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Iconic picture for Outlast.

Outlast – PC

More batteries than scares.

Outlast coverPlatform: PC

Developer: Red Barrels

Publisher: Red Barrels

Release Date: September 4th, 2013

Genre: Survival Horror

Nerd Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed by: Kidd

There are few horror games out there that I love. I’ve played many in my day. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of The Earth. I enjoy all two of those. But Outlast, wow. Outlast is one game I will remember and I will never regret buying. Its sticky situations kept me on the edge of my seat, the graphics were pretty impressive for this kind of game. And I even jumped. I’m not one to get scared just from playing a video game, but this truly had me out of my seat. Albeit, some of them just simple jump scares, but they were actually pretty scary situations that seemed to be daunting and hopeless. Fright was a true element to this game, and I really enjoyed playing it.

As soon as the game starts you’re driving a nice little truck along the mountain path towards the Mount Massive Asylum. The place is located in Lake County, Colorado, and is owned by the Murkoff foundation. The Murkoff foundation is known for corrupt experiments and guess what you’re here for? Whistleblower, an anonymous tipster has alerted you, Miles Upshur, to investigate the inhumane experiments going on at the asylum. Of course. Now, Miles Upshur is not an ordinary journalist, mind you. He will do anything to get the story. Anything. Well, that’s what he thought anyways.

outlast 2

Driving to this lowly mountain asylum, you stop the truck, turn it off, and approach the gate. What, no welcoming committee? Well, just you wait friend. Allowing yourself into the courtyard, you’re forced to maneuver yourself like Altair from Assassin’s Creed. Climbing the ledges to find some way in, you finally throw yourself into the Administration block of the Asylum. Big mistake.

As you travel through the hallways and corridors, you’re instantly going to learn something. Apparently your fists turned pacifist and your only options are to either run or hide. Now, this is one of the few things that make me mad. Yes, I get the running and hiding, but good lord, the guy breathes like a train. Let’s not even mention how this guy walks like a troll, alerting every “Variant,” (the Asylum’s patients) and every creepy crawly for miles. Many times through the gameplay the freight train breathing was my only alert towards potential threats and danger. And when a variant spots you, you might as well say your goodbyes unless you know exactly where you’re going. Yes, doors provide distraction, as do jumping over waist-high obstacles, but they don’t work for long. Three hits and doors are completely down, and three seconds to get over an obstacle at the most. But this is actually very fun in my eyes. It’s like a test of your reaction speed, and as the game progressed, I definitely improved. Not saying I wasn’t stuck on some parts for thirty minutes and up, but you get my point.

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Right off the bat this is one of our first big tough guys. And trust me, you don’t want to run into him. Avoid him at all costs. Through many many documents and notes, we learn this tortured guy’s name is Chris Walker. He has self mutilated himself beyond recognition, ripping his forehead apart, stating it allowed him to see better. Crazy, right? Just wait until he spots you. And if you’re caught, you’re forced to endure at least a ten second animation where you are picked up into the air, and your arm is ripped out of its socket as blood coats your vision. This man follows you throughout the game and is definitely not friendly or easy to hide or run from. Even though he’s a massive hulk, he’s just as fast as you and don’t forget it. You’ll know he’s near you by the sound of chains that are stripped to his wrists or ankles. He’s the truest of enemies if I’ve ever seen one.

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This holy “Priest,” is Father Martin. Not all the asylum patients are bad. He is the man who saves you from Chris Walker and from his understanding you were sent by God himself to witness the travesties that happen in the asylum. Now, even though I do root for him, that doesn’t mean he’s not batshit crazy. I mean this guy compares himself to Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit all in one string of words. But he is a crucial element to this game. From him, you learn who the Walrider is, who is the cause of the outbreak. He saves you, shows you the way and even gives you the keys to elevators, fixes the elevators, and roots for you to exit the asylum and spread his gospel. Yeah, okay.

SS01

Now this sick fuck is Richard, “Rick,” Trager. Or, as I like to call him, “Dick Trager.” This man is the one who has been talked in hush whispers by all of the Variants around the asylum, and is the man who experiments on the patients in the asylum for fun, and wants you as his next subject. In the process, you lose two fingers, a whole lot of blood, and are forced to watch yourself vomit endlessly. Luckily removing two fingers added enough lubrication by blood to the straps on your chair, so you’re not there for too long. Crawling away and hiding from this twisted freak was pretty easy, but he gets what he deserves.

