Top Critic Average
One of 2013's best games, Outlast deserves success in 2014 as a PlayStation 4 release. Disturbing and macabre, sometimes to the extreme, this is one of the best horror games to grace the world in a long time.
Red Barrels seems to have crafted a character and a scenario that feels as real as the player wants to make it. Knowing that you have no way to fight, and a limited ability to see in the dark, affects your thinking within all situations. In addition, Outlast does not rely on jump scares. While there are some of those to be had, Outlast is truly shaped by the ambiance that it creates; by creating believable circumstances and enveloping you in them at a psychological level. Jump scares may have your heart racing for a few seconds, however, creeping across that darkened courtyard with your batteries running out while something out there wants you tortured and dead will have you on edge until the experience ends.
Is Outlast the best looking game for the PS4? Certainly not. But it more than makes up for it in quality and gameplay, and with a free price tag for PlayStation Plus members, this game must be experienced by anyone who even has a passing interest in the horror genre. So, suck it up buttercup, and get ready to pee on yourself a little. Just a little. It's okay, that's what they make washers for, right?
Other than these small gripes, though, Outlast remains a memorable and incredibly effective survival/horror quest. There are so many moments that will make you feel legitimate fear, and that's no easy feat. It's also worth noting that despite the game's constant desire to make you jump, none of them feel cheap or contrived.
Outlast is terrifying no matter what platform you play it on. Tense, punchy, jumpy and beautifully-paced, Red Barrels' debut is one of the most effective horror games of recent years.
I applaud Red Barrels for embracing the origins of survival horror in a time when horror games in general have become synonymous with high action. The emphasis on running and hiding over standing your ground and fighting adds to the constant sense of dread. While I would have preferred some amount of defensive abilities, the overall experience was frightening, disturbing, and incredibly tense. 'Outlast' is not a game for everyone, and I believe even horror aficionados will be affected by the images and gameplay.
Outlast is flawed in many ways, but it's the most exemplary offering these days of how to engage, entrap, and entice players looking for something that scares them out of their wits.
Let it be known that Outlast is a genuinely stressful and nerve-racking experience, but that's exactly what a true survival horror game should be, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
It's not perfect, but Outlast is still arguably one of the best survival horror games in recent memory. You'll need a strong stomach to get through the campaign, but if you can cope with jump scares and graphic content, then this is an exhilarating experience from bloody beginning to chilling conclusion. With fantastic audio work and a clever camera mechanic, Red Barrels' debut fear fest really will make you afraid of the dark.
A genuinely disturbing and terrifying game that'll have you jumping out of your seat in fright. It's a little short at around six or so hours, but the experience Outlast delivers is well worth the price of admission.
Red Barrels' Outlast is a solid indie title, which provides tension and scares in equal abundance. And while it lacks the sort of story depth a lot of us have become accustomed to, there is still a plethora of terrifying fun to be had. Get it on PlayStation Plus as soon as you can.
There's actually some fun in traversing the asylum with friends around, or by streaming it online via the PlayStation 4's many sharing options. Plus, there's a decent enough mystery at the core of Outlast, and uncovering it bit by bit can be enjoyable if you're able to get invested. There's just not enough engaging material to keep you from getting bored after a few hours. There's plenty of room in the survival horror market for someone to come along and really revitalize the genre. Outlast just isn't that game.
Over the course of this review it became clear to me that unlike the majority of video games, Outlast is in no way designed to be fun. For me at least, it was an ordeal, something I felt compelled to go through but I had no idea why. It is oppressive and morbid, maniipulating common fears of imprisonment, isolation and madness. From the moment you step out of your car at the beginning you will yearn to get back in it and scramble away to safety. I guess at least that's the very aim of horror. Outlast is memorable and gripping, but Outlast is also guilty of being a one-trick pony with little to offer beneath its terrifying surface. Once you've blasted through it once there really is no need to revisit it, the curtain's been pulled back and the puppeteers at work are laid bare for all to see.
Outlast made a splash when it first came to PC and became a favorite among scare cam Twitch streamers and YouTubers, and it will no doubt see a resurgence thanks the PS4's streaming capabilities. The reason Outlast was such a phenomenon is due to its great sense of atmosphere and tense gameplay, all of which is all present in the PlayStation 4 version.
The bigger issue is that Outlast accomplishes far more as an experience than it does as a game. That would be fine, but it tries to be a game more often than its stealth mechanics and AI could bear. Is it scary? For sure. But it's also capable of falling apart completely, deflating its own scare tactics, and leaving you wondering why Miles Upsher can't throw a single punch.