February 2014 for PlayStation 4 owners starts off with a fright. Outlast the Sci-Fi Horror game created by Red Barrels, is now available on the PlayStation Store at $19.99.; and for the owners with PlayStation Plus, be sure to download it for free as it is the PlayStation Plus game of the month.
After downloading the the new PlayStation 4 1.60 update, I went to the PlayStation store, saw the game of the month and proceeded to download it. The size of the game is 4.3 GB, but the installation requires 5 GB. After about an hour of downloading I was ready to go. I turned off the lights, plugged in my Sony ear buds, cranked the volume and started my new game on insane. And insane isn’t just difficult, its 1 life, for the entire game. Once you die you must start all over, but I myself enjoy the challenge, and wanted to get the best out of the game for this review.
From the very first cut-scene in the game, I already felt my heart race as the ominous music began to play over a muffled conversation, cut out by bad connection as you are driving in the car listening to the radio. After a brief introduction of the objective I was ready to begin. Now the mechanics of the game are very simple in nature. No combat involved, no weapons, or special skills. Just a notepad, a camcorder with night vision capabilities, batteries you will find along the way, sprinting, and crouching; that is all. It was probably designed that way as to keep the focus on the game and not the controls. Red Barrels receives 5 stars for that.
After a few more minutes of traveling in the game, I found myself jumping out of my seat and feeling just as anxious as I would imagine Miles Upshur, the main protagonist must have felt as you can hear him breathing and whimpering nervously. Now I must admit the breathing effects are simply mind blowing. Whenever a shadow passes his breathing completely changes and creates an amazing amount of immersion. All this over your typical horror strings and you have a recipe of complete suspense. I actually found myself peeking, and not spontaneously, but around every corner that I approached.
As I played on the story continuously got more intense and there is never a moment I was not on the edge of my chair. The relying on the night vision during pitch black rooms was thrilling and just as scary as if I was truly in this house. All of this was great of course until I had ultimately died and after about 2 hours in and forgot I would have to start all over due to me playing on insane. So I find myself feeling scared, a little hurt, and peeved that I would have to choose nightmare on my next attempt to beat the game to ensure its ending.
All in all, the game is fabulous. and definitely worth the $19.99 store price and is a must download if you do have PlayStation plus. With a limited variety of games available, Outlast was definitely worth a play and because it is so unique in its play style, felt refreshing and new compared to all the sports titles and shooters that are currently out. I recommend this game, especially at night time if you want to get the full experience.
For an indie title it hold its own against the top dogs and I will be giving it a solid 4.5/5. They half a point is simply because the graphics did look a little dated, not enough to impact the game, but definitely noticeable on the new hardware available. Outlast gives me a glimpse of what SOMA will be like. Red Barrels did great and I hope to see more work from them soon.
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