A ter­ri­fy­ing trek that some­times veers into repet­i­tive ter­ri­tory

Mac Format - - RATED - Sarah LeBoeuf

£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.

Re­ally scary

Great pre­sen­ta­tion

Mis­sions can be repet­i­tive

Pre­dictable jump scares

Welcome to Mount Mas­sive Asy­lum. We hope you can run fast.

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