Earlier this week, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals was shown off during a virtual event, where myself and other members of the press were able to watch a demo being played by developer Night School Studio. It was early footage, sure, and with it came the news of a small delay, but it looks like it’ll be worth the wait for fans of the spooky series.
Admittedly, I’m a pretty big fan of the first game — heck, I actually own six copies across different platforms, including the Limited Run Games physical version released a while back. I love Oxenfree, and so it’s with complete honesty and genuine excitement when I say Lost Signals looks like everything I wanted in a sequel to one of my favorite games.
Set five years after the events of the original, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals follows an all-new crew on their own supernatural mystery adventure. The journey of Riley Poverly will be one shaped by the choices she makes and more importantly, the choices that YOU make.
Riley is an environmental researcher investigating mysterious radio frequency signals in her hometown of Camena. These signals are causing disturbances in electronic equipment throughout the town, and it doesn’t take long for Riley to learn that supernatural forces are responsible for all the strange happenings in the area.
During the demo event, we got a glimpse at Riley’s impact on characters and her surroundings. The smooth, naturalistic conversation system from the first game is back too, and players will be talking with more than just the characters around them. Riley is able to talk to (or ignore) the residents of Camena as they reach out to her on her radio.
Sometimes it could be a wrong number, and other times, it’s someone trying to reach Riley. Either way, the conversations can lead to items, information, lore, and more. Players are able to ignore conversations if they wish but it will often mean forfeiting something, even if it’s just small details about the world around them.
While we don’t have a ton of details at this point in time, it seems Lost Signals is connected to the first game, which developer Night School Studio said will be done in a rather interesting way. During the presentation, it was revealed that rather than having these “connections” appear in the second game, the team instead chose to put them into the first game. That’s right — despite being over five years old, the first Oxenfree recently received a patch that ties into the world and story of Lost Signals. Though it remains unclear exactly how everything will tie together, it’s certainly an interesting way to connect stories and encourage players to check out the first game in the series.
Oxenfree II was aiming to release later this year, but like many other games, a delay was necessary to apply the finishing touches. It looked great when it was first announced and the early demo footage looks even better, so my mind is awash with ideas of what the team will do with the extra time.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is currently scheduled to release sometime in 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC (via Steam). During the preview event, I asked if an Xbox version was planned for release at a later date, and was informed that the development team would like to put the game on as many platforms as possible. Seeing as how the first game made its way to Xbox, Xbox Game Pass, and even Games with Gold, it feels likely but we will have to wait and see.