elise Favis [Full review]
PC Gamer -- 85/100
"What I like most about Outlast 2 is that it doesn't just use its themes as set-dressing. The first Outlast had the same intense stealth sequences and chase scenes, but in the spooky asylum every Early Access game goes for. Outlast 2 takes you through dilapidating farms and flooded mines and old townships that all say something about the history of the people who lived there. It rains blood and spews locusts and sends twisted cultists after you through it all, just regular people wearing overalls and carrying bloody steak knives, moaning in apocalyptic overtones. There are monsters, sure, but Outlast 2's scariest moments come from its most familiar faces." -- James Davenport [Full review]
GamesRadar -- 2.5/5
"Violence is dealt with deftly, disturbing where it needs to be and even darkly comic when it's allowed. It’s a pity, then, that the game is so inherently flawed. Horror games have to walk a line between joy and nastiness. You have to want to be afraid, yet still compelled to keep going into the darkness. Unfortunately, in Outlast 2, all I wanted to do was put down the controller." -- Louise Blain [Full review]
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