Outlast At Last Out In September

By John Walker on July 25th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Oh yeah, Outlast! The spooooooky game set in an asylum, where the enemies are Hooman Beeings. I’d almost forgotten it, since we last mentioned it in November, but now the veteran-developed horror has a release date and a price. You want to know what they are? Well, you’ll have to walk down this terrifying corridor.

PAGEVIEW!

You were never expecting that.

More helpfully, the game is set to appear on the 4th of September, and cost a very indie standard $20.

This is from Red Barrel, who have team members who worked on big names like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Uncharted, and is based on me. Because I’m a freelance journalist. And the game features a freelance journalist. They’ve mistakenly called him “Miles Upshur”, which is a stupid name and isn’t even spelled a bit like “John Walker”. He goes into an asylum, on a tip, and discovers all sorts of dreadful behaviour taking place. He then immediately leaves and reports it to the local authorities, and goes home to inexplicably watch another episode of Whodunnit. Oh wait – no – it’s not based on me, because THE IDIOT STAYS IN THE ASYLUM. Although at least that way there’s a game. Here is it moving about for 11 minutes:

__________________

« | »

, , .

25 Comments »

  1. golem09 says:

    Pageview? This game is already screwing with my mind.
    I’ll wait for the inevitable Oculus playthrough though. I have no respect for my pants.

    • I Feed on Frenzy says:

      Your pants?! I couldn’t even make it through Resident Evil on the N64. Stupid zombie dogs…

      But I’m a glutton for punishment. I hate that I love these games. I hate it.

  2. FleeingNevada says:

    Really tired of these “BOO, yuck yuck, gotcha!” games. It’s not horror and it’s not scary. I like the mood here, but it’s completely wasted on them trying to startle the player instead of actually letting the surroundings and the world do the fear for them.

  3. Kaira- says:

    Eh, might be cool, but not really fan of jump scares.

  4. Freud says:

    There is a difference between being scared and being startled and makers of horror games don’t seem to understand the difference.

    • I Feed on Frenzy says:

      I think that it’s much more difficult to achieve that level of ‘horror’ without being properly immersed in those worlds. At a certain point, you’re still someone with a controller, away from the digital demons and what-not, and it’s hard to attain the fear one might experience in a real life event. Games can only do so much. You could make it where you would lose your character permanently, but that is a different type of fear; Fear of loss, not of the future.

      I would be surprised if it got any better than “gotcha” without complete immersion. You would need some type of peripheral to change your awareness of ones’ surroundings. Something to make you believe it was you. Otherwise, like I said. You’re just there, safe behind a controller, without any ‘real’ fear.

      • Freud says:

        Amnesia had a few tricks to make the player immersed. First the player was helpless against the monsters so the player had to hide from danger. Secondly the sanity system encouraged the player to not look at the monsters so they became more terrifying than they really were. Third it played fair. There were really not more than one-two scripted jump scares in the entire game. Fourth, it used sound and absence of monsters to keep a good balance of having the player expect something to happen and relax him when something didn’t. Lastly, the way the player had to interact with items (hold mouse button and moving the mouse to open doors/move things) connected the player to the world more than just pressing a button to do the same things would have.

        This made the game keep it’s magic for most of the duration. Towards the end you’ve seen enough of the monsters to not be afraid of them. Perhaps you even got killed by one and got a close view of them. It was almost as if the game knew it and it turned into somewhat of a camp supernatural story at that point.

    • Shooop says:

      It takes a lot more effort to achieve scares compared to startles. And most people want to take the easiest way out.

  5. jonahcutter says:

    Some of it is suspension of disbelief too. You have to buy into the whole experience. Same is true of a novel or a film that attempts to scare you. You’re never really there, but if you allow your imagination to run with what the artist has built, you can still feel it.

    The work has to draw you in, yes. But you need to be a willing participant as well. If either side isn’t all in, the experience can break down.

    • I Feed on Frenzy says:

      My sentiments exactly. Movies never did it for me, horror films that is. But because I watched it unfold with other people in my place. I don’t want to be a little girl, or an old man etc. I want it to be me, in that place, in that time, running with all I’ve got, trying not to die. I think that’s usually the cut-off point for me. Its hard to relate to a little girl in an insane asylum, or a middle aged, gruff man in a world of zombies. I think we’re getting there. Maybe when they get someone who writes real horror fiction aside from the usual suspects (Kubrick, King etc.) and when it’s believable and full of immersion, we will see the genre explode. until then. It’s only the people who want to be scared, and the options are limited.

  6. tnzk says:

    Just want to pitch in that “horror” and “scary” are different adjectives for a reason. You can have legitimate horror by startling an audience with oogly boogleys; it is in fact right up the alley for a genre that has its origins in pulp shlock.

    Some of the best horror isn’t balls-out frightening though. It’s just that since The Exorcist and Alien of the 70′s, everything horrific just had to be scary all over. And so we come to contemporary horror in films and games where it’s not horror unless you’re covering your eyes half the time. Which sucks because, well… you get narrow-minded monster closet horror like this. Outlast just doesn’t look like a very strong game anyway you cut it. It’s horror alright, just crap derivative horror.

    Frictional Games games aside, one of the best horror video games ever made came out not too long ago. It’s that console peasant game, Catherine. It’s great because it’s not a horror game which goes “I’m a horror game, so therefore blood, monsters, grimdark!”, but an unnerving love story, which reminds me of the sensibilities of Gothic literature.

