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Outlast 2 is a first-person survival horror game developed and published by Red Barrels. It is the sequel to the game Outlast, and features a journalist named Blake Langermann, along with his wife Lynn, roaming the Arizona desert to explore the murder of a pregnant woman only known as Jane Doe. Blake and Lynn get separated in a helicopter crash, and Blake has to find his wife while traveling through a village inhabited by a deranged sect that believes the end of days are upon them.

Gameplay

Outlast 2 is a first-person survival horror game that, like its predecessor Outlast, is a single-player campaign. It is set in Northern Arizona. The game continues the found footage characteristics from the first game. The player controls the investigative journalist Blake Langermann, who investigates a dilapidated rural area in Supai, near the western edge of the Colorado Plateau.

Langermann cannot fight except in scripted scenes, but must run and hide from the numerous hostile members of Temple Gate. He also wears glasses, which limit the player's vision if they fall off. The player can crouch, run, jump, walk, vault, slide and climb much like the first game and can hide in lockers, barrels, wardrobes, beds, pools of water, tall grass, cornfields, and inside of houses. He has a limited stamina meter and the player must manage how long he runs, lest he becomes exhausted and move more slowly.

Langermann possesses only a camcorder, which has night vision capabilities, though the camcorder's batteries are also drained when night vision is used. Compared to the first game, Langermann's status as a cameraman means he carries a more advanced camera, one with clearer footage, zoom, and a sensitive microphone that can be used to detect distant footsteps and other noises. The player is equipped with an inventory system displaying the amount of footage recorded on the camera and the items they are carrying. Spare batteries suitable for the camcorder and med kits to heal are spread throughout the game.

Plot

Blake Langermann, an investigative journalist and cameraman working alongside his wife, Lynn, crash-lands in the Supai region of the Coconino County region of Arizona, while following the mysterious murder of a young, pregnant woman known only as Jane Doe. When he wakes up after the crash, Blake finds the pilot of their helicopter skinned and crucified, and his wife missing. Blake makes his way to a nearby town, Temple Gate, where he learns that the town has sacrificed all their children in the name of God. Blake eventually locates Lynn in a chapel, captured by a violent and delirious cult led by "Papa" Sullivan Knoth. Knoth claims that Temple Gate lies on the mouth of Hell, and that Lynn is pregnant with the Anti-Christ. They escape the chapel, but Lynn falters, suffering from stomach cramps. The couple are separated when Lynn is kidnapped by the Heretics, an animalistic rival cult who wish to hasten the end of days, and their androgynous leader Val.

Blake is rescued by a man named Ethan who has left Knoth's cult. He tells Blake that Knoth rapes the women of Temple Gate and, once they are pregnant, orders them executed on suspicion of carrying the Anti-Christ. Fearing this fate for his daughter Anna Lee, Ethan convinced her to flee, and she became the Jane Doe that Blake and Lynn were investigating. As Blake rests under Ethan's house, Marta, an imposing woman wielding a large pickaxe and who is one of Knoth's executioners, breaks into the home and kills Ethan after accusing him of heresy. Blake flees to another chapel, where he learns from a tortured Heretic being interrogated by Knoth that Lynn is imprisoned in the mines under Temple Gate.

Throughout his journey, Blake suffers from progressively more disturbing hallucinations based on his childhood, all while pursued by a grotesque monster. The hallucinations gradually reveal the events surrounding the death of Blake and Lynn's childhood friend, Jessica Gray, at their Catholic elementary school. Blake and Jessica, while staying late at their school, were caught by one of their teachers, Father Loutermilch, who is implied to have been molesting Jessica. Loutermilch sent Blake away, but as Blake was about to leave the school, he heard Jessica's screams and saw her being chased. Blake discovered her to have fallen down a staircase, breaking her neck, with Loutermilch at the top of the stairs. Loutermilch covered up her death as a suicide by hanging, and the monster that has been chasing Blake throughout the school is a perverse, twisted version of how he sees the priest.

Surviving numerous encounters with Marta and the region's other inhabitants, including the syphilis-infected 'scalled' who were cast out from Temple Gate, Blake escapes the town and finds a document revealing that the Murkoff Corporation is the cause for everyone's insanity due to an experimental mind control station hidden deep in the mountains, with the Heretics being affected far more severely by the waves due to their closer positioning of the station. Arriving at the mines, Blake enters Val's underground temple and finds Lynn, suddenly visibly pregnant. Knoth's cult finally reach them and kill the Heretics, allowing the pair to flee. As dawn breaks, a freak lightning storm begins to destroy the town. Marta reappears and attacks Blake and Lynn, but a cross toppled by lightning from the chapel in the distance impales her. Blake and Lynn hurry to the chapel; Lynn gives birth, but dies soon afterwards. Blake blacks out holding the newborn, implied to be a hallucination by Lynn's last words "there's nothing there".

Knoth greets Blake as he wakes up. He claims that he had to kill all of his followers, and implores Blake to kill the child before slitting his own throat. As Blake walks outside, he sees that Knoth's followers have committed mass suicide via poisoning in preparation for the apocalypse, while Mozart's Ave verum corpus is playing in the background. The sun grows brighter and Blake is engulfed by the light. He has a final vision of chasing Jessica through the school; when he catches her, she promises that she will never let him go, and they start praying.

Reception

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