Horror games nowadays are plentiful, but very few are as visually striking as Outlast; everything from the well lit environments to the blood smeared hallways. Outlast does a great job of making you feel like you are always in danger. The greatest aspect is its sound design, from the main protagonist’s heavy breathing, objects dropping in the distance or the pitter-patter of footsteps. The soundtrack is glorious and shines in 5.1 surround sound, immersing you in the world.
The game begins with a reporter known as Miles Upshur getting an anonymous tip about Mount Massive Asylum, a mental institute that was shut down decades prior, being re-opened by the Murkoff Corporation. Apparently Murkoff isn’t known for their “charitible” endeavors as much as exploiting the suffering of others for profit. You set out to expose Murkoff and find out the truth behind Mount Massive mysterious re-opening. The moment you step foot into the Asylum a sudden sense of regret is felt as you see the staff mutilated and strewn across the floor and walls. There is no fighting in Outlast, your only choices are to run and hide, and this scene made me want to do much of the latter.
You quickly get a glimpse of a few escaped inmates that are then referred to as “The Variants”. After a quick little chat with an impaled guard you are told to get out while you still can. I found myself trying my hardest to find a way out only to be stopped by a gigantic monstrous man and thrown off a ledge where Father Martin told me I was sent by God to witness an extraordinary event.
The story had me gripped within the first few minutes. I was curious enough to try and figure out what was this mysterious event but scared enough that each step I took forward was a cautious one. I won’t ruin the story for you seeing as the major attraction for this game is the plot. Collecting files in the game reveals a lot more about the back story and experiments that occurred during Murkoff’s time at Mount Massive. If you aren’t the reading type there are plenty of inmates in the game that are glad to share some of their knowledge about the living conditions and the terrible things that happen behind closed doors.
Since you can’t fight back in any shape or form you must attempt to recollect the locations of any lockers or beds on your trek through the mansion to use as a hiding spot. Walking through the empty rooms of the Asylum gives you a sense of helplessness with constant fear that an insane knife wielding murdered will be lurking around every corner. The sound of the main character breathing heavily doesn’t help sustain that fear either. Despite not having a fighting mechanic, the game controls very well. There were only a few moments where I would try to jump over an object and miss completely, but that was due to my own errors rather than the game itself. Having a guy who has the ability to rip the head off a human body with his bare hands chasing you makes for jittery fingers.
The game is very straight forward and doesn’t really let you wander around for too long without inching closer to your objective. Some might be thrown off by how simple it can be at times to progress. But Red Barrels set out to tell a story and they accomplished it in the best way possible.
Overall my experience with Outlast, despite being a little spooked, was a pleasant one. It is sure to adhere to all horror/survival game enthusiasts. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to sleep soundly.Outlast PC Review Horror games nowadays are plentiful, but very few are as visually striking as Outlast; everything from the well lit environments to the blood smeared hallways.