The lights are on
Outlast is a first person horror game made from Red Barrel, that consists of ex-employees from EA and Ubisoft. You are a journalist who gets stuck in a mental asylum where there is deformed people and other things creeping in the night. On this game, much like Amnesia, you have to avoid the enemies because you cannot fight back, but that is where the similarities end.
Outlast has inspiration from the film REC, where you use a camcorder's night vision to see the creatures trying to find you in the dark. If you are in a dark the night vision comes in handy, because you can see the creatures, but they cannot see you. The night vision though has it cons. For one your field of view is lower so you cannot see as much, the batteries die fairly quickly so you need to look for more, and the creatures eyes glow when looking in your direction. The game adds all of this to make it quite terrifying. This game does not let up either you are constantly be tracked down or chased. You would think seeing these creatures again and again would make it less scary, but no, it never loses it's fear factor.
The controls and fluidity of your characters movement also feel great. The controls are quite simple, but feel at home on the mouse and keyboard. The level layout is great as well with so many hiding areas and long creepy hallways to keep the tension up. The movement of your character and his controls have much inspiration from Mirrors Edge. You can leap over tables and bars and slam doors shut behind you to slow your pursuers, or hiding under a bed. When being chased you can use items to block doors, which can be used against you as well. You might be being chased and the door you need to go through is being blocked by a heavy object, that when it is being push slowly out of the way you can hear the voices and clamping of feet coming up behind you.
Outlast is up there with horror games like Amnesia and Slender when it comes to sheer terror. Yet has its own style that is unique to horror titles. This is one game that does not let up from beginning to end. The terror starts almost at the very beginning and does not end until the end credits. This is a horror title to be remembered.
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