Thursday, August 4, 2016

Game Review: Outlast and Outlast Whistleblower

Rated M warning for the trailer. And this was the least disturbing one I could find!

Outlast and the DLC follow-up Outlast Whistleblower are hands down my favorite horror games to play in the recent years. In the first game, you play as an investigative reporter breaking into an insane asylum after receiving a lead, and in the second, you play as the person who gave the reporter said lead, who later becomes a patient at the hospital. In both cases you are armed only with a camera and...well, just a camera really. You cannot fight at all in the game. So when bad things come at you, the only option is to either run or hide. 
Your enjoyment of these games might depend on your squemish level, as Outlast holds very little back (especially in Whisteblower). There is full-frontal male nudity, torture, cannibalism, and lots of blood and gore. Even a hardcore horror fan might be disturbed by a few images they see. And in case anyone is wondering, nope, there are no women or children in this game. Only the men get to suffer in this one.

Overall, the gameplay is pretty basic. You need to use the camera to both see in the dark and record events into your notebook, adding a shaky-cam element to the game. Sometimes running and hiding involves some strategy, but it can get repetitive after a while. One annoying habit I found was that sometimes the music sting will alert me that someone is chasing me well before I had even seen him. However, since this is an insane asylum there are several patients who will either help you or hurt you, giving the opportunity to shake up the gameplay and lead to some crucial scary moments. 

The story is pretty basic as the main character does not speak and any internal thoughts are recorded in his journal. I do like Whistleblower a bit more than the original game, as the pacing is a bit better and Gluskin is the most memorable villian out of the series by far (long story short, he is a man who wants a wife and children. And since there are only men in the insane asylum...Gluskin gets a little creative. The man is the perfect combination of sick and twisted, but also tries to be a perfect gentleman when he's chasing you with a knife)

FINAL GRADE: 5 out of 5. Despite the nitpicks I mentioned, this game does horror amazingly well. The locations are varied, the atmosphere is perfect, and all the jumpscares and suspenseful scenes are used perfectly. If you're looking for a game to keep you awake at night, this is the one.

Sadly, Outlast 2 has been delayed to Spring 2017, but I am eagerly awaiting this one. The fact that it's an indie releaes without a large studio backing is even more impressive. 

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