    • I Feed on Frenzy says:

      I will say that “horror” is not an adjective of itself, it is in fact a noun. “Horrible”, “horrid” or “horrific” would be it’s derivatives and not necessarily proper in this context. You would say: “I’m playing a horror game” and while it describes what type of game you are playing, grammar dictates that it is not an adjective. Much like saying “FPS” before game. These words then become “descriptive nouns.” We use a lot of these with more and more frequency such as “man-purse.”

      Saying that Catherine is horror game alone isn’t really enough. The context is that it takes place within nightmares and fears from within the character, and not from external sources per se. It is described as a psychological horror puzzle platformer. I believe it deservedly belongs in a category of it’s own, not lumped in with anything using “horror” as a description.

      • The Random One says:

        I kind of agree with your analysis of Catherine and the psychological horror genre, but attaching it to a grammatical analysis baffles me. Horror is a noun that acts as an adjective in the expression “horror game”, which has a very different conotation from “horrible game” or “horrific game”. And nouns acting as adjectives is a prettty normal thing in English, as seen in common expressions such as sales pitch, sun shades, night shift, water bottle, wind power, flight log, bank account, computer game, web site, transcription error, rubber band, maternity leave, market forces, cargo train, futures trading, art collector, riot cop, heart attack, apple pie, math teacher, village idiot, heat wave, photo album, harvest season, family man, war face, etc etc etc.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I think you make an excellent point. It’s perspective too. And that perspective is dominated all too often by HORROR (in wavy letters!) the likes of Stephen King, Alien, Halloween, The Thing, etc. All those things are excellent at what they do (even some of King’s stuff, particularly his early works). But very very in-your-face about being horror.

      An old friend of mine said in a conversation we were having about films that Mad Max (the original) horrified him. He saw it as very strange and otherworldy with these very weird, malevolent characters circling around an increasingly paranoid protagonist. He said it was not so much as an action movie, but a horror movie. (His reaction was probably helped along by him having seen the American dub which is just the slightest bit off, contributing to the unsettling vibe).

      But his reaction really made me start looking at how “horror” could be things outside obvious horror elements like clawed monsters or dudes in bloody masks.

  7. nitrog42 says:

    I’d hit that !

  8. EOT says:

    Why is he always holding a camera in front of his face? It annoyed me two minutes in to the video so I can’t imagine what playing the whole game would be like. Not that I’ll play it anyway. I’m a complete wuss.

    I was surprised to see that I’d lasted a whole 45 minutes in Amnesia. I was sure it was less than 15. I must have spent the other half hour hiding behind a barrel and mumbling to myself.

    • albertino says:

      It just kills the immersion for me – the fact the protagonist is quite happy to keep on filming despite the surroundings, dead bodies and being thrown out of a window…. They must REALLY want to capture everything on film, to the extent that it puts their life at risk!

  9. kopema says:

    Yeah, I don’t get it. “Spooky” scenes are only cool when they are unexpected and very rare. And it doesn’t look like either of those is going to be the case here.

    FEAR had an incredibly creepy back story, and that was great. Once you find out what happened to Alma, you understand perfectly why she wants to destroy the world. But when they tried to put the spookiness in the game, it quickly fell flat. A lot of times I’d find myself thinking: “Oh, good, it’s just a ghost scene so I can relax for a while — BECAUSE NO ONE IS SHOOTING AT ME.”

    If I see a ghoul or a hanging corpse in my bathroom, that’s going to freak me out. But in a computer game, it’s just sort of annoying.

  10. The Random One says:

    “Miles Upshur” is very clearly an expy for John Walker.

    Ok, so when I’m naming an expy, the first thing I do is invert the name while keeping the suffixes in place. For instance, for a Jack Thompson expy, start with “Thomp Jackson”. Jackson is a name, so we’d stretch Thomp to Thomas and we’d end at Thomas Jackson – a perfectly believeable name.

    Now, in your case, I end up with Walk Johner, which if just daft. So I do a little free association. Walk for Miles – that’s our first name. For the second, I’d personally just turn it into Jones, but I guess “Miles Jones” is a tad weak and we need a name with more punch. What now? If you say “johner” a few.times it sounds a bit like “downer”. A little free association again – upper. Upper isn’t a believable name though, so let’s add a harsh sound in the middle and transcribe it phonetically so it sounds Swedish or something.

    There you have it: “Miles Upshur”.

    I think you can sue.

  11. Viroso says:

    I don’t like when games make bad guys out of the people who got screwed the hardest. And that’s pretty frequent. People who are sick one way or another, or maybe poor, are made into mindless monsters. Remember Me and Dishonored are some recent examples. I don’t know if that’s the case for the game though, having watched just those 11 minutes and having read about it.

  12. Tom Walker says:

    See, I’d have gone with “Outlast Out At Last (In September)”.

    Parentheses in headlines. Remember your roots.

  13. Turkey says:

    Red Barrels should be charged with indecent exposure cause they showed their monster off way too much.

  14. KevinLew says:

    He’s supposed to be a journalist that’s looking for a story, right? Since he saw a grisly, obviously-murdered person within the first three minutes, then he sort of got it right there. Why doesn’t he just leave? Was he planning to solve the crime on his own? Did his editor tell him that it had to be three or more dead bodies or it wasn’t a good story?

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>