Outlast - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

February 04, 2014

Also on:

PS4 PC Xbox One

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.5

Summary:

Outlast is a true survival horror experience which aims to show that the most terrifying monsters of all come from the human mind. The game takes place in the remote mountains of Colorado, horrors wait inside Mount Massive Asylum. A long-abandoned home for the mentally ill recently re-opened by the “research and charity” branch of the transnational Murkoff Corporation, the asylum has been operating in strict secrecy… until now. Independent journalist Miles Upshur decides to break into the facility and what he discovers walks a terrifying line between science and religion, nature and something else entirely.

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by Techland
Release Date: 01/27/2015

Details

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 5GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 8.5 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-09-26

Darren_Summerell

Writer

PS4

7.5

Outlast is a first-person survival horror video game developed and published by Canadian company Red Barrels.

The survival horror genre has experienced quite the renaissance in the past decade or so after experiencing so much success in the early days of console gaming. On the PlayStation 1 and other consoles of the period we saw titles like 'Resident Evil' set the tone for years to come. And then the genre sort of fell out of vision and experienced a lull. Now, thanks in due part to games like 'The Evil Within' and 'Slender Man' we have a surge of similar titles on the market. One of those games is called Outlast and it was developed by the guys and girls over at Red Barrels. The game was created for current generation consoles only: the PS4, XB1, and the PC. We picked up a copy for our PS4 after realizing how limited the genre was at the moment. It felt nice to take a break from some of the more frantic shooter based games we had been playing. Still, Outlast was developed by a team we weren’t familiar with and we stepped into its world with trepidation.

Outlast is centered around Mount Massive Asylum and it is there that everything begins to go very, very sideways for a journalist by the name of Miles Upshur. The asylum is located in the mountains in Colorado, and is definitely dressed for the part of horror story setting place. We are given tertiary information about the place, though nothing too explicit, before being dumped into the game. What we find out is that it was formerly a home for the mentally ill before being bought by the Murkoff Corporation. You don’t need expanding upon them, but Murkoff is up to some pretty shady stuff in a pretty shady looking building. So it is up to us, the ever earnest journalist Miles, to find out what exactly is going on in there. We are given a tip from a source and go to visit, thus creating the foundation for the game.

Most of the time when we pick up a horror/survival game we are pretty committed to living by the tropes of the genre. We don’t need something completely unique in terms of story narrative to keep us hook because the genre itself insists certain paths be followed. While that still holds true, we did start to see some unique adjustments in Outlast that made the game much more enjoyable than it otherwise could have been. That isn’t to say that the title doesn’t lean heavily upon the ground tread well before it. There are still jump scares, loud noises, things in the shadows, and creepy, leering people. There is one particular moment that seems ripped straight from your most recent fill in the blank horror film that gave us quite a fright and ended up as one of our favorite moments. Let’s just say that the moment involved a headless body showing up when you least expect it. Well, we hope that you never truly expect to see a headless bodies...Anyways.

Outlast sets you up as Miles the journalist in a very realistic way. You don’t have the option to really defend yourself. This isn’t a game rife with combat and the point isn’t to fight your way out of sticky situations. The goal for you is to navigate throughout these situations in order to never let them get to the point of killing you. You don’t have weapons. You don’t know kung fu. You can’t really defend yourself. So this immediately sets up an air of paranoia as you try to work through a game that you know can kill you with ease. You begin to move more careful and cautious, trying to go unnoticed when you can and stick to the lit areas when the opportunity presents itself. Death comes quick and strangely satisfying and you only have to experience it once to hold the controller a little bit tighter.

As far as graphics are concerned, Outlast is about as mediocre as it comes. The game doesn’t push the PS4 hardware and those on the PC will surely roll their eyes at some of the lower quality textures. Still, like in horror films you are able to get away with a ton due to the nature of the genre. The game looks great when it sticks to the moody and dark asylum halls and for the most part there isn’t anything distractingly bad. It’s not PS4 quality, but it’s good enough to keep you fully immersed while you work your way through the twists and turns of the narrative, all while trying to avoid death.

Probably the most entertaining aspect of the game is the way that it incorporates darkness into the mechanics. Darkness permeates Asylum and it is therein that danger is truly lurking. Everywhere is dark and the only way you can escape is via flickering light in the ambient background or by using the infrared mode. Looking through this POV for your camera is almost more terrifying because it highlights what is out there in dark reds and light shades of green, making everything even more inhuman than it was prior. If you do decide to opt for the infrared you need to keep an eye on your battery. The closer your battery is to death the more important it is that you scrounge around for back up packs. There are batteries littered throughout the mansion (for some reason) and they will become your best friend. You don’t want to be without light in case something bumps into you in the dark..

A lot of what makes Outlast effective is the way that it incorporates a sort of ethereal aspect to the fear. You’ll see things in the corner of your eye only to spin around and see nothing. You’ll walk through a doorway only to have it slam shut behind you. Sometimes you feel like you are walking in circles. In any event, you’ll likely push through the shorter campaign mode (6 to 8 hours) with more than a few jumps. It’s not bad, but Outlast is far from a unique experience.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Jun 19, 2015
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By:

Red Barrels

Release Date:

February 04, 2014

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