Co-op prequel The Outlast Trials releases into early access in May
Running scared, hand-in-hand with a friend
Last Halloween, developer Red Barrel ran a closed beta for their co-op horror prequel The Outlast Trials, letting players share their traumatic getaways in up to four-player co-op, or suffer the ordeal alone. After a successful beta and tons of fan feedback, Red Barrel are ready to unleash Outlast Trials into early access with a new release date of May 18th.
The Outlast Trials has everything you’d expect from the horror series; anxiety-fuelled sprinting in the dark, shakily hiding from brainwashed killers under bed posts, using a night vision camera to re-enact the snotty crying scene from Blair Witch. Outlast Trials contains all of that fun stuff, but this time you can also drag along a friend to be traumatised with you in this Cold War-era prequel.
Speaking of the closed beta, Red Barrels’ co-founder Philippe Morin said “Our first round of willing participants to take part in the trials provided us with some insightful feedback and very interesting data, which we have used to improve the experience.” The studio also released some fun data from the playtests.
Closed beta players spent 11 years in the safety of night vision, something that I’d incessantly turn on in Outlast 1 and 2, before I ran out of batteries and cowered in the dark. 225k players died over the Halloween weekend, with a further 650k incapacitated. Although, arguably the the most gruesome stat was that players spent 35 years of playtime in Trial's closed beta - a sickening feat for even the most masochistic horror buff.
The original Outlast made waves for its shakycam scares and shadowy mental institution that will “intrigue, terrify and surprise you in equal measure,” according to RPS’s original review. The sequel was a little more divisive as it took the gory chase scenes to a rural Arizona, replacing brainwashed patients with brainwashed cult goers. Outlast 2 was a much longer romp that definitely (ahem) outlasted its stay, but its trippy, disappearing environments worked well enough to scare me.
We’ll see which way The Outlast Trials swings when it launches into early access on May 18th on Steam and The Epic Games Store. Red Barrels have promised that pricing and available content will be revealed at a later date.