Shacknews - John Keefer

Bethesda promised us a Prey demo a week before the full game release, and it is finally out in the wild. We knew in advance it would be console only, and indeed there is no joy for PC users, who can console themselves with the system specs for the game.

The demo takes player through Morgan Yu's discovery that all is not right aboard the space research facility Talos I, as the alien Typhons have broken containment. Don't drink the coffee, not because it's bad, but because the cup might eat you. You'll get a look at some of the Typhon abilities that you can assimilate by injecting a substance in your eye, as well as some of the crazy new weapons in the game, like the GLOO Cannon that can get you out of sticky situations and put the aliens in them.

Depending on your play style, you'll get an hour of play, more or less, which should help you decide whether you should drop the cash–if you haven't already–when the game comes out on May 5 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Prey is due out in just under a week, and Bethesda has released a demo alongside its finalized recommended PC specs. It also released its list of Xbox Achievements and PlayStation Trophies, spoilers and all, and one in particular stood out.

A post on the Bethesda Blog has all the achievements and trophies listed, and right near the bottom of the General (non-spoiler) section is one that reads "Press Sneak" awarded for "Read all the emails on Talos 1." 

The reference is a little too specific not to relate to an embarrassing incident from 2013, when Bethesda was playing coy about Arkane's involvement in Prey while also juggling a relationship with developer Human Head. Sites had published reports that Arkane Austin was rebooting Prey 2, leading to public denials from the publisher. Then, leaked emails published on Kotaku confirmed not only that the reports were true, but that Arkane creative director Raphael Colantonio had instructed his staff not to answer any questions from the press. And he did it in such a colorful way that it lived in infamy.

"Now that the news is out, we'll be contacted left and right by press sneak fucks who will want to know more," Colantonio said. "Please don't answer to any of their requests."

It's reasonable enough to be protective of secrets and want to preserve a planned promotional roll-out, but the phrasing mash-up was so strange and hilarious that it's became an accidental meme. With the release of 'Prey 2' finally upon us, and four years removed from their unconvincing denials, it's nice to see a sign that Bethesda and Arkane are in on the joke.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Morgan Yu is slowly approaching is date with destiny and the Typhons on May 5, so Bethesda has released the system specifications for PC users so players can make sure they have what it take to take back Talos I with few performance issues.

The specs aren't too cumbersome:

Minimum

  • CPU: Intel i5-2400, AMD FX-8320
  • GPU: GTX 660 2GB, AMD Radeon 7850 2GB
  • Memory: 8 GB

Recommended

  • CPU: Intel i7-2600K, AMD FX-8350
  • GPU: GTX 970 4GB, AMD R9 290 4GB
  • Memory: 16 GB

If you have the better graphics card, Bethesda has also released the different "advanced settings" you will be able to tweak in the game as well:

  • Object Detail
  • Shadow Quality
  • Texture Quality
  • Anisotropic Filtering
  • Anti-Aliasing
  • Horizontal Field of View
  • Screen Space Directional Occlusion
  • Screen Space Reflections

You don't have to worry about console spec, except for hard drive space, so set aside 42GB on your PS4 and 38GB on Xbox One, which should cover the download, the launch day patch (yes, there will be one), and all future DLC.

The game will be available for pre-load today on Xbox One and tomorrow on PS4, while PC users will need to wait until May 3 to start their early download. The game will unlock at midnight by territory on console and at midnight Eastern on PC.

If you want to get a look at the first hour of the game, Bethesda also released a demo today for consoles only. But don't despair, PC folks. You did get your system specs.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Ubisoft announced this morning that For Honor Season 2, titled "Shadow and Might," will begin on May 16 and launch simultaneously on all platforms.

For Honor's second season will pack two additional heroes, plus extra maps and customization items. Ubisoft will also roll in gameplay changes. Maps and gameplay tweaks will be made available for free to all players. However, players who bought the game's season pass will get the two new heroes, Shinobi and Centurion, for free on the 16th. Everyone else will be able to purchase them using in-game steel beginning May 23.

