The Outlast series has delivered some of the more harrowing gaming experiences I’ve ever had, its boldness most evident in the Whistleblower expansion where nothing felt off-limits. The expansion really drove that point home in its final act, when you stumble upon a grotesque scene left by the Groom, which he made from stitched together corpses he had posed in a macabre display, like a twisted tribute to the body horror genre.
It’s too early to say for sure, but my time with the Outlast 2 demo has left me eager to see what Red Barrels will do with the sequel when it releases this fall. Eager, and maybe a little anxious.
This series has mastered the art of the jump scare, which it continues to use to spectacular effect, without sacrificing the frightening atmosphere or the dread it slowly builds during the quieter moments. And much like its predecessors, Outlast 2 keeps you permanently on edge, always cautious of what’s lurking around the next corner, waiting for the inevitable moment to come where you’ll need to run for your life.
It plays almost identically to the others, the intuitive cameraman controls becoming a familiar comfort. The variety that’s on display in this small slice of the much larger game is one very welcome departure from the claustrophobic cells and blood-smeared corridors of Mount Massive.
I ventured from a rural freakshow and into a catholic school before being dropped into a corn maze where flashlight-wielding villagers babbled incoherently and chased me around until I had my balls mutilated by a very mean lady — they’re fragile innocence dashed upon the soil by a hellish pickaxe seemingly conjured from thin air.
You bested me this time, lady. But next time, you won’t be so lucky.