Outlast 2 may seem like a simple game about a man running away from crazed cultists, but the story is actually much deeper than that. Some players may even play the game through to the end and not really understand what happened, as that would require reading most of the game's collectible notes, which are sometimes hard to track down.
For those that have completed Outlast 2 and aren't quite sure what happened at the end, here is how Blake Langermann's story concluded. For simplicity's sake, we have decided to split the ending explanation into two parts, one that describes the ending in present day rural Arizona, and another that describes what happened at the end of Blake's Catholic school flashbacks.
Please be aware that this article will contain SPOILERS for Outlast 2.
The events at the end of Outlast 2 in the present day Arizona desert are certainly the strangest, so perhaps it's best that we start there. At the end of the game, Blake is constantly being pulled back into his Catholic school flashbacks/hallucinations, he has had nails driven through his hands, and in general, he is just in really bad shape, and on the brink of death.
After hours of searching, Blake finally finds his wife Lynn, who is now nine months pregnant, even though it seems like only a few hours have passed since the start of their ordeal. Blake and Lynn try to escape together, but Lynn has to lay down in the chapel when she starts going into labor. Lynn eventually gives birth to what is heavily suggested to be the Anti-Christ, and then dies. A distraught Blake holds the baby in his arms and has a brief conversation with preacher Sullivan Knoth, who has killed all of his followers, and tells Blake to kill the baby.
Knoth then slits his own throat. Instead of following the dead Knoth's advice, Blake walks out into the village with the baby in his arms, and watches the sun explode.
Now, on the surface, all of these events, while insane, seem fairly straightforward. To those that haven't read any of the in-game notes, it will look as though Lynn was impregnated with the Anti-Christ and essentially brought on the apocalypse. However, the in-game notes suggest otherwise, that much of this was hallucinated by Blake due to a machine that is being used to conduct mind control experiments. It is suggested that these experiments are being conducted by the Murkoff Corporation, the same company behind the twisted experiments on display in the first Outlast.
So, just how much of the ending was hallucinated by Blake? Since everyone near the machine seems to be having the same hallucination, it's questionable whether or not some major events seen at the end of the game even occurred. For example, it's possible Lynn isn't really pregnant, and simply dies from her wounds, not from giving birth to the "Anti-Christ."
Since supernatural elements in general are thrown out the window thanks to the mind control device, there has to be some explanation for Lynn's sudden pregnancy. Besides the possibility that it's a hallucination, another explanation could be that Blake actually spends months wandering the Arizona desert in search for Lynn, but it just seems like a shorter time to him due to how the machine is impacting his mind.
To sum things up, Blake and the lunatics that attempt to murder him throughout the course of the game are all being manipulated by a mind control device (the machine also emitted the blast that downed the helicopter at the beginning of the game, by the way) that was likely put in place by the Murkoff Corporation. Considering this, it's probable that some of the game's ending, like the sun exploding and possibly even the childbirth, was hallucinated.
The other story that players experience over the course of Outlast 2 is what happened to Blake and his friend Jessica when the two attended Catholic school together in the past. These flashbacks are mixed in with hallucinations that turn the school into a nightmare, with a mysterious monster with tentacles chasing Blake throughout the corridors and other apparent supernatural happenings occurring around every corner.
As players experience these Catholic school flashbacks, they should be able to piece together the gist of what happened. More or less, Blake and his friend Jessica were caught breaking the rules at school, and then one of the priests, Father Loutermilch, apparently beat Jessica for her transgressions, resulting in her later committing suicide by hanging herself at school.
Now, there is some dispute as to what actually happened at the end of the Catholic school flashbacks. In the game, it is strongly suggested that Father Loutermilch had a history of abuse with Jessica, with the implication being that he molested her. In the scene where Blake and Jessica are in trouble, Loutermilch dismisses Blake to be left alone with Jessica, but she starts screaming and attempts to run away. Blake chases the two of them down, and finds Jessica lying on a flight of stairs, with a significant neck injury.
It's possible that Loutermilch accidentally broke Jessica's neck in the struggle, and that he framed it to make it look as though she killed herself instead, perhaps with Blake's assistance, which would better explain his intense guilt over the situation. The other explanation, that Jessica was so traumatized by the experience that she killed herself, is a bit more straightforward, but also possible. There is also dialogue in the present day that suggests Jessica survived her injuries, but was never able to recover from the mental trauma and committed suicide as a result.
As more people play through Outlast 2, more theories on the game's chaotic ending will come to light. Whatever the true explanation behind the events at the end of the game, though, it's clear to anyone that bothers reading the collectible notes hidden throughout that Outlast 2's story is much deeper than it appears on the surface.
In the future, it's possible Red Barrels will release DLC that offers a clearer explanation as to what happened during the events of the game, like it did with the first game's Whistleblower expansion. In the meantime, fans are free to theorize about Outlast 2's ending, and what really happened to Blake, his wife Lynn, and his childhood friend Jessica.
Outlast 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.