"Additionally, Season Two will introduce a new level of gear rarity: Epic gear, which will increase the maximum gear score along with a balancing overhaul for the entire gear stats system," per a press release sent by Ubisoft. "Following a three week off season, the Faction War will reset on May 16 as the battle for supremacy between all three factions enters its second chapter."

For Honor Season 2's additional maps, Forge and Temple Garden, bring more battlefield selections to the table for multiplayer gameplay.

Shacknews - John Keefer

We knew the Switch had a good launch, rivaling the Wii's benchmark for Nintendo hardware successes. But the company has officially confirmed to investors that the Switch had even better numbers than expected in its first month.

The console-handheld hybrid sold more than 2.74 million units in March, better than the 2.4 projected by analysts and crushing the 2 million goal by Nintendo itself before the Switch launched. In its usual understated way, the company said in its 2016 annual fiscal report that the launch "promising" and said it expects to sell more than 10 million in fiscal year 2017, ending next March, for a total of almost 13 million.

By comparison, the Wii has sold 13.56 million units since its 2012 launch, so Nintendo's predictions for next fiscal year seem to indicate the company feels bullish on Switch's chances to surpass the previous sales numbers of the Wii.

The launch was supported strongly by sales of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with 2.76 million units sold just for Switch. Adding in the Wii U version, the game sold more than 3.84 million copies.

Overall, software sales for the Switch hit more than 5.46 million units. The comsole will continue to be supported with strong first-party titles such as the recently released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Arms, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey coming later this year.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Atlus had the best of intentions when it issued guidelines and a directive to gamers about streaming its highly anticipated Persona 5. It didn't want streamers to put everything online, including plot-point spoilers, that might ruin the game for people that wanted to experience it on their own. Apparently, the fans want the game spoiled.

In a new directive, the company has backed down from its drop-dead "I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED" end-of-streaming date of July 7, and instead has extended the in-game date of 11/19, as the story prepares for the final act. No posting of video or streaming" will be allowed past that in-game date. 

"We recognize that our fans are the reason why the game is the major worldwide success it is, and we continue to want them to be able to enjoy the game without fear of being spoiled," Atlus said in a post on the official site. "However, we also heard your issues with the guidelines and have decided to revise them."

Apparently, some fans saw the deadline as antagonistic, something that Atlus apologized for. "We want to be transparent about what we do, and the reason we released the guidelines was to give streamers the right information up front. It was never our intention to threaten people with copyright strikes, but we clearly chose the wrong tone for how to communicate this," it said.

Kudos to Atlus for the transparency as well as the rather quick mea culpa to its previous guidelines. It's a positive example of a company working with its community and treating them as individuals rather than just open wallets.

Shacknews - David Craddock

By the time Outlast 2 fades to black, developer Red Barrels has given you all the pieces to the game's ending. The catch is that those pieces can be arranged in different ways.

Many aspects of Outlast 2 remain open to interpretation. That was by design. Red Barrels crafted a survival-horror adventure that will keep fans talking for years, debating Blake's hallucinations and arguing over the fate of Lynn's baby. We've studied the game's ending and compiled evidence to frame what seems to be the most popular explanation so far.

It goes without saying that spoilers follow. If you have yet to see the ending for yourself, or want to talk it over with other players first, avert your eyes until later.

Lynn and the Baby

Following a tidal wave of murderous cultists and hallucinations that made Blake (and you) question what was fact and what was fiction, Blake makes his way to the mines. There, he finds Lynn, his wife, who gives birth while the storm reaches its crescendo. Lynn dies after seeing the baby safely in Blake's hands. Before she slips away, she says, "There's nothing there."

The meaning behind those three words divided Outlast 2's fan base. Lynn, on the brink of death, could have been referring to the absence of heaven or hell. Remember, she, Blake, and their friend Jessica attended Catholic school as children. Whatever happened to them over the years since, religion formed the bedrock of their beliefs.

Another interpretation is that Lynn was referring to the baby Blake held in his hands—or, rather, was not holding. Blake's had more than his fair share of hallucinations. Could it be that the child was another in a long line of illusions?

