Developer: Red Barrels
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October
Firstly, I have never played Outlast, so jumping head first into the demo for the sequel was interesting.
This demo throws creepy at you from the start. You are one of two investigative journalists following up on the murder of a pregnant woman, Jane Doe.
The first thing I noticed, besides the stellar graphics, was the fact that you are using a camcorder. I know it has been used in other games before, but it is still a wonderful mechanic. The night vision afforded by the camera is both helpful and eerie, creating a more terrifying environment than you can imagine. One thing I love, which apparently is an addition in this sequel, is the camcorder’s ability to determine if sounds are coming from the right or left of you, which I am sure will be instrumental when hiding.
You are wondering around in the woods, after your transportation crashed, looking for your counterpart. You come across a ‘town’ in the black of night, which is where the night vision comes in. Exploring this ‘town,’ you come across dead bodies, a load of flies (well done on the insects), screaming, talking and people walking about in the creepiest fucking manor possible. It looks so incredibly cult-like that you feel you have some idea what’s going on.
That is, until you are dragged into a well.
This lands you in an air duct that drops you in a school? What the hell. Walking down the halls of a school at night is enough to fill your nightmares, but they found a way to make it worse. Running from things you can’t see, lockers opening and slamming closed (don’t forget to keep getting batteries for your camcorder). There are enough jump scares to give you heart problems. I do love how, when things get really intense, you get all out of sorts, just like in Amnesia.
You are thrown back into the ‘town’ that you previously escaped from, as if you are in shifting realities. Running from what I can only imagine are rednecks from hell, you stumble through a cornfield, trying to hide and escape all at the same time. The cornfield was an amazing touch and stirred all my memories of Children of the Corn in a wonderful way.
Of course, horror games throw rules out the windows. So, I am interested in seeing how the shifting realities pans out in the long run. It could be an amazing way to keep you on your toes or rip the rug right out from under you repeatedly. It seems that, in the ‘town,’ your enemy is the people, but, in the school, there is this unknown force that is chasing you. I know not every demo reflects how the finished game runs and they want to give you the best bits of the game and keep you salivating for more; however, the ending of the demo is amazing and a must see.
Outlast 2 is due out in October of this year. I’m sure we will catch more of a glimpse at E3. Right now, I have to check out Outlast.