“Do your insides feel cramped and congested by the retention of accumulated digestive foods? Are you incapable of extruding colonic waste with out the facilitating aid of medicinal purgatives? Then put down your saline or lubricant laxative *slaps hand* and try a new, digitalized colonic irrigation called Outlast. This new, non-pharmaceutical compound preserves your modesty by allowing the consumer to simply defecate almost immediately without the embarrassing visitation of doctoral consultancy or committal to leave your games console. Developed by Red Barrels, Outlast simply stimulates your cognitive perception of reality by inducing fear into your cognition, which is then transferred from your brain to your rectum that interprets this as an allergen, distilling this anomaly and purging the resulting fear into a mailable faecal matter and excreted with ease. Simply Download, play, scream and defecate; it couldn’t be simpler.” Now ordinarily I wouldn’t begin an article by depicting the progression of faeces or alternate shape of their secretions, but I felt that nothing could be more anecdotal to my assessment than divulging what will likely afflict you when playing Outlast, because let me assure you that it’s so terrifying that it should be sponsored by Pampers.
As soon as you arrive at the condemned asylum it becomes like those horror movies where you really question the cerebral integrity and psychosomatic stability of the characterisation by insisting “why would you ever enter this place?!” The Dickensian architecture isolated from civilised construction, suggests a longing to envelope you in its imposing density and coarse, granulated surface, with the mesh of twisted foliage that encase’s this facility only compounding your trepidation. But despite the obvious retention of anxiety you proceed, parrying the snare of convoluted thoughts, callous in your valour for clarification for its closure and sate your journalistic intrigue. As soon as you enter though, I immediately wanted to abscond from the encroaching facility, embrace the fetal position as Angela Lansbury consolidating my whimpering posture, whilst delicately dabbing the formulated beads of sweat that glisten with repellent radiance. The dense darkness canvasses you, almost seizing you with the monochromatic representation its of rooms. The only remedial amnesty from the blackening distortion is your video camera that possesses night vision capabilities, but with only a limited supply of batteries you’ll have to be frugal. Not every room is blanketed with such gnarled, optical resolution, but illumination isn’t always your accomplice as it becomes far easier for enemies to identify you.
I haven’t been this sacred since I was reliably informed that Michael Jackson wasn’t fictitious! Every auxiliary clatter is amplified by your augmented anxiety, reverberating across vast hallways as you begin to feel betrayed by your own eyes. Your moistened retinas elicit the unmistakable “Fear Tears”, as marginally ajar doors suddenly close, or seemingly docile inmates–incarcerated for some unspecified mental deficiency, suddenly retract their infirmity and grab you. Couple this with the a self immolated priest that’s nuttier than a squirrels almond cake and a rotund (fat) psychotic that persists in discovering you to indulge in a game of twister (I hope) and you had better invest in considerable supply of toilet tissues. Not that you can defend yourself from any aggressive attacks as your character is incapable of inflicting any physical retaliations; all you can do is run and hide, which I assure you’ll become proficient at. It’s not just mediated psychological manipulation either, as you’ll discover the mutilated remains of previous occupants, scattered and in some cases stacked like twisted furnishing for the damned throughout the facility, as your footprints crimson permissive residue through most rooms and corridors. Though the narrative is very marginal, loosely divulging reasons for your visitation and the abject depravity depicted, accumulating documentation clarifies the extent of negligence administered by the attending physicians, as well wilful laxity of the company responsible for the facility, with excerpts that highlight the idiosyncratic remedies administered.
Its proficiency in soliciting apprehension is commendable, even to a cynic like myself; but its a quality that becomes monotonous with a repeated reliance on cheap scares, straying into familiar contingencies that begin to feel orchestrated, akin to an amusement park fright night. Environments–when lit–are generically stale, the sight of claret in all of its forms as well as guillotined recipients becomes tedious, as does the rotund (fat) obstinate inmate that apprehends you with more consonant regularity than Katie Price contracts herpes. But the way it supplements the distilled terror amongst moments of serenity, with sensory deprivation inflicted by the blanketed darkness that hinders your resolve and fortitude. Though I’m normally adverse to the first person perspective its exonerated here, utilised to great effect with peripheral affirmation of your dimly lit environment, as you pivot the camera to adjust to the shifting light source and certify the source of ambient noise. With cursory assessments and your corneas darting sporadically across every perceived inference of danger, instills pensive apprehension to your disclosed progress. Outlast–regardless of is frailties and monetary restraints exemplifies the adage of terror, exulted with such wry confidence that you have to wonder what Red Barrels could have achieved with more affluent funding? Simulated horror is a bedfellow I have been unfrequented with for some considerable time. Which could explain my sudden sleep apnea. I said top and tail, now move over!
Outlast is available on the PS4, for free for PS Plus subscribers.