A Precious, Creepy Sequel from Netflix

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals plays something like a thematic flip This is perfect 2016 predecessor. Where the original game follows a teenager named Alex and a group of friends on a coming-of-age adventure where the group faces an uncertain future. Lost Signals Riley Poverly, in her 30s, feels stuck in adulthood and returns to her childhood home, the mining town of Camena, to “start over.”

It’s an interesting spin on the usual coming-of-age story that makes the sequel feel refreshing yet familiar – it’s not just about re-plotting the same ground with a new group of teenagers. As someone in her thirties experiencing a midlife crisis, Riley’s dilemma resonated with me. HE While wondering whether he made the right choices in life, he also questions his impact on people and the world. the world around it.

Riley and she Former high school acquaintance Jacob is tasked with navigating Camena and installing antennas to monitor for strange signals interfering with electronic equipment all over town. As soon as they put on the first game, something strange happens on Edwards Island, where the first game takes place, and they go to investigate. Despite Lost Signals it’s supposed to be a standalone story, I highly recommend playing the original game first to understand why Edwards Island is so important. Otherwise, you may feel lost right away. (Even Camena was briefly seen in the original game’s stealth ending, but is greatly expanded here.) Technically, yes, Riley’s story is her own. However, it is full of references to events from the first game, and characters from it also appear. If you don’t play the previous game at least once, you’re missing out on a lot of content.

As Riley argues between different dialogue options, Riley and Jacob stand on a bridge at night, streetlights illuminating them: "Whatever, it does not matter" "I just had to say" And "Ask whatever you want."

Screenshot: Night School Studio

All of this unfolds in floating 2D games as you navigate Riley through beautifully hand-drawn environments in Camena and beyond. Occasionally, you’ll need to solve simple environmental puzzles by tuning Riley’s radio to match certain frequencies, and the occasional opportunity to venture outside in search of collectibles adds a bit of adventure platforming to the action.

Still, Lost Signals it’s probably more of a visual novel than an adventure game, and you’ll spend most of your time chatting and choosing between various dialogue options. The types of answers you choose will affect the ending. While a conversation about parents may seem trivialIn this case, the way Riley chooses to respond has enormous consequences later on. Will you act maliciously and ignore other people’s concerns? Or will you show kindness and repay favors throughout the journey?

It wasn’t long before Riley and Jacob’s search for the mysterious signals haunting Camena began to threaten their sanity. Among other anomalies, red-eyed ghosts suddenly appear, speaking in cryptic messages and fragmented sentences, words separated by static and an unsettling feeling every time you encounter them.

As Riley and Jacob stand in front of a red crack in a cave, Riley fine-tunes the frequency dial on a device, the numbers floating above it.

Screenshot: Night School Studio

Naturally, witnessing such inexplicable horrors makes them uneasy.and I loved the cold-blooded dialogue between them so as not to lose their minds. How fun to hear two people just discussing whether libraries should bring back late fees for books that have expired.

But this is not just idle chatter. For one, Jacob’s dynamic with Riley makes their interactions as revealing as it is entertaining. He’s different from her in that he’s never known life outside of Camena, but he’s also similar to her in the sense that they’re both trying to find their purpose in life. Second, the way Riley reacts to Jacob and the other characters will affect the ending. For example, if Riley is extremely rude to Jacob or ignores his attempts to bond, Jacob may not follow her to the end. The conversations flow incredibly well – it all sounds natural and realistic thanks to the excellent script and outstanding voice acting.

Lost Signals it’s also much better-paced than before, delving into ghostly and supernatural subjects much quicker, with events catching your attention and hooking you. Yet he does so without sacrificing the quiet moments that helped make the first game so compelling, with Alex and his friends’ catchy banter between Riley and Jacob as they search for a place to put their antennae down. Originally to each other.

A small but significant improvement over the first game is the UI. When playing oxlessI remember being confused as there was no indication that the B button on my Joy-Cons was being used to trigger an action. Inside Lost Signalswalking towards interactive objects like a ledge will reveal a big B with a circle around it, and similarly, other face buttons now appear when choosing between dialog options.

Lost Signals It also makes excellent use of time travel elements. Like Alex in the previous game, Riley will cycle through time throughout the story, giving us a glimpse into Camena’s dark past. Lost Signals Sometimes there are puzzles where Riley will have to tune the radio frequency to fit a rip in space-time, tear it open and step into the past. Could be a collapsed tunnel to obstruct For example, Riley’s way, however, by rewinding time, he can jump to a period in which he returned.no Provides very attractive game mechanics like: Titan Fall 2time glove. I just I wish it was used more often.

The new primary enemy, a cult called the Parentage, seeks to use Camena’s supernatural phenomena such as time travel and space portals for his own ambitions. Because Lost Signals‘ tone is from scary to very disturbing, it doesn’t bother with the really creepy stuff you can get from something like Parenting. resident EvilUmbrella Company. In fact, throughout the game, when you come across murals dedicated to the cult, Jacob will even comment on how the group got a little too involved in astrology and looked pretty harmless.

Riley and Jacob are seen walking along a beach, a bumpy road just to their left, with a large moon in the sky behind them.

Screenshot: Night School Studio

But as the story progresses, Riley and Jacob learn that the Parentage members are more misguided than sinister. But the organization’s methods still put lives at risk. Parenting becomes a very important way of surrendering rather than being bad just for the sake of being bad. ‘Missing Signals’ themes of loss and longing. Parenting goals contrast with Riley’s goals. As Riley grapples with the consequences of her past decisions and how to move forward in life, some members of Parentage can’t let go of their past and want to relive a particular moment over and over.

While not giving spoilers, these themes are well exemplified in the different endings of the game. Casual conversations between Riley and Jacob as they explore Camena together serve as harbingers of their fate. Jacob wants to be remembered for something important. Riley has a lot to look forward to in the future but can she let go of her past to make it happen? As Parentage’s motivations became clear throughout the story, I actually found myself sympathizing with its members. In the end, I actually stopped giving them what they wanted.

Maybe it was my desire to go back and relive my youthful days that made me side with them. Many games have likeable villains, but I would never take their side proactively. But, Lost Signals managed to get me to do this.

During Oxenfree II: Lost Signals It’s not a revision compared to its predecessor, it wasn’t meant to be. It tells an excellent story with well-developed characters and minor changes that help define the sequel. Better pacing, smoother controls, and more interesting gameplay ideas are a continuation of the supernatural coming-of-age story that first graced our hearts seven years ago.



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