Knoth sees the baby, which seems to reinforce the notion that the baby was real. Consider this, though: Knoth was exposed to the same radio signals that corrupted Blake's mind. If the baby is another hallucination, Blake and Knoth might share it.

Visions of the Past

Blake leaves the bodies of Lynn and Knoth. The background warps, changing into the school where he spent his youth. Jessica appears; rope burns decorate her neck, evidence of her suicide. Jessica guides Blake to the kitchen where they used to play. They kneel and offer up a prayer. The screen fades, and the credits roll.

Outlast 2's final scene is rife with symbolism. Although its meaning is up for debate, Blake willingly following Jessica and kneeling to pray alongside her can be seen as Blake giving in to his guilt over her suicide. He never forgot Jessica begging him to stay with her on the day she took her life. Guilt gnawing away at his conscience, coupled with the effects of the signals emanating from the radio tower, broke what remained of Blake's mind. Or, perhaps, paved the way for acceptance and peace.

Which brings us back to Lynn, the baby, and Knoth. If Blake's mind was broken—and it did seem to be—perhaps the nightmarish visions became his new reality. A tapestry woven from hallucinations, terror, and ghosts from his past.

There's much more to Outlast 2's story than meets the eye. Read our guide to find out how Outlast 2 connects to the first game. If a section of the game is giving you trouble, learn how to find bandages and heal

Shacknews - David Craddock

By the time Outlast 2 fades to black, developer Red Barrels has given you all the pieces to the game's ending. The catch is that those pieces can be arranged in different ways.

Many aspects of Outlast 2 remain open to interpretation. That was by design. Red Barrels crafted a survival-horror adventure that will keep fans talking for years, debating Blake's hallucinations and arguing over the fate of Lynn's baby. We've studied the game's ending and compiled evidence to frame what seems to be the most popular explanation so far.

It goes without saying that spoilers follow. If you have yet to see the ending for yourself, or want to talk it over with other players first, avert your eyes until later.

Lynn and the Baby

Following a tidal wave of murderous cultists and hallucinations that made Blake (and you) question what was fact and what was fiction, Blake makes his way to the mines. There, he finds Lynn, his wife, who gives birth while the storm reaches its crescendo. Lynn dies after seeing the baby safely in Blake's hands. Before she slips away, she says, "There's nothing there."

The meaning behind those three words divided Outlast 2's fan base. Lynn, on the brink of death, could have been referring to the absence of heaven or hell. Remember, she, Blake, and their friend Jessica attended Catholic school as children. Whatever happened to them over the years since, religion formed the bedrock of their beliefs.

Another interpretation is that Lynn was referring to the baby Blake held in his hands—or, rather, was not holding. Blake's had more than his fair share of hallucinations. Could it be that the child was another in a long line of illusions?

Knoth sees the baby, which seems to reinforce the notion that the baby was real. Consider this, though: Knoth was exposed to the same radio signals that corrupted Blake's mind. If the baby is another hallucination, Blake and Knoth might share it.

Visions of the Past

Blake leaves the bodies of Lynn and Knoth. The background warps, changing into the school where he spent his youth. Jessica appears; rope burns decorate her neck, evidence of her suicide. Jessica guides Blake to the kitchen where they used to play. They kneel and offer up a prayer. The screen fades, and the credits roll.

Outlast 2's final scene is rife with symbolism. Although its meaning is up for debate, Blake willingly following Jessica and kneeling to pray alongside her can be seen as Blake giving in to his guilt over her suicide. He never forgot Jessica begging him to stay with her on the day she took her life. Guilt gnawing away at his conscience, coupled with the effects of the signals emanating from the radio tower, broke what remained of Blake's mind. Or, perhaps, paved the way for acceptance and peace.

Which brings us back to Lynn, the baby, and Knoth. If Blake's mind was broken—and it did seem to be—perhaps the nightmarish visions became his new reality. A tapestry woven from hallucinations, terror, and ghosts from his past.

