Outlast

Players: 1 Offline Player
Publisher: Red Barrels
Genres: Horror
Release Date: September 4, 2013
Developer: Red Barrels
MSRP: $19.99
Platforms:
Hell is an experiment you can't survive in Outlast, a first-person survival horror game developed by veterans of some of the biggest game franchises in history. As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, explore Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret... if you dare.

Outlast is AWESOME!, 7.7 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

Investigative reporting is one cutthroat business!


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Rating: 7.7/10 (16 votes cast)

Outlast Review

Written on a webpage known for housing the maddest of html, using letters taken only from dictionaries taken from burned down orphanages, and composed by a man so far gone, dare you read Johnny's review of Outlast?

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Outlast is AWESOME! - Conclusion!

Posted by [ 5 months, 2 weeks ]

Ghost mountain, mutant cult, and nazi experiments! What a scoop!

Outlast is AWESOME!

Posted by [ 6 months, 1 week ]

Investigative reporting is one cutthroat business!

Outlast Review

Posted by [ 7 months, 1 week ]

Written on a webpage known for housing the maddest of html, using letters taken only from dictionaries taken from burned down orphanages, and composed by a man so far gone, dare you read Johnny’s review of Outlast?

Spend 4 of your Halloween Minutes with Outlast

Posted by [ 1 year, 5 months ]

First-person horror with a bit of Paranormal Activity.

"Outlast" the Horror from Creators of Assassin's Creed & Uncharted

Posted by [ 1 year, 5 months ]

Hell is an experiment you can’t survive.

Spend 4 of your Halloween Minutes with Outlast

Posted By about 1 year, 5 months ago

First-person horror with a bit of Paranormal Activity.

"Outlast" the Horror from Creators of Assassin's Creed & Uncharted

Posted By about 1 year, 5 months ago

Hell is an experiment you can’t survive.

Outlast Review

Outlast Review

Outlast is AWESOME!, 7.7 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

It really bothers me when people start talking about how “X” is hard. Comedy is really hard. Marathon running is really hard. Getting away with dressing up in your girlfriend’s evening wear and pulling it off at a policeman’s ball is really hard. The reason why it bothers me is that so many things in life are really hard, and exclaiming that it’s really hard doesn’t mean that when you do an awful job of debuting that slinky little aquamarine number at the biggest event in town that season it doesn’t somehow make it better. Horror is a weird exception to this “starting up a successful alpaca farm is really hard” rule, with many an overzealous metal-head who has access to vats of corn syrup and red food dye confidently striding into the genre to cult acclaim. That doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as bad horror, or good horror, merely that people seem to get a free pass when trying their hand at it. In this case, I don’t think Red Barrels Games needed that free pass.

PROS Atmosphere, Graphics, Story, Design
CONS Tension breaks, Sound is a mixed bag
WTF?! Naked, murderous lunatics

Outlast is a first-person horror game; a weaponless one like many of its kind, but it underplays its hand, to great effect. It almost actively pretends that it’s jumping on a bandwagon and adding nothing new to the pot. As investigative journalist Miles Upshur (Upshur? I hardly know her!), you delve into a recently re-opened mental asylum at the behest of an anonymous tipster. Said tip implies that the faceless multinational billion-dollar conglomerate Murkoff Corporation hasn’t re-opened the facility for the good of humanity, nor is its treatment of the inhabitants on the up & up.

That’s your MacGuffin, and truth be told it’s a pretty good one. Especially so if you consider the rash of horror games released that have decided that collect-the-blank is a good enough reason for you to stay in that spooky mansion/seaside town/air-conditioner-repair-school and be chased down by a gang of supernatural, teleporting lemurs that roam the grounds dressed in a human suit. The setup is pretty simple: you get inside the asylum, and quickly lose your ability to get out the way you came. The already gloomy and unpleasant mood darkens further, and you suddenly find yourself in the shock corridor.

REMEMBER… STAY TO THE RIGHT!

I was oddly prepared to not like this game, truth be told. From its cliché derelict asylum setting, to the video camera that acts as your flashlight substitute, to the main character’s dull, mute, and wordless presence as a dramatic device. What came out the other end though was pleasantly surprising. It comes out as visceral and tense, and I was rather riveted to my seat during the course of this game.

“How original,” I blurted arriving on the grounds when the game started, expecting generic faceless maniacs charging from every corner, brandishing the bent legs of gurneys in frothing toothless rage. But the quiet rooms of catatonic patients, rocking slowly, staring unflinchingly at televisions of flickering static quieted me quickly. The disturbed wander the pitch dark halls, rambling, clutching at whatever they’ve managed to pick up, and it’s your guess as to whether or not they’re going to attack you. Sometimes they stare, vocally demanding quiet, and let you pass on your way. Others flail and swear and sprint at you with utter hostile abandon. Needless to say, it becomes amazingly unsettling, and quickly so.

