The primary OXENFREE game, launched in 2016, follows excessive schooler Alex and her cohort of mates on Edwards Island as they by accident virtually launch the stressed ghosts caught between this world and the following. OXENFREE II: Misplaced Indicators is its sequel, following long-graduated Riley as she will get trapped in the identical vicious and troublesome decision-making cycle as Alex, battling the identical spirits.
Although that is technically a evaluate of OXENFREE II for the Nintendo Change, it is onerous to speak in regards to the second with out speaking in regards to the first. So think about this a have a look at the franchise as a complete, and a suggestion that sure, you need to spend a weekend binge-playing each of those video games in succession to completely grasp the story developer Night time Faculty Studio has crafted.
In OXENFREE II, you play as Riley, who returns to her hometown of Camena to take a job investigating unusual native radio frequencies. It is clear Riley left the city for some robust causes, and she or he’ll grapple with the ghosts of her previous (and future) whereas making an attempt to faucet into the unusual frequencies.
All through the journey, you’ll join (or not) with numerous individuals, many by means of the walkie-talkie given to you in the beginning of your task.
Regardless of these characters being little greater than voices over the radio, they’ve full-fledged personalities that bounce out at you. Shelley, a park ranger, is a wealth of information on the native cult attempting to contact the misplaced spirits. Maria, the native highschool radio’s nighttime DJ will spill the tea on her classmates (who you will meet round city). Nick, the lonely fisherman, turns into a good-natured digital companion to verify in with all through the night time.
As a dialogue-driven title, OXENFREE II improved upon its unique gameplay mechanics in a approach that made the story infinitely extra immersive. Whereas taking part in by means of the primary, I’d typically by accident reduce conversations quick when advancing to the following location or making an attempt to answer earlier than Alex’s dialogue choices disappeared. Within the sequel, you will know if a dialog will proceed when transitioning between locations, serving to you higher tempo your self.
The sport’s sprawling dialog bushes had been pure, flowing higher than many conversations I’ve held with strangers. In fact, it helps that Jacob, your former classmate-turned-co-worker, might maintain the dialog by himself if left to his personal units, but it surely additionally offers the companion a distinctly dorky-yet-loveable character. Whereas his ramblings could seem nonsensical at occasions, Jacob’s character was a vibrant spot in even the darkest moments.
Regardless of the distinctly totally different protagonist and site from OXENFREE I, it does not take lengthy into your playthrough of OXENFREE II to comprehend simply how intertwined the 2 tales are. Night time Faculty Studio did extra than simply construct upon the lore crafted for the primary recreation — the builders wove the 2 video games collectively so intricately it is onerous to stroll away with out trying in awe on the tapestry of lore left behind.
The sport takes about seven hours to finish — only a bit an excessive amount of to devour in a single sitting, however with a quick-enough tempo that you’re going to wish to dive again in as quickly as attainable.
OXENFREE II is extra a companion recreation than a real sequel, and people trying to discover each attainable story department can alternate between the 2 video games to observe the lore threaded by means of every.
By the point the ultimate credit rolled on OXENFREE II, I used to be shell-shocked and on the verge of tears, asking myself a sequence of questions I did not assume I would ever get the solutions to. The primary (and solely spoiler-free) one circling round in my head: Did I make the correct determination?