A terrifying trek that sometimes veers into repetitive territory
£14.99 Developer Red Barrels, redbarrelsgames.com
Requires OS X 10.9 or higher, 2.2GHz dual-core CPU, see site for graphics cards
It’s a setting we’ve seen before: abandoned psychiatric institution; shady company performing medical experiments; humanoid monstrosities. This firstperson survival horror game seems like a paint-by-numbers scarefest at first glance, but it goes much deeper.
Outlast does a great job of setting the spooky tone right from the start. Arriving at the asylum to investigate a charity gone wrong, journalist Miles Upshur is determined to break the story. Outlast gives the everyman protagonist a realistic ability to fight (read: none). Miles can’t attack or defend, and there are no convenient weapons strewn about. All he has to rely on are his camera and notebook. Miles’ trusty camcorder is used to take notes on his surroundings, and its night-vision mode is handy when much of the institution is pitch black, as long as it has battery power.
For the most part, Outlast lets the atmosphere raise the tension with creepy residents, precarious light fixtures, audio cues, and more body parts than you ever wanted to see. It’s too bad predictable jump scares add a cheap thrill to an otherwise
Outlast is yell-outloud scary, but the tension is sometimes undermined by a lack of variation.
intense experience. Get ready for a lot of trial and error, as some areas have sparse checkpoints and unclear objectives. You have two options during these sections: run for your life and hope for the best, or bunker down and hide – sometimes for minutes at a time. The suspense of not being able to defend gets old when missions repeatedly use the same structure.
Missions can be repetitive
Predictable jump scares
Welcome to Mount Massive Asylum. We hope you can run fast.