Outlast on PlayStation 4: The Reviews Keep Comin'

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Feb 04, 2014 09:32 PM EST
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Earlier today, we caught a glimpse of some of the early reviews for indie studio Red Barrels' piss your pants inducing Outlast, another FPS gem that sees journalist Miles Upshur get to the bottom of some spine chilling experiments being run at a local insane asylum. Just another day for a reporter, really. Well, more reviews are in, and with the game set to be available this time tomorrow overseas, expect more reviews to follow. We'll keep you posted as they come in. In the meantime...

PlayStation Lifestyle, 9/10 - "In Outlast, your only options are to run, hide, or die, and you'll be doing all three quite a bit...The ambiance of Outlast is what truly drives it to terrifying heights. The music is not over-relied on to convey a sense of fear, as some horror games have a tendency to do. It is a well placed background to the circumstances and never foreshadows too much or feels like too little. The lighting is also well done, not revealing too much, and throwing shadows to really make you wonder if that particular hallway or room is safe to traverse or not. The atmosphere chips further into the psychological terror with what the inhabiting crazies say and do. Not everyone in the asylum is an enemy, but I wouldn't call them friends either. Even that guy sitting in the corner can have the psychological effect of furthering the fear, without ever looking up at you. Small details like the bloody footprints left when walking through a pool of blood, or Miles' hand reaching up to the wall as he approaches doorways and corners are just a few more touches that help sell the ambiance of Outlast...Red Barrels seems to have crafted a character and a scenario that feels as real as the player wants to make it. Knowing that you have no way to fight, and a limited ability to see in the dark, affects your thinking within all situations. In addition, Outlast does not rely on jump scares. While there are some of those to be had, Outlast is truly shaped by the ambiance that it creates; by creating believable circumstances and enveloping you in them at a psychological level. Jump scares may have your heart racing for a few seconds, however, creeping across that darkened courtyard with your batteries running out while something out there wants you tortured and dead will have you on edge until the experience ends."

Game Revolution, 3.5/5 - "Fear is a strange emotion to manipulate with a video game. It requires setting up the right environment and the right gameplay to best immerse the player in the spooks. We speak of immersion for all kinds of games, but for the horror genre, it's an absolute necessity. Otherwise, like many of the shoddy horror movies that hit major theaters, you end up with an inane plot that doesn't bode well under scrutiny. Outlast manages to straddle that immersion line often successfully, but when it doesn't, you're totally dropped out of the experience...Outlast came out on the PC last year, and this is the PS4 port we're discussing now. The only apparent difference I noticed was that the PC has better graphics - On the other hand, Sony is releasing it for free for PS members right off the bat, which is a tough price to argue down. Even if you are wont to spend money on games, this is by no means a bad investment. Outlast is not the most satisfying horror experience around, but it had my heart thumping and my head throbbing enough to make it a worthwhile trip."

The Escapist, 4.5/5 - "Set in the dismal corridors of Mount Massive Asylum, Outlast is the tale of the world's most suicidal journalist as he attempts to uncover a corporate conspiracy in an overrun mental hospital. Armed only with his video camera, our clueless investigator thrusts himself into a world of nude psychopaths, judgmental necrophiliacs, murderous doctors, and did I mention the nudity, necrophilia, and murder? The content found within Outlast is graphic, to say the least. Naked killers hang dong, there are some alarming sexual images, and the amount of torture, death, and gore would give even Troma a run for its money. It's impressive Sony has allowed the game onto the PlayStation Store, but that must in part be due to the fact that, while Outlast's horrific content is vivid, its creeping pace and carefully structured environments ensure things don't veer into tacky territory, even if one couldn't call things tasteful...Outlast is a wonderful game that utilizes some of the most established tricks of the genre to their fullest potential. Disempowering the player, effectively utilizing scares, and introducing memorable, intimidating foes have been long-forgotten staples of mainstream survival horror, and Outlast employs them with the kind of skill I wish was evident outside of one small indie sphere. Thank God at least some studios remember how to do it right.

Bottom Line: One of 2013's best games, Outlast deserves success in 2014 as a PlayStation 4 release. Disturbing and macabre, sometimes to the extreme, this is one of the best horror games to grace the world in a long time.

Recommendation: Have a PS4? Love horror? New to Outlast? Get it. It even launches as a free PlayStation Plus title, so there's no excuse not to try it."

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