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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The first game mentions Sebastian's backstory, including Lily's death and the disappearance of his wife, but only through files, which led some to believe that They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot by never actually exploring any of it. In this game, his backstory is the central focus.
    • The sequel seems to have toned down the difficulty that plagued the previous game. Checkpoint Starvation is not much of an issue anymore, stealth is made easier thanks to new upgrades and the addition of bushes that conceal you, and you're now allowed to restore your health in safe houses via coffee brewers (although they take a while to refill).
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    • The sequel also has a lot more straightforward and less of a mind screw plot than the first game, which served as this to those who felt that the plot of the first was too complicated to follow.
  • Awesome Music: The haunting cover of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" that appears in both the trailer and the ending credits for the game. It's so very thematically appropriate, both for Sebastian's emotional struggle and the hope that he still holds to set things right again.
  • Complete Monster: Stefano Valentini was a war photographer who became obsessed with capturing the moment of death in his art after photographing a person dying in an explosion. He became a Serial Killer who would mutilate fashion models and use their bodies as his canvas. After successfully tricking MOBIUS's psyche exams into passing him as sane, he was connected to the virtual STEM town of Union. There he continued his murders until Theodore Wallace contacted him with an offer to give him power in exchange for Stefano kidnapping Lily, who was the CORE of the town. After Lily was removed as the CORE, Union became a nightmare hellscape, and Stefano decided that he wanted to keep her for himself and use her power to help him create his art forever. When Sebastian is sent into Union, he finds that Stefano had been murdering MOBIUS operatives who were sent in before him and freezing them in time at the moment of death. Stefano repeatedly tries to kill Sebastian Castellanos, leading to a confrontation at a theater where Stefano detonates explosive collars on dozens of Union citizens, musing to himself that he doesn't know how he'll top this latest piece of art. A psychopath to the end, Stefano sees even his own death as just another masterpiece.
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  • Contested Sequel: The changes made to Sebastian's personality and design, the overall atmosphere having less of an emphasis on Surreal Horror, the forefront presence of Mobius, and the absence of fan-favorite Joseph have gotten mixed reactions from a lot of gamers. That being said, the gameplay itself is considered to be an improvement over the first one.
  • Demonic Spiders: Pretty much every non-standard enemy in the game.
    • The Spawns are frustrating as they are very agile, making it difficult to hit them while making it easy to hit you, surprisingly durable (they have a head on both ends, but only the "front" one is a weak point), and can crawl, practically preventing you from stealth killing them. Worsened by their love of hiding away to ambush you, only signaling their presence with a low growl, sometimes even perfectly tucking away in the very bushes you'd hide in. The good thing about them, however, is that they rarely show up.
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    • The Hysterics, a Lost variant that resembles scraggly old women with knives. They're a lot faster and tougher than normal Lost, requiring two Stealth Attacks to put down and eating a lot of ammo otherwise. The worst thing about them? They're immune to the cover provided by Smoke Bolts, meaning you can't use those to escape or more easily ambush them. Fortunately, they stop showing up fairly late into the game and, for the most part, they move pretty slowly— though they can sprint much faster than you when sufficiently agitated.
    • Disciples, which are the basic Mooks that serve Father Theodore, can count simply because they can randomly ignite themselves in flames, which makes them into The Spiny if Sebastian tries to melee them, makes them immune to Stealth Attacks and also requires you to time your tactics to kill them before they re-ignite. The fact that they are quite fast for their sizes doesn’t help matters.
    • Laments, hulking Elite Zombies that unleash ear-piercing screams that will cause every nearby Lost to sprint towards Sebastian and drain his stamina bar instantly. They take two Stealth Attacks to put down, can launch gobs of acid with huge coverage and surprising accuracy and have a One-Hit Kill grab that cannot be broken out of without the Bottle Break skill. Made even more difficult by their high perception, meaning that making Stealth Attacks or sneaking by is all the more harder.
    • Harbingers are the absolute worst. They have absolutely massive health, have ridiculous range and damage output with their flamethrowers and take at least three Stealth Attacks to kill. However, it’s nigh impossible to sneak up on them, as they constantly jog around the area and flail their bodies around wildly as they spray the area with their flamethrowers. 9 times out of 10, they will notice Sebastian behind them; even if he avoids their gaze and makes no sound whatsoever. Dealing with them becomes a little easier if you know that when going for a stealth attack, you only need to get with a few meters away before sprinting towards them tapping the stealth attack button.
