Take this as a cautionary tale about getting what you wish for.
After playing the first game everybody probably thought that they wanted free movement instead of point-and-click positioning. Now the whole thing feels like you’re swimming underwater. I’ve never seen anyone move so slowly. That girl from Through the Woods would be up and halfway back down a mountain trail by the time this one made it to the second floor.
Does it work better in VR? Not for me of course, because I’d be throwing up; but maybe for other people.
They’ve also opened up the cast of characters. Instead of just you and the killer, now there are about half a dozen people involved. Like the walking, it’s not necessarily an improvement. They range from annoying to really annoying and don’t bring much extra depth. Sure, they all have some connection to the plot, but most of the information they provide is peripheral to the main issue of stopping the killer.
Unlike the first game, which kept you guessing for a long time about what kind of story it was going to be, this one is more of a straight-up whodunit from the start. Problem is, the answer is pretty obvious. I’m the worst at figuring these things out and even I saw it coming a mile away.
Other than that it’s pretty much the same. The reporter element with the notebook and all that is still there even though you’re not officially a reporter anymore. It was strange that the transformation the main character underwent in the last game didn’t come into play here very explicitly. I figured she’d be hallucinating constantly and have her head stuck in the spirit world half the time, but it seems like she’s mostly just haunted by dreams.
Seeing as this is a direct sequel, they do a decent job with the continuity overall. Understated little touches, like the taped correspondence with your psychiatrist or the books on the shelf written by that kid from the previous game, bring you up to speed without beating you over the head with too much exposition.
You do feel for this girl and what she’s going through, which is maybe why I’m charitably disposed toward these games despite their flaws. It’s sad to see her reduced to a paranoid shut-in, considering how fundamentally brave she is. I don’t know about you, but I’d have made it to the first time that thing in the mask was standing behind me in the mirror and then I’d be out the door like a cartoon with a trail of smoke behind me.
Oh, that @%#^!*& monkey’s back, too, so watch out.