Welcome to our video game news blog! Today, we’re diving into the exciting world of Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals. This highly anticipated sequel follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, sticking with the elements that made the original so beloved. Oxenfree captivated players with its unique blend of horror and coming-of-age themes, and Lost Signals takes it a step further.
Familiar Yet Impactful
Lost Signals retains many of the features that made the first game a hit. Players can expect a similar range of secrets to uncover, engaging dialogue, and impactful choices that shape the story and relationships. The captivating watercolor art style creates a dreamlike atmosphere, while the audio design remains powerful. While Lost Signals may not surpass the impact of the original or deliver the same level of scares, it manages to find its own way through subtle yet significant changes.
The developers at Night School have chosen to age up the characters, providing an eye-opening perspective on personal growth and change. Instead of focusing on teenagers, Lost Signals introduces Riley and Jacob, two thirty-somethings who must navigate the challenges of adulthood while battling malevolent ghosts and rebellious teens. While the game doesn’t take any major risks with its gameplay or setting, the core story remains impactful.
Riley and Jacob find themselves working overnight for an environmental research group, tasked with placing transmitters across Camena, their coastal hometown. Interestingly, Camena is located near Edwards Island, the setting of the first game. Players who are familiar with the original will recall the dangers lurking on Edwards Island, and Lost Signals doesn’t dwell too much on re-explaining it. The developers provide recaps throughout the first act to refresh players’ memories and catch them up on the details.
A Battle on Multiple Fronts
Riley and Jacob not only contend with terrifying ghosts but also grapple with their own personal struggles. They represent a generation burdened with uncertainty and baggage, adding depth to their characters. Riley, the player’s avatar, initially appears closed off and emotionally restrained. Paired with Jacob, a well-meaning but somewhat clueless individual, the story hinges on the conversations they have as they explore Camena’s trails.
Players have control over the direction and emotional tone of these conversations, mirroring the choices available in the first game. The different choices offer varying takes on Riley’s character, each staying true to her personality. These interactions also extend to the teens in the game, who can become allies if players make the right moves. The dynamic between adults and teens sometimes feels strained, but it adds an interesting layer to the narrative.
One potential downside is that certain characters, like Olivia, the leader of a mysterious religious group, may come across as one-dimensional. However, this may be a result of the player’s decisions and actions, and a different playthrough could change that perception.
A Relatable Experience
As someone around the same age as Riley and Jacob, their personal journeys resonated with me. Like them, I find myself at a crossroads between an unfulfilling present and the potential for a better future. Their struggles and growth hit close to home, especially considering my own turbulent teenage years. Riley, in particular, is a relatable figure, with her guarded exterior and hints of the emotional depth she possesses. The inclusion of time travel adds a unique twist, allowing characters to face their future and confront their personal demons.
While personal experience will undoubtedly shape how players connect with the characters, the genuine and realistic conversations make them relatable to a wide audience. Moments of downtime, such as the one-word story time between Jacob and Riley, provide glimpses into the characters’ personalities. The exceptional voice acting by Elizabeth Saydah and Joe Bianco further enhances the believability of the characters.
Overall, Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals retains the essence of its predecessor while forging its own path. With its engaging story, impactful choices, and relatable characters, it offers an emotional and surprising experience that fans of the first game will surely appreciate.