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 is scary and will make you feel fear. It doesn't do much more than that, but if horror is what you're looking for, you won't do much better than this.
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.
An intense survival horror experience from start to finish.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any interest in horror of the most unsettling and macabre nature, Outlast deserves your time.
"You can only run or hide."
Review in Finnish | Read full review