I just finished Outlast II and I don't want to write a full review of it, I just want to rant about problems I had with it, especially compared to Outlast. Spoilers obviously.
My biggest problem is the outdoor areas compared to the hallways in the asylum. What was fun about the first game was you had a clear goal of where to go and the challenge was bypassing and impeding the crazy people. In II you have these big, open, same-looking outdoor areas without a clear goal to reach that a re very easy to get lost in. I kept running around in circles looking for the light source that is suppose to signal the path to the next area that is different from the other light sources. It didn't help that it was impossible to see where I was going, I know it is a horror game but I really couldn't see anything which got me turned around a lot.
In the beginning the game makes sure you know how to close and bar doors and go through windows and then you barely do it. Instead if I had to hide I would hide in the tall grass. Usually though when I was in an action area I would force my way past everyone, it was easier than finding a hiding spot and waiting for them to walk past and hoping that if they spotted me before they wouldn't figure out my hiding spot. I miss the frantic chases of the first game, of running from room to room, locking the doors behind and sprinting off to the next door before I jump through a window or something. The few chases therewere felt so scripted, the most I did was duck under things.
Speaking of scripted events, there were a lot of times where I felt like I was just walking from sctiped events to another.
There were these parts of the game where the main character flashes back to his school and gets chased by a monster. Those were especially tedious. Even though it was a lot of chasing nothing about it was complicated or challenging. And to start those parts I had to wander through classes looking for whatever. I also couldn't stop thinking that F.E.A.R. 2 did this already, and was scarier when they did it.
While this wasn't my biggest problem it's probably bad in a horror game that I wasn't scared once. Half of the enemies were just ordinary looking jerks with clubs and flashlights. It didn't matter if there were bodies everywhere, they looked perfectly normal. The crazies from the asylum looked more monstrous. The other half were the same emaciated jerks from The Descent every scary story with caves have been ripping off since 2005. The main character, whose name I kept forgetting, could have easily beat off either with a large stick. There was that mosnter in the classroom, that was alright I guess.
I didn't care about the story. There's an evil cult, and some people who oppose them but they are also crazy, and maybe some other people. The main character is just hunting for his wife like every other heor in fiction, and all the tension is from him getting sidetracked. There's a mystery involving his childhood at a Catholic school that ultimately doesn't matter, and weird supernatural shit that is never properly explained in the game itself. I felt so clever coming up with my own explanation only to learn that I was right but it was explained in the tie-in comic.
As eomeon who really enjoyed the first Outlast I was really disappointed with Outlast II. There isn't anything about it that would make me recommend it to anyone else.