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While it definitely exudes a creepy vibe, somewhat muddy “combat” and a lack of direction make it tough to enjoy
If you’ve been following the horror genre offerings on the Nintendo Switch you’ll know that in the indie space they’re absolutely a mixed bag. Ranging from decent on down to outright painful, while there have been some decent hits on the whole there have been far more misses. The good news with DreadOut 2 is that it doesn’t belong in the lower tier with titles that simply aren’t worth anyone’s time. The bad news is that while it may be reasonably playable, it has some pain points and frustrations.The main issue I have is that, on the whole, I really struggled with getting started and trying to be effective. The prologue gets you up to speed on what has happened to some degree, but it also doesn’t equip you with much relevant information on what you’re looking to do or how to be successful. So after wandering around and stumbling in the dark a bit you’ll get a hold of your most valuable tool against the darkness… your phone. Both useful as a flashlight and, it turns out, as an effective weapon against the dark spirits that are after you, your success from that point on will most often involve using your phone.The problem is that while you’ll get some instruction on the general way to use this weapon to help keep you alive, it’s absolutely quite incomplete in its level of detail. This leads to another aspect of the game feeling a bit muddy and unclear, joining the general story which has creepy beats but doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense, and your tendency to wander around quite a bit with little happening as you simply try to discover every room you can enter and everything within them that you can interact with. Granted, the combat does do a good job of feeling tense, but part of the reason for that is that the specifics of how best to succeed in it are pretty hard to come by. Keeping all that in mind, there should absolutely be an audience that’s willing to put in the time and effort to help enjoy the experience, but if you’d prefer the pacing being a bit quicker or the conflicts to have a bit more clarity around them to help you find success this will likely frustrate more than entertain.
Justin Nation, Score: