Run for your Life – Outlast (Mini Review)

With the sequel just arriving I thought it high time I went back and finished the first Outlast game. I had always started it, but then scared myself stupid before deciding to play something else.

With my renewed interest in Alien Isolation, another survival horror game, I thought it prudent to go back and see if Outlast is actually a good game. With Outlast 2 out now I wanted to finished the original game before I went and spent money on the sequel.

Is Outlast worth your time. I’m quite happy to say that yes, it is definitely worth your money and time. The developer, Red Barrels, has done a great job.

Outlast - 3

It is safe to say the inmates of the asylum were not well treated prior to your arrival.

Like Alien Isolation your main tactic in Outlast is to stay alive. You do this by running and hiding. The different take here is that you are an investigative journalist who was sent an email from an employee of a particularly grim mental asylum. Being a journalist you decide to check it out and in  typical horror theme, you arrive in the dead of night. You also have a camcorder to record the events and this piece of equipment becomes your lifeline as in dark places using the night mode is the only way you’ll be able to see.

Outlast -5

Night mode on your camcorder will be the only way you can traverse the dark.  The only problem?  You have a limited amount of batteries to recharge the camera.

From there you make your way into the asylum and realise things have not gone well. There are a range of demented characters who live in the asylum, some just whacked out of their skulls, others more so with a homicidal bent. Running and hiding and trying to get out again of the asylum intact is the main premise here.

This game is genuinely chilling and scary in equal measures. Just like any decent survival horror game you as a player become more determined to make it out alive as the game progresses. I found myself gritting my teeth and forcing myself to stay calm instead of just jumping back in terror the further I got into the game. You know you are in a good game when you completely forget about the graphics and become so immersed you are almost the character you are playing.

Outlast 1

Things get really creepy as the game progresses.

Definitely an adult game, there are some truly gruesome discoveries. This is not a game you’ll let you kids sit and watch with you.

This is one of the better survival horror experiences I’ve played and the story is just fantastic. The ending is suitably satisfying too.

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Shadows often play an important part in providing clues as to where to go next.

There is also the Whistleblower DLC, which shows you the perspective of the guy who leaked the email to the press. It reminds me of the original Half Life and then the sequel, Half Life: Blue Shift as it tells the story from a completely different perspective. I’ll write something up on the DLC once I’ve finished it.

If you haven’t played Outlast and love survival horror games, do yourself a favour and pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed on Xbox One. Available on PC and PlayStation 4 as well.

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