It’s In Your Blood: A History of Horror Games (Part Four)
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All Articles: Outlast
Now this is a surprise. Microsoft had previously performed their Wednesday update to the Xbox Live Games Store this morning, adding EA Sports UFC for the Xbox One and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! for the Xbox 360. But about an hour ago, they added another Xbox One game: Red Barrels’ Outlast.
The first-person survival horror game was released for the PS4 in February after a successful PC launch last year. But up until the moment the game was added to the XBL Store, no one knew it was in development for the Xbox One. Another interesting question to ask in light of Outlast’s Xbox One launch is, “What does this mean for Microsoft’s famous “parity clause” for ID@Xbox titles?” Before today, the consolemaker wasn’t interested in your game if it was previously released for another console (though, case-by-case exceptions are possible). Either Outlast has qualified for one of those exceptions (Warp Zoned’s Mike Ryan loved it on the PS4) or Microsoft has begun to rethink the whole policy.
After the large number of amazing indie games showcased at this year’s E3 Expo, I’d say the latter would be a wise decision. But for now, I give you Outlast…
In the remote mountains of Colorado, horrors wait inside Mount Massive Asylum. A long-abandoned home for the mentally ill, recently re-opened by the “research and charity” branch of the transnational Murkoff Corporation, the asylum has been operating in strict secrecy… until now. Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, independent journalist Miles Upshur breaks into the facility, and what he discovers walks a terrifying line between science and religion, nature and something else entirely. Once inside, his only hope of escape lies with the terrible truth at the heart of Mount Massive.
Warning: If you want to play Outlast and you haven’t yet, this DLC description has major spoilers!
Outlast developer Red Barrels has announced via its Facebook page that “The Whistleblower,” the first DLC expansion for the game, will be coming to PC and PlayStation 4 this April.
In “The Whistleblower,” you’ll get to play as Waylon Park, the man who sent the email to Miles Upshur, and many other journalists around the world, at the beginning of Outlast. Park was a software engineer at Murkoff, and “developed a deep-seated distrust of the profit-motivated scientists and doctors leading dangerous and irresponsible experiments on their patients” while he was working at Mount Massive. He was driven to blow the whistle on Mount Massive, and here you can play out those events – though the developer promises that the DLC “will actually stretch past the events of the first game to show the final chapter in Mount Massive Asylum’s story.”
Keep an eye out for “The Whistleblower” this April on the PC and PlayStation 4.
For a few years, I worked at a haunted house during the Halloween season. My job was, as one would expect, to scare the patrons. It was a great gig, and I have some fond memories of really freaking people out. But it wasn’t all about standing in a corner and jumping out at the most opportune time. There’s a real science behind the perfect scare. You need to be meticulous in your planning by first creating a sense of uneasiness, then instilling dread and fear, and finally, delivering the scare.
Horror games follow a similar process. For example, the dog jumping through the window in Resident Evil is one of the most famous video game scares. Things were already very spooky when you first stepped into that mansion. As you continued, fear crept in, as you knew that something was waiting for you around that corner. Then, when that zombified doberman finally crashes through the glass, it really hits you hard. Some of the better survival horror games follow this formula pretty religiously, creating some pretty intense experiences.
Outlast already has a pretty faithful following among the PC crowd. As a console-specific gamer (my PC can barely run The 7th Guest), I’ve only heard a few things about the game on various gaming forums. The sentiment was almost universal – this is one of the scariest games ever made. Now that I finally got a chance to play through the console version, I can say that I definitely agree with those sentiments. (more…)
Red Barrels’ creepy horror hit, Outlast, is now available on the PS4. The game is available as a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers while the rest of us will have to play $19.99. A variety of other games are also included in this week’s PlayStation Store update. They include:
- The second episode of Telltale’s Fables adaptation, The Wolf Among Us: Smoke & Mirrors (PS3).
- Dustforce (PS3 / Vita), a side-scroller from Capcom that asks players to clean up.
- Trapt, a PS2 Classic in the cult favorite Deception series.
- Gex: Enter the Gecko, a platformer favorite original released for the PSone.
PS3 owners will also be able to give the Ace Combat: Infinity beta a try this week. The free download is available across the world… except in publisher Bandai Namco’s home country of Japan.
Outlast, Red Barrels’ creepy asylum-set horror game from last year, will soon make the jump from the PC to the PS4. According to a post on the developer’s Facebook page, Outlast is almost ready to be released and we can stop saying “soon” and start saying “sometime in February” instead:
Outlast will be free in February for all PlayStation Plus users (PS4 only). #OUTLAST #PS4 #PSPLUS
As you can see, after it’s released, the game will also be included as one of the free downloads offered through PlayStation Plus. Regular pricing for players who don’t subscribe to Plus wasn’t announced.
Gamers, please accept my apology. I didn’t mean to; it was a complete mistake. I take all the blame, and I hope that one day you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.
I pre-ordered Watch Dogs a few days ago.
I know, I know. If only I hadn’t pre-ordered the game, I wouldn’t have jinxed the whole thing, and the game never would have been delayed. Believe me; I’m just as devastated as you. Now my PS4 lineup will be without the title that I was looking forward to most. But hey – I don’t like to dwell on the past. I’m a half-full kind of guy. So I wiped my tears and got to searching for the next great next-gen game. And you know what I found? It looks like some of the best games won’t be coming from hundred-developer teams and multi-million dollar budgets. My friends, this generation is all about the indies.
While doing my research on what PS4 launch game to get to while I wait for Watch Dogs, I was a bit let down. Sure, there are some good choices, like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadow Fall, but those didn’t really jump out at me. I’m already getting Knack, and I don’t have too deep an interest in sports or racing games. It was only when I started perusing the downloadable titles that I really started to get excited. And you should too. So here’s just a few upcoming PS4 independent games to use that Watch Dogs money on. (more…)
During their E3 Press Conference, Sony spent a good deal of time showcasing various indie developers and their games, all coming to the PlayStation 4. The developers/games shown were:
- Adventure game Don’t Starve (Klei Entertainment)
- Hand-drawn side-scrolling shooter Mercenary Kings (Tribute Games)
- IGF-nominated Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses)
- Overhead arena shooter Secret Ponchos (Switchblade Monkeys)
- Puzzle platformer Ray’s the Dead (Ragtag Studios)
- First-person horror game Outlast (Red Barrels)
- Oddworld: New & Tasty, which is a remake of Abe’s Odyssey (Oddworld Inhabitants)
- Side-scrolling open-world shooter Galak-Z (17-Bit Games)
All I have to say is… there’s my buddy.
The first game from Montreal-based Red Barrels is set to be the single-player survival horror game, Outlast. Founded by ex-Ubisofters David Chateauneuf, Philippe Morin and Hugo Dallaire, Outlast features a plot that echoes the early Resident Evil games…
Journalist Miles Upshur breaks into a research facility of the Murkoff Corporation, which formally housed people suffering from mental illnesses. Once inside, he must seek out the terrible truth at the heart of Mount Massive in order to escape the horror within.
With some Assassin’s Creed alumni developing Outlast, it is no surprise to find the game tackles themes of religion and science, but with more of a horror vibe that calls to mind the trailer for Ubisoft’s own Wii U exclusive, ZombiU.
Outlast is currently scheduled for digital download on PC in 2013, but given the talent and skill involved, it would be great if this crossed over onto consoles.