…and one for the doctor.

The visuals only contribute to the discomfort. Between the excellent textures, incredible water effects, and superb lighting, Mount Massive Asylum comes to life in a pretty terrifying way. The glaring glow of eyes piercing out at you from the dark in your camera’s infrared night vision cause sudden stop and panic responses, before you realize that they haven’t actually seen you yet. The level design is interesting too, as Red Barrels have done a great deal to emphasize Upshur’s physical presence in the world.

I really hope that he’s looking at the décor.

Not only can you see your own physical presence, by way of your lower body and also little touches such as placing a hand upon a corner as you lean past it, hoping to peer at enemies, but there are some platforming components as well. Yes, there are ladders and narrow passages to be squeezed through, but you often have to shimmy along ledges, jump up to overhangs, and even make running jumps across chasms. It breaks up the gameplay from the traditional run-hide-puzzle, and succeeds at it marvelously.

This isn’t a perfect ride of spine tingling shock and awe, however. It stumbles on a few points that greatly affect the mood, and for a horror game to work, mood must rule over all. The first is that while the music is excellent, and does nothing but add to the experience, there’s something unusual about the cues it decides to use. It feels as though some of the musical stings or tone changes jump the gun, announcing the intent of the game, rather than playing to the effect of something that has already happened. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I often felt as though I were cheating through the game by way of the music, like Upshur was some kind of prec-octave. WORDPLAY!

Oh yeah? Then I guess Creflo Dollar has some explaining to do!

Outlast also suffers from pushing its tension pretty consistently. It runs at a medium level of tension as a baseline throughout, and while this is stressing and excellent at your introduction to the game, it has a tendency to wear during the length. I became rather accustomed to the stress of the situation, feeling as though there was little respite or time for me to relax and essentially become unprepared for the next great moment of tension and fear. It’s important for people to be able to relax from the focus of a highly emotional situation, or else we become numbed to it. The general tone of the game had me easily prepared for the next major moment of attempted panic induction.

I don’t mean to suggest that Outlast is a numbing experience. There’s an impeccable personality to this game, as exuded in its great level design and personable characters. Yes, characters–there are actually a significant amount of worthy baddies here, and many of them are horrifying. The knife wielding twin brothers who call dibs on your internal organs are a highlight, particularly for the reserved, casual, and totally naked manner in which they stalk you, maddening junk just… swaying in the insane wind.

Junk Blurred for Your Own Protection.

I must give credit to Outlast‘s writers, as well, with regards to their handling of the reveals. When the simple story of “American mega-corporation experiments on insane inmates” inevitably evolves to deeper, more horrible, gruesome details, I admit that I was unprepared for the endgame. I won’t be as grandiose to suggest that it’s the plot twist of all plot twists, but it manages to pave its own way, and I can appreciate that. It did a remarkable job of bringing me into the madness.

In summation, BRING ME THE HEAD OF THE CABBAGE KING.

A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes and completed in about 6 hours. The title is currently exclusive to PC.

Johnny’s gone away. You can reach him on Twitter or E-mail, but what you get back might not be sane.

8/10

Outlast Review

Written on a webpage known for housing the maddest of html, using letters taken only from dictionaries taken from burned down orphanages, and composed by a man so far gone, dare you read Johnny's review of Outlast?
  1. September 19, 2013 at 05:49pm
    In response to Article
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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

    *Jump scares with music stingers constantly.

    *The camera they may as well have given infinite usage to they want you to use it so much and give you batteries almost every couple rooms.

    *6-7 npc models that are repeated to death

    *Only a few hours of game play.

    *Suffers from “giant 1 way hallway” syndrome more then FF13.

    Not to mention stuff like being such a short game that’s even padded out by fetch quests (including a fuse box repair…)

    I could go on and on, but yeah, it’s fine, but the hype it’s been getting is a bit ridiculous..

  2. September 04, 2013 at 04:56pm
    In response to Article
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    I’ll have to check it out eventually

  3. September 04, 2013 at 10:15am
    In response to Article
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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

    Best. Censoring. Ever.

  4. September 04, 2013 at 09:21am
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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    Outlast and Amnesia 2. In September.

    They should have waited just one more month, but thats fine! I’ve been waiting to start playing some horror and I forgot this existed until this review popped up. Damn my involvement in FFXIV…

    Still, I’ll pick this up and find time to play it, perhaps LP it for October along with the 31 one-shot horror indies out there. October is going to be so much fun!

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Outlast is AWESOME! - Conclusion!

Posted in Video Games Awesome! [ 5 months, 2 weeks ]

Ghost mountain, mutant cult, and nazi experiments! What a scoop!

Outlast is AWESOME!

Posted in Video Games Awesome! [ 6 months, 1 week ]

Investigative reporting is one cutthroat business!

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