'Outlast 2' Patch Tweaks Difficulty, Fixes Bugs

You know what's scarier than a first-person horror game that has you avoiding homicidal maniacs with nothing but a camera, a handful of batteries, and your wits? Problems with the game's difficulty, and technical issues that make it harder to perform critical tasks or appreciate the game's atmosphere. Red Barrel released a new patch for Outlast 2 to resolve all those bugaboos so you can enjoy the game in all its terrifying splendor.

Outlast 2 has a similar premise to its predecessor: You're a cameraman who finds himself in an unlikely situation that quickly goes from bad to worse. Where the first game focused on a mental asylum, however, Outlast 2 heads to rural Arizona to show just how scary a small town can be. You'll spend most of your time creeping through a village, hunting for secrets, and trying to make sure you have enough batteries to keep your camera running.

Like other horror games, Outlast 2 ratchets up your sense of fear by making your character relatively powerless. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but the camera has nothing on the machete. The trick is making sure the game is still fair despite these problems, and in the notes for this first patch, Red Barrels said that it didn't get that part quite right. Here's what the developer said about this update in a Steam post:

Today's patch introduces some minor adjustments to the game’s difficulty in key areas and moments. On Normal difficulty this will offer players a more appropriately balanced experience while still maintaining higher levels of challenge on Hard and Nightmare difficulties.

Specific changes to the difficulty weren't detailed, probably because listing them would spoil parts of the game. Red Barrels did offer more information on the other bug fixes, however, and said that the Simplified Chinese translation is expected to debut some time next week. Bug fixes addressed problems with alternate controller mappings affecting the camcorder UI, saves disappearing if Steam fails to initialize, and "multiple rare crashes."

Red Barrels also introduced a few new command line parameters to let you further customize the game: "-refreshrate 60" lets you change the desired refresh rate by changing "60" to some other number, "-notexturelimit" removes VRAM-based texture size limits, and "-borderless" enables borderless fullscreen. You can learn more about the rest of the changes made in this patch on its Steam page.

The patch is currently available on PC. Red Barrels said in a Facebook post that it's "coming soon to consoles." The developer also said that Outlast 2 recouped its development costs in its first week of availability. Physical versions of the game are only available as Outlast Trinity--which includes Outlast, the Outlast: Whistleblower downloadable content, and Outlast 2--on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can purchase Outlast 2 on its own from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store, however.

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NameOutlast 2
DeveloperRed Barrels
PublisherRed Barrels
PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Where To BuySteamPlayStation NetworkXbox StoreAmazonBest BuyWalmart
Release DateApril 24, 2017
Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.