Friday Afternoon Ghost Stories 4: Outlast? More like OutBLAST!

I think its been over a year since I did one of these. Or at least pretty close to it. So, to summarize what the goal is, I play some random spooky game, and then I tell you about it. Previously I’ve done Alan Wake’s first 2 chapters, and also the first chapter of the Walking Dead. For this weeks entry, I chose a game I had actually not heard a single peep about until the day it came out. In fact, I’m curious as to why it wasn’t a little bit more popular or at least more hyped. A lot of people have heard about Amnesia, but not this game. So without further adieu, lets introduce todays guest:

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Outlast is a game about a guy. I dont really remember his name, but that isn’t very important. What IS important, is that he is a no-nonsense reporter who ALWAYS gets his scoop. Kinda like Alan Wake. In fact, I think I used that same quote when I wrote the first FAGS. So he hears about this big bad insane asylum up in some hills in Colorado thats been shut down for years, but apparently theres some kind of big conspiracy theory happening. I think I heard them mention MK Ultra somewhere. So, the game starts with you driving up the road to the hospital. Outlast actually has some very nice visuals and graphics for a game that no one heard about, from a developer that I’ve never heard of. Much like Amnesia, Outlast has the same sort of “can’t fight the monsters” deal going on. You either run and hide, or die like a bitch. Instead of a lamp with oil, you are given a video camera with night vision. Batteries are scarce, and the night vision lets you see about 6 feet in front of you. You can zoom in on stuff, and hints are given to you when you film certain events. Actually, I haven’t finished the game, but im hoping you can retrieve all of your recorded footage afterward.

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You make your way into the asylum and you quickly realize that shit is fucked. Theres blood all over the walls and there are people still walking around the halls. Generally they are nice, but make no mistake, they will jump at you and scream OOGABOOGA and scare you. Also theres some big dudes that remind me of abominations from Warcraft III. The game plays exactly like Amnesia, with a little less interactivity. You hide under beds a lot, and you see a lot of penises. In fact, I saw about 3 times more dicks in this game than in every other game I’ve ever played. Unfortunately its an all male asylum I guess.

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I wont bother really going into detail about what happens in the game, because I dont really want to spoil it, although I really can’t I suppose. So I’ll just get right down to the details that matter.

SPOOKY LEVEL

One of the most important parts of a horror game is this, IS IT SPOOKY? So you ask, is Outlast spooky? My verdict is yes. Yes it is spooky. A lot of jaded internet warriors will tell you that jump scares are not scary. To be honest, I dont know what scary really is. I dont scare easy, but Outlast made me afraid to turn off the lights when I went to sleep. One of the contributing factors to spookiness is fear of dying, etc. Outlast kind of messed this up, because you are pretty much invincible. Once you get past the fact that theres a deranged priest wielding a machete chasing you, you realize you can just run past him and go where you need to. No real reason to be worried. But if you kind of let yourself get immersed, it will get your blood a-pumping.

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So on that topic. I give Outlast a 8.5/10 on spook level. Thats not to be confused with Def Jam Vendetta, which was a 10/10 on the spook level. Oh, racial humor. The only parts I docked it points for, were the fact that you can survive very easily even when caught. The night vision really reminded me of Blair Witch Project, which scared the shit out of me as a child. I liked it.

GAMEPLAY

It played very well. It had your standard corner peeking features, and you generally felt like you were actually running from something when the time came. (As compared to most games feeling like you are just floating down hallways, Outlast had motion bob, which makes all the difference, just ask your mom). It has a little bit of a free running element (like Brink had) which was interesting. You could actually slip on pools of blood on the floor, which led to some funny trips. Other than that, theres not much to say in terms of gameplay. It was an interactive horror film. As said before, it wasn’t very hard, because you learn quickly that you just sprint past everything with little chance to harm yourself, and if you die, you respawn close-by with full batteries. You could probably beat the game in less than 1.5 hrs if you felt like it. But dont ruin it for yourself. You could spoil movies and shows on the internet, too. But you dont, because you enjoy the journey to the end.

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GRAPHICS

Everything looks great. The lighting is amazing, and when its dark, its DARK. None of this shit where I can crank the brightness up and still see. Its meant to be pitch fucking black, they really want you to use that night vision. I mentioned pools of blood before, well if you do step in them, youll leave footprints all over. This has been done before, but its a nice touch. You can actually see your feet in the game, I like being able to do that. Why in Call of Duty, do you have no feet? Its bullshit. When you are peeking around corners, or approaching them to walk down a hallway, your character will actually put his hand up on the wall to give himself leverage to turn or peek. Small things like this add to immersion, and make games great.

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OVERALL

Although I still havent finished this game, I’d say its probably one of the better, if not the best horror game I’ve ever played.  I thought Amnesia was alright, although I barely played any of it. Isn’t that how opinions work? Anyways, I would definitely suggest giving this a go once it drops down in price a little bit. I think I paid something like twenty earth dollars for this, but then again, I waste money on Pokemon cards and I’m a grown man. So what do I know? Outlast is a very scary game. Dont let the internet tell you that it isn’t.  Yes, its like 80% jump scares that actually can’t hurt you, but as I said before, immersion is key. If you can’t lose yourself in a video game for a few hours, you should probably fuck off and play Farmville anyways. Or Candy Crush you colossal faggot. The atmosphere is very very spooky dooky, and you will think twice about walking around in the middle of the night with a night vision camera after playing this.

I would rate this on the 88 star scale, but I’m too fucking lazy to make an MS paint picture of some shittily drawn stars. So I give it a 72/88. Just pretend I made one.

-stalinsaurus