    • The Guardian starts off as an insurmountable enemy you must flee from, and later challenges Sebastian as a difficult boss in Chapter 5. Chapter 7 lovingly decides to make this monster a Degraded Boss in the Business District without nerfing any of her capabilities that made her a boss. These capabilities include being a Damage-Sponge Boss, decent striking power that can combo, abnormally high speed and perception, and are even immune to Stealth Attacks. The Buisness District has two of them patrolling at minimum, and activating Residual Memories can add two more to the fray.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Stefano Valentini is quickly becoming this, if the hordes of OOC fanart and romantic headcanons are anything to go by.
  • Evil Is Cool: Of the Big-Bad Ensemble, Stefano is often considered the coolest villain, being a Love to Hate psychopath whose theme of mostly normal environments corrupted by his gruesome artwork is more uniquely nightmarish and disturbing compared to Theodore's more genre-typical motifs of torture dungeons and Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Foe Yay: Sebastian's interactions with Stefano have this. Stefano chooses to leave Sebastian alive on multiple occasions rather than kill him like his other victims especially when he has the opportunity to do so, says that he should be offended that Sebastian is looking for Lily instead of him, and says that Sebastian is now his art.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Smoke Bolts for the Crossbow, once you've leveled them up to the 3rd rank and gained the ability to Stealth Kill enemies caught inside of them. They make taking down Harbingers a lot easier, and a deft player can drop one into a mass of ordinary enemies and proceed to slaughter about half a dozen of them before the smoke fades. Run out of range, launch a new bomb, rinse and repeat.
    • The Bullet Cascade is an incredibly useful upgrade, as it grants an increasing damage boost for every successful hit you score in sequence, even across multiple targets. As you may have reckoned, its effect with the Assault Rifle is downright devastating on enemy weak points. Combine this ability with the justifiably-expensive Synaptic Focus, and you are become Death, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Bushes and hedgerows make eliminating enemies in Union trivially easy, as unless they're touching you, going into a bush makes you disappear from their vision entirely.
    • Beating the game on Nightmare difficult unlocks a pair of brass knuckles which, like in the previous game, makes taking down enemies ridiculously easy and helps conserve ammo. Granted, they're probably best useful against standard enemies since they're easier to go against but still.
    • One trick that you'd probably never think of is to climb a ladder... and just stay there. Any enemies that have spotted you won't be able to get you while you're on a ladder (preferably several steps above them), and will eventually just go away after a certain amount of time. This is especially useful in chapter 4 when you gotta deal with a horde of enemies in a tightly spaced area in the Marrow.
    • The Bottle Break skill is more minor but it's still incredibly useful, seeing as it allows Sebastian to free himself from an enemies' grip without taking damage and can even prevent the Lament from instantly killing you. Helped by the fact that there are bottles scattered just about everywhere in the game.
    • Oddly enough, one of the basic stealth skills, Ambush, can turn into this. Ambush allows you to execute an enemy that's approaching you if you're hiding in cover. If an enemy spots you, all you need to do is run far enough away and get into some cover, wait for them to approach as they search for you, then get a free kill on the enemy.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Stephano's "Crimson Period" piece is a clear example. He kidnaps dozens of people, dresses them in white suits, then blows up their heads with bombs and freezes the corpses in time. Mind you, these people were hooded, awake, and judging by the panicked mumbling under their hoods, most likely very aware of what was about to happen to them. This is the point where Sebastian finally has more than enough with the guy and makes killing him almost as high a priority as saving his daughter.
  • Narm:
    • The ragdoll physics on dead Lost enemies don't even try to look realistic, resulting in lots of humorous floppy poses and twisted, crisscrossed limbs, especially when killing one that was playing possum.
    • "You shot me Sebastian... Why?" Said by Esmeralda when Sebastian accidentally shoots her during a mini breakdown. The way she says it is just as goofy.
    • The last Residual Memory is of a confrontation between Myra and Theodore. Nothing kills the drama quite like Ham-to-Ham Combat with two characters who both manage to overact AND underact at the same time.
  • Pandering to the Base: Upon finding out that players enabled first-person via console commands, when it was just a gimmick for Chapter 4, the devs made it an option you could toggle in the 1.04 update. Because why should home console players, who can't enable such commands, be barred from accessing such a cool feature?
