“I’m gonna die in here!”
GENRE: HORROR/FIRST PERSON
DEVELOPER: RED BARRELS
Okay. Okay. A quick disclaimer: I’m a coward. Oh yeah, that’s right: I’m a yellow-bellied, lily livered chicken heart gutless skulking pussy baby. That’s me.
Put me in the same room as a six year old girl and surprise the both of us with some guy in a scary mask screaming “A-boogity-boogity-woo!”, and I can guaran-fuck-tee you I’m the one who is going to squeal the loudest. Now make that room a dark one, and you’ll be paying for my therapy (and laundry) bills for months. I’m a grown-ass-man who is scared shitless of anything horror is what I’m saying, so of course the job of reviewing “Outlast”, one of the scariest horror game this side of indie, falls onto me.
Thanks, Nerditis. Thanks a lot.
Outlast is told through the eyes of mostly-silent protagonist Miles Upshur, an intrepid journalist whom I am most certain had gotten beaten up at least once in his childhood for his unfortunate last name. In the spirit of such courageous reporter, where “courageous reporter” here most likely means “someone who is willing to get himself super-murdered in pursuit of a Pullitzer Prize”, I shall carry out this review by jutting down my thoughts after several minutes of play. Here we go!
First 5 Minutes…
So here I am on my final approach to Mount Massive Asylum, a decrepit building set in podunk backwater Nowheresville out to pursue some kind of a story lead given by some guy that I don’t know. Lovely. You know, it’s thanks to the kind of shitty economy that the U.S. is plunging itself into that a humble nobody journalist such as our pal Miles here has to travel to the edges of the Earth, and potentially gets man-raped by a bunch of redneck hillbillies, just to keep his job.
I’m blaming Bush for this.
Anyway, there it is: Mount Massive Asylum. Everything about this place just gives off a completely creepy “Stay The Fuck Away” vibe, and yet the game practically forces me to move forward by kicking me out of the car. I guess I have nothing else to do, since the exit gates are locked now anyway. I mean, what else am I gonna do? Stand by the car for fifteen minutes?
15 Minutes Later…
So here I am standing by the car for fifteen minutes and just thinking what a fantastically stupid idea this is. First of all, why am I not allowed to bring a cellphone along? This is 2013, for C’thulhu’s sake, and I’m playing as a JOURNALIST, even! What kind of a journalist wouldn’t be carrying something like a cellphone that allowed people to easily reach him?
He makes his living by HUNTING DOWN NEWS LEADS, folks, and to have him not carry a working cellphone is almost as unbelievable as Saddam Hussein writing a romance novel, and that’s just-what’s that? He actually wrote one?
10 Minutes Later…
Been here 10 minutes and already I screamed twice: once when the developer decided to be massive douchemasters when they pulled the jump-scare with the headless hanging guy, and another when Headless Hanging Guy’s commanding officer (I think) suddenly spoke to me while being impaled on a stick and warned me to leave. Oh, yeah, I’d love to do that, General Impaled Man, sir, but you know something? THE FUCKING GATES ARE LOCKED!!
That’s one other thing that bugs me: the little things that they missed. Why can’t I be allowed to choose to turn tail the moment I see a massive bloodsplatter on the floor? Why can’t I, like, nab a gun and a CB radio from one those military cars parked by the front doors? Don’t tell me that Headless Hanging Guy and General Impaled Man don’t have them, either: those are standard issue for soldiers, for fuck’s sake! And why can’t I just climb the stupid fence? It’s not like it’s all that terribly hard to do!
I swear if one more thing goes wrong during this trip, I’m going to be super pissed off.
10 Seconds Later…
I get thrown by Elephant Man’s uglier cousin off the second floor. WELL OF COURSE I DO!
10 More Seconds Later…
There’s a guy sitting on a wheelchair on the hallway outside, all quiet and all not moving-like ala Silent Hill, and I am going to BET you my poo-stained undies that he’s going to jump at me when I passed by.
…you know what? I think I’m gonna stay right here in this blood-stained, corpse-infested lobby with only these annoying flies as my friend. I like it here. It’s nice and quiet and peaceful, and with a little mopping and change in wallpaper, I can make this place into a respectable home. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do: I’ll live in this room forever from now on. Nice and bright, where nothing can hurt me.
