Outlast + Whistleblower DLC: Fun times in the mad house. (Warning of ending spoilers for Outlast)
Outlast is considered to be one of the scariest games of all time. I was well aware of the game’s reputation. When Humble Bundle emailed me about a giveaway for this game with the Whistleblower DLC I had to take it. God, what a game.... Outlast opens up with Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist arriving at the sinister Mount Massive Asylum after receiving an anonymous email about inhuman treatments at the Asylum. Miles, always wanting a good story sneaks inside to see for himself and everything goes downhill from there for him. Now he must try to make it out of the Asylum and avoid the violent patients while discovering what happened at the Asylum and record as much evidence to destroy the Murkoff Corporation who drove the patients to murder in the first place.
Gameplay is simple at first glance, you are armed with a camcorder which has night vision and is used to record sightings for Miles to build his report. While you have night vision on the battery life drains so you have to balance using the night vision and finding batteries which are scattered throughout the Asylum. You can peak around doors and you can run, you can also hide in the lockers and under tables to help escape should anyone spot you. That is it. There is no combat in this game and it does not need it. It helps add to the nightmarish situation Miles is in. He is just a reporter lost in a place where almost everything wants to kill him. Miles and the player have to use their wits if they want to survive and it is done so well in Outlast.
The atmosphere and the sound design are the strongest points of this game. Just playing this game puts me on edge, the simple act of pausing the game makes the smallest unnerving sound that puts the player on edge, there is very little music with the exception of key moments to insure the full effect is set in. But asides from that all there is Miles terrified mummers, irregular breathing patterns and whatever sounds the docile or hostile patients make while hunting you or busy warped up in their own little world. It is so effective. One standout moment for me is when I was trying to escape one special encounter, hiding in locker hoping and praying that he would not find me. I was such an emotional wreck. That was one of many moments that bring Outlast close to my two favourite horror games, System Shock 2 and Bloodborne. I do not say this lightly. The game’s atmosphere is that brilliant.
So with all of that said Outlast should slide neatly into my Hall of Fame correct?
If it was not for the final moments of the game it would have been in the Hall of Fame quite happily but it sadly does not stick the landing due to one stupid element that is out of place and unnecessary.
Please be warned I am about to spoil a bit of the ending so if you do not want to read this part then please skip over the next paragraph now.
After Miles gets the key to the elevator which would take him to freedom, instead it takes him to an underground lab run by Nazi scientists who are responsible for everything. I would like you to think about that for a second. Did that sound like something from Outlast or from Wolfenstein? If you answered the latter then you must be as shocked as I was when it happened because it left me thinking how the hell it went from insane murderers that had a semi realistic edge to it then turn into something as cartoonish as evil Nazi scientists doing evil Nazi scientist things. Would have System Shock 2 been better if at the end SHODAN was just part of some prank a co worker played on you? Would have Silent Hill 2 been just as effective if the joke ending was the real ending? I doubt it.
Outlast is one of the best horror games out there, that is a fact. I am really disappointed that the final stage of the game had to take such a silly turn.
Whistleblower is a short (about 2 to 3 hours give or take) piece of DLC that serves as a prequel and parallel story to the main Outlast story. You are Waylon Park this time, a software engineer who was working at Mount Massive and is the one who tipped off Miles Upshur to the treatment of patients. He is discovered and is placed in the Asylum to shut him up. After all hell breaks loose he tries to escape and tell the world. Gameplay is not different at all from the main game and a few familiar enemies appear and some new ones which I will not spoil here.
I would say that Whistleblower is better story wise because even though the silly element is still there it is not quite as prominent in the DLC as it was in the main story. I do consider it a plus.
Outlast + Whistleblower is a terrifying nightmare though hell. It is one of the best horror games out there but sadly it just barely misses being one of the best games due to that one stupid story element.
