A journey through a corrupt religious fanatic village while giving you no way to defend yourself and giving you the task of trying to rescue your wife. Easy to say that Red Barrels has taken a new route with their sequel game, Outlast II.
You can tell they pulled out all the guns to make this game what it is, and there are quite a few aspects worth admiring, as well as a few that are rather questionable.
You play as Blake Langermann who was going to check out a rumor regarding the town known as 'Temple Gate' joined by your wife, Lynn Langermann. Shortly after arriving to the town by helicopter, before they could have a full discussion about the scenario the helicopter crashes and when you, Blake, awake you find that Lynn has gone missing! Now you must withstand the horrors that lay ahead to rescue your wife and get out of here!
The gameplay itself was a very well done version of the original Outlast, with an added disturbing dream sequence that had you uncover a memory Blake kept buried away about his old school friend Jessica.
Moments within both the town and the school had a slow start that gets rather intense quickly and gradually. There are times where the atmosphere will make you more nervous than anything else, but trying to figure out where to go turns out to be even harder in an open, outdoor setting; verse the enclosed, indoor setting from the first Outlast.
My favorite addition to the tools available was the added mic piece to the camera. Using that to point out the direction that an enemy was in made it easier to blindly make my way through hard to see sections and get around them. A lot of parts would of been nigh impossible without it!
The visual quality, aside from being horrifically disgusting and disturbing, was excellent! The details were clear and everything had a proper reaction to the player. The monsters, or 'town fold,' were well done.
I especially disliked the brute with the archery midget on his back. That was the one who gave me the most trouble, even when by himself!
The school section had phenomenal designs as well and truly portrayed a catholic school. The monster that you run in to here is definitely on the top three of the scariest in this entire game! The one enemy that lurked through this section of the game made every visit back to the school and nerve-racking one!
The music, or rather random violen screeching, was almost annoying to the fact that it didn't always indicate something. There were plenty of times where the music that played sounded like it was trying to be a warning, but not always.
However, the chanting from the people, placing monsters out of distance yet close enough to growl and grunt so that it seems I was in danger, and the footsteps nearby without a source made the environment all that more creepy to go through.
I didn't see anything that indicated a special item or difference on a second playthrough. It was a fun and scary game, but the only replayability is for those who enjoy a challenging second playthrough by playing on a harder difficulty. As well as completionists who would like to find every documentation and video recordings.
What Could Be Better
I would like to see Red Barrels focus more on enclosed areas. The most intense parts of the game were within the cave system at the end and inside of the school. The limited areas to go make for a more intense setting, as well as it not being too much fun being lost due to how open a section of the game is.
Lots of fun and full of scares. The beginning of the game barely scrapped the surface of the horrors within, making it worse and worse as progression continued, which is one of the best things to do with a horror game!
Easily worth the time it takes to play through it and a must-have for any fans of the horror genre, especially defenseless horror fans!