Surviving Horror: Our Outlast Review

Survival horror games have been around for decades, but none of them have been as heart-pumping and nerve-wracking as Outlast. Developed by Red Barrels, this game follows the story of investigative journalist Miles Upshur, who decides to explore the remote Mount Massive Asylum, only to find out that the facility has been taken over by deranged patients. In this review, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Outlast, discussing its gameplay, storyline, and overall impact.


Outlast is a first-person survival horror game that puts players in the role of investigative journalist Miles Upshur, who decides to investigate a remote psychiatric hospital known as Mount Massive Asylum. The gameplay in Outlast is what sets it apart from other horror games. Players navigate through the asylum using only a camcorder with night vision, which is the only source of light in the game, creating a dark and tense atmosphere. The camcorder has a limited battery life, so players must manage their resources carefully. This means that the player can’t rely on the night vision all the time, leading to some heart-pumping moments where they have to navigate the asylum in total darkness.

The game features stealth mechanics, allowing the player to sneak past enemies without being detected. This mechanic is essential since the player has no means to fight back. The enemies in the game are deranged patients who are out for blood. They are incredibly aggressive, and the player must run and hide to avoid them. The player can also use objects in the environment to distract enemies, giving them a chance to escape.

Outlast’s gameplay is intense and terrifying, creating an immersive experience that is unmatched by any other horror game. The unique mechanics and well-designed levels make for a challenging and thrilling experience that will leave players on the edge of their seats. The game’s use of sound, lighting, and enemy AI create a sense of dread and tension that is rarely seen in video games. If you’re a horror game fan, Outlast is a must-play.

The storyline

The storyline in Outlast is an essential part of the game, creating a disturbing and engaging narrative that immerses players in the world of Mount Massive Asylum. The story centers around the illegal experimentation and mistreatment of patients at the asylum. Players discover the truth about the asylum through various documents, notes, and audio recordings scattered throughout the environment. The main villain, Dr. Richard Trager, is a sadistic doctor who has been conducting horrific experiments on the patients at the asylum.

As players progress through the game, they encounter various characters who provide insight into the events that have taken place in the asylum. The story is dark and intense, and players are constantly on edge as they uncover the truth behind the horrors of Mount Massive Asylum.

One of the strengths of Outlast’s storytelling is how it unfolds gradually over the course of the game. The pacing is perfect, with tension and horror building up to a fantastic finale. The game’s story is also incredibly well-written, with strong character development and a deep exploration of themes such as power and corruption.

Overall, Outlast’s storyline is an integral part of the game, elevating it beyond a simple horror game and creating an experience that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The game’s story is memorable and will leave players thinking about it long after they have finished the game.

Difficulty and Replay Value

Let’s take a closer look at the game’s difficulty and replay value.


Outlast is a challenging game, which may make it inaccessible to some players who prefer less challenging experiences. The game’s mechanics, based on stealth and exploration, require players to carefully navigate through dark corridors and avoid the game’s antagonists. The game’s limited resources, such as batteries for the protagonist’s camera, add to the challenge and force players to use their wits to survive.

However, the game’s difficulty is also a key factor in its appeal. The game’s high stakes and intense atmosphere create a sense of urgency and desperation that keeps players engaged.

Replay Value:

Once the game is completed, there are limited reasons to play it again, as the story and mechanics remain largely the same. This limited replay value has been a subject of debate among players, with some feeling that the game’s high difficulty level and linear storyline make it less enjoyable on repeat playthroughs.

However, the game’s limited replay value is not necessarily a negative. Outlast is a game that is designed to be a singular, terrifying experience, and its limited replay value reinforces this. Players may choose to replay the game to relive the experience or to try to beat their previous time or difficulty level.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Outlast:

  1. Immersive and terrifying atmosphere: Outlast’s graphics, sound design, and level design work together to create a terrifying atmosphere that keeps players on edge.
  2. Unique gameplay mechanics: The game’s mechanics, based on stealth and exploration, are different from traditional horror games, making it a unique and challenging experience.
  3. Cleverly intertwined storyline: The game’s storyline is cleverly woven into the gameplay mechanics, creating a sense of urgency and desperation that drives the player forward.
  4. Memorable antagonists: The game’s antagonists, especially Dr. Trager and the Walrider, are memorable and horrifying, adding to the game’s overall terror.

