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.
For a selection of other critics' opinions on Outlast 2, meanwhile, check out the roundup below--or for a wider view on critical opinion, you can take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Outlast 2
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release: Out now
- Price: US $30 / £24 / AU $40
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Outlast 2 has one of most intense endings of any horror game
First up, big spoiler warning. If you plan on playing Outlast 2 at any point in the future (and I think you should), then don't watch this video. You’re going to "enjoy" the ending for yourself anyway. However, if you really don’t think you’ll play Outlast 2, then you might be interested to know that the ending, which we've captured in the video above, is absolutely bonkers.
Secondly, if you don’t like blood or gore, here's another caveat. The final stretch of Outlast 2 features some scenes—a big one in particular—that are pretty extreme, even by horror game standards. Consider your eyes and/or stomach warned.
Still here? Okay, here’s the context for what you're about to see. You play as a journalist who sets out with his wife, who's also a journalist, to investigate a missing person case in rural Arizona. Things go wrong, as expected, and the wife gets kidnapped by an extreme Christian cult. From there, well, let’s just say the cult was onto something...
Outlast 2 Walkthrough | Genesis Pt. 11 - Inner Demon
A monster haunts the empty hallways of the school. In this nightmarish Outlast 2 interlude, you'll get your first glimpse at a terrifying creature. Here's what you'll need to do to escape the dream.
The final dream sequence in Chapter 1: Genesis introduces Blake to a jawless demon that wants nothing more than to jumpscare unsuspecting players.
It isn't always clear how to proceed in this dimly lit parochial school, and if you want to find the exit pronto, we've got the straightforward directions you'll need.
Record the image scribbled on the wall if you're looking for Blake's insights. Apparently, you've been dropped into the school before the suicide. Go through the door on the left, and enter the second door on the left in the pitch-black hallway. In the classroom, collect the hangman game from the desk - this is just the first part. There's a second part you'll need to get, too.
Next, go down the door on the right side of the graffiti and enter the room with the projector. Place the clear slide on the projector, then move it left. Switch to the back of the projector and move it forward until the letters properly line up to spell "Unforgiveable".
Return to the center of the school dream, where the scribbles on the wall first appeared. You'll find a new door that leads to the exit. Too bad there's no way out of this dream - the lockers will bang together and the screen will distort. Continue moving back and forth down the hall until a frightening, jawless creature attacks!
There's nothing you can do here. After it scurries away, find the new door that appears in the hallway and enter the office. The vent cover is banging around on the floor - use the wheeled cart to create a platform so you can jump up and into the vents.
Keep crawling and you'll find a way out! Even when the slobbering tongue demon tries to stop you...