Outlast intrigued me. So much so, that I wanted to use it to face my fear of survival-horror games. Had the PS4 camera not disappeared from the market, I would be streaming it with my (often funny) reaction to it. This title doesn’t ease you in, you learn the controls in the first few minutes and then the game goes about torturing you throughout.
You play as Miles Upshur, a reporter who is investigating an abandoned psychiatric facility. Miles is a bit of a wimp and pretty limited in his abilities. As Miles, the player can sprint, if you can call it that, and can jump over small obstacles and gaps. As a reporter, he’s only armed with a pen to scribble notes down and a video camera. Outlast prompts you to play through most of the game by holding the camera up which slightly zooms things in. By recording the disturbing events at the hospital, Miles will furiously scribble notes down and reveal more of the story. The camera has a night-vision mode which gives everything a super creepy green color. If you’ve seen the Spanish horror movie [REC] or the American remake Quarantine, you know what you’re in for with the night vision. Nothing is worse than walking down a hallway and seeing someone’s creepy eyes picked up on night vision staring back at you. Night vision drains your camera’s battery, so it behooves you to use it sparingly. When the battery starts to die, the night-vision will flicker which adds another layer of stress to poor Miles’ life. Replacement batteries are scattered around the facility for you to pick up and if you do run out of juice only a small portion of the screen will light up. I recommend grabbing as many batteries as you can hold (which changes based on the difficulty).
The game looks great on the PS4, with lighting effects that take a toll on the player. The same can be said about the audio, but I highly suggest you play this one with headphones on (if you’re a glutton for punishment). Often, you’ll hear your enemies breathing as they’re stalking you, or your own character panting as he’s trying to get away. The sound design also helps subtlety cue you to destinations across the asylum. You might think you are lost, but by listening to what’s going on, you might hear that grate that is broken down and banging against the wall. Outlast makes excellent use of claustrophobic environments that make just about every level uncomfortable to navigate. The maze-like structure of the asylum adds to this feeling of being lost and disoriented. At some points when running away from my pursuers, I really didn’t have a plan as to where to go, but simply sprinted away looking for the first place to hide.
I don’t want to get much deeper into this game for fear of giving out spoilers or further shaping your perceptions of this game before playing it. Outlast is something that needs to be experienced by everyone on PS4, even if only for a few minutes.
A copy of this game was purchased via PlayStation Plus for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Scared out of my Mind
What I Dislike:
- Control prompts
- Loading screens out of no where