Hi, I’m Bryant Cannon, the game director for Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, and we’re so excited to finally share that the game will launch on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on July 12, 2023.
If you’re not familiar with Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, then allow me to paint a picture for you. Welcome to Camena: a small coastal town that is currently experiencing unnaturally occurring electromagnetic waves that are interfering with electrical and radio equipment. TVs turn on and off. Planes lose radar. Radio stations can’t broadcast through the static. You know, problems that every quaint town in the Pacific Northwest has to deal with.
Enter Riley Poverly, an environmental researcher who begrudgingly returns to her hometown to investigate these frequency signals and ends up taking on more than she bargained for. You, as Riley, will brave rigorous terrain, encounter mysterious cults, and discover strange supernatural phenomena that threaten to alter the world as we know it. How you confront these challenges is up to you, and your choices will shape Riley’s future – as well as the very fate of Camena.
To take on the tasks at hand, you’ll need the right gear. Riley’s backpack is filled with just that: a radio, which tunes into supernatural frequencies; transmitters, which Riley will need to plant throughout Camena in order to understand more about these radio frequencies; a climbing kit to traverse some of the more treacherous terrain in Camena; and a walkie talkie, which will allow Riley to communicate with a few new characters along the way.
Let’s dive more into the walkie-talkie.
Hello, do you copy?
Those who played Oxenfree are familiar with its dialogue system and the unique radio mechanic that allowed Alex – the main character of the first game – to communicate with mysterious specters and manipulate her world. In Oxenfree II, we wanted to evolve that idea. This new walkie-talkie feature puts the player in charge of when and how Riley will engage in conversations with off-screen characters.
So how does it work? Let’s say you’re trekking back from planting a transmitter up at Tootega Falls, and your old high school acquaintance and work partner, Jacob, isn’t feeling too chatty. You can use the left trigger at just about any time to open your walkie-talkie. Browse through the channels until you find who you want to talk to, and voilà!
To answer or not to answer, that is the question
In Oxenfree II, players will shape the story through Riley’s actions and dialogue choices, similar to how they did with Alex and the characters in the first game. Each decision impacts who Riley becomes, her relationships with other characters, and the story options available at every turn.
Radio and walkie talkie concept art
The walkie talkie expands on this and opens up a layer of player agency; you can choose to move the story along as you see fit, depending on how you engage with folks on the walkie. Unlike in the first game, where you were faced with dialogue choices with the people in front of you, you now have the option to initiate conversations with walkie contacts at any time. These interactions allow you to uncover useful insights about the mysteries of Camena.
Or you can completely ignore them. It has its consequences if you go that route – but it’s your call to make.
Who’s out there?
In addition to some of the characters you’ll encounter – like Jacob, and the members of the cult-like group Parentage (more on that another time) – the walkie-talkie introduces more local contacts. If you find yourself stuck at any point in the game, you can pull out the walkie and touch base with one of your contacts.
Not only will you learn more about Camena, but also the personal crises they’re currently facing.
One of those characters is Maria, the DJ for the student-run radio station at Camena High. When you tune into her radio show, she offers to give advice to listeners on channel eight. If you choose to contact her, she may even ask you for advice, and helping her may change what kinds of music you hear on Camena High Radio.
Another character you’ll make contact with (or rather, he’ll contact you) is Nick, a sailor who, in his own words, “has been all up and down the coastline.” If you decide to help Nick with a small favor, he’ll offer valuable insight into the strange occurrences around Camena. You might also need to help him down the road as he grapples with his own supernatural situation.
A coming-of-age story
In the midst of the supernatural events surrounding them, Riley and her walkie contacts must also confront the seemingly ordinary impact of everyday life and the choices all of us make about who we want to be.
Were the life choices Riley made the right ones for her? Is she who she really wants to be?
Similar to the teens in the original Oxenfree, your walkie contacts are making pivotal decisions about their lives: Should Maria share a secret that could forever change a friendship? Should Nick take a leap of faith? As Riley, you’ll connect with them on the walkie and talk through it all – personal issues and terrifying ghosts and cults alike. Just like everyday life.
We can’t for you all to dive into the happenings in Camena when Oxenfree II: Lost Signals launches on July 12. Pre-orders are now live on PlayStation Store for 25% off.