|Developer(s)||Red Barrels Games|
|Publisher(s)||Red Barrels Games|
|Designer(s)||Philippe Morin and David Chateauneuf|
|Writer(s)||J. T. Petty|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3.5|
September 4, 2013 (Worldwide)
NA February 4, 2014
EU February 5, 2014
June 19, 2014 (Worldwide)
OS X & Linux
March 31, 2015
|Ratings||PEGI 18, ESRB M
|Awards||Game of the Year (FEAR Award)
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Input||Gamepad, keyboard and mouse|
|Media||Digital download (Via Steam, PSN store & Xbox Marketplace)|
|Downloadable content||Outlast: Whistleblower|
- "Hell is an experiment you can't survive in Outlast, a first-person survival horror game developed by veterans of some of the biggest game franchises in history. As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, explore Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret... if you dare."
- ―Outlast tagline
Outlast is a first-person survival horror video game developed and published by Red Barrels Games. It was released on September 4, 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 on February 4, 2014 as the free monthly title for PlayStation Plus users, and for Xbox One on June 18th, 2014. A direct prequel and finale to the game, Outlast: Whistleblower, was released on May 6th, 2014 for PS4 and PC, and on June 19th, 2014 for Xbox One. Following the game's overall success, the developers started working on its sequel, Outlast 2 which is scheduled to be released in fall of 2016.
Outlast was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic the PC version holds an 80/100, and PS4 version of game holds an 78/100, with praise stemming primarily from its horror elements and gameplay while being criticized for its environments and character modeling. It has been received with a number of accolades and awards from E3 2013, including the "Most Likely to Make you Faint" honor, and one of "Best of E3".
Outlast is a survival horror game. In order to survive, 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 them 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's night vision working. The story unravels through documents that can be found in various locations. They appear as blue folders with "CONFIDENTIAL" stamped on the front.
Miles Upshur, a freelance journalist, receives a tip-off from an anonymous source about Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric hospital owned and operated by the Murkoff Corporation. Upon gaining entry to the asylum, he finds the bodies of the asylum's staff strewn about the hallways, and the now escaped inmates, known as The Variants, roaming the grounds. Progressing through the upper dormitories, he encounters an impaled tactical officer, who in his dying moments tells the journalist to get out of the asylum while he still can. Exiting the dormitories, Upshur is attacked by a powerful inmate named Chris Walker, who throws him through a window, and down to the atrium. Upon regaining consciousness, he encounters "Father" Martin, an inmate who believes he is a priest. Martin says Upshur was sent by God to be a witness to his cult and has to stay in the asylum, and then departs as Upshur passes out again.
Awakening, Upshur starts his attempt to find a way out of the building, while avoiding attacks from Walker and the other inmates. However, as he attempts to unlock the main doors from security control, he is ambushed and sedated by Martin, who again states that he must remain at the asylum and witness the events there. Martin shows him footage of the asylum's security forces being slaughtered by a mysterious, seemingly supernatural entity known as The Walrider before transporting a now-unconscious Upshur to the asylum's holding cells.
Upshur is forced to work his way upwards through the sewers after encountering a pair of inmates, the Twins, who express a desire to kill and eat him. However, the duo abstain from attacking for the moment, as Martin has asked them not to harm the journalist. Upshur makes his way through the sewers, while avoiding attacks from hostile inmates, finally reaching the asylum's showers.
While attempting to escape through the showers, however, he is attacked yet again by Walker, and escapes through the vents. Progressing further through the building, Upshur is soon chased into a corner by several inmates, but escapes through a dumbwaiter, only to be captured by one of the Asylum's now psychotic doctors, Dr. Rick Trager, who collects body parts of the inmates. Trager imprisons Upshur, strapping him to a wheelchair, and slices off two of his fingers using a large pair of shears. Upshur manages to escape and a chase ensues, followed by a struggle when Upshur pulls Trager into a moving elevator and crushes him between floors.
Encountering Martin again, Upshur exits onto the asylum grounds, but he is chased back inside by the Walrider, revealed to be a ghost-like being which Upshur can only see with the naked eye and while using his camera's night vision. He is forced to circumnavigate the ruined stairway to access different floors of the building by following a trail of blood Martin left for him to follow. Upshur finally locates Martin in the asylum's chapel to witness the latter's death, self-immolation on a crucifix, before taking the now-repaired primary elevator down. Martin tricks Upshur, however, and instead of taking him to the exit, the elevator takes him to an underground military facility beneath the asylum. While searching for an exit, Upshur is chased by the Walrider and finds Walker on the other side of a door he runs through, who incapacitates him. However, before Walker can kill the journalist, the Walrider attacks and brutally kills the inmate before leaving. Upshur proceeds into the facility and meets Dr. Wernicke (originally believed to be dead), the scientist in charge of the entire experiment known as "Project Walrider".
