Without a doubt, Red Barrels Studio surprised practically everyone in 2013 with the original Outlast becoming somewhat of a cult hit, so with the first entry being frighteningly good, fans are understandably wondering whether or not its sequel in Outlast 2 will manage to successfully live up to the expectations of the initial installment. Thankfully, fans don’t have to ponder the matter for much longer, as a large portion of critics have already played through Outlast 2 and have weighed in on the followup.
For those unaware, Outlast 2 is set in the Sonoran desert where journalists Blake and Lynn Langermann have traveled to investigate the murder of a pregnant Jane Doe. Just like its precursor in the first game, the followup is heavily based in stealth and evasion gameplay, as the protagonist Blake struggles to survive and tries to escape, all while using a camcorder to capture footage of some of the horrific scenes he comes across throughout the title.
Since all of this surely sounds intriguing to those who have been following the development process of Outlast 2 since its announcement, it’s a safe bet to make that fans are ready to learn if it’s a cut above its predecessor. So, without further ado, continue reading to find out what the critics think about the game.
Game Rant (Dalton Cooper)
Despite a sluggish start, Outlast 2 from Red Barrels is a solid horror gaming experience with shocking imagery, a compelling story, and scares galore.
Game Informer (Elise Favis)
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.
GameSpot (Scott Butterworth)
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.
IGN (Lucy O’Brien)
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.
PC Gamer (James Davenport)
Stealth and pursuit haven’t changed much in Outlast 2, but it excels as a beautiful, brutal journey through extreme spiritual anxieties.
GamesRadar (Louise Blain)
Horrific in completely the wrong way, Outlast 2 is a night-vision journey into frustration. An intriguing story just can’t save the infuriating misery that awaits.
Destructoid (Nic Rowen)
Outlast 2 is harrowing. It is a horror game that will make you want to take a shower after you’re done with it. It’s a horror game that will make you want to hold your loved ones just a little tighter next time you embrace them.
Polygon (Philip Kollar)
Outlast 2 may be the single most qualified recommendation I’ve given in my history of writing reviews, and not just because of its occasionally stilted design. This is a game that often left me feeling like complete trash. It brought up some of the most difficult memories in my life, issues I had buried long ago. My reactions to that anguish have run the gamut, but more than anything, I respect that Outlast 2 has the singular focus and intensity to dredge up those emotions; that alone made it worth the time spent for me.
With so many critics citing the fact that Outlast 2 is chock full of some grotesque, incredibly gory, and flat out disturbing moments, there’s really no wonder why the game was originally banned in Australia. However, considering the fact that outright censorship is not the best strategy when it comes to discussing and distributing art in and outside of video games, the country’s classification board came to its senses overturned its decision after a second review of the title.
Taking all of this into consideration, though, it seems as if Outlast 2 has evolved from its predecessor in a multitude of ways, by not only providing a genuinely frightening experience, but also an intense examination of what could happen when religious acolytes become too overzealous in their pursuits. For those still on the fence as to whether or not they should pick up Red Barrel Studio’s survival-horror title, one would do well to check out Outlast 2‘s launch trailer to get a feel for its creepy atmospherics and overall tone.
Outlast 2 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.