June 24, 2014
I don’t think I’ve ever genuinely been scared while playing a horror video game, but Red Barrels got it right when they designed the first-person survival horror game “Outlast,” a game that literally had me jumping out of my seat during gameplay. Not only is the game downright scary, but it’s entertaining as well.
“Outlast” tells the story of a reporter who is given an anonymous tip that a corporation is doing heinous things to mental patients at Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric hospital in which the game takes place. Incapable of combat, the gamer must use sneaking and vaulting to survive and unlock the mystery within the asylum. The player also uses a video camera with night vision to utilize in low-lit areas. Use of the camera depletes battery life, but more batteries can be scavenged and replaced throughout the story.
Set in a creepy asylum, “Outlast” does a very good job at keeping players stressed and afraid. Probably the top reason the game is so damn scary is the absence of weapons and combat. The player is left only to hide and survive, giving them a high-stake, tension-inducing feeling while playing the game. Another factor that raises the scare meter is the darkness. Lighting is done wonderfully in the game to give it a creepy and chilling feeling. There are also other spine-tingling features like doors opening and closing as well as terrifying patients within the halls of the asylum. The game is full of horrific gore and disturbing images, with blood and body parts scattered most everywhere. The audio works superbly with the images, and all of this adds up to the most perfect horror game I’ve ever played.
I didn’t find many shortcomings with “Outlast.” Although players aren’t given any weapons, the game is relatively easy when it comes to hiding from threats. Also, the replay value is nonexistent once you’ve beaten the game; however, there is added downloadable content that adds to the story and gives a few more hours of gore and mayhem. This game isn’t family friendly and should be played only by mature audiences.
“Outlast” is well worth a play-through if you enjoy scary movies, the horror genre or just a great game. It delivered on the horror and was well worth the purchase. If you are ready for a terrifying experience, I suggest you pick up “Outlast” and its “Whistleblower” DLC immediately — and I dare you to turn the lights out while you play.