Outlast is proof that while some games you play for enjoyment, some games you play to laugh, some games you play to better yourself and others you play to drift into a mysterious world… this one is a game you play to scare the living daylights out of yourself, and this is definitely something that happens. Warning: don’t play handheld when your wife is asleep as your screams may wake her up (and earn yourself a punch in the privates!)
This title was originally released over five years ago and was ported to the Nintendo Switch. It pretty much has to be a perfect fit for the Switch as it’s all about the atmosphere and sound, rather than fast paced action. I played this when it first came out on the PS4 but only lasted around 5 minutes. This version was pretty much the same, and meant it took me a little longer to work through the game than it usually does.
The tale tells us that Miles – our protagonist – has been sent an email stating all the wrong-goings on in an asylum. Apparently, they have been testing out some experimental drug and things got a little ropey. So, of course, Miles decides to break in with nothing but a video camera. What an idiot! At the start of the game, I nearly didn’t make it in to the old mansion. I thought it would be best to spare any scares and just wonder around the outside but I found my ‘balls’ as well as the hidden entrance and made it inside.
This game is all about atmosphere, and the sound, graphics and gameplay colectively play an integral part in creating such a good game. When it comes to gameplay, this game is rather unique in the sense that you can’t shoot the crazies scaring the socks off of you. As well as this, your camera can lose power, and even though I never ran out of battery, the possibility of that freaked me out considering the camera was the only thing providing you with light….
Instead of running around with a gun, you’re constantly running away or hiding otherwise you’ll get caught. You’ll find dark areas and locked doors; you’ll find hanging corpses and other freaky things; you’ll find blood dripping around every corner and you’ll find yourself having to have some quiet time just to unwind. You’re a journalist and you search for the truth but, boy, he could have brought a handgun (this is set in America!)
Graphically, Outlast is another show of what the Switch can do. It revolves around the real world and the graphics won’t stop your imagination pinpointing you within this mental house. That’s what makes it so messed up. I could handle games like Inside, because at no point did I believe it was real life, but Outlast had me far too scared. This, along with the haunting noises that live within the mansion, is enough to make any man crazy enough to belong there. Around every corner is something dark or daunting. If there is nothing but darkness, then you’ll hear a creek or a scream and you’ll want to switch off for a minute or two. The sounds play an integral role of keeping you on the edge of your seat and ensuring that you check your phone every five minutes to keep sane.
Overall, Outlast is one of the scariest games that I have ever played, but I also enjoyed it. Sometimes, you debate the scale of which you are a sadist or not, but we all know that enjoyment comes in different ways. This took me too long to play through due to the constant stops I had to have, but as an experience, it offered me chills I hadn’t felt since my first play on Resident Evil*.
(*DVDfever Dom adds: “Ooh, I remember that feeling!” 🙂 )
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Publisher: Red Barrels
- Players: single-player
- HD options: up to 1080p
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.