For some reason developers have only been able to soak a toe in the deep, swampy black waters of Satanism and the somewhat free interpretation of biblical verses, perhaps for fear of hurting sensitivities in most places such as the United States, to put A random example: the most powerful country on the planet, unequivocal cultural dominator, and where the number of atheists between the two chambers of Congress (high and low) amounts to the bewildering total figure of zero. Let’s say the subject, and you’re going to allow me to play the Christian word game, is something … thorny.
This suspicion that emerges from the religious affair is perhaps also one of the reasons for the success of horror films based on their imagery. The best scary movie in history, The Exorcist, continues to function like a blasphemous, purulent clock forty-five years later, it remains fully effective in its task of annoying the viewer to the bottom, and it is with The way the West has internalized Christianity. Even the most ferocious skeptic has grown suckled by references to the Bible, to God, to Christ, to the Virgin or to the Fallen Angel, symbols, ideas and concepts rained from all sides that seep into consciousness. The possessions and worship of Satan abound in that more or less important, more or less essential, corner that we all hold within. If Regan’s croak turns out to be so dreadful, it is, at least in part, because it is the voice of a being feared for centuries, the great adversary; The definitive monster in which one can decide not to believe, but can not avoid having known.
Fortunately Red Barrels is a few inches higher on the world map than the United States: the Canadian study of a dozen and a half employees is based in Montreal, and it seems that in that boiling business the importance of God and Jesus Christ is only relative . Perhaps that is one of the reasons to thank the developer who has dared to break in, if in her way ungainly and not subtle, in the ominous and fascinating world of religious fervor, devout delirium and the wildest alienation Christian.
Because, yes: in spite of that inverted cross in flames that its creators have hastened to fit in the stylization of the title, in Outlast 2 we face a sect of crazy followers of a prophet, Sullivan Knoth, that obeys to God. Or at least what he believes to be God: a voice under the static noise of televangelist evangelists vociferating on the radio, prophecies that break with the Catholic tradition and with the Church, which only he hears and transmits to his cult of men And women desperately lost, in need of a guide. The story, in the basics, of all the sects that have and have to be.
It is not necessary to give too many laps to the script of Outlast 2: Incarnated to the camera Blake Langermann, that accompanies his wife, the journalist Lynn Langermann, in a report of investigation on the finding of the corpse of a pregnant girl in the desert of Arizona. Let’s say that the afternoon gets complicated, the helicopter in which they travel crashes and Lynn disappears, so the initial premise is to find it in a strange town that did not appear on any map. The same beginning already has a certain introductory nuance: we find the video camera, whose capacity for night vision will be essential taking into account that a huge part of the game is completely dark, and the helicopter pilot nailed and skinned in a tree In what seems more like a ritual sacrifice than an unfortunate fall. With a couple of gestures, Red Barrels welcomes us to its fairground attraction, invites us to get into a wagon on its witch train and fastens our seat belt: what is to come may seem like a better game or Worse, but the experience that comes out of him could hardly be more intense.
The mechanics behind Outlast 2, in fact, embrace the very idea of the witch’s train as a genre: not even including a series of puzzles and demanding some finesse in stealth to traverse some areas can the game shed its expository nature. It is a game not so much to influence a fictitious reality as to experience what that reality has for us: it is about going through it, turning the player into a subject almost passive to which things happen to him under the illusion that it is him Who has sought them out. In that sense, Blake’s craziest night ends up crystallizing in about five hours of psychological pressure without rest, torture to three bands (some characters, the protagonists and the player himself) at a tiring pace and a parade of depravation so Wild and brutal that is unprecedented in our midst. And that violence in video games are not badly served.
Despite the limits imposed by his own formula, Outlast 2 seems ready to dominate every tool in his little drawer. All the forms and colors of scare tactics – those empirically proven audio-visual springs that loosen the intestines and accelerate the pulse – take place in the game, from the most vulgar (there are times when the scare is seen so far that one can see it Before it happens) to the most creative and perverse in their manipulative zeal. It is a game that combines the cheapest of the genre with new and refreshing displays of evil as part of a clear will to dominate each facet of its specialty and cover a wide spectrum of fears and threats. Even his dirty, crazed and ultraviolent vocation, inspired by a rural world absorbed by religious fever, has an unexpected paranormal reverse in a series of recurrent flashbacks that take the protagonist to the halls of an institute where the game gives rein to another Type of psychological torture of clear Japanese influence. The only and malicious rest granted us by its creators is to replace, temporarily, one type of terror for another.
The conviction with which Outlast 2 tries to take advantage of every inch of its small thematic ground conveys the sensation of being in a kind of contained ambition, a concentrated and very dense experience that throws us brief flashes of broad ideas. Not only about the truculence proper to some biblical passages (in particular the Sacrifice of Isaac), but also about the political reaction to the Christian mandate: Satanism. The two ways of understanding the world, the two sides in eternal struggle and, above all, the appropriation of the idea of paternal love from two totally opposite points of view. Those who enjoy reading about fanatic sects, worship the Devil and the values promoted by the so-called Left Hand Path over pleasure as a doctrine. It is only a very superficial scrape but grateful to issues that expand unreadable bibliographies, and gives the impression that the game does not know how to finish fitting the final battle in that night of mischief that both sides believe, from opposing positions, that Will be the last of them all.
With an artistic direction much more inspired than the original game, illustrating the taste for gore and body horror with a context that enriches the unhealthy environment, with a lore plagued with relevant information and distributed in documents on stage and with a section Technician who does not need to shine (poor vision is inherent to his way of understanding terror) but puts a lot of emphasis on punctual effects (blood sprinklers only appear once but impact his) and an exemplary sound design with howls Insane to our back that many will chase them to their own bed after turning off the console, Outlast 2 manages to be crowned as one of the best of his specialty. His discipline is ungrateful compared to all that the medium can give us, and some creative vertigo becomes evident when one compares it with the great ones of each year. In the end it all comes down to putting your head in a dark hole and having a very bad time, a quasi rudimentary and elemental proposal, but always aware of its own limitations and ready to function as best as the hypertrophied matasuegras that it really is. Perhaps with an advantage: that dark hole that we look at is, surely, the darkest of all.