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When you go back to your childhood home, or back to the park you used to go to in college, is it the same experience you originally had? They are the same places and to your knowledge they look exactly the same. But now that you’re more experienced, wiser (hopefully) and maybe a little grayer, rereading old bases will always be different.
What is that Night studio memo for the sequel of Oxenfree, aptly named Oxenfree II: Lost signal. The developers held a preview event to showcase small pieces of the upcoming game and talk about its themes and a return to a game world they didn’t originally intend to film. how come back.
When viewing the temporary preview for In the upcoming indie game, I got to see the island where the story will take place, as well as two of the main characters in the game: Riley and Jacob, who were previously playable. Immediately, the game’s aesthetic will be instantly familiar to anyone who has experienced the original Oxenfree. However, the developers have added a lot of subtle changes to the game to make it feel more modern and different. Moving the parallax in the background makes traveling across the island more cinematic. The attention to detail in the environment itself and the introduction of radio communications that allowed Riley to speak to various people on the island also helped change the recipe. All these aspects allow Signal lost is its own game on its own terms.
When thinking about making a sequel, Night School Studios didn’t want the original game’s cast to become “the Scooby-Doo gang” and go around solving various paranormal mysteries. The characters and story are not necessarily the same, despite the core pillars of the first season Oxenfree will be found in its sequel. The Oxenfree series is a coming-of-age story for characters at a pivotal point in their lives, with mystical spookiness and some weirdness sprinkled along the way. That holds true in the sequel, even with its tweaks.
A new perspective
Instead of following Alex and the other characters from the first game, Signal lost will mainly follow Riley. She is unique compared to Alex and the other members of his party in that she is not a child, but in fact in her 30s. Throughout the game, Riley will have a unique perspective. thoughtful about the events going on around her, for she was not a bright child when she saw everything for the first time. She has the experience below, allowing her to look back on her life to determine where it’s going from here.
This is what the developers wanted to really focus on: Letting the characters go through the transitions of their lives making important decisions. It’s a rich source to exploit, and the developers want players in a position to make important choices during their gameplay. Riley helps with this by becoming a full-fledged adult and going through her second major life change. Even if the player doesn’t have the full context, her choices and actions still carry the weight of the past on them.
Media sequels often feel like something that can be pinned to the original, like a literal expansion or “season two.” However, Night School Studio wanted the sequel to be an extension or an add-on, to be its own standalone story, even if the foundation was already solidly built by the original game. It can feel very similar at times, but with the benefit of time and experience, it will feel like an origin story of its own.
Oxenfree 2: Lost signal will launch sometime in 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.