More and more asymmetrical multiplayer games are being released. It’s something new with dozens of new options. Not as always two identical teams against each other, it’s a minority of strong players against a big group that has to be strong as a team. I really like those games. White Noise 2 is one of them. But should people buy it?
I am not explaining the concept of asymmetrical multiplayer here, I assume everybody knows what that is.
In White Noise 2 a group of … people has to banish the ultimate evil by collecting tapes from radio stations. I am not sure how to defeat the ultimate evil with that, but just go ahead and collect that stuff. This group of four players is against one monster player. The monster can turn invisible or the other’s flashlights off, it can teleport and it can poop fake radio stations to distract the investigators during their investigation. And ultimately it can kill the other players, that’s the main goal of the monster. But that is actually pretty difficult. Because the monster is afraid of light. Too bad that every player has a flashlight. Aiming the light at the monster will slow it down a lot and could even make it disappear. When the monster tries to kill a person, the other players can also banish the monster by aiming at it. So a well organized team that keeps all directions covered and helps each other is a very tough enemy. The monster can disable the flashlights for a short time, but they start working again pretty fast and then the monster has to teleport away. I expected just to find the other players and kill them simply one by one but nope, even two players together can be a nasty opponent.
But the thing is, when you look at the monster for too long you start panicking. That means you turn off your flashlight, shake your head and scream like a teenager on friday the 13th. In this moment the player is helpless. But it is very difficult to get this moment to strike. Only after a few rounds you get a feeling when and who to attack. But that’s good, it ads a more strategic element to the game.
The (currently) two levels are huge, finding the radio stations in there is not easy. Plus it’s pitch black in there, your flashlight is not only a tool to scare the monster but to actually see stuff. That makes the game creepier and a never horror game should be creepy. Hearing the monster before you see it is also very atmospheric. The blurring effect or ‘White Noise’-effect (get it, because of the … yeah you get it) is scary at first, but gets a bit annoying once you are used to it and see it a bit too often.
What makes the game not scary is the character design. The comic-style characters look like a game from the 90s and even the monster could be a lot scarier. It’s not very difficult to improve such graphics nowadays even with a small team and I know this is not AAA but compared to other 4v1 multiplayer titles this game looks pretty old. All in all the optics are ok, but need more fine tuning.
Our worst enemy during the first week was not a monster or stupid teammates, but the matchmaking. Finding friends and joining together is almost impossible. We didn’t saw each other’s games, could not join together in one public game, had multiple time-outs … it’s just released and that’s what Early Access is for and stuff, but when you say on the official website that you have created a system to make playing with friends extra easy this many joining problems should not be happening. I almost spend as much time in the menus as I spend in the actual game. This needs improvements very fast.
To answer the title, White Noise 2 is not a light version of Dead by Daylight. There are a lot of new features, they didn’t just copy the ‘Killer vs Survivors’-concept. I think, it has even more potential than that. The maps are already different, stick to that and make sewer levels, old buildings, more variety. Make not only different skins for the monsters, make one big ass spider that can climb walls, make a little girl that comes out of walls. Create more interactions with the levels, traps and stuff. Dead by Daylight may be the more successfull game, but White Noise 2 could have the advantage of bigger variety. I really hope this game uses it’s Early Access stage to bring content and improvements. It may not be the best 4v1 game you can play right now, but you should definitely keep an eye on this one.