We here at Gaming Dead are horror fanatics. I suppose I’m speaking for myself, possibly, but I like to be scared in a controlled environment. Honestly, if a rabid Insane Clown Posse fan were running at me with a mullet, I’d be terrified.
So, I did soil myself while playing Outlast, but I did it out of excitement! Seriously, feel my nipples! At this rate, I’ll run out of clean underwear just thinking about it!
Developer Red Barrels’ Outlast puts its main protagonist in the shoes of a hotshot journalist out for a scoop on a lead that takes him to Mount Massive Medical Facility. Yes, it’s an insane asylum and a cliche. We’re all used to that by now. And, yes, the entire game mechanic is akin to that of the Amnesia series. If you’re going to fault a game for using similar mechanics to another game, then no games should be made. Platformers shouldn’t be a genre, and every other shooter shouldn’t exist because Catacombs came first.
Either way, if you’re comparing Outlast to Amnesia in terms of what makes it scary, Outlast wins by a landslide. What differentiates this title from the latter is that its setting is used to create tension, the hallmark of any great horror movie. Atmosphere, loud noises, and moody music may help to create tension, but fear comes from being forced into a situation where you have to, in a sense, outlast the threat. When your enemies are chasing you with blood-soaked surgical instruments through tight hallways, and your only option for survival is to run past and hope for the best, then fear becomes almost too real. This is what Outlast is like. This is the epitome of true terror.
If you’re a fan of survival horror, then this is it! I can not recommend Outlast enough. Buy it, play it, but keep the lights on. You never know what’s really lurking behind you.