DISCLAIMER: This game is Rated M for Mature for strong language, violence, blood and gore, and scary imagery.
Have you ever wanted to know what it feels like to be completely defenseless in an insane asylum where all the patients have been “operated” on to blur the boundary between what is human and what is, well, not. Well then, play Outlast. If you enjoyed games like Alien: Isolation, then I would recommend this game.
The game’s basic story is you are Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist going to Mount Massive Asylum to, well, investigate the goings on there after receiving an anonymous email about the terrible things happening there. As you approach the archaic looking building, you see some military vehicles that are completely empty. Seeing as the front doors are locked, you have to break in through one of the windows. Upon breaking in you see the entire military squadron has been killed, aside from one, who is dying after being impaled on a pike. The soldier tells you that the patients of the asylum, called “Variants” have escaped, and that you need to get out while you can. Unfortunately for you, before you can heed his warning you are thrown deeper into the asylum by a huge variant. Now all you are left with is your trusty video camera (with optional and helpful night vision) to record every horrific thing you see.
This game relies on a lot of creepy and disturbing imagery, tense chase sequences, and disturbing lore which can be found in the documents that are riddled throughout the asylum to be “scary” and let me tell you it achieves that with what is given to you. However, there’s just something about the fact that, I’m in an insane asylum where the patients are out and about and are creepy, and seemingly always ready to chase after you and slice you up, but I don’ t ever feel threatened, even though you don’t get a weapon.
I have quite a few problems with this game, like I said, for a horror game, I never feel scared while playing it, when I’m being chased I feel more annoyed than scared. The controls feel really clunky to me, and the game doesn’t give you a clear definition of where to go, which, while yes it makes it a bit more stressful when you’re being chased, and if you had a waypoint or marker telling you where to go the game would be shorter than it already is, which is about six to eight hours minus the DLC, but at the same time it’s also incredibly annoying because I don’t know where I’m going, and it then goes from being “Ah crap, leave me alone! I don’t want to die!” to “Ah crap I’m gonna die. Again.” and it starts losing the “fun” aspect.
However what this game does right is the creepy atmosphere, the enemy designs are horrifyingly gruesome, and story itself is very good and very disturbing if you get into the lore like I mentioned above. The use of the video camera to record everything is a very cool concept, and in the sections where it’s pitch black and you have to use night vision can be downright terrifying because everything is in a greenish light which makes everything look creepier, which works amazingly (though how batteries for the camera are scattered around the asylum is AWFULLY convenient).
At the end of the day though, this game is a good time if you like survival horror type game, it does have its fair share of problems, so I think I’m gonna go with a solid 7.5/10 for Outlast.