Wernicke explains that the Walrider is the result of nanotechnology experiments conducted on an inmate called Billy Hope, and that the Walrider is controlled by Hope. Wernicke orders Upshur to find Hope in the laboratory and kill him by shutting off his life support system, thus killing the Walrider. After accomplishing this task, Upshur is caught by the Walrider who brutally beats and possesses him. Limping towards the exit, he is confronted by Wernicke, who is accompanied by several armed guards who repeatedly shoot Upshur. As Upshur collapses to the floor, the screen fades to black and Wernicke's voice is heard as he realizes Upshur has become the Walrider's new host. Panicked gunfire, screams and mauling sounds are then heard briefly before the credits roll.
Outlast originally had a standard difficulty. After a few updates, the game features four standard difficulties; Normal, Hard, Nightmare and Insane. When playing on the regular difficulty, enemies are less aware of the player's whereabouts. As the difficulty increases, the door shut sound becomes louder, The Variants become stronger and wiser, being able to kill Miles very easily (requiring fewer hits) and making it difficult for the player to hide, as they thoroughly search rooms and various hiding spots. In addition to all of the previously mentioned disadvantages, the Nightmare difficulty limits the player to a maximum capacity of only 2 batteries. The Insane difficulty has no checkpoints, meaning that if the player dies, they will lose all of their progress and be forced to start from the beginning of the game.
- Main article: Outlast: Whistleblower
On October 31, 2013, Red Barrels Games announced a DLC pack for Outlast, called Outlast: Whistleblower. The game starts as a prequel, revealing the events that led to the asylum's incident, while overlapping and stretching past the main story to reveal its ending. The plot takes place in the same setting as its predecessor and follows the story of Waylon Park, the anonymous tipster to Miles Upshur. It was released on May 6th, 2014, for PS4 and PC, and June 19th, 2014 for Xbox One.
- Main article: Outlast 2
On October 23, 2014, Red Barrels' co-founder Philippe Morin confirmed a sequel to be in development. The sequel, a new survival horror game set in the same universe as the original Outlast, would present a different location and different characters.
The two made demos weren't publicly released and were only available at gaming conventions, such as Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). Few YouTubers were given a free copy of the demo to demonstrate the game's content to their respective audiences.
The first demo was released at E3 and PAX East. It features Miles at the asylum's courtyard from the start in front of the scaffold. The main story is the same with some differences, omitting notes and documents and minor alterations to the camcorder's display design, as well as starting off with 4 batteries instead of 2. While passing through the first hallway, a mental patient can be found dead at the bathroom near the sink, contradictory to the final version where he locks himself in the bathroom and later runs away after Miles traverses through an air duct. Upon trying to cross the debris at the upper hall of the atrium, Chris Walker will ambush Miles and throw him through a window into the lobby, where Miles will meet Father Martin for the first time before passing out and waking up in one of the basement rooms. After attempting to leave, Walker will burst through the door and chase Miles without attempting to kill him, but will consistently attack the player if he catches up to them. The player will have to evade Walker and escape through an air vent located in the generator room from where Walker came from. After emerging from the vent, the player can finish the game by exiting through a door where Chris will, yet again, ambush Miles before tearing off his head.
The second demo was released at PAX Prime. It starts off right at the beginning of Prison Block. The gameplay begins at block A and goes up to the point where Chris Walker breaks through the airlock. The demo concludes as soon as Miles gets blasted from the balcony onto a pile of dead bodies. Additionally, The Twins' character models were swapped with the ones from a common Variant, due to the limited graphical nudity that was allowed.
Original Soundtrack (OST)
- Main article: Outlast Original Soundtrack
|Miles Upshur, Stephenson||Shawn Baichoo|
|Chris Walker||Chimwemwe Miller|
|Father Martin||Andreas Apergis|
|Richard Trager||Alex Ivanovici|
|The Twins||Taller Twin (Neil Napier), Shorter Twin (Alain Goulem)|
|Rudolf Wernicke||Marcel Jeannin|
Differences between releases
- Many abilities possible on the DualShock 4 controller were missed. One feature that would increase immersion, though was not implemented, would've been the requirement to scribble the player's finger on the TouchPad in order to take notes. The controller's built-in speakers are not used, unfortunately. One feature that was included is that the light on the front of the controller will illuminate a respective color based on game activity. Normally, it's white. When using night vision optics on the camcorder, it turns green. When the player takes damage, it flashes red, and when Miles dies, it turns red and fades to orange.
- The original version of the game had quick time events on Windows where the player had to consistently swipe their mouse to escape the grips of attacking Variants. These were later replaced with cutscenes via Steam update, with one exception on all systems when Miles freed himself from the wheelchair's restraints, after Trager cut off two of his fingers.
- Outlast's logo is a symbolic representation of the player's venture throughout the asylum. At first, they start off in a seemingly secluded and illuminated area, away from any danger. With each step they take, the situation aggravates and the player's vision becomes shrouded by darkness, forcing them to rely on the camcorder's night vision. Additionally, it reflects Miles' fracturing psyche while slowly descending into the asylum's chaos with each new obstacle, as evidenced by his notes.
- Although the game was released with English audio exclusively, a dedicated community had recorded a Russian dub for Outlast that can be applied to any version of the game through custom modifications.