What’s Old is New Again

Let us begin with saying that White Noise 2 is an interesting addition to the series. The game, while managing to keep parts of the original that made it an enjoyable indie game, implemented changes that made this game feel a little more fleshed out. The game is not perfect but I do hope this review persuades you to give it a shot because as far as multiplayer horror games go it is a pretty solid title that earned the review it has below.

They Don’t Love You Like I Love you

The newest addition that strikes me right out of the gate (that if you couldnt tell by the obscure music lyric title here) is White Noise 2 starts with close to twice the amount of maps than the original game. The maps are all varied and fun. The St. John’s Hospital map along with the Eastmore College map have very tight and dark hallways. It also makes chase sequence all the more fun having to twist and weave through corridors in the hopes of losing your attacker. On the flip side to that there are a few maps such as, Varosha Campsite that are a little more open then the previous two mentioned. These maps allow the monster’s AI to attack them and track with different tactics, varying the feel of the game play a bit. There is also one map in particular that manages to have the open and terrifying spaces as well as the enclosed areas in a well done combination of the two.  While the maps differ from each other each one gives you that perfect horror feel. The escape becomes that much more terrifying because the fear of both tight enclosed and wide open give the player a sense of the unknown.

Well You Are Just Downright Creepy

The creatures are all creepy and their abilities vary pleasantly. Darcy is a personal favorite of mine, she is legitimately terrifying to see up close. During co-op games she has the ability to grab players and teleport them away from the group singling them out and making them the easier kill. However, the player can sometimes get the opportunity to find their way back to the group, so it’s not like being pulled away is a guaranteed death sentence. Olkoth is a weird mole like creature that has the ability to turn off flashlights, negating their stun for awhile, as well as the ability to put out decoys, which sound just like the tape and will also track on the player’s radar. This means, luring unsuspecting players straight into his clutches is an easy gig. Rusalka is a terrifying womanoid creature that throws out traps that will highlight a potential victim’s location, as well as, disable their flashlight. She also posseses the abilities to spawn behind characters and grab them to set up these tapeworm-like plants that spike the players sanity levels. The original Subject 23 is also playable as a DLC character named Astraroth. Subject 23 has an ability named Scarecrow that allows him to summon a false image of himself to scare players and lower sanity. He can also negate the stun effects of flashlights temporarily and teleport to the players compass targets for an ambush. Astraroth has spikes he can use to slow investigators, as well as the ability to force all players to sprint without control over the character. Not only that but he can switch spots on the map with a random investigator.

The playable investigators in White Noise 2 are unique to say the least. The character models themselves are a little on the cartoonish side, but this makes no difference. Players can currently choose from the 16 investigators (once unlucked), they have different costumes and personalities that make them stand out (which are also available to play once they are unlocked). They, of course, come with varying stats that make some characters more beneficial to others. However, regardless of looks, generally they all have one goal, stick together and survive. Their job is to collect all 8 clues and try to look good doing it.

The flashlights all grant different abilities to the selected investigator. There’s the obvious factor of the overall illumination of the light being affected. For instance, the spot light is going to be way brighter and illuminate the area better than the jack-o-lantern but the monster will likely see the player with the spotlight faster than it would the other player. I prefer to use the simple glow stick, it’s a nice balance of having the players mobility unencumbered and letting the player see a decent amount of the area. The flash lights all do varying stun damage to monsters, case in point the basic flashlight won’t stun as well as the flood light will. Players also come equipped with a bottomless amount of glow sticks which the color of is customize able. The glow sticks are supposed to slow down the monster while allowing the player to catch glimpses of their surroundings in the dark. In practice though the monsters just kind of shield their eyes from it and walk by it.

There are a plethora of in game items set to help the player. Medkits heal the player after they have been grabbed by the monster. They also help reduce the effects of the insanity brought on by ‘viewing supernatural events’. In laments terms that means being grabbed by the monster, seeing the monster, seeing idols that alert the monster to your location, etc, and then you start to lose your grip on reality. If you get too crazy you start to see hallucinations of the monster randomly, which actually brings some decent scares to the table. One time Darcy flashed on the screen as I was one moment away from the coo coo’s nest and I let out a girlish yelp and nearly fell out of my chair.

There are, however, little mini statue a player can use to confuse the monster, this will reduce his tracking skills, which defintiely comes in handy. Other items, such as the energy bars boost your speed and endurance temporarily which helps you flee down the dark hallways as you scream your lungs out. There is a transmitter in the game that lets you see exactly where one of the nearest tapes are, which helps counter act the wonky tracker that the player is given. Your flashlight runs out of batteries way faster in co-op than it does when you play solo. Thankfully the game scatters ‘recharging stations’ all over the map, which boosts up your batteries. There are some cynical cave-trolls that will point out, “That it is kind of odd that an oil lantern needs to find batteries”, but I find it is an easily over looked flaw in the mechanics if you are just playing for fun. Which is what video games are supposed to be, fun and enjoyable breaks from reality.

Playing alone or with friends makes the game feel different. The game isn’t any where near as scary when you are playing with friends, unless you crank up the difficulty. Then it scratches that same itch the original White Noise Online did. That satisfaction of overcoming the relentless monster pursuing the group. The panic that comes when one of the group is grabbed or near death. It usually adds up to a very enjoyable experience, especially when the team meshes well. Using strategies like, okay we found one tape, one person use their tracker so the rest of the group has it if we get lost. Calling out when batteries, pills, or health is found, things like this all add up to a solid co-op game. Playing the game alone makes White Noise 2 feel like a desolate, lonely, anxiety filled horror game. There is no one watching your back or helping you get needed gear, it’s just you and the monster alone in a giant area. Then your flashlight dies and you meet your old friend encompassing darkness.

It’s Not All Fun And Games…

White Noise 2 is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. One of the biggest problems found while playing was the games radar system. It does not account for the cassettes needed to beat each level spawning on the opposite side of the wall the marker leads you too. So in several instances players come up to the general area where the tape is, and as they approach it the static sound that alerts players to the tape gets louder; as it should. However, after searching like a mad man with the deafening static buzzing and a monster closing in, it is a tad frustrating to discover the cassette is on the opposite side of a wall players have no idea how to get to and in some instances back track quite a bit to be able to access. Thankfully that isn’t a huge issue on most maps, there is usually a few different pathways leading to every area.

The AI to the monster was also a tad off. Take for instance the incense item, it allows the player to track the monster for a bit to get the general feel for it’s location. Several times when playing alone the monster would be off in the distance just kind of walking in to the wall a bunch stuck in a loop, then a few rooms later it would appear behind me and start a chase. There were also a few times my party would enter a room, just to have the monster spawn in an idol and immediately disorient and attack us. It seems like an okay little mechanic to make co-op more challenging but to have it also appear in solo play is a tad masochistic as it often resulted in immediate death.

To close things out, White Noise 2 is more than the sum of its parts. While the monster AI is not always perfect and it is borderline hysterical to watch someone use an item because the character kind of just flops their arms around for a bit. White Noise 2 is still a solid title whether you choose to play alone or with friends. It offers a wide variety of maps and monsters to keep the game play feeling fresh and fun. You can finish all the maps well within in about four hours but to really soak in the atmosphere and other aspects of the game I recommend diving in for more than just the bare minimum. I personally can not wait to see what Milk Stone Studies has planned DLC wise for this game in the future.

White Noise 2 Review
The Good
  • Solid Atmosphere
  • Enjoyable Maps
  • Easy Achievements
The Bad
  • Crashes Every So Often
  • Wonky Objective Tracking
  • Odd Idol Spawns sometimes lead to instant death in Solo Play
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel