The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
I came home from work, eager to finally get my hands on Outlast. Ever since i saw this game announced, i desperately wanted to play it. Being a huge fan of the horror genre and hearing nothing but great things about the game, my anticipation was killing me. Well, i started up my PS4 and headed into the store, but something happened. A message popped up, "undergoing maintenance", you have got to be kidding me? So for the next 30-45 mins of me trying to get in the store, it finally happened. Found the game, immediately started the downloading process. Now that i had the game downloading, i started getting nervous of what exactly i am about to experience. I never get that feeling about a horror game, but for some odd reason i was frightened of what exactly i was about to witness.
The game had stopped downloading, i looked at the 'start up' icon for a few seconds. Any other game i would have quickly hit X and booted the game up. Not this game, i was procrastinating, i was actually trying to find an excuse NOT to play this game. I have to feed my dogs, do i have laundry to do? Maybe i should get an early night sleep? Literally, i was avoiding the game now. Finally, i looked out my window, the sun was gone and a ice storm had begun, making the already dark night even more grim. I closed the blinds, shut my door, turn off all the lights, picked up my 7:1 surround sound headphones, took a deep breath, pressed 'start'.
*...I rather not*
As soon as the starting screen showed up, i was already feeling the terror that awaits me. Before the game starts, it warns you that your character is not a fighter and the only way to survive is to run and hide, thanks for the heads up. The game starts out with your character, Miles Upshur, an extreme journalist that got a news tip about secret experiments happening inside the walls of an asylum. Driving in his car towards the asylum on a stormy night, setting the mood perfectly of what is to come. You come up to a gate, shut off the car, look through some documents that explains why exactly you're brave enough to be their, then grab your camcorder and test out the features zooming in and out and flipping on night vision.
This opening segment of the game is sort of a tutorial for how the controls work. Here is a quick glance at what you are working with.
L2/R2= peeking around corners/look behind you while running.
L1/R1= sprint/bring up camcorder
Square= opening doors (holding square slowly opens doors)
D-pad up/down= zoom in/out
D-pad left/right= notes/documents
You pace around the front outside of the asylum, looking for a way to get in. The front door being unlocked would be to easy. Instead, you need to snoop around to find an alternate way in. Once in you are immediately introduced to the night vision mode on your camcorder. This lens of sight comes in handy for the dark rooms and hallways, which there are many, but it runs on batteries. Keep an eye on the battery life so not to run around blind in the dark, and be sure to scavenge for extra batteries laying around.
The atmosphere is intense, in an excellent terrifying way. Every corner you come up to, you'll find yourself hugging the wall and peeking over, praying nothing pops up in your face. With blood smeared over the walls, and distant screams echoing through the crazy ward, causing Miles to frantically catch his breath. It's these moments that Outlast shines with its intense horror approach, leaving your hands clammy and your heart racing. When you finally come across one of the deformed freaks, you freeze in fear, you can't fight these things, so the only thing you can do is to avoid them and hope they do not spot you. I found myself running towards a bed and hiding underneath if i heard footsteps or something talking. These distant noises aren't just background noise, some are actual in game audio, so if you think you hear someone talking or something getting closer, they probably are.
* You falling in love with the wall?*
The visuals are visceral, the 'inmates' walking around have rotten flesh, deformed faces, sewn up eyes and mouths, it is quite repulsing. The look of the camcorder makes things grainy, like an actual horror movie. The night vision mode has the enemies eyes freakishly glow if they are staring in your direction. With gutted bodies and decapitated heads laying around, this adventure isn't for the weak. If you enjoy horror games and are looking for an excellent scare, i highly suggest a play through of Outlast.
+ immersive atmosphere
+ solid controls
+ true horror gem
+ great camcorder use
- AI issues