As I mentioned in the original article last week, Outlast has come along during a resurgence of horror titles in the indie gaming scene, and has been scaring people since it launched on PlayStation Plus back in February. It’s also available on PC, and now Xbox One, so is it worth checking out if you missed it back then?
Now, we’ve got about 20 comments here, so we’ll get through as many of them as we can before delivering the final verdict.
Unfortunately, psychobudgie was not enamoured with the title, saying that it was “very underwhelming to the point where I just couldn’t be bothered” and that it’s essentially a “one trick pony” which “lacks atmosphere”. A controversial opinion, perhaps, but still quite an interesting one!
MrYd completely disagreed with the previous comment, describing it as “possibly the most terrifying game” he’s played and stating ” it relies on some cheap jump scares in places, but it doesn’t abuse that too much”. This then evolved into an interesting discussion about horror in general from both Yd and psychobudgie, which you can read here if you feel so inclined.
“While it’s enjoyable and scary as absolute fudge, the fear pours away when you get caught and killed because you can just pick back up from about a minute prior and go through it all again.” said CrawFail, bringing up an interesting point. “The consequence for getting caught wasn’t enough in my opinion.” continued Craw. Tony Cawley, meanwhile, hasn’t gone back to the game after getting stuck on a puzzle.
LegendishThingy said that Outlast “comes dangerously close to giving you a heart attack whilst actually making the game quite enjoyable to play at the same time”, something which has been praised time and time again. JustTaylorNow didn’t agree, saying that much of the scares were expected, yet elpablo79 hasn’t even finished it due to being scared.
Similarly, Eldur only managed about fifteen minutes of game time before “some… thing… scampering around in the room you’ve just left” was too much to handle! “I will go back, but only when it’s light outside and I can be assured nobody will leap out at me when I stop playing.” TSBonyman’s comment was lovely and concise: “I liked the fright but didn’t enjoy the flight instead of fight.”
Andrewww’s comment really highlighted what makes Outlast so good, across a number of reasons:
This game mixes a few elements so brilliantly that the resulting atmosphere is just fantastic. First, it’s not the usual shooter, you cannot even hit back, you just can run or hide, or die. This makes it so much scarier, as you feel pretty helpless and out of control. Second, the darkness and the limited vision when using the camera work perfectly, you often don’t see things coming, and you know that there will be things that are after you. Third, the sound design is just great, your ‘own’ breathing, the theme when Walker is around, and sometimes in the dark you have to listen carefully where your opponent is, and it works so well.
So, that’s it for Outlast. There’s been a bit of a mixed response to this one, with seven votes for Buy It, one for Plus It and two votes for Avoid It. Seems as though it’s worth checking out, then!
We’ve got South Park: The Stick of Truth coming up tomorrow, which should be an interesting one. That means that Octodad and OlliOlli return to the poll, while they’re joined by newcomers in the form of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and Thief.