Seems like hillbillies and bumpkins are the go-to for fear this year, doesn’t it?
With the premier of Resident Evil 7, a game that takes place in a Louisiana home and features a family of country accented crazies, it seems like horror is finally realizing how terrifying the backwoods can be. This is only further punctuated in the brand new Outlast 2.
In Outlast 2, you are a cameraman named Blake who joins your wife Lynn, an investigative reporter, to report on an unusual murder in which a woman who was eight months pregnant was found brutally killed out in The Hills Have Eyes territory. Unfortunately, mid-report, your chopper goes down and you find yourself in Temple Gate, a desert community all sworn to a rather violent idea of God and Ezekial-like prophet, Papa Knoth.
From there, it’s up to you to rescue Lynn and escape Temple Gate and, believe me, this isn’t an easy task.
Straight from the get-go, the mechanics of Outlast 2 are very similar to the first game. You still have the camera as your main means of locating and recording footage as well as navigating darker areas, of which there are plenty. An interesting new mechanic is that you can now use the camera’s microphone to determine where noise is coming from. When the zealots are chasing you or trying to hunt you down, flashlights waving in the dark, the microphone trick can really elevate the tension as you desperately try to hide or creep out of harm’s way.
Tense is a good word for Outlast 2. Even in the quiet moments of the game, the disturbing notes, imagery and prayers uttered by the denizens of Temple Gate can easily put the player on edge. Trying to move a cart or find a piece you need to move on with them trying to find you or one of the main antagonists of the game about makes for some truly fantastic terror.
Couple this with a phenomenal soundtrack, beautiful graphics and tight gameplay and you have a recipe for a heart attack delivered via heavy religious themes.
The theme of Outlast 2 sways heavily towards the extremism that comes with some religion and their ‘prophets’. Blake finds himself on two sides: the citizens who follow Papa Knoth and believe heavily in a God that demands they kill in his name, and those that are deemed ‘heretics’, who sway more towards worshipping the antichrist aka the “spider-eyed lamb”. The further into the game you get, the more you will stumble upon the madness of Temple Gate and the supernatural elements that are at play, much like the original Outlast.
In short, Outlast 2 improves on everything the original Outlast did. It’s more disturbing, more violent, has interesting new mechanics and gameplay and brings beautiful graphics and sound that make for a deliciously terrifying game experience.
Run, hide or die; those are your only options.