Today in gaming there is a genre that is lacking and that is survival horror. After the golden age of horror games during the playstation 1 & 2 era, horror games are no longer the norm. Today all we have is the same recycled shooters that have little to no innovation. Even Capcom the company that made survival horror into a genre with its acclaimed Resident evil franchise, has taken the dark path and has destroyed the beloved horror series. But there is no need to give up hope yet. In the last few years we have seen a rising in indie horror games come out (mostly on PC) and has shown that there is still a horror fan base in gaming. Games like Amnesia: The dark descent, Slender and many others have kept the horror genre in the field but there is one game that I have played recently that has given me my survival horror fix and that game is Outlast.
Outlast is a 2013 First person survival horror game. Developed and Published by Red Barrels and was released on PC, Plastation 4 and XBOX ONE.
The game’s plot is rather simple. You play as freelance journalist Miles Upshur who after an anonymous tip, travels to a remote psychiatric hospital located deep in the mountains of Colorado. There Miles must find out what dark secrets the Hospital holds. The story line of the game is not very long depending on the difficulty you play. If you play it on normal then the game will last you from 5 to 6 hours of game play. In the game you are only equipped with a camcorder and must use the camera’s night vision to navigate through the dark halls of the Asylum. The camera does have a battery life so in order to keep it running you must find batteries located around the Asylum. There is absolutely NO weapons in this game, in order for you to survive you must run and hide from the homicidal inmates that roam the asylum. This makes the game very suspenseful and very nerve-racking, not to mention that the inmates will become more aggressive each time they are alerted of your whereabouts.
Moving on from game play, Outlast has the most terrifying atmosphere I have seen in a horror game in years. From the bright lit rooms with corpses and blood covering the floor to dark, run down cell blocks which are still inhabited by crazed inmates, you will have the feeling you are not alone and that there is always something around the corner. Most of the scares in Outlast mostly depend on the environment. Sure there may be some jump scares here and there but the environment around you supplies the feeling of fear you have while playing. To add to the atmosphere of the game, Outlast has a very good soundtrack. Both terrifying and relaxing depending on the situation you are in.
Now onto the performance of the game. If you are planning to get it on PC (which I highly recommend) then you have no worries the game does not require a huge rig on steroids, but just to be safe please check the game’s requirements. I currently run the game on my laptop which has a intel core i5 processor, 8gb of ram, 500gb hard drive, and Intel HD 4400 graphics card; and I am able to play the game on maxed settings with 40 to 50 fps.
If you miss the good old days of horror back on PS1 and PS2 then I highly recommend Outlast. It has everything you need for a late night scare. Outlast is now available for PC, Playstation 4, and XBOX ONE for $19.99 as well as the Whistleblower expansion for $9.99.