Outlast Review: welcome to your stress management test
- Posted February 13th, 2014 at 07:40 EDT by Garri Bagdasarov
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Red Barrels' Outlast is a solid indie title, which provides tension and scares in equal abundance. And while it lacks the sort of story depth a lot of us have become accustomed to, there is still a plethora of terrifying fun to be had. Get it on PlayStation Plus as soon as you can.
- Phenomenal atmosphere.
- Genuinely scary and stressful.
- Unique use and implementation of the video camera.
- Repetitive stalker pursuits.
- Underdeveloped characters and story.
- Battery life for camera's too short.
Although the game starts off strong especially with the scares, these scares become less apparent and are mostly replaced with stressful chase moments and supernatural elements reminding more of F.E.A.R. rather than the game I was playing an hour ago. Although these work in a different way to induce fear in a player, they just don't offer the same impact. The final chapter in the game also leaves a lot to be desired, and also seems to end up being the most boring part of the game.
Outlast is one of the most atmospheric games out there, with great lighting and sound design. Hearing the sounds of inmates cry-out throughout the asylum and walking through darkly-lit corridors had hairs standing on the back of my head throughout the adventure. The asylum itself is massive in scale making the varied locations that players explore seem different and unique. Every part of the asylum feels frightening, from exploring the blood-soaked sewers to the pitch-black courtyard, every environment players explore has a life of its own and its own type of inmates that inhabit it.
Though Outlast is an indie title, it has proven that the dwindling survival horror genre still has life. It's worth noting that the blood, gore, and male genitalia may seem excessive at first, but simply serve to show the horrid conditions and treatment these inmates received and lived in, and indeed what they are capable of. Although its story and characters could have used more time and attention its phenomenal presentation, atmosphere, and its ability to stress me out (in a good way) to the point where I could only play the game in small bursts says a lot for how much the human mind can handle.
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