Cons of Outlast:

  1. Repetitive gameplay: The game’s mechanics can become repetitive, especially in later parts of the game, which may make the experience less enjoyable for some players.
  2. Linear storyline: Despite being well written and intertwined with the gameplay mechanics, the game’s storyline is quite linear and may not appeal to players who prefer non-linear narratives.
  3. High difficulty level: Outlast is a challenging game, which may make it inaccessible to some players who prefer less challenging experiences.
  4. Limited replayability: Once the game is completed, there are limited reasons to play it again, as the story and mechanics remain largely the same.


Outlast’s visuals play a critical role in the game’s horror and tension. The game’s graphics are impressive, with highly detailed environments that are both realistic and terrifying. The asylum is dark and gloomy, with flickering lights and dirty walls that add to the atmosphere of fear and dread. The use of shadows and lighting is excellent, creating an eerie and unsettling feeling as players move through the environment.

One of the standout visual features in Outlast is the use of the camcorder’s night vision mode. The green-tinted view adds a layer of tension and horror to the game, making even the simplest of rooms feel claustrophobic and dangerous. The camcorder’s battery life adds to the stress, with players constantly having to manage their resources and find batteries to keep the night vision running.

The character designs in Outlast are also impressive, with the patients at Mount Massive Asylum looking grotesque and disturbing. The animations and movements of the enemies are also well-done, adding to the feeling of unease and horror.

Overall, the visuals in Outlast are top-notch, adding to the immersive experience of the game. The attention to detail and use of lighting and shadows create a feeling of tension and fear that is unmatched by any other horror game. The game’s graphics and character designs are also excellent, adding to the overall horror and disturbing nature of the game.


Sound is a critical component of Outlast’s horror experience, with the game’s audio design creating a tense and terrifying atmosphere. The game’s sound effects are exceptional, with every creak and groan adding to the feeling of unease and tension in the asylum. The use of ambient noises and subtle sound cues create a sense of dread that is felt throughout the game.

The game’s music is also exceptional, with a haunting and eerie soundtrack that adds to the game’s horror experience. The music is subtle, with the score never overpowering the game’s audio design. Instead, the music is used to heighten the tension and create an even more immersive experience.

The game’s voice acting is also exceptional, with the characters’ performances adding to the overall horror experience. The patients in the asylum are disturbing, with their deranged ramblings and screams adding to the feeling of terror in the game. The voice acting also helps to flesh out the game’s story, with the audio recordings providing insight into the events that have taken place at Mount Massive Asylum.

Overall, sound is an essential component of Outlast’s horror experience. The game’s audio design is exceptional, with sound effects, music, and voice acting creating a tense and terrifying atmosphere. The attention to detail in the sound design adds to the game’s immersion, making the player feel like they are in the asylum themselves.

Opinions and Recommendations

Outlast is a survival horror game that has become a cult classic in the gaming community. It’s a game that immerses players in a terrifying world of psychological horror, where they must use their wits and stealth to survive. Here are some opinions and recommendations of the game:


  1. “Outlast is one of the most terrifying games I’ve ever played. The game’s atmosphere is so well done that it gave me nightmares for weeks.” – John, a horror game enthusiast.
  2. “The game’s mechanics are unique and challenging. The stealth and exploration-based gameplay make it a refreshing change from traditional horror games.” – Sarah, a gaming blogger.
  3. “Outlast’s storyline is cleverly woven into the gameplay mechanics, creating a sense of urgency and desperation that keeps players engaged.” – Michael, a gaming journalist.


  1. “If you’re a fan of horror games, Outlast is a must-play. Its terrifying atmosphere and unique mechanics make it a standout game in the genre.” – Mark, a gaming reviewer.
  2. “I would recommend playing Outlast in a dark room with headphones on to fully immerse yourself in the game’s terrifying atmosphere.” – Jess, a gaming streamer.
  3. “If you’re looking for a challenging horror game that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Outlast is the game for you.” – Tom, a gaming critic.

