Some of the best games available are the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense and the thrill of the “Jump Scare”. The unfortunate thing about games now-a-days is that most of the survival horror games available focus more on the action of fighting hordes of zombies, monsters or villans. Though this is still entertaining, it leave much room for imagination.
Outlast has by far served its purpose as a great first person horror survival game! It has truly reinvented the wheel, so to speak. There are many great features of this game that were developed precisley for a game just like this. So lets get into it!
The story of this game is not without its flaws, but all together it does paint a decent picture of what the makers were trying to convay. You play as the character “Miles Upshur”, a freelance journalist, known only as “The Whistleblower”. Upon the intro to the game, you learn that the character had received an anonymous tip about the goings on inside Mount Massive Asylum owned and operated by the Murkoff corporation. Something strange has been reported happening in the area and as a top-notch journalist, its your job to uncover the truth.
One of the best features in this game, in my opinion, is the fact that since you are playing the roll of the journalist, you have NO weapons! Just your trusty 1990’s seeming camcorder and a notebook. This helps increase the scare factor because you have no way of fighting anything in the game! You must rely only on your ability to not get killed by anything chasing you down!
The other frightening aspect of this game is that for your main viewpoint will be through the lense of your camera. While it is fine when you are traversing through well lit areas, when it comes to dark places, you have to use your nightvision mode. When in nightvision mode, though it does seem almost like a bad Blaire Witch Project, your view is VERY limited and very grainy. Not only that, but using the camera and nightvision consume your battery! Luckily you will find batteries all over this asylum. I will not question what kind of batteries, but if they are available, you better stock up on them! If I were to make a guess as to how much of this game is played in the dark, I would give it a good 70%.
There are also a good amount of puzzels to be had in the dark. Looking around to find clues about how this place came to be, trying to turn back on generators, or finding your way out of a horrible situation! This leads to the next great feature of this game, hiding! There are many points in the game that cause you to have to hide. Most of the time to avoid being killed by a giant “Mr. X” type of monster, or if something is following you! Many of the hiding places can be air vents, under medical beds, in storage lockers. All good choices, but the heat gets turned way up when you realize that the monsters chasing you will actually stop to check these hiding places. Believe me when I say, you CAN GET CAUGHT and it is not a fun experience!
There are also the amount of scares in this game that I have not seen since the glory days of the original Silent Hill. I can’t tell you the amount of times a grown man can scream like a little girl and begin wimpering! The environment itself, as an asylum should be, is just plain creepy. Everything seems dilapidated and dirty, everything is just a complete mess and unkept. Im sure a maid hasn’t touched those bathrooms in forever! Then the jump scares kick in. The developers made sure not to overstep bounds by making every single room into some jump scare, but there are plenty in this game to really make you worry about what is around the next corner. When you turn a corner and there is nothing there, you can feel yourself give a sigh of relief, but that feeling only lasts a few seconds. Then there is the thrill of hiding! Turning a corner and seeing something evil begin to move towards you is the best kind of fright, because you know you need to get away, but options in this game are limited. Always remember to keep looking for good places to hide when moving around just in case you need a quick getaway.
The characters in this game seem to be very well developed graphically as well! Some of the “patients” in this asylum do look similar to each other, but for the most part you can play most of the game and not really notice too many similarities. You can also find notes and patient charts laying around that describe some of these characters and when you come across them, you will see the end result of what the notes described. Not all characters in this game will attack, and some of them just want to be left alone. Some are hostile towards you if you do not listen to their requests, so do not push your luck with any of these people! Then there are the actual enemies, who’s appearance is just downright awful! Some of these characters look reminiscent of the old Hell Raiser movies. They seem to have a habit of talking to themselves and when they have spotted you, their dialogue changes to trying to find you. I half expect a “Come out come out where ever you are”.
Overall, this is a very entertaining game in the world of first person survival horror and I am sure there is going to be a sequel/prequel to this game. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who loves the horror genre.
SCARE FACTOR: 10/10
GAME TRAILER (LIVE GAMEPLAY):