Oxenfree 2 raises the stakes with cults, side quests, and time tears

Oxenfree didn’t want a sequel. The supernatural campfire story of troubled teenagers stumbling throughout a ghostly rift is a gripping, self-contained horror story. However the second Oxenfree II: Misplaced Alerts was revealed, I realised among the threads a sequel may discover, and obtained excited over again about spelunking by means of haunted caves and attending to know a recent forged of unwitting paranormal investigators. Whereas a short hands-off presentation can’t say how a lot of a sequel Misplaced Alerts is, it does make one factor very clear: Oxenfree II expands on the unique in each manner.

You play as Riley Poverly, an environmental researcher who returns to her house city of Camena – only a stone’s throw away from Edwards Island, the primary sport’s setting – to research unusual radio transmissions. Throughout the first hour she encounters a cult referred to as Parentage, who’re making an attempt to reopen the time portals from the primary sport with a view to pull one thing out – one thing of nice worth to them. There’s no tiptoeing across the topic, or mild teasing that one thing supernatural is likely to be occurring; Riley begins proper within the thick of a Stranger Issues-style interdimensional wrestle.

There’s extra at stake, definitely, however as you traipse by means of deserted mining amenities and labyrinthine caves, Riley and her timid companion Jacob will fill the airwaves with limitless chatter. Generally it’s in regards to the mysterious goings-on, generally about their associates, generally about themselves, and fairly often about nothing in any respect.

The 2 are consistently speaking, and as with the primary sport you’re capable of reduce in organically with one in every of three dialogue choices everytime you reply to Jacob, which helps hold you busy as you wander by means of the cave. The tone all through is dry and sardonic, so your mileage might fluctuate with regards to your response to them, however for essentially the most half I discovered them a drolly amusing pair.

Using the walkie-talkie in Oxenfree II

Jacob isn’t the one particular person you’ll work together with. Due to a brand new walkie-talkie, you’ll chat with different residents of Camena as they wrestle with their supernatural experiences – in addition to with extra peculiar, much less knowable voices. Whether or not mundane or much less so, these NPCs will ship you on small facet quests, like monitoring down a misplaced backpack, and in alternate they’ll supply further clues on your investigation. The walkie-talkie introduces a extra energetic element to Oxenfree II’s dialogue, as you’ll be able to select to fully ignore some messages, whereas constructing friendships with different characters who radio in.

Riley and her timid companion Jacob will fill the airwaves with limitless chatter

The map doesn’t look a lot bigger than the unique sport, however it additionally appears that these new interactions will fill Camena with extra issues to do, and a lot better causes for backtracking, than we had again on Edwards Island.

The demo closes with Riley and Jacob uncovering a time tear in a disused mine shaft, which Riley confidently opens by tuning the sign on her radio. By heading into the time tear, the pair are capable of discover the mining complicated throughout its heyday again in 1899, together with areas which can be inaccessible within the current day. This grants us entry to an elevator so we will attain a brand new space, however we’ve additionally travelled again in time to the precise second the cave collapsed, and so the demo ends with Riley and Jacob making a dramatic leap to security.

Exploring a time tear in Oxenfree II

Precisely what would occur if the 2 failed to flee is left unanswered, however this being Oxenfree I’m hopeful that there’ll be a extra subtle final result than a sport over display. And that’s actually the query that also provokes some anxiousness in Oxenfree II. It’s obtained the identical wry tone of voice and exquisite painterly artwork type as its predecessor, however whether or not or not it’s successful relies upon solely on the way it offers with alternative and consequence. Clearly, there’s extra motion and decision-making right here, however we’ll have to attend till the indie game’s 2022 launch earlier than we see how any of it shakes out.

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https://www.pcgamesn.com/oxenfree-2-lost-signals/walkie-talkie | Oxenfree 2 raises the stakes with cults, facet quests, and time tears

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