There's much more to Outlast 2's story than meets the eye. Read our guide to find out how Outlast 2 connects to the first game. If a section of the game is giving you trouble, learn how to find bandages and heal

Shacknews - David Craddock

No one would fault you for running screaming through Outlast 2, ignoring most of the files and videos you find along your path while creatures out of nightmare nip at your heels. You would, however, miss out on one of the strangest and most engrossing survival-horror stories in years.

Whether you tried to make sense of what was happening in Outlast 2 or focused purely on the game's thrills and chills, this game will bring you up to speed on the main story beats and show you how the sequel connects to the original Outlast from 2013.

Be aware that this guide does not shy away from spoilers! Steer clear until you've finished Outlast 2, or use the guide's headers to get answers only to specific questions and unravel the rest for yourself.

How Does Outlast 2 Tie Into Outlast?

At a glance, all the crazy happenings at Temple Gate seems unrelated to the crucible investigative reporter Miles Upshur went through at Mount Massive Asylum. In point of fact, some juicy tidbits of information draw tenuous connections between Outlast and Outlast 2.

Developer Red Barrels admitted early on that Outlast 2 would not be a direct sequel to the original game—meaning anyone could play the sequel without needing to get caught up first. One nod to the first game is found in the "Old Traveler" document. The report references one Jennifer "Jenny" Roland, pathologist from Outlast.

The connections run deeper. Roland was employed by Murkoff Corp., the company responsible for reopening Mount Massive Asylum. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tie to previous events, but does raise questions over how (or if) representatives from Murkoff had a role in constructing or operating the radio tower that broadcasts signals capable of inducing mind control.

What's Up with Outlast 2's Blake?

At the outset of Outlast 2, journalist Blake Langermann wakes up from a nightmare concerning his friend Jessica Gray, whom Blake and his wife, Lynn, knew from their grade school days. As events unfold, a bright light leads Blake's helicopter to crash. He's plagued by hallucinations of Jessica and her suicide, leaving him—and you—wondering how Blake's childhood friend relate to what's going on in the present.

Once again, we cite the "Old Traveler" file. This document and several others provide evidence that the bright light that brought down Blake's helicopter could be the result of microwave signals from the radio tower. While portions of Outlast 2's story are open to interpretation, evidence points to microwave signals scrambling Blake's brain and weakening his grip on reality. That, in turn, could be the source of Temple Gate's populace turning violent and the advent of their cultish religion.

As you plunge deeper into Temple Gate, you'll experience stronger hallucinations. One manifests a demonic entity. Outlast 2's community of fans suggest that the demon could be Father Loutermilch, a teacher from the Catholic school that Jessica and Blake attended. The father's demonic form is metaphorical; Blake sees him as the antagonist in the story of his and Jessica's childhoods, leading him to view the nefarious priest as his antithesis, a demon.

Outlast 2 ends with Temple Gate's villagers murdering each other in a bloody frenzy. Refer to "Old Traveler," which says that those within range of the radio tower's signals lose their minds.

Is Lynn's Baby Real?

Outlast 2 throws the reproductive cycle into overdrive by, apparently, showing Lynn go from newly pregnant to nine months along in one night—leading players to wonder if she was ever pregnant at all.

Bear in mind that Outlast 2's story and characters are rooted in spirituality and religion. Blake, Lynn, and Jessica attended a Catholic school. Growing up, they perceived Father Loutermilch Father Loutermilch as a villain, and Blake sees him as a demon. That symbolism leads us to Lynn's final words to Blake: "There's nothing there."

What did she mean? There's no way to be sure, although two interpretations seem likely. The first pertains to Lynn's religious background: Perhaps, as she died, she realized that the promise of an afterlife was false, and that only darkness awaits the dead. The second interpretation is more literal. Blake holds their baby—but is the baby real, or another hallucination?

To many fans, the second theory doesn't hold water. Another character, Knoth, arrives and reacts to the baby's presence. Keep in mind, though, that Knoth was affected by the radio tower's signals as well. It might seem unlikely that several people could share the same hallucination, but stranger things have happened in fiction.

Eager to dig deeper into Outlast 2's stories and disprove theories or pose one of your own? Refer to our guide to find the locations of all recordings and documents.

