Outlast

Good
  • Atmosphere produces plenty of real scares across the hospital enviroment
  • Video camera mechanic adds a touch of realism and encourages exploration for batteries
Bad
  • Struggles to maintain the same atmosphere and pace throughout the game which results in an experience that ranges from memorable to forgettable
8

Outlast offers a terrifying experience that draws inspiration from other first person survival horror adventures such as Amnesia. First released in 2013 for Windows the game later expanded to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac and Linux and the Nintendo Switch over the following years along with an eventual game sequel (Outlast 2).

outlast-gameplay-hospital

Outlast follows your journey as Miles Upshur, a freelance journalist who receives a tip about events going on at the psychiatric hospital known as Mount Massive Asylum. Once you arrive at the hospital though you find that the doors are locked and you are unable to gain entry to investigate the report you received. After you gain entry to the hospital (which also serves as the tutorial) you find that the staff of the hospital are dead and the monstrous patients are roaming around inside. With these strange patients becoming aware of your presence they begin to chase the player who must avoid the same fate as the staff. Over time players encounter the main patient protagonists and unravel the story of how control of the patients was lost.

Your first encounter with such a patient happens fairly early on in Outlast as you explore your first of several hospital wings. This encounter leads you to be thrown through a window and meet an inmate that believes himself to be the religious leader of these once human patients that have become closer to unrecognisable creatures. This priest like figure known as Martin makes several appearances throughout your journey to escape and adds another story element to the underlying creepy atmosphere.

outlast-gameplay-character

Beyond the atmosphere players will find the gameplay in Outlast matches up with the likes of Amnesia where players have no weapons and must rely on their ability to run and hide if they are to escape the asylum. As a result your survival is based on understanding the map layout, places to hide and the threats stalking the player. To help your chances of success further players have a full range of movements available be it running, crouching, jumping or climbing that allows you to hide above and under obstacles with running away your last resort before you’re returned to the last checkpoint if caught.

This movement style ensures that players have a great sense of realism as you walk sideways to squeeze through a narrow opening or pulling yourself up onto a ledge to escape the horror just behind you. With the hospital being a dark place an important mechanic you’ll use time and time again in the dark corridors is the light source from your handheld video camera that Miles brought with him to perform the investigation.

outlast-gameplay-camera-night-vision

Doubling down in the realism further the use of this video camera is not free and will drain the batteries with use that requires players to find replacement batteries around the hospital and will force players into sticky situations as a result.

Summary:

  • Follow the story of Miles Upshur a freelance investigative journalist in the Mount Massive Asylum.
  • A terrifying and dark atmosphere with dark corridors of creatures that were once human.
  • No weapons – all you can do is run and hide in the vneironment.
  • Use your handheld camera to light up the dark areas of the game and manage your battery usage.
  • Horror game first released in 2013 with a 2017 sequel (Outlast 2).

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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