Outlast 2: Making Sense of the Story

All the videos and documents you find lying around in Outlast 2 weave a story as confusing as it is terrifying. We'll connect the dots (OF BLOOD) for you.

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No one would fault you for running screaming through Outlast 2, ignoring most of the files and videos you find along your path while creatures out of nightmare nip at your heels. You would, however, miss out on one of the strangest and most engrossing survival-horror stories in years.

Whether you tried to make sense of what was happening in Outlast 2 or focused purely on the game's thrills and chills, this game will bring you up to speed on the main story beats and show you how the sequel connects to the original Outlast from 2013.

Be aware that this guide does not shy away from spoilers! Steer clear until you've finished Outlast 2, or use the guide's headers to get answers only to specific questions and unravel the rest for yourself.

How Does Outlast 2 Tie Into Outlast?

At a glance, all the crazy happenings at Temple Gate seems unrelated to the crucible investigative reporter Miles Upshur went through at Mount Massive Asylum. In point of fact, some juicy tidbits of information draw tenuous connections between Outlast and Outlast 2.

Developer Red Barrels admitted early on that Outlast 2 would not be a direct sequel to the original game—meaning anyone could play the sequel without needing to get caught up first. One nod to the first game is found in the "Old Traveler" document. The report references one Jennifer "Jenny" Roland, pathologist from Outlast.

The connections run deeper. Roland was employed by Murkoff Corp., the company responsible for reopening Mount Massive Asylum. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tie to previous events, but does raise questions over how (or if) representatives from Murkoff had a role in constructing or operating the radio tower that broadcasts signals capable of inducing mind control.

What's Up with Outlast 2's Blake?

At the outset of Outlast 2, journalist Blake Langermann wakes up from a nightmare concerning his friend Jessica Gray, whom Blake and his wife, Lynn, knew from their grade school days. As events unfold, a bright light leads Blake's helicopter to crash. He's plagued by hallucinations of Jessica and her suicide, leaving him—and you—wondering how Blake's childhood friend relate to what's going on in the present.

Once again, we cite the "Old Traveler" file. This document and several others provide evidence that the bright light that brought down Blake's helicopter could be the result of microwave signals from the radio tower. While portions of Outlast 2's story are open to interpretation, evidence points to microwave signals scrambling Blake's brain and weakening his grip on reality. That, in turn, could be the source of Temple Gate's populace turning violent and the advent of their cultish religion.

As you plunge deeper into Temple Gate, you'll experience stronger hallucinations. One manifests a demonic entity. Outlast 2's community of fans suggest that the demon could be Father Loutermilch, a teacher from the Catholic school that Jessica and Blake attended. The father's demonic form is metaphorical; Blake sees him as the antagonist in the story of his and Jessica's childhoods, leading him to view the nefarious priest as his antithesis, a demon.

Outlast 2 ends with Temple Gate's villagers murdering each other in a bloody frenzy. Refer to "Old Traveler," which says that those within range of the radio tower's signals lose their minds.

Is Lynn's Baby Real?

Outlast 2 throws the reproductive cycle into overdrive by, apparently, showing Lynn go from newly pregnant to nine months along in one night—leading players to wonder if she was ever pregnant at all.

Bear in mind that Outlast 2's story and characters are rooted in spirituality and religion. Blake, Lynn, and Jessica attended a Catholic school. Growing up, they perceived Father Loutermilch Father Loutermilch as a villain, and Blake sees him as a demon. That symbolism leads us to Lynn's final words to Blake: "There's nothing there."

What did she mean? There's no way to be sure, although two interpretations seem likely. The first pertains to Lynn's religious background: Perhaps, as she died, she realized that the promise of an afterlife was false, and that only darkness awaits the dead. The second interpretation is more literal. Blake holds their baby—but is the baby real, or another hallucination?

To many fans, the second theory doesn't hold water. Another character, Knoth, arrives and reacts to the baby's presence. Keep in mind, though, that Knoth was affected by the radio tower's signals as well. It might seem unlikely that several people could share the same hallucination, but stranger things have happened in fiction.

Eager to dig deeper into Outlast 2's stories and disprove theories or pose one of your own? Refer to our guide to find the locations of all recordings and documents.

Long Reads Editor