If you’ve read Polygon’s review of Outlast 2, you’ll know two things: first, that we rather liked the game despite being terrified all the time while playing it, and second, that it was extremely frustrating at certain moments. Developer Red Barrels has attempted to address that complaint in a patch released today.
In a post on Steam listing the patch notes, the developer said that Outlast 2 “has been a commercial success” but acknowledged that it has been watching feedback “from countless community members, let’s players, and reviews.” That feedback led the team to reconsider the level of challenge in the game.
“Today’s patch introduces some minor adjustments to the game’s difficulty in key areas and moments,” the post reads. “On Normal difficulty this will offer players a more appropriately balanced experience while still maintaining higher levels of challenge on Hard and Nightmare difficulties.”
The patch notes don’t go into specifics on what encounters were tweaked or in what ways, instead just calling it a “global rebalancing of the game difficulty.”
However, the notes do reveal one specific and important change: the in-game camera’s microphone ability no longer uses extra batteries. The microphone is one of the key new features to Outlast 2, and it allows players who are hiding in the dark to determine what direction enemies are in and how close. By not having it drain battery, it will be much easier for players to use that functionality regularly and not feel like they’re being punished for it.
The patch is also said to contain “a number of bug fixes and small improvements,” many of which are listed in the notes. These include fixes to crashes, losing saved games and more.
We haven’t been able to test the difficulty changes in Outlast 2 for ourselves, but if they’re handled well, it could turn our reserved recommendation into a much more positive one. The patch is now available on Steam for PC players and will be coming to console versions of the game soon.