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PAX East 2013: Outlast Hands On Impressions

Posted on March 26, 2013 AT 02:59pm

I arrived for my appointment to demo Red Barrel’s indie horror game Outlast a bit early on Friday at PAX East. As I stood off to the side awaiting my turn I watched the faces of con attendees that stepped out from behind the black curtain once they were done playing the game. While the looks ranged from excited to frazzled it was very clear that everyone walking in to play the game were walking out with a strong impression of some sort. But more powerful than the faces were the shouts and nervous laughter I could hear as people played through the demo. I spent the rest of my wait time hoping I wasn’t about to embarrass myself by jumping out of my skin like those before me.

In Outlast you play a foolishly ambitious reporter who gets a tip that something is not quite right at the local insane asylum. So naturally our protagonist is on a quest to get to the bottom of things by finding the truth. The demo opens with you being outside the Mount Massive Asylum building at night, trying to find a way to break in. Eerie ambient sounds help make the darkness around you seem that much thicker as you try to tip toe your way around the property. Thankfully, for as vacant as the place appears to be, someone was kind enough to leave the window open on an upper floor. Traverse a bit of scaffolding and you’re in!

Once in the asylum, you’re going to immediately regret any misplaced notions you may have that survival horror games aren’t scary. Unlike other titles in the genre, Outlast has no combat system. Making swift stealth maneuvers and quick decisions are  the only ways to safely move from one location to the next. There’s also very little lighting, leaving you to rely on your trusty night vision camera which will betray you by running out of battery life if you’re not careful! Optimistically running your way down a hallway with flickering lights is a rookie mistake as mutant humanoid creatures are lurking in the shadows and sometimes out in the open! You have three objectives while playing Red Barrels Outlast. Run, hide, and find the truth. Outlast is a must play for any self-proclaimed horror fan.

Outlast will be out on Steam in Summer of 2013.

About the Author: Laura has many varied interests outside of video gaming. Other hobbies and areas of obsession include: hiding her Boston accent, singing, Metallica, The Walking Dead, Iron Man, Green Day, The Boondock Saints, tattoos, Pomeranians, and the paranormal. Follow Laura on Twitter: @DN_VampPMS

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