Outlast PlayStation 4 Review
I was walking down a dimly lit hallway. I could see through my camera lens that there was a puddle of blood on the floor. Further down the hallway were two doors, one had bloody footprints leading into it an ajar door, the other door was open and had a dim light emitting from it. As I got closer my breath started to pick up, creepy music set in, and I swear I was hearing odd sounds coming from all around me in the narrow hallway. Two feet from the doors and the one that had bloody footprints leading to it closed shut. I paused the game, cut on the lights and said “nope!”
Outlast is full of these moments, moments where you dread to go further because you don’t know what’s lurking behind the next corridor. You’re not armed with anything. You’ve only got yourself, your trusty camcorder, and (hopefully) your wits. You play in the shoes of an Investigative Reporter by the name of Miles Upshur. You travel to Mount Massive Asylum to investigate the suspicious activity. You encounter many strange things here, and unlike traditional horror games, you can’t fight back you can only hide which makes the game much more interesting and harder.
In this game you will be doing a lot of running, and I’m glad to say that the controls don’t add any more to your overly stuffed plate when you’re running from some of the inmates. Moving, managing your camera, peaking around corners, it all feels fluid. Since you’ll always take the sneaking and hiding approach (when you’re not detected of course) it makes sense for there to always be somewhere you can duck into. There’s always a locker, a shaft to jump up to, a bed to hide under, or maybe you want to test your stomach and hide in a bathroom stall with half a leg sticking out of it. You’ll be playing in darkness 99% of the time, luckily your camcorder has night vision, but it’s not infinite, it drains the battery. So it kind of forces you to explore for more batteries which is a good thing, walking around in the dark you’re bound to bump into something that bumps back. The enemies that you run into don’t vary all that much but it’s more of which ones will attack you and who won’t. Aside from some obvious “bosses” you’ll meet along the way all of the patients of the asylum pretty much look the same. Not all of them are hostile though, you’ll find out soon enough when you get close. The game is pretty much forgiving when it comes to them attacking you. Take a few hits, but still able to run past and find a place to hide, also the game saves at checkpoints. As fun as it all is it does start to feel repetitive around the end of the game, but not enough to want you to stop playing it.
Outlast is gorgeous running at 60fps on the PS4. It’s dark and gritty scenery paints a pretty gruesome picture. If you’re not a fan of gore then you might want to skip this game all together. There’s a ton of it. dismembered bodies, blood, guts, heads on shelves, bones, etc.
The plot of Outlast is pretty interesting, but only if you pay attention to it. The game gives back story through confidential files that you can collect throughout the game, and even through the dialogue of some of the characters but it’s real easy to miss. While you’re at the asylum investigating what happened, you figure out that there were inhumane experiments going on that led to the inmates starting a riot which leads to a bunch of other things. I can’t say much without spoiling the entire plot. Keep in mind that the ending was a little weak from a gameplay standpoint but from a story standpoint it made sense.
The best part about this whole experience to me was the sound. It made the atmosphere that much better. You get heavy breathing when you’re scared, floors creak, it really plays with your head and I love it. More games should take note of what developer Red Barrels did here.
This game really takes horror games to the next level. It sets up a nice atmosphere that totally fills you with dread. I would recommend anybody giving this a try. Quick side note if you liked the game Red Barrels confirmed they are working on DLC for the game, can’t wait to get my hands on it!
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