Woah that was ride. One of my first experiences with a true horror game and I enjoyed it to the fullest. The game is not of the longest, but that is a good thing, because there's not many mechanics to it. You basically just run and It could become boring doing that for 10+ hours. Instead, the developers chose to condense the game into this small package of intense atmosphere and fun. I will never forget how tight the experience was especially in the beggining. Thank you and here's a BIG thumbs up for me.
I generally stay away from horror games because most horror games try and scare you with cheap jumpscares, making your expierience feel lackluster and boring. That's not the case with Outlast. This game uses jumpscares but they are used in creative ways and are kept to a minimum. The game relies on tension and stress to scare the player and it works extremely well. Dark themes are present within this game and don't aim to disappoint.
In the game, you play as a reporter who is on a mission to uncover the secrets that lie within the walls of Mount Massive Asylum. You enter the asylum uncertain of the horrors that awaits you and things in this game start to escalate really fast when you see the amount of blood that has been spilled. It's a very intense horror expierience meant to bring stress to the player.
The gameplay is simple and heavily stealth based. You cannot attack enemy NPCs' and the only way to defend yourself is to run or hide. It is rather challenging to escape your enemies and requires quick decisions to be made if you want to survive. You have a nightvision camera to help you record events and see in the dark.The goal of the game is to find a way out of the asylum but it's alot harder than it sounds. There are exploration aspects which allows you to find documents containing information and lore of the world you are in.
This game is for people who want to invest in a thrilling expierience which can make you proud upon completion and can be played in one sitting or more. It is a great game for youtubers to play on their channel and for a bunch of friends to get together and see who is the "bigger man".
Outlast relies on gritty-looking visuals to set the tone.The game is dark and relies on the nightvision cameras' green effect to add a 'found footage' factor into the art-style. (reminding me of movies like "The Blair Witch Project") The visuals look good and realistic enough to fully immerse the player into the game.
The music in this game isn't particularly "beautiful" but thats how it should be since it ups the tension whenever you are spotted and allows for fear to enter the players' mind. Hearing the screams of people behind the walls in the building is oh so terrifying and the sound of a chain dragging on the floor as you desperately hide in a locker, praying for your life, is absolutely dreadful. The sound is realistic and allows for full immersion into the game.
EASE OF USE
Outlast is challenging, but requires a minimal amount of learning to complete. All you need to know is that you have to run and hide when enemies are unaware of you. I had alot of issues with platforming and jumping felt unnatural. The game has controller support but is best played with mouse and keyboard.
The game is very linear, but benefits from that by making it easy for the player to know where to go at all times.
The only replay value this game offers is if you want to complete it on a higher difficulty or if you want to hunt some achievements. The game alone is mainly there for a "one-time" expierience.
I recommend Outlast to fans of the horror genre because it is absolutely terrifying. The quality of the game is nothing short of amazing. The game is very entertaining and defines the genre it is placed in. It is a unique horror expierience that lives up to all the hype surrounded by it.
I saw outlast at a grocery store in Florida yesterday. I told him how cool it was to meet him in person, but I didn’t want to be a♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥and bother him and ask him for photos or anything. He said, “Oh, like you’re doing now?” I was taken aback, and all I could say was “Huh?” but he kept cutting me off and going “huh? huh? huh?” and closing his hand shut in front of my face. I walked away and continued with my shopping, and I heard him chuckle as I walked off. When I came to pay for my stuff up front I saw him trying to walk out the doors with like fifteen Milky Ways in his hands without paying. The girl at the counter was very nice about it and professional, and was like “Sir, you need to pay for those first.” At first he kept pretending to be tired and not hear her, but eventually turned back around and brought them to the counter. When she took one of the bars and started scanning it multiple times, he stopped her and told her to scan them each individually “to prevent any electrical infetterence,” and then turned around and winked at me. I don’t even think that’s a word. After she scanned each bar and put them in a bag and started to say the price, he kept interrupting her by yawning really loudly.