In the remote mountains of Colorado, horrors wait inside Mount Massive Asylum. A long-abandoned home for the mentally ill, recently re-opened by the “research and charity” branch of the transnational Murkoff Corporation, has been operating in strict secrecy… until now.
Acting on a tip from an inside source, independent journalist Miles Upshur breaks into the facility, and what he discovers walks a terrifying line between science and religion, nature and something else entirely. Once inside, his only hope of escape lies with the terrible truth at the heart of Mount Massive.
Outlast is a survival horror game. Much like games, such as Amnesia, the player must either run or hide from enemies. Combat is not possible and attempts to confront an enemy will result in death. Players can hide in lockers and under beds. However, enemies will look for players in these areas, so care must be taken. When running, the player can look back at their pursuer. Closing doors will impede enemies and squeezing through small spaces can lose them.
The only item players will have equipped is a camcorder. The camcorder is battery operated and includes night vision, which is used to navigate through dark areas. Having the camcorder on helps to record events and put notes in the player's notebook. Batteries need to be collected throughout the game to keep the camcorder working.
The story follows the investigations of Miles Upshur, an independent journalist, who travels to the remote Mount Massive Asylum in the mountains of Colorado after receiving an E-Mail from an inside Source, who informs him of terrible experiments and unethical treatments of the patients there.
Miles sets out to the Asylum, mainly to gain evidence against the famous Murkoff Corporation, who took over the complex a few years ago and kept their work there strictly hidden to the public.
While finding armored vehicles in front of the building, Miles quickly recognizes that the main entrance is locked. Shortly after entering the asylum through an open window on the first floor, he finds blood stains and bullet holes in the walls. Minutes later he stumbles across several slaughtered employees and security guards in the library, their corpses torn to pieces and beheaded. Miles stumbles across one lone survivor, a SWAT officer, who with his final breath manages to warn Miles of the escaped patients, which he calls variants and that Miles cannot risk trying to fight them. Desperately clinging to what little life he has left, the officer pleads to Miles that Miles must get out of the asylum before succmbing to his injuries and dying. Terrified, Miles tries to escape, but is moments later greeted by an horribly disfigured escaped patient with an inhuman build and strength, who throws him through a window down into the asylum's main lobby, causing Miles to pass out. Regaining consciousness for a few seconds, he is greeted by a "Father Martin", another patient, who is oddly dressed like a priest. Father Martin tells Miles to stay in asylum, as Miles passes out.
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