Yep, it’s scary as hell.
Outlast is another nail in the coffin of Horror video games which fits in the genre of first person views. Today I’m a journalist, much like how I like to think of myself writing these blogs. For some reason I decided to take a chance on a story which tells of a company investment into an asylum which like the Umbrella Company ironically went wrong too. Because face it anything screaming Company investment clearly has positive reviews in a horror flick. Mean while, apparently there’s some reason behind the fact the asylum was reinstated and allegedly there’s shenanigans afoot. If no one could tell based on the missing gate guard.
Step one is to drive up to the gate. Step two is walking up to the front door and then step three is climbing a scaffold to a window to then climb in successfully essentially breaking an entering. After finding a guy impaled and crawling through some ducts. I get thrown out a glass window into the foyer. While trying to realize I got fucked up, some priest is knelt by me and thanking ‘God’ I arrived.
Now the fact being the game was developed independent of Ubisoft translates to some idea of professionalism. On the other side, the golden star can be ripped right off because getting up close and personal with the patients within the asylum didn’t look good. Attention to detail was clearly within the confines of atmosphere, but not so much on the nitty gritty.
For the most part Outlast lives up to the title, essentially outlasting every task we have to accomplish here. From grabbing a security badge, unlocking THREE generator switches, than finding THREE switches to start the sprinkler system, THREE other items to interact with just to get into the next task all the while being chased down by our beloved Chris Walker aka the big brute who’s out to kill you. These moments are panicky. I’ll say the uneasiness is totally within this game. While a majority of the inmates are out to kill you, another group really just want to watch TV snow, pound their head into a wall, or simply talk to you. If not curled up in the fetal position. This aspect is great though because it creates a since of tension and uneasiness. Especially when you have no idea what’s coming next. However, things are done in a pattern of THREE which is ridiculous especially when something as simple as “Get out through the exit” consists of THREE keys, THREE puppies, and a hair tie because we’re clearly trying to MacGyver the fuck out of this joint.
The storyline is driven by two aspects. First a cam corder which is used to document everything you see. Some moments become written document by yours truly expressing whatever simple minded observations are seen. The other is running around finding documents in offices. Especially the Security rooms. Meanwhile, that cam corder I brought up has battery life which means we have a form of currency within the game. Usual survival horror default of bullets. Outlast decided to team up with the Energizer Bunny on this one. While most of the time the cam corder can hang on E/near death. The function doesn’t fulfill as well as you would like. Especially the night vision bits. Not to say there isn’t enough batteries to ‘survive.’ However, when caught between a rock and a hard place a full set of batteries oddly helps out. The only annoyance is in cam corder mode, I saw this from seeing a friend play, you’re literally watching a first person horror flick i.e. Blair Witch/Diary of the Dead/House October Built style. Provided it’s all done well I started to feel a little Sea-sick but I digress.
The plot line after fulfilling the overall arch gets skewed after the priest guy decides to pull a Jesus Christ moment. The moment I found myself in the court yard I began to ask myself why the hell i hadn’t ran to my car yet!? I mean in the process up to now, I’ve lost two fingers, broken the damn cam corder and somehow got outside. Like I said in a prior review we once again came to the idiot plot we all hoped to not be in. While it would be obvious to NOT try to find the “crazy” secret going on in the asylum. Far be it for me to say after getting my fingers chopped off we should just keep on going. However, we do! We had a moment to literally figure out how to get to the car and instead we’re trying to find an underground base!
Needless to say Project fuckville was a success which blew up in front of everyone’s face till the anticlimactic ending which seriously didn’t make sense at all. Dramatic, maybe… resolution, no… And it seemed to be a common thread in Outlast. A lot of drama leading from one thing to another contrived thing. Especially when the repetition is in THREEs. However, while it’s strategically fun and exhausting to play. The overall arch isn’t what we all came here for kids. I’d say the ending was just about as good as The Park. If The Park had actually made sense. Outlast on the other had is like the Pepsi Challenge without having to really give a damn there’s a reward at the end. And might I just go on to say to those whom happen to be writing a project which involves an Asylum. Why not do something which isn’t far from the outrageous. American Horror Story had a great season till Aliens got involved. Likewise with Outlast it was a fun terrifying game till Star Trek science got involved. Which is sad, you literally had me in the palm of your hands till about the last act of the game when I realized yet again I was in it for the win. Doing yet again another THREE item task.
I’m not one for spoilers when a game is fun enough to experience. However, I draw the line here so I’ll come out and say it. YOU DIE IN THE END.