Handicam inspired films may be well worn, but it seems an independant group wants to bring that to the PS4 with its game, Outlast. Its co-creator/company (Red Barrels) founder Philippe Morin explains how the visuals are inspired by an Aphex Twin video (Rubber Johnny) so should certainly be twisted. Always a great place to start. As a reporter you must investigate the happenings inside a privately owned and funded asylum, based on an insiders tip-off, where not all is what it seems nor entirely healthy.
Friend, Source Of Light And Sight
From the outset this is very much a first person experience as seen through a portable mini-cam. Your HUD is made up of the UI of the camera: battery life, low light warning, night vision icons and REC. The camera is your only friend, source of light and sight, you have no other gear to carry or look for. However part of your time will be spent feeding the hungry sod on AA Mitsubishi alkaline batteries. I don’t believe they are Mitsubishi AA’s, could be any, I’m always surprised to see them turn up in random tat and electronics stuff.
Dark At Best
I see influences of certain films such as: Grave Encounters and well, Grave Encounters really. Not a terrible effort for a creepy film, and it certainly works here with you being in charge of what you see. The lighting is, for lack of a better term, dark at best. So the rather convincing and short lived night vision is essential; think of the final moments in 28 Weeks Later. Discarded bodies litter lengthy corridors and dark side rooms. Parts bottle neck forcing your character to sidestep looking away; a sneaky way for setting up jump scares and loud sound effects.
Wandering Monster Of Old
So far the major danger sits with a character known as The Soldier, an ex-forces test subject that has taken things into his own mental hands. Stalking the asylum like a wandering monster of old it provides the menace, like the thing from Amnesia. You cannot fight it so your only option is to hide. This is where listening for the sounds around you help, as there is no radar to hold your hand, and you must make a judgment call if it’s safe to leave. The game is still in development with a PS4 release quoted early 2014. So how the experience will turn out is anyone’s guess.