468px-OLGame_2013-09-12_21-47-54-56

Now, this is the Walrider. A demon, devil, god, whatever you want to call it. Only you can truly uncover the experiment behind this apparition, and it is just one of many mysteries in the Mount Massive Asylum. I can’t say much about him, or else there would be no mystery to solve, but what I can say is… Don’t worry about him as much as Chris Walker or Trager. Even though he looks big and bad, his bark is worse than his bite. He’s pretty easy to escape from, and not too fast. But he will be appearing around random corners as you try to escape, so just proceed with caution and you’ll be okay.

Now that we’ve got the characters out of the way, we can get down to the gritty gameplay. My biggest tip is that you don’t have to worry about wasting the “precious” batteries of your camcorder, because trust me, there’s more batteries than scares. Even though ninety percent of the gameplay you have to use your night vision. I think that I left over twenty batteries uncollected, and ended the game with a full cache of ten batteries. So, really, don’t worry wasting batteries, because in the beginning, you’ll get down to 3-4 batteries but about ten minutes later there will be batteries galore. I will say this though, treat the ledges like cliffs, because if you fall, you will either die, or be killed by cannibalistic brother variants. Another tip, whenever you’re jumping from ledge to ledge, hold shift+W, and hold that spacebar all the way until you’re safe on top of that next ledge. If you do that, you won’t have to fall for half an hour before you experiment with this.

All in all, I did have one question in this game, just how fucking big was it. Just when you hit the next block of rooms and halls, you think you’re safe, but it’s all a big circle, and then repeat that circle a couple more times. Totally way too big of an asylum for my taste. I would have preferred exploring the same four or five areas multiple times, but this did add a lot of great gameplay, so in the end, I shouldn’t complain.

Another thing that you should always remember and I didn’t think about until I read some reviews and walkthroughs after the game, is that you should have that camcorder out at all times. I usually hate reading in games, and the documents were a drag, but when you record everything around you you’ll get more and more notes, and this guy writes some awesome notes. They’re usually curse-filled and funny, at least to me. Plus it makes me feel prideful, as if I got an achievement.

So with crazy psycho variants, mutilated cancerous hulks, crazy cannibalistic variant brothers, religious mental priests, schizo insane doctors, and ghostly fading apparitions, I definitely can not complain about this game. It provided me with entertainment for about a week, and now all I want to do is travel to the asylum in this real world, and bring a bomb.

Outlast06

The gameplay controls are surprisingly good. in the left, when the camcorder is active you have the amount of time you’ve been recording which isn’t really important, but is interesting. In the right, when camcorder is active, you have your battery life which lasts surprisingly long. At the top, again, when the camcorder is active, you have your zoom bar. And in the bottom left is just some useless information about your camera. For the PC, you simply use WASD to move, left ctrl to crouch, left shift to run, and tab to access your documents, notes, inventory, and your objective. Right click accesses your camcorder, scrolling zooms in and out, and J accesses your documents. The controls are super easy and you’ll be a master of it in no time.

The graphics are steady and good, but the farther you go, the more lag it creates. Maybe it’s my computers’ fault, but it was a tough game to swallow even for it. But beside the occasional lag, and a warm bottom of my laptop, everything was fine. I would recommend giving your laptop or computer a break every once in a while, just so you don’t overheat. It’s definitely a good quality game, and if I didn’t have this great laptop, I wouldn’t have been able to play it.

Just remember, you have to act fast, make split-second decisions, and go with your instincts. Or else Chris Walker or any other of the variants will easily defeat you with no problem, guys. Don’t worry too much about the batteries, and try not to get lost. Definitely recommended to anyone who wants to sit inside, turn off the lights, and shit themselves. Okay, maybe not shit themselves, but anyone will have a nice scary time playing this game with headphones in the dark!

Written by Nerd Bacon

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3 Comments

  1. When playing through on Nightmare, you can only hold two batteries and they run out with night vision on in what seems like 30 seconds. It’s rough ;O

     
    • If it had just been a carrying capacity of two batteries I think I could have dealt with it. Although with a limit of thirty seconds, I’m absolutely sure that is rough! Added with the already crazy intensity of Chris Walker, That really is a Nightmare! I might just have to play through it again!

       
  2. Julia Salines says:

    Thanks, I been wandering about actually buying this one. Looks like a good one!

     

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