Overall, Outlast is a game that has left a significant mark on the horror gaming industry. Its immersive atmosphere, unique gameplay mechanics, and cleverly woven storyline make it a standout game in the genre. If you’re a horror game enthusiast, Outlast is definitely worth checking out.

Comparison of Outlast to other games

Here are some comparisons of Outlast to other games:

  1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Amnesia and Outlast are often compared because they both rely heavily on stealth and exploration to progress through the game. Both games have the player character unarmed and vulnerable, with the emphasis being on avoiding the enemy rather than engaging them in combat.
  2. Resident Evil – Outlast and Resident Evil share similarities in terms of the horror and survival aspects of the game. However, Resident Evil is more focused on combat and action, whereas Outlast is more about stealth and evasion.
  3. Alien: Isolation – Alien: Isolation and Outlast have a similar concept of avoiding a single, powerful enemy that can kill the player character instantly. Both games rely on stealth and exploration to progress through the game, and both have a strong emphasis on atmosphere and tension.
  4. Silent Hill – Silent Hill and Outlast both have a focus on psychological horror and the use of atmosphere and tension to create a frightening experience for the player. However, Silent Hill features more combat and puzzle-solving than Outlast.
  5. Dead Space – Dead Space and Outlast share similarities in their focus on survival horror and the use of atmosphere and tension to create a frightening experience. However, Dead Space features more combat and has a stronger emphasis on action and sci-fi elements.

Overall impact

Outlast has had a significant impact on the survival horror genre and gaming industry as a whole. Here are some of the ways in which Outlast has made an impact:

  1. Innovative gameplay mechanics – Outlast introduced unique gameplay mechanics such as the use of a camera to navigate dark areas and the emphasis on stealth and evasion rather than combat. These mechanics have since been replicated in other games, and have influenced the survival horror genre as a whole.
  2. Immersive atmosphere – The game’s immersive atmosphere, created through its use of lighting, sound, and level design, has been praised by both critics and players alike. This has set a new standard for horror games in terms of creating an immersive experience for players.
  3. Popularity and critical acclaim – Outlast has been commercially successful, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. It has also received critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising its gameplay, atmosphere, and storytelling.
  4. Continued relevance – Even years after its release, Outlast continues to have an impact on the gaming industry. It has inspired a sequel and a spin-off game, as well as numerous other survival horror games that have attempted to replicate its success.

Overall, Outlast’s impact on the gaming industry has been significant, particularly in the survival horror genre. Its innovative gameplay mechanics, immersive atmosphere, and continued relevance have ensured that it remains a beloved and influential game among players and developers alike.


Outlast is a survival horror game developed by Red Barrels and released in 2013. The game has gained a lot of attention and popularity among horror game enthusiasts due to its intense gameplay, terrifying atmosphere, and immersive storyline. It is set in an abandoned psychiatric hospital called Mount Massive Asylum, where the protagonist, Miles Upshur, is investigating some disturbing rumors about unethical experiments being conducted on patients.

Throughout the game, players are forced to navigate through the dark and claustrophobic corridors of the asylum, hiding from the grotesque and murderous patients and avoiding the relentless pursuit of the game’s main antagonist, the sadistic Dr. Trager. The game’s mechanics are based on stealth and exploration, making it a nerve-wracking experience that keeps players on edge.

One of the most striking aspects of Outlast is its ability to create an immersive atmosphere that is genuinely terrifying. The game’s graphics and sound design are incredibly well done, with detailed environments, gruesome visuals, and bone-chilling sound effects that contribute to the game’s overall horror experience. Additionally, the game’s storyline is well written and cleverly intertwined with the game’s mechanics, creating a sense of urgency and desperation that drives the player to keep going.

Outlast’s success has led to several sequels and spin-offs, including Outlast 2, Outlast: Whistleblower, and The Outlast Trials, which is currently in development. The game has also inspired other horror games, films, and TV shows, cementing its place in the horror genre.

In conclusion, Outlast is a game that has left a significant mark on the horror gaming industry. Its terrifying atmosphere, immersive storyline, and clever mechanics have made it a favorite among horror game enthusiasts. The game’s success has spawned several sequels and inspired other horror games, making it a landmark in the horror gaming genre. If you’re a fan of horror games and haven’t played Outlast yet, it’s definitely worth checking out. But be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.

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