The Ninth Day Of Regretmas: Outlasting The Holidays

21 Dec

On the ninth day of Regretmas, my true love gave to me:

Found footage gameplay,

A horrible idea,

Horror two parters,

Foggy town o’ monsters,

Storm of rhy-ming sharks!

Children-a-cultin’,

I’m such a dick,

Lasers and love,

And the first post that you’ve ev – er seen!

You… you guys do know that I just keep copying and pasting that opening, right?

On the list of “things I’ve regretted because I’ve gotten a chance to review them”, number… three, I guess, is Outlast, a PC horror game in which you… outlast things, I suppose. (They’re a fan of very direct names over at Outlast.)

“Hi. Mind turning off that light?”

Oh, what a fool I was, back in my Slender: The Arrival review, calling it the first found footage game! But Outlast has that thoroughly beaten by a couple of years! And a couple of hours of gameplay, I might add.

Outlast stars Miles Upshur, investigative reporter and winner of the silliest name contest three years running, investigating Mount Massive Asylum, close competition for the silliest name contest! I swear, how the hell did they even come up with these?

“Okay, I have this new idea for a game! It starts out with the main character (haven’t thought of a name yet), going miles uphill a mountain with a massive asylum!”

“Miles… Upshur… Mount Massive Asylum, gotcha!”

Because the developers of this game have realized how difficult combat is in survival horror (coughcoughSilentHillcough), they have eschewed it entirely, in favour of… parkour?

Great, so the only thing between me and my death are low traction shoes.

“FEAR ME, MINIONS OF EVIL.”

Okay, yeah, that’s an over-simplification. With a running and hiding game mechanic, it turns things from “I am badass, here me roar” to “oh god help me I’m going to cryyyyyyy”. Basically, one of the bad guys finds you, and you run and hide in the nearest crevice and pray that your camera doesn’t run out of batteries and leave you blind and crying in between two moldy mattresses.

Oh, right, the camera! Your only tool is a single camcorder, which comes equipped with a zoom function, the ability to write down journal entries, night vision, and the smallest fucking battery life I’ve ever seen. I swear, whoever designed this thing to die after five minutes needs to be ran through a wood chipper.

The night vision function is the only way to see in the mostly dark of Mount Massive, and that’s where most of the game’s style comes from. The way the night vision bounces and reflects makes everything a remarkable terror! Well. That, and the fact that the screen gets blurrier and blurrier as you run, which makes sprinting away from the monsters tense, and by tense, I mean you have no idea what the fuck’s going on.

“Hi. Got a minute?”

The monsters at Mount Massive are, essentially, lunatics who’ve been strung through the ringer a few too many times. Forced to any manner of bizarre experiments, they look like naked, zombified beef jerky! And… yeah, they have the same naming problems.

“Okay, so, there’s going to be monsters everywhere. One of them is going to be this big war veteran, who’s burly and evil, and just follows you everywhere, trying to kill you! Just this big mound of slow walking muscle!”

“Walker, gotcha.”

“And there’ll be this evil scientist who tries to slowly dismember you! He’ll get a hold of you by betraying you, of course!”

“Wait, did you say betraying or betraging? Oh, fuck it, lets call him Trager!”

“And two naked guys who want to eat you!”

“… I’ve got nothing.”

“Oh, and of course, the ghost who wanders the halls and strikes fear in to the hearts of the inmates!”

“I know, the Walrider!”

“… You’re fired.”

“Say ‘ahhh’.”

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4 Responses to “The Ninth Day Of Regretmas: Outlasting The Holidays”

  1. Tim Hurley December 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Eh, everything is copy of a copy of a copy, if you dig deep enough. The Clock Tower series was doing the whole ‘run from monsters and hide in things’ back in the 90s. Not entirely in first-person, or with a cool camera effect, mind you, but still.

    I did see that they were planning on bringing this to the Playstation 4, so I’ll get my crack at it eventually.

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