Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2 Review – Hold my loot

Gare – Tuesday, September 20, 2022 3:30 PM
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Time and again I find myself in the rather ironic position of playing a game based on the works of renowned horror author H.P. Lovecraft, only for it to be tedious, boring or mediocre in some form, leading me to make the same tired joke over and over again. Well, here we are again, and I’m once again forced to make a mental note of how morbidly amusing it is that a project dealing with the cosmic madness of Lovecraft’s writings has, in a sense, managed to drive me to madness. Okay, so the short version of all that is that Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2 is out and it’s not a particularly great game, in my humble opinion. In fact, I found it to be rather unpleasant to play.

Looting and shooting, but mostly looting

So, this is essentially an isometric action game taking place in a Lovecraftian world that’s teeming with cultists, insane asylums and slimy, tentacled beasts hankering for a taste of your flesh and/or sanity. You know, the usual stuff. Aesthetically, the project looks quite pleasant, with vibrant, comic book-esque visuals that set the mood nicely, even if the overall presentation does have a few hiccups here and there – by which I mean that certain locations look great, while others… not so much. The pleasant visuals, however, do little to alleviate the more fundamental issues present: namely, that the game is just not a lot of fun to play. For starters, the project’s exasperating emphasis on looting becomes glaringly apparent the moment you set foot inside the insane asylum serving as its introductory level: dozens upon dozens of containers, cupboards and crates litter every hallway and every room, expecting you to open them.

Hey! I’m bleedin’ here!

Now, you’d think grabbing shiny new loot would be a satisfying, even rewarding affair that unleashes all kinds of feel-good chemicals in your brain, but no: with literally every area having dozens of containers to open, looting soon becomes an endlessly tiresome, tedious process of simply mashing the same “interact” button while walking up and down every inch of a given room. Frankly, I feel like I’ve spent more time looting than actually playing the game – and I wish I was exaggerating with that one, but I’m kind of not. The worst part is that you can’t even skip looting, as having the right items (particularly healing items) can make or break your run, especially since the game has a rather obsessive fascination with damage-over-time effects; you genuinely can’t go five seconds without having some form of poison or bleed effect whittling down your HP bar, which is absolutely maddening. Pun intended. It’s almost comical when you finally use an antidote to neutralize the poison eating away at your HP, only for an enemy to immediately walk up to you and spit even more poison in your face, or take a bite out of your liver and cause a bleeding effect. Or both. As you might imagine, it’s rather difficult to try and enjoy anything the game might offer in any meaningful way when you’re constantly worried about bleeding out because RNG has been bad and you have no bandages or antidotes. Can you restart a level and hope for better loot? Sure, but that means having to loot every room all over again, and well, I’ve already explained how delightful that whole process is.

What in Cthulhu’s name did I just pick up?

The joy of looting is further diminished by the sheer amount of seemingly useless junk you pick up along the way. Before long, I found my inventory flooded with items whose purpose I had absolutely no idea about. Amulets? Ancient books? Cthulhu tentacles? I’m sorry, can I get some gear instead? Or Molotov cocktails? Confusion and frustration would be two words I’d use to describe what it feels like to play Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2, and I haven’t even gotten to the part where the game throws five hundred enemies at you and expects you to fight them with the clunky combat system and awkward controls, all the while bombarding you with constant damage-over-time effects, because boy does the game love those. Now, the project makes a point of not being “Rambo-able”, in other words, you can’t just expect to run and gun your way through hordes of enemies. You have to gather materials and craft consumables if you’re to get far. Which is fair enough, but does that make the combat system any more fun to control, or the constant bleed effects any less annoying? Not particularly. It also changes very little about how genuinely tedious it is to enter an area and realize you’ll have to mash the E key dozens of times to loot every single crate and cupboard.


I realize this brief review may sound like it was written in the depths of a salt mine, and maybe you’re right. But still. The bottom line is that playing Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2 was a miserable and joyless experience and I cannot in good conscience recommend it in its current form, even if you’re into rougelikes, looter-shooters, or Lovecraftian cosmic horror. The art style is pleasant enough, but the rest of the game feels messy and frustrating, with unsatisfying combat, tedious looting and confusing inventory management. A shame, really, because it could’ve been quite fun, had its ideas been better executed.

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