Oxenfree II: Misplaced Alerts Appears Like Oxenfree, However Higher

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals Looks Like Oxenfree, But Better

Picture: Night time College Studio

The haunting, narratively experimental Oxenfree got here out again in 2016 to rapturous opinions, combining a coming-of-age story with some severely unnerving supernatural goings-on involving radios, triangles, and one thing ready past a rift in house and time.

Oxenfree’s distinctive tone, aesthetic, and setting, plus its bold dynamic dialogue system, rocketed Night time College Studio into the leagues of different wonderful narrative-focused studios, alongside names like Campo Santo and Telltale. Because of this it wasn’t too stunning to search out out that Night time College could be the primary online game studio to be acquired by Netflix, because the streaming large prepares to make strikes into recreation growth.

Oxenfree II Screen 3
Picture: Night time College Studio

However we’re not right here to speak concerning the Netflix deal — we’re right here to speak about our first have a look at Oxenfree II: Misplaced Alerts, the sequel that we got a have a look at throughout a current on-line meet with builders. Introduced in Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase earlier this yr and revealed by MWM Interactive, the sport is extra cinematically impressed than ever, taking all the pieces that was thrilling concerning the first recreation and turning up the amount, with the good thing about Night time College’s expertise coming via.

The teenage Alex and her friends from Oxenfree are changed by an older solid: Riley Poverly, an environmental researcher returning to her hometown of Camena, and a buddy of hers from the previous, Jacob. The 2 will accompany one another as Riley makes an attempt to be taught extra a few native mysterious cult referred to as “Parentage”, who’re attempting to open a portal to carry one thing via — one thing harmful.

Oxenfree II Screen 2
Picture: Night time College Studio

Loads of Oxenfree II will, like the primary recreation, contain strolling from place to position, fixing mild environmental puzzles and making dialogue decisions as Riley and Jacob chat with one another. There are moments of pressure that spring out of decisions you’ve made — Riley fell off a cliff at one level, as a result of she was over-confident about making a bounce — in addition to totally different outcomes that may have a snowball impact. There’s even the potential of lacking out on explicit branches since you took too lengthy to say one thing… or since you didn’t wait lengthy sufficient.

In fact, the artwork is what actually set the primary recreation aside when it got here out, and that’s higher than ever, too. The “painterly” really feel is comparable, however extra detailed, and now there is a map with a bunch of notes added as you go, to remind you of quests you’ve taken on or belongings you’ve discovered. It’s fairly a stunning contact, and makes the sport appear fairly natural — quite a bit like fellow West Coast narrative exploration recreation Firewatch.

Oxenfree II Screen 6
Picture: Night time College Studio

In fact, all of that’s fairly just like Oxenfree, which might be welcome information to those that loved the primary recreation — however what’s new? you may ask.

Effectively, there are recent mechanics, to begin with, that are largely centred across the Walkie-Talkie that Riley has. You’ll sometimes obtain chilly calls on the gadget, that are generally from inhabitants of Camena, and generally from thriller callers, and Riley can select whether or not or to not reply in any respect. Generally these calls can information her, or give her quests; different instances they’ll simply creep you out. Within the preview, Riley will get a name from somebody who says “you understand who that is,” regardless of Riley seemingly having no concept… after which cryptically, they are saying they’re going to “offer you house to determine it out”. Intriguing!

Talking of creepy, there’s loads of the type of creepy goings-on that made Oxenfree so darn compelling: bizarre anomalies can present you flash-forwards or premonitions of horrifying futures, the place our bodies float face-down within the lake, and rifts into parallel dimensions can whisk you to long-forgotten instances the place it would end up that Riley can affect the longer term by messing with the previous.

Within the preview we noticed Riley and Jacob get caught in a collapsed mine, and with no method via they’re compelled to search out and step via a time portal again to 1899, when the mine shaft elevator was working… solely to search out out that they may have been the reason for the mine collapse within the first place. Now that is the type of complicated time paradox stuff we signed up for!

The writing is extra mature consistent with the brand new, older characters, who’ve sassy, sarcastic banter between them. Riley appears fairly deadpan and dry, and Jacob looks as if a little bit of a nervous nerd who can’t cease speaking — in an endearing method.

Oxenfree II Screen 4
Picture: Night time College Studio

To this point, Oxenfree II: Misplaced Alerts seems prefer it’s shaping as much as comply with a lot of the identical vibe that the unique Oxenfree did, and certainly, the builders have even gone again to Oxenfree to add fascinating updates that tie the 2 video games collectively narratively.

It’s not a derivative, or a completely totally different sequel, then; it’s an identical setting with new characters, new mechanics, new themes to discover, and a brand new color palette, too, taking the sport away from the green-and-red of the final recreation and into an autumnal orange. Frankly, that’s precisely what we have been hoping for: a extra polished, skilled tackle the timey-wimey triangle horror of the primary recreation.

Oxenfree II: Misplaced Alerts is scheduled for a 2022 launch.

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