Before I really get into this review I want to first layout some of my past experience with a few other horror games. I didn't play many but a few that I did are the Dead Space games and Resident Evil 4. Those games outside of a few jump scares did not really get to me that much, but this game on the other hand freaked me the **** out.

                In this game you are taking on the role of a journalist that is inspecting the mental institution, Mount Massive Asylum. You are there due to a tip for an anonymous whistleblower, who said that there were strange things happing at the institution. And as it happens you bit off more than you can chew and end up trying to learn more about what happened there while trying to find a way out of that madness. The story never really grabbed me, and as the game went on it made less and less sense.

                And as a journalist you come armed with your trusty camera...and nothing else, ever. And that camera is greatest tool you could ever ask for in this place, because the lights are out and it's dark as hell. But thanks you the night vision mode on your camera the darkness is not your enemy but an ally. Because you can see those who wish you harm, while they can't, or at least not very well. But the one down side is that it drains it's batteries like no one's business, so you are on the consent hunt for more and forced to make good use of the night vision and face the darkness head on from time to time. And if you point the camera at something interesting most of the time it will be recorded and you will write a little not about it, but this does not take up battery life only night vision drains them.

                This game like some other "indie" horror games like Amnesia features a combatless gameplay system. Where when you encounter the insane inhabitants you can't fight back, all you can do is run and hide. This leads to some freighting run in's when they spot you, and you have to run away and find a hiding spot and then wait, watch and listen for them to go back to their business. This is more nerve wrenching thanks to the great sound design where you hear them walking around the room searching for you in some of the different hiding spots so they can kill you. But it is fairly easy to avoid your pursers because of it being so dark, so they lose sight of you quickly. I at one time was just standing up at the back of the room and a purser could not see me when they were at the door way, and it was not a large room either. But even with it being so easy to escape I still was freighting when they found me most of the time.     

                This game has fantastic atmosphere and is just strait up creepy most of the time. The location of a mental institution for a horror game may not be the most original idea but the location was done very well. With blood and bodies all over the place, and run in's with the deformed inmates common they give you more than enough of a reason to fear them. The sound design is great, the sound of hearing footsteps in the darkness (sometimes even my own) cause me to panic and hit the deck to avoid being discovered, and hearing an inmate walking around while hiding is pretty panic inducing. This all peaks for me at the end of the sewer section that you just have to experience to truly understand. The overall visual and sound design was very well done and makes a very tense game, even when you are all alone. And in a horror game this is one of the most important aspects.

                Outlast is the best horror game I have ever played. While it has some flaws, like being able to escape pursers easily, batteries draining super-fast, and the story not being very good, it's still able to hit major highs and remain a frightening experience throughout my time with it thanks to the combatless system, camera and fantastic atmosphere. I would recommend this if people want to play a good horror game. But I don't want to go back for a second visit any time soon, and that is a complement to the developers over at Red Barrels for making one of the most terrifying games in some time.


I give this game a 8.5