Outlast is a downloadable first-person perspective survival horror game in which the action takes place in a closed psychiatric ward. The player acts as a journalist wishing to infiltrate the mental asylum and record what is happening inside. Red Barrels is the studio behind the game and it is their debut title. Some of their people work in the past on such titles like Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and Splinter Cell. The game was released on September 4, 2013, and is available on Windows PCs, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.
Outlast can be downloaded from Steam or from GOG.com. When it comes to downloading from GOG, we can return the game if it does not work on our computer, and GOG will not be able to do anything about it. In the case of Steam, we can return Outlast within 14 days if we do not play more than two hours.
Outlast brings us into the realm of a nightmarish hospital for mentally ill people, This brings to mind associations with the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The player as a journalist Miles Upshur wants to create a report on research conducted by the Murkoff Corporation. At the beginning of our adventure, we break into the building and start looking. Having no weapons, but only a camera that can capture the scenes we see, we face the horrible creatures and the insane. As we go deeper into the facility, we discover illicit scientific experiments and mysterious blasphemous rituals. What makes the horror even greater is that just before our arrival, someone or something starts their hunt for the staff and the patients of the ward.
The Game Mechanics
The game is a creepy stealth horror, and the fact that we do not have weapons, which forces us to constantly avoid danger and look for hiding places only magnifies our fear. In Outlast we will often make us replace a dead battery in our camera. Thus we need constantly search for more batteries.
During our exploration, we also collect documents that explain some of the mysteries and shed some light on what’s going on. Outlast is shocking with its brutality and gore. It’s full of blood, guts and disgusting murders. The creators skillfully adapt the music to the atmosphere of the game and use the so-called jump scares to frighten the player. The game is dynamic but linear. There are also a number of logic puzzles to solve. We need to look for door access cards or turn appropriate valves or pull levers. Stealth sections require a smart player to balance in the shade to avoid detection. Each time we are discovered by the enemy forces us to run because confrontation usually ends with our death.
Graphically, the production looks great. The locations are really atmospheric and match the gore and the blood theme of Outlast. Also, the background music and sound effects deserve praise. Despite the presence of many games of this type on the market, Outlast stands out, and its uniqueness may be testified by the fact that the latest release of the Resident Evil series was based on a very similar gameplay premise.
Outlast the Whistleblower
After the success of Outlast, the creators of the horror released the DLC Outlast the Whistleblower.