Excerpt: Just when I thought survival horror as a genre was dying Outlast proved me wrong. While it is true that survival horror games have taken a substantial hit over the years with titles like Resident Evil and even Silent Hill losing their way, developers are finding a way to breathe new life into the genre. The biggest trend today in survival horror titles is the inability to fight back in games.
Excerpt: The Whistleblower is a storyline expansion following Waylon Park, the software engineer that sent the inside scoop on that terror that is Mount Massive to Miles Upshur. His part takes place alongside Upshur’s trip through the asylum on a path that doesn’t directly intersect with Upshur’s course but rather staggers behind, allowing you brief glimpses of what happens in the main plot.
Excerpt: I really wasn’t expecting any DLC for Outlast , but I’m sure glad they made some. Whistleblower is not only one of the best DLC supplements I have ever played, it is also one of the best examples of how to integrate your DLC into the core game in a way that fleshes out what you have already played and already know, as well as providing you with an entirely new and equally horrific experience.
Conclusion: Outlast became one of my favorite survival horror games and I gave it a 9 in my review. The game, however, left me wanting for more jump scares and thus I was naturally excited to quickly dive into its story related DLC, Whistleblower.
Conclusion: Outlast: Whistleblower delivers more of the same gruesome locales and jump-scares as the core game, but doesn't introduce much new to the horror experience. Its sound design is still top notch, and it took me to some dark places that few video games ever dare to go. But while Whistleblower sheds a bit of light on the mysteries of the original, but ultimately feels far too familiar, far too often.
Pros: New narrative bits, Great sound design
Cons: Repetitive scares, Bland environments, Annoying enemy encounters
Conclusion: An asylum in the middle of nowhere filled with mentally deranged patients, bloodied surfaces, pitch black areas and supernatural occurrences all makes up for the eeriest experience I’ve ever had in a video game. I am talking about the first-person survival horror game called Outlast. Developed by indie studio Red Barrels, Outlast was released earlier in the month as a digital-only title, and was added to the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection.
Excerpt: Horror, much like comedy, is a notoriously hard genre to get right. When it comes to the world of film there’s now very little out there that has the impact we used to get from horror films. Think of anything you find fearful and it will have been done to death (literally) in dozens of horror films.
Excerpt: Outlast reminds us that we don't necessarily need ghouls and spooks for a good fright; the real world does well enough on its own. Indeed, Red Barrels' new nail-biter may borrow liberally from 2011's acclaimed survival horror adventure Amnesia: The Dark Descent , but it distinguishes itself by tossing aside Lovecraftian dread in favor of the comparatively mundane happenings at a mental institution nestled near Colorado's Mount Massive Wilderness area.
Pros: Beautiful, ominous environments, Fast-draining night vision camera keeps tensions high, Highly effective sound design, Absence of weapons requires smart uses of hiding spots, Fascinating story told through documents and notes
Cons: Lack of enemy variety causes some predictability, Nonhuman enemies are not as scary
Summary: Outlast crafts an incredible, though cliché, horror atmosphere to explore, and taunts players with some big scares, but fails to maintain tension late in the game as encounters become more frequent and repetitious, but less meaningful.
Pros: Impeccable atmosphere, Fear infects quiet moments, Camera mechanic is innovative and effective
Cons: Routine encounters deflate the sense of fear, Trial-and-error rears its ugly head