Blair Witch Project Meets Saw.
Open on a burning cross upside-down, burning in the dark of the night. Cut to black and all you hear is the sound of a man-and-wife investigative team as their helicopter crashes to the ground. Where are they? What have they stumbled upon? Outlast 2 breaks out of the mental asylum setting to bring you a story that’s right up there with road-trip horror films like Wrong Turn.
Separated from your wife, Lynn, after the crash of your helicopter, you as Blake Langerman must find your way to her or at the very least find a way to survive. The first area I stumbled into at the beginning of the demo was a desolate town. Only a video camera equipped with night vision provided any solace in the darkness.
To see in the dark, which is a majority of each level, you have no choice but to look through the lens of your camera with night vision on and this leads to the battery draining very quickly. As you make your way through the dilapidated farm town and standard creepy schoolhouse you will also be on the hunt for any batteries you can find.
At the start, most of the scares were very easy to contend with. Some knocking on doors came when I rattled the handle, and some figures with glowing eyes came into view briefly before disappearing into the shadows. You know, the basic horror movie shit. The not-so-ordinary stuff came from the fact that as you navigate through each level, you’ll encounter doorways of light that lead to the next set-piece. In the demo I traveled through these portals several times, both by my own discovery and because I had no choice when fleeing an enemy.
Outlast 2 constantly throws curve balls at the player. Get attached by a random enemy and you may find yourself getting the crap knocked out of you until you land in an area you have no memory of being in before. These sequences play out like nightmares and they are terrifying. At one point I waked into a clearing that looked like a scene out of The Ring, and when I peered inside, something grabbed me and pulled me into the darkness, it was at that point I ended up waking up on the floor of a classroom in a school.
Blake also begins to hear voices the more he explores the world he is trapped in. At the start it is only your missing wife that you hear but eventually there are other more sinister voices that heckle and taunt you. This was particularly unsettling. By the end of the demo I was thoroughly rattled by the experience and not too sure I’d be able to complete it with the short time allotted for me to play. It also didn’t help that the final part of the demo involves you running through a farm trying to escape multiple enemies armed with high-powered flashlights and knives.
After dying a few times I finally found an exit, a wall of light similar to the ones that had transported me from different areas earlier in the demo. Once through the light, I fell down a ravine only to come face to face with a witch-like woman murmuring something evil-sounding in Latin. She swung an axe at me and as I looked down in horror I saw that she had hacked away Blake’s manhood, turning it into a gaping bloody wound. He screamed, while I stared wide-eyed and speechless as the demo faded to black. Now who’s ready to play Outlast 2!?
The game will release in Fall 2016 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.