Shacknews - David Craddock

No one would fault you for running screaming through Outlast 2, ignoring most of the files and videos you find along your path while creatures out of nightmare nip at your heels. You would, however, miss out on one of the strangest and most engrossing survival-horror stories in years.

Whether you tried to make sense of what was happening in Outlast 2 or focused purely on the game's thrills and chills, this game will bring you up to speed on the main story beats and show you how the sequel connects to the original Outlast from 2013.

Be aware that this guide does not shy away from spoilers! Steer clear until you've finished Outlast 2, or use the guide's headers to get answers only to specific questions and unravel the rest for yourself.

How Does Outlast 2 Tie Into Outlast?

At a glance, all the crazy happenings at Temple Gate seems unrelated to the crucible investigative reporter Miles Upshur went through at Mount Massive Asylum. In point of fact, some juicy tidbits of information draw tenuous connections between Outlast and Outlast 2.

Developer Red Barrels admitted early on that Outlast 2 would not be a direct sequel to the original game—meaning anyone could play the sequel without needing to get caught up first. One nod to the first game is found in the "Old Traveler" document. The report references one Jennifer "Jenny" Roland, pathologist from Outlast.

The connections run deeper. Roland was employed by Murkoff Corp., the company responsible for reopening Mount Massive Asylum. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tie to previous events, but does raise questions over how (or if) representatives from Murkoff had a role in constructing or operating the radio tower that broadcasts signals capable of inducing mind control.

What's Up with Outlast 2's Blake?

At the outset of Outlast 2, journalist Blake Langermann wakes up from a nightmare concerning his friend Jessica Gray, whom Blake and his wife, Lynn, knew from their grade school days. As events unfold, a bright light leads Blake's helicopter to crash. He's plagued by hallucinations of Jessica and her suicide, leaving him—and you—wondering how Blake's childhood friend relate to what's going on in the present.

Once again, we cite the "Old Traveler" file. This document and several others provide evidence that the bright light that brought down Blake's helicopter could be the result of microwave signals from the radio tower. While portions of Outlast 2's story are open to interpretation, evidence points to microwave signals scrambling Blake's brain and weakening his grip on reality. That, in turn, could be the source of Temple Gate's populace turning violent and the advent of their cultish religion.

As you plunge deeper into Temple Gate, you'll experience stronger hallucinations. One manifests a demonic entity. Outlast 2's community of fans suggest that the demon could be Father Loutermilch, a teacher from the Catholic school that Jessica and Blake attended. The father's demonic form is metaphorical; Blake sees him as the antagonist in the story of his and Jessica's childhoods, leading him to view the nefarious priest as his antithesis, a demon.

Outlast 2 ends with Temple Gate's villagers murdering each other in a bloody frenzy. Refer to "Old Traveler," which says that those within range of the radio tower's signals lose their minds.

Is Lynn's Baby Real?

Outlast 2 throws the reproductive cycle into overdrive by, apparently, showing Lynn go from newly pregnant to nine months along in one night—leading players to wonder if she was ever pregnant at all.

Bear in mind that Outlast 2's story and characters are rooted in spirituality and religion. Blake, Lynn, and Jessica attended a Catholic school. Growing up, they perceived Father Loutermilch Father Loutermilch as a villain, and Blake sees him as a demon. That symbolism leads us to Lynn's final words to Blake: "There's nothing there."

What did she mean? There's no way to be sure, although two interpretations seem likely. The first pertains to Lynn's religious background: Perhaps, as she died, she realized that the promise of an afterlife was false, and that only darkness awaits the dead. The second interpretation is more literal. Blake holds their baby—but is the baby real, or another hallucination?

To many fans, the second theory doesn't hold water. Another character, Knoth, arrives and reacts to the baby's presence. Keep in mind, though, that Knoth was affected by the radio tower's signals as well. It might seem unlikely that several people could share the same hallucination, but stranger things have happened in fiction.

Eager to dig deeper into Outlast 2's stories and disprove theories or pose one of your own? Refer to our guide to find the locations of all recordings and documents.

...

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