Ever since games like Resident Evil & Dead Space started to take a turn more towards Action, Gamers have been clamoring for a true Survival Horror game that can scare the pants off them. Naughty Dog were the first to bring true survival horror back last year with The Last of Us but Shortly after, A Newly founded company called Red Barrels Studios unleashed hell upon us gamers with a Survival Horror game that is possibly the first of its kind in the form of Outlast. So just how is Outlast?
Outlast puts you into the footsteps of freelance journalist; Miles Upshur who receives an anonymous tip off about Mount Massive Asylum, A Psychiatric Hospital owned by the well known Murkoff Corporation however upon arrival; Miles soon discovers that things are not as they seem as shortly after breaking into the Asylum he discovers the corpses of numerous swat officers hanging from the ceilings and blood everywhere before encountering something truly terrifying. After recovering, Miles meets a priest called Father Martin who tells Miles he can get him out of Mount Massive. Now equipped with just a Camcorder, Miles must find a way out, avoid the monsters and demons that lurk in the pitch black asylum and find evidence to take down the Murkoff Corporation once and for all.
The gameplay choice for Outlast is actually a rather interesting one with it taking the form of a First Person Survival Horror game which to be fair in the past we have only seen in games like Alien & Doom however unlike those 2 games, Outlast features no combat whatsoever and requires good perception skills to survive. In Miles’ inventory, The only things you will find is a Camcorder which you use to record your findings in the asylum. This works with Miles recording a certain event on his camera in the game and then writing down notes which you can then read in the next item in his inventory, The Journal. The Journal contains all of the documents you find in the game aswell as the notes you make from recording certain things. The final item you have in your inventory is Batteries which you must use in order to keep the camcorders night vision on which without it makes your time exploring the asylum a lot harder. The gameplay is also extremely easy in terms of controls for the PlayStation 4 with 1 button to run, 1 button to reload the batteries, 1 button to use the camcorder and so on and so forth.
In terms of Scares, I can definitely confirm that Outlast is in fact one of; If not the scariest game I’ve ever played with me only being not far into the game before I was screaming and cowering like a little girl. There was definitely at least 2 moments in the game where I actually didn’t even want to play on my own due to being absolutely terrified of what could be coming next. These moments included entering the sewer system underneath the asylum while the giant monster/ failed experiment chases you (Which for me was harder due to the fact I didn’t have any light due to lack of batteries) & The other bit was when you lose the camera at a certain point in the game and have to maneuver your way down all of the different floors through the pitch black to find your camera. This in addition to the dead silence and then all of a sudden, Music, Footsteps & Growls all kicking in when an enemy is stuck on your tail makes this game extremely suspenseful and truly terrifying.
My biggest problem with the game is the very thing I love the game for in the fact that once your Battery runs out you are pretty much screwed until you can find your way around the asylum in the dark to find a Battery and when your stuck in the dark trying to find one with demons and monsters lurking about; It can become really frustrating. This is the only problem I have with the game and while its not a problem, May I suggest to Red Barrels that if you do a sequel; Include a map as trying to find your way around can be difficult in the pitch black darkness. Other than that, Outlast is a terrifying pleasure to play.
All in all, Outlast shows that the video game industry can still dish out good old fashioned survival horror and the inclusion of no combat truly creates a sense of what survival horror is; Running, Hiding or Dying. At heart, Outlast is easily the most terrifying Survival Horror game you will ever play. The game is a tense thrill ride that will have you quivering from start to finish and as far as endings go, It wraps things off quite nicely if I do say so myself. One thing is for certain, With this being Red Barrels’ first game; They have now got a challenge of making a game that can either beat or rival this one. Good Work Red Barrels…Good Work.
My Score – 9/10
- Truly Terrifying
- Story is great
- Atmosphere given is an experience in itself
- Taken back to the roots of Survival Horror
- Lack of Combat makes for an interesting concept
- Simplicity with the controls
- Frustrating when your battery life runs out
- Lack of a Map (Either from the start or unlockable)
Outlast is available now for PC & PlayStation 4 and for this month only is free on PS+ for PS4 Owners.
*Please Note: The trailer below may include scenes which are unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18; So you have been warned*
Review by Matthew McNamee
- Outlast Walkthrough by ThaMaskedGamer (ugnnultragamingnewsnetwork.com)