You are in a dark hallway. Your breathing starts to get heavy. All you have with you is a video camera with night vision and next to no battery life. Walking down the hallway, you turn a corner and your breathing increasingly gets heavier. Music playing in the background starts building up to a crescendo and out of nowhere a zombie like man starts chasing you. You hop over desks in your way, get to a new room, and slam the door behind you.
In this room there are a few options: stay in the open and risk death, or hide. Hiding is really the only survival option. You hop into a locker. Whoever, or whatever, was chasing you breaks down the door and then looks around the room. Your breathing is ragged, your heart pounding. Not just the in game character, but yours as well. Then your worst dreams come true: the guy rips open the locker and kills you.
This is just one of the scenarios in the indie survival horror game “Outlast”. The game is scary and suspenseful and takes things from various other well-known horror games such as “Amnesia” and “Resident Evil”. There are puzzles to solve, rooms to explore, and patients of Mount Massive Insane Asylum to meet.
The story of “Outlast” is simple. You are a reporter who wants to show the world what really happens at Mount Massive Insane Asylum. Going in you find the place littered with dead bodies and no one in sight, with the exception of a few patients. From circumstances out of your control, you are locked in the asylum and now have to find your way out.
The game takes cues from various other games in terms of mechanics. Walking is simple enough and you just have a video camera in one hand with night vision. No fighting takes place in this game whatsoever. The only goal is to survive either by running, hiding, or a little bit of both. There are boss fights but not in the normal sense. These are just chase scenarios throughout the asylum and involve setting some sort of trap or lasting until you get to a new section.
One of the greatest things about the game is its simplicity and pace. Yes, the game is short. That might be a turn off to some but it does add a challenge: speed runs. You can run through the game in an hour, maybe a little less or more depending on the difficulty you are playing on.
This game was released on the PC a few months back but now is available on the PSN for the PS4, free for PS+ members. The port is solid: no lag and steady. There is a new feature: Insane Mode, which is an added difficulty. The difficulty differs in that it has no saves and if you die you have to completely restart. You also have only 2 spare batteries for your camera. This is survival at its core. It is a nice addition and people will work to beat it on that difficulty.
Overall “Outlast” is a decent game. Is it worth $10-15 for the content? Not really. If you have exhausted your supply of horror games though, it is worth checking out. It is not the greatest game and definitely not for everyone. This is definitely not for the faint of heart.
GRADE: 2.5/5 Stars