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Outlast for PS4 Review

IGC for PS4

One of the most outstanding things to come to the world of home console gaming is the introduction of the IGC aka Instant Game Collection offered by the Sony PlayStation Network. This feature is part of the PlayStation Plus program. It started on the PS3 and PSP, and since then has grown to include both of these console's successors, the PS4 and the PS Vita.  The program allows for gamers who subscribe to PS+ to download and play quality games for free, as long as the subscription is current. One of the newest games to come to the IGC is Outlast. This game is not for the faint of heart.

Outlast is one of the first horror games made for PlayStation 4

Outlast is developed by Red Barrel games and has been available for pc gamers for some time. This is the first time that the game is made available on a PlayStation console. Outlast is the first game made by Red Barrel and is also one of the first if not the first horror game for the PlayStation 4. This game hopefully marks the beginning of what becomes the end to pc only games, due to the more common architecture of the PS 4 platform to the pc. 

Run, Hide or Die

Outlast is a game that gives the player only three options when playing. Run, hide or die. Yeah, it's intense. You play as a journalist, who has been given a tip from a whistle blower about some strange and downright frightening occurrences taking place in an old, but still operational, insane asylum. Against better judgment, the journalist decides to take to the scene to find a story. Once he arrives at the asylum, the player takes control, armed only with a camera and some batteries.

Record your own death

The game does not give the player any type of weapon, as the game is very firm in the whole run, hide or die thing. The game is played in the first person, but it should not be confused with a first person shooter as there is no shooting. Maybe shooting with the camera that you brought with you, but all you do is record your own death. The controls are very straight forward as the left and right sticks of the DualShock 4 controller handle the movement and player's view.

Using night vision and taking notes

The camera that the player is given is used to record everything and to be used in the dark for its night vision. The night vision will drain the batteries, so you always have to be on the lookout for a new set.  Using the camera while looking around will also cause the journalist to takes notes. To access the notes, gamers can use the new touchpad, located in the center of the controller, by clicking down on the pad, a menu opens that allows gamers to read documents they might have picked up or the notes by the journalist. It is a neat way to use the touch pad and hopefully more developers will find new and interesting ways to incorporate this new feature.

Finding a good hiding spot

Now, about the hiding aspect. It is truly the only way to survive, especially in the early objectives of the game. There are plenty of hiding places, such as lockers. But it would be wise to make sure you are aware of hiding spots before triggering anything that can bring the monsters running. Trust me, you will die.....often, if you don't know where to hide.

Outlast graphics, the gore level and a slew of gruesome scenes

One thing that is very noticeable when changing from the past generation of home consoles to the current is the upgrade in the quality of graphics. And Outlast delivers on this front. The game is seen through the camera just as much as through the eyes of the journalist. The graphics in this game lend themselves rather well to the game environment. The blacks are very black and only the green light of the night vision can  break through. This leads to another great look to the game. It is brilliant the way the lighting is cut to where the only thing you see is say an open doorway and then pitch blackness. The game also offers a slew of gruesome scenes to end any appetite. The gore level is cranked up, complete with an impaled man, who just happens to still be alive telling the player to get out of the building before you suffer the same fate.

Body count

The body count is high in this game, as it seems as though you are tripping over a body part, if not a whole body, every five feet. As said earlier about the player's camera, when using the camera the game changes appearance to the quality of a home video. This is very well done, and doesn't degrade the graphics as much as other games have done. The green glow from the night vision is a nice touch, as it allows the monsters to be seen in their gory detail.

The ability to play games in the living room, from the comfort of the couch on the big screen tv is a pleasure that few pc gamers enjoy and all home console players know. When a 5.1 surround sound system is added, games like Outlast can come alive in a way that they can't on traditional pc's or laptops. This game offers tremendous sounds that can fill the room. So, there's plenty of ear candy to go around. The footsteps are distinct in the direction they are approaching,, very cool. The game also offers plenty of squishy sounds as you traipse over discarded intestines. The game relies on a scary sounding music to help build tension. Also hearing the fear in the journalist, through heavy breathing and wavering voice as you move him close to danger is more than enough to raise your heartbeat. 

In closing

In closing, Outlast is a fantastic game, although the replay value is a little low. The game creates a compelling atmosphere that can raise the goosebumps on even the most ardent fan of horror games. The game is currently free for PS Plus members, but can also be purchased at the PlayStation store straight from the console.


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