5 Minutes Later…
Well, dear readers, consider yourself the lucky winner of one poo-stained underwear! As expected, Wheelchair Guy jumped me and while he’s nice enough not to try and kill me too, he apparently doesn’t care enough about my weak bowels. Man, the smell is killing me! Better open up the window-wait, what’s that noise?
Oh, of course, OF COURSE! You HAD to send Ugly Elephant Man’s Cousin JUST as I was about to make my escape, don’t you? REAL CLASSY, GAME! REAL CLASSY! What’s that? You want me to hide in the locker? FINE! SURE! LET’S GO HIDE IN THE LOCKER!!
10 Seconds Later…
FINALLY! Now that Ugly Elephant Man’s Cousin has taken a hike we could-oh for the love of Hastur! REALLY?! “Go down to the dark and scary basement where there is a 200% chance that you would get super-murdered with a banjo up your anus to turn the power back on”? I, just, you, why would you, you can’t just, AAAAAAAGH!!
…okay. Okay. It’s just a basement. It’s just a basement. Stone floor. Steel pipes. Probably some unused mattress with a very large pee stain on it. It’s just a basement.
10 Minutes Later…
IT’S NOT JUST A BASEMENT!! IT’S NOT JUST A BASEMENT!!
10 Seconds Later…
I just want to apologize. And I’m sorry to everyone. I swore a lot. I am so, so sorry for everything that you have read. Because in spite of what I just said up to now, it is my fault. Because it was my game review and I insisted. I insisted on everything. I insisted that I could handle a horror game. I insisted to keep playing. I insisted that you listen to all my swear words. Everything had to be my way. And this is where we ended up: me monologing inside a locker to a handycam with snot dripping at the lens. And it’s all because of me that we’re here now – hungry, cold, and hunted. I love you mom, dad. I am so sorry.
What is that sound?
I’m scared to close my eyes, I’m scared to open them!
I’m gonna die in here!
10 Minutes Later…
Well, THAT was an eye opener. Being hunted in a dark basement by a murderous freaks was definitely not something I’d love repeat, but at least it’s over now. I have the power back on, and I’m opening the main doors to get the hell out of here. Quite the terrifying experience, but I’m just glad it’s over now-OH COME ON!! When did Crazy Priest Guy turned into Ninja Crazy Priest Guy?! He wasn’t even IN the room two seconds ago! That ain’t playing fair!
Oh, oh, that’s perfect! Yeah, that’s, that’s very nice! Yeah, go ahead and jam that tranquilizer right through my heart. That’s what I needed: more reasons to stay in this hellhole. Wonderful. Thank you. Look, if you really want somebody to witness whatever the hell it is you’re doing down here, take my handycam and let me go, and then post your own video on YouTube!
10 Minutes Later…
I’m tired. I’m tired of being so scared. I’m tired of being creeped out by every single dark corner I encounter in this, what is this place anyway? A prison?
I’m just tired of all the jump-scares that I encounter every five steps I take. I don’t think my heart can handle this shit anymore. I’M NEVER BUILT FOR THIS, DAMMIT!! I play games because it EMPOWERS me! So far, all this game is doing is taking power from me, showing me what an insignificant piece of shit speck I am in a building filled with goddamned Super Soldiers. Now, some of you might think that’s what makes a good horror game: a weak protagonist facing off against nigh-invulnerable enemies, and hoping against all dying hopes that he’ll survive long enough to escape.
Some of you might call this game, with its terrifying locales and ingenious use of the night vision feature, an instant classic.
I call this thing a perfect nightmare, and I want nothing more than to get the hell out of this place before I became a found-footage horror movie cliche. You all know the one: it’s when Mr.Boogeyman ambushed me from behind some dark corner, knocked the camera off my hand, and as I crawled towards it, all bleeding like, I get dragged into the darkness screaming to my doom.
That ain’t happening to me! No sir! No way, no how, nope nope nope nope!
5 Five Minutes Later…
*crawls towards fallen camera*
*gets dragged into the darkness*
*screams to his doom*
VERDICT: Five out of Five Poo-Stained Underwears
Purchase “Outlast” via Steam here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/238320/