I know I don't speak for everyone, but I am growing a little bit tired of zombie/horror games. It feels repetitive at this point, and nobody is bringing a fresh idea or concept of gameplay to the table. So when I first got wind of Outlast, from the description I thought we'd be in for another redundant iteration of shooting, running, hiding, hunting and gathering. Thankfully, I was wrong in the best possible way.
Developer studio Red Barrels takes the horror genre to a whole new level with their latest creation, Outlast. For those unfamiliar with the game, you play the role of one Miles Upshur, a journalist who has stepped foot into the Mount Massive Asylum, which houses convicted felonies who are mentally unstable. Upshur's mission is to unveil and expose the harsh reality of the treatment of these convicts and the only weapon he has is a camera. That's right, no guns, knives or clever Solid Snake tactics here; a camera is your only weapon of false defense. And, even though Upshur's motives are pure, the convicts are not very happy to have the presence of an outsider roaming about through the hospital and each inmate will react to your character in a different way.
Now, other than having the power of megapixels to defend yourself, what makes this game so different? Red Barrels hired on real-life neural psychologists in order to accurately portray the reactions and behaviors of mentally insane humans.
Philipp Morin, Red Barrels co-founder, said in an interview,
Working from real-world profiles and information has allowed us to portray a wide variety of behaviors to represent the patients in a realistic way. It's helped us validate ideas for the nature of the experiments that players will see in the game.
The information gathered from the doctors plays into the game in several ways. While some patients will see your character and go absolutely nuts, others will simply pay you no mind at all, and it will be up to you to determine who is safe to investigate and navigate around. Oh, and the best part about the entire experience is that not only do you merely have a camera, you also have the fighting and survival skills of a journalist (read: none). You better pack your running shoes, because if you get too close to the wrong inmate, it's off to the races to find the nearest maintenance shaft or closet to hide in.
So, while this may not be a hide-and-wait, run of the mill zombie shooter Manhunt game, this game will surely scare you on a more mental level. Literally. Want to see some of the insanity before you decide if you want to play it yourself? Check after the break, as we have the official trailer from the studio along with some live demo gameplay, courtesy of IGN. The game is slated for PC and PS4 only and will launch sometime this year.