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: The plot of the game isn't considered as strong as the first by some people, but makes up for it by having generally better gameplay.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The fact that your stamina drains quicker when you've been spotted by enemies is not very helpful whatsoever (especially in early parts of the game where you'll very likely be running a lot and on "Classic Mode" where you can't even upgrade your stamina). Notice that you do in fact run much faster when you've been spotted, explaining the quicker stamina drain.
    • Sebastian is always carrying his default pistol in cutscenes, which wouldn't be a problem if the game didn't "helpfully" re-equip the basic handgun for you every time that happens, forcing you to remember to manually switch back to whichever weapon you were previously using once the scene ends.
  • Special Effects Failure: Like the first game, there's quite a lot of noticeable texture pop-in.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While opinions of the writing and plot are debatable, and it's not like the original game was considered bad, the gameplay has gotten a lot of praise for fixing nearly every problem with the first and building upon the parts that were better received.
  • That One Achievement: Beating the game on "Classic Mode". While this game's version of "Nightmare" is considerably more merciful than the first game as long as you know what you're doing, "Classic Mode" is practically the original game's difficulty taken Up to Eleven. Not only do you have to complete the entire mode without being able to upgrade any of your skills or weapons, but the autosave feature is disabled and you're only allowed to save 7 times throughout the whole course.
  • That One Boss:
    • For being the first real boss of the game, Stefano can be a pain on your first run. He’s fought in a gallery where there’s not a lot of room to move and is made even smaller by his huge monster that he has observing the fight. It will randomly smack the ground, limiting where you can go and taking off a huge amount of health. As for Stefano himself, he plants exploding cubes around the arena and can freeze you with his camera to make you a sitting duck. Not to mention that he teleports constantly and has a difficult-to-dodge charge attack that wrecks your health. Hope you got some upgrades in, or you’ll be in for one nasty fight.
    • Myra is not very easy either (though fitting considering she's the final boss). While her attacks are fairly easy to dodge, it's undermined by the fact that she moves pretty quickly, takes a lot of ammo to kill, and said attacks pack quite a punch. She also occasionally releases a group of spider-like creatures to attack you, which are frustrating when trying to avoid/kill them while battling.
  • That One Level:
    • The journey to Theodore's stronghold in Chapter 13 is an Escort Mission, but oddly enough, that isn't what makes it aggravating. What does it is that your surroundings are wreathed in intense flames that obscure numerous well-hidden Disciples, who have a knack for picking whatever direction you aren't currently looking in to rush at you. In fact, let's just say all of Chapter 13, because the parts leading up to that are loaded with obese Action Bomb Lost enemies and the aforementioned Harbingers.
    • Chapter 14 is just as bad since once you get deeper into the stronghold, you'll find out that it's crawling with Disciples and Harbingers, with the areas that you have to explore being rather tightly spaced, leaving very little room to try and stealth kill any of them without another spotting you (let alone staying out of their sight entirely). Not to mention, near the end of the chapter, you have to fight three bosses in a row in areas where there's very little room (though the bosses themselves aren't particularly difficult once you figure out what to do).
  • That One Sidequest: The Anima sidequest isn't too difficult but requires relying entirely on stealth in tightly spaced areas and solving puzzles in order to escape. Not to mention, when we say entirely on stealth, we mean it since it's an instant death if it notices you and you're unable to hurt or kill it. Many players go through it once to snag the bonus items, and then avoid it in all subsequent playthroughs.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Part of the game's divisiveness comes from the fact that neither Joseph or Ruvik appear at all throughout the game, leaving their ambiguous fates from the previous game even more ambiguous. That being said, Ruvik is mentioned several times through the game and, if you can find all the photo slides scattered throughout the game, Kidman reveals that Joseph is indeed still alive, but she never really reveals anything else beyond that. Maybe they're witholding that info for a possible sequel.
  • The Woobie: Damned near every sympathetic character counts as one. Aside from the obvious candidates of Sebastian, Myra, Lily and Juli, there are also the countless innocent victims of Mobius who were lied to under the pretense of joining medical studies and self-help workshops, only to be plugged into STEM instead, which turned into a living nightmare when things went wrong and subjected them to the most cruel and horrible fates imaginable. You can even meet a survivor in Chapter 3, hiding out in a house on Cedar Street, and get a firsthand account from her of what these poor people have gone through.
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