LifeisXbox’s DreadOut 2 Review | Playing as 17-year-old Linda Meillinda, a high school student who has the unique supernatural power of being able to see and sense nearby ghosts, you must hunt and investigate the possibilities of various dark presences threatening your hometown in DreadOut 2. Playing in the third person perspective, this new horror adventure will have you facing dreadful disturbances around multiple locations in an attempt to bring a sense of being and normality back to your everyday life. Having drawn inspiration from Indonesian folklore and urban legends, DreadOut 2 has expanded on the original game in the series (a recap can be found in the main menu so a playthrough of the first game isn’t required) and focuses on an all-new combat style with an open-world exploration element. DreadOut 2 has been developed by Digital Happiness and Kittehface while being published by Digerati to create a horrific and interactive title that should be welcomed into the horror and action/adventure genre. It also shows off the fascinating uses a camera phone can have for someone who possesses such supernatural abilities. Just saying, they could have more to them than what meets the eye.
Most Memorable Moment
For DreadOut 2, my most memorable moment would have to be my very first interaction with an enemy in the game. I genuinely was incredibly creeped out, finding myself rather impressed with both the appearance and movement that’s been created within them to increase the overall fear factor mixed in with the grim environment I found myself trapped within. With the combined use of skeletal and bloody enemy design along with the moment, I found all enemies created a frightful atmosphere which I think everyone can agree is a key part of any game that wants to make a name for itself in the horror genre.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One S | The review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Horror atmosphere | With every game that has a place in the horror genre, the atmosphere is the main component that has to be looked at. Throughout DreadOut 2, the combination of darkness and tense noises/sounds created the base of what every horror game should be. I was constantly checking behind me, creeping through unknown territories, and getting jumped in dark environments and all of this has been done effectively as it should be. I think if you’re confidently running around in horror games, the horror perspective gets lost and this is something I didn’t feel was right to do in DreadOut 2, making it hit the perfect balance between frightening and intriguing gameplay.
- Camera weapon | One of the main details I thought was really fun to utilize was the use of your smartphone to banish and stun enemies. I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure to use this in any other game I’ve played so it did feel like a breath of fresh air to try something different. The phone is probably the key factor when thinking about DreadOut 2 and to have it included not only as a guide and flashlight but as something that can be physically used against enemies I believe was integrated incredibly well.
- Different enemies | When it comes to the enemies you encounter in DreadOut 2, they have different mechanics when approaching them. Some can only be attacked from behind, some can’t see so you have to manoeuvre quietly around them – just a couple of examples. It means you have to be more observant in every area and work with what you, or in some cases don’t, have to get by. I always appreciate variety in my gameplay and having this included did make certain scenarios in the game require a more tactical approach.
- Small open world | Along with the main story that takes place in DreadOut 2, there is a little taste of open-world added into the equation. With a few side quests thrown into the mix, it was appreciated as it meant you could take small breaks or do something else if you fancy. Although there were different locations you could explore along the way, I wish there would have been more bulk with the open world component as there wasn’t a great deal to do in these areas and it did feel like I was aimlessly walking around just to explore with nothing of great importance to take in. Extra content is always welcomed by me and I would have loved to get stuck in further.
- Interesting story | Even though I was confused by the story at times, my overall opinion is far more positive than negative. With watching the story behind the first game being a must to even remotely understand the backstory, playing as such a fascinating character as Linda was a joy because it showed emotion and how past experiences have affected her life in multiple ways. Being on the receiving end of ghastly ghosts and ridding them from your immediate vicinity showed strength, both physically and mentally, in Linda and how she is prepared to do anything to explore her past and how it brought her to where she stands now.
- Creepy visuals | The panic factor in DreadOut 2 is met and openly welcomed with the visuals portrayed in each territory. Admittedly, some have a stronger horror presence and this is due mostly to the dimly lit sections that require a flashlight and where enemies could be around any corner. Enemies have been constructed in such a way that their appearance and movement strike you with quite a punch. There are spots of colour darted around in areas but the game uses a very desaturated colour pallet. My complaint with the visuals is they are not the most pleasing to the eye when compared to other new releases and could have looked more detailed and shown a smoother finish.
- Clunky combat | Using a combination of your phone and occasionally weapons that come into your possession, the combat in DreadOut 2 can be quite fun but also noticeably ponderous to handle. When using the phone, I did find myself questioning that some of my shots should have hit because of the effect that presents itself but didn’t sometimes. Also, different weapons logically swing slower/faster than others which means you have to time your hits. The hitboxes didn’t always seem accurate but each weapon packed its punch when you did make contact with enemies. An obvious detail that should have been added is a dodge function as there is plenty of fighting that would benefit from this when attacking isn’t a viable option.
What we Disliked
- Couple of issues encountered | During my time playing DreadOut 2, I came across a handful of problems that definitely has cause for concern sadly. Firstly, during one of the chapters when I stopped using my phone camera, all of my surroundings had deteriorated in quality and even when I reloaded my previous checkpoint the issue still presented itself. I had to reset my game for the visuals to go back to their original quality. Secondly, I did have the eye-rolling, although slightly amusing, the bug of falling through the map when approaching the outer zone to travel to another area that didn’t fix itself. It wasn’t ideal but I did only encounter these bugs one time, fortunately.
- Stutters and frame drops | Unfortunately, from time to time, I did encounter substantial frame drops and my gameplay did stutter in places. It didn’t massively have an impact on my gameplay but it’s not something anyone wants to experience in their games. They were incredibly common and it was a huge shame because DreadOut 2 could have been far more polished, creating a better overall experience for everyone. I could of perhaps understood if there was a few here and there but not through over half of the game, causing frustration and ultimately impacting the enjoyment factor.
- Inconsistent difficulty | A pet peeve that really gets to me in video games is an inconsistent difficulty. In DreadOut 2, I found myself getting past some areas with little to no difficulty but then I would come across another that ultimately took me hours to figure out and get past. As there was no difficulty setting, which I would have loved to see included, to be honest, I found myself becoming infuriated because I didn’t know if I was doing something wrong, looking in the wrong place, if I’d missed something, or the game had bugged on me (this wasn’t ever the case). The game itself is fairly linear but getting stuck for significant periods of time was far from enjoyable.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 6-8 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 8-10 Hours
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!