The highly anticipated sequel to the beloved indie game Oxenfree, Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals, attempts to live up to its predecessor’s success. Developed by Night School Studio, which was acquired by Netflix in 2021, the game is part of Netflix’s growing library of adventure games.
While Oxenfree 2 retains some of the original’s strengths, it falls short in certain aspects, making it a good but not great experience.
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals Review
Setting and Characters
In Oxenfree 2, players take on the role of Riley, who partners with her new co-worker Jacob, both of whom have different experiences with their hometown, Camena Coast. The game’s events are triggered when a transmitter malfunction disrupts mysterious activities on Edwards Island, the setting of the first game.
Players will traverse the town using radio and walkie-talkies, with occasional puzzles and interactions with otherworldly entities.
Gameplay and Exploration
Oxenfree 2 excels in its exploration and world-building. Camena Coast is a beautifully crafted environment, with each part of the town offering a distinct atmosphere. Players discover the game’s narrative through banter, scripted events, and environmental details. Hidden collectables, such as Maggie Adler’s letters, add depth to the world and provide context for both games.
Characters and Themes
The game explores the lives of older characters, Riley and Jacob, who are struggling with their circumstances. This approach allows for a more relatable experience for some players, deviating from the traditional coming-of-age narrative seen in the first game.
Oxenfree 2 successfully delves into themes of time, perspective, and different views of the same place or event, adding depth to the storytelling. You may also view the official GameSpot tweet provided below-
— GameSpot (@GameSpot) July 12, 2023
While the game offers multiple endings, they lack the ambiguity and sense of foreboding present in the first game. Each ending feels too neat and contradicts the game’s central themes of time travel and inevitability. The sense of mystery and unresolved tension is somewhat lost, leaving players with a more conclusive, but less intriguing conclusion.
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals is a well-written, exploration-driven adventure game that delivers an engaging and worthwhile experience. While it falls short of replicating the soul and drama of its predecessor, the game’s strong world-building, compelling characters, and exploration mechanics make it a game worth playing and finishing.
Fans of the first game will find familiarity and additional depth, but new players can easily dive into the game’s captivating narrative. Despite its minor flaws, Oxenfree 2 manages to deliver an enjoyable journey through time and mystery.