I didn’t think it was possible to eclipse the fear factor of Outlast. How wrong I was. Whistleblower takes horror to the next level – it’s absolutely terrifying. The gloomy bloodstained corridors of Mount Massive Asylum echo with the faint noise of your pursuer’s saw; the saw with which he wants to cut amputate each of your limbs. It’s a tense and unnerving experience that is sure to have you jumping out of your seat a few times along the way.
In Whistleblower you again find yourself defenceless against the crazed patients of the asylum, with your only option being able to run and hide. Luckily for you, you’re still equipped with your trusty night vision camera, though it’s still constantly running short on batteries.
You play as Walyon Park, an employee at Mount Massive Asylum, who attempts to expose the immoral practices undertaken by Murkoff. Unfortunately for Park he’s found out and then subjected to the same tortures as the patients. However, it’s not long after this that the asylum is running riot with the crazed patients, quickly making escape your main priority.
Although Whistleblower employs the same gameplay mechanics as the original game, it manages to feel a lot different. It’s more story driven, for instance, as the opening level provides a useful insight to what was really happening behind the closed doors of the asylum. At first it feels welcoming to step foot in an asylum that hasn’t yet been over run with murderous beings, but soon enough you’ll find that it’s not that much different with doctors that are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the patients. It quickly becomes clear that something’s just not right.
The general environment is, of course, exactly the same as the original game – it is the same asylum after all. In Whistleblower, however, there’s an added vertical perspective to the level design. Ladders and climbable objects provide an escape route to the next floor but, as you’d expect in a horror game, they’re not always that easy to spot and can be almost impossible to find in the darkness. Obviously this always happens at the worst possible time. When a crazed patient is mercilessly chasing you down and you cant find the way to go you the panic quickly starts to grow. I certainly found Whistleblower to far more challenging than the main game, in several ways.
Just as before, the game looks fantastic. The sprawled human entrails, creepy characters models and faint reflections of the night vision camera look so realistic and there’s a fantastic attention to detail. What really makes Outlast stand out is the way it sounds. The ripping sound of your pursuer’s saw is horrifying enough, but mix this with the racing soundtrack and you’ll soon find yourself peering at the screen through your finger tips. It makes playing with the lights turned off and the volume turned up the best way to play Whistleblower, fully immersing yourself in the horrors that await you.
I cannot stress how scary the Whistleblower DLC is. Many games and films have left me on edge long after playing, but Whistleblower has taken this a step further, to the point where I now find myself scared of the dark in my own home. Red Barrels have yet again created a truly horrific experience, which only improves on the original game.