Familiarity breeds contempt, and there’s no genre more vulnerable to contempt than horror. Even the most creative scare becomes banal given enough repetition, with the magic replaced by mundanity as soon as we understand the trick to it.
Outlast 2 is proof of this fragility, of the delicate knife-edge developers walk between terror and tedium, mysterious and melodramatic. And the worst part is that, given the root cause, Outlast 2’s problems only become apparent late in the game when players have exhausted the bag of tricks and seen them again and again and again. It’s terrifying, until it’s not. Then it’s just disappointing.
Opiate of the masses
Horror is subjective of course—more than most genres. Not all of my complaints will apply to everyone, and if you’ve made it through Outlast 2 and love it then more power to you. Fear is a tricky emotion to gauge.