Game: One Night 2: The Beyond
Platform: PC
Style: light Lovecraft influences
Verdict: Recommended
Buy: Steam
Lovecraft Video Games received a copy of One Night 2: The Beyond to review through the Steam Curator program.

I never played any games in the One Night series before, but One Night 2: The Beyond felt perfectly fine as a standalone experience. There are two playable characters, John and Sara. John has a gun with a limited number of bullets and also more health, while Sara has a notebook that lets her make additional saves and can find bonus supplies.

While I only completed a full playthrough as John, it appeared as though the story and progression would be largely the same as Sara. It’s a fairly short game, taking about 1-2 hours to complete.

One Night 2 makes its gameplay inspirations known almost immediately. Trapped inside a sinister mansion where people are said to disappear, you begin searching for a way out while encountering locked doors, puzzles, and an environment that gradually opens up as you proceed.

It feels like a classic survival horror game in terms of structure, and although it has a menu-based combat system, it manages to present a similar feeling there as well.

You also have a Strength meter. Strength can be used to deal stronger attacks or to break down obstacles. At first, I expected this to cause a balancing act – is the item I might get beyond that obstacle worth expending my strength for? However, enough required items are located behind obstacles that it quickly lost that feeling. Health and Strength are both restored through consumables, as well as a basin located in each save room, although I was over halfway through before I learned that was possible.

As you explore, you’ll find journal entries, books, etc. that sometimes provide clues for puzzles but also shed light on the sinister events that unfolded in the mansion. While it starts out feeling more like general supernatural horror, the story definitely takes on a Lovecraftian tone as you learn more.

The classic survival horror feel is great, it has some well-placed jump scares that aren’t frequent enough to become annoying, and the story is interesting.

There are multiple endings based on how you play, and according to the patch notes, killing enemies makes it more likely that you’ll get the good ending (while using health items and saving increases your chances of getting the bad ending). This is the one thing that doesn’t sit well with me. It feels like it’s encouraging you to take the more action-focused path, an odd feature considering the games it pays homage to.

On the other hand, the bad ending felt fitting for a Lovecraftian story.

The final thing I’d caution players about is that I started encountering game-breaking bugs partway through. I couldn’t continue with the game until they were patched. This made it a more frustrating appearance, but once the technical issues are ironed out, One Night 2: The Beyond is a fun little throwback to classic survival horror games.

Buy: Steam