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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1114 Ratings

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  1. Sep 4, 2013
    Perhaps, in the past two or three years, this is the scariest and most atmospheric game.
    Outlast can safely bring the textbooks to create atmospheric games. I think, or to be more precise I hope that thanks to games such as Outlast, survival-horror genre, or horrors can be reborn in the form in which it was once born.
    Game developers studio Red Barrels cheers!
    And a special thank
    you for adding text Russian localization a bow and thanks to all Russian-speaking players!
    10 out of 10.
  2. Sep 4, 2013
    Wasted potential. So much wasted potential.
    This game lures you in with some great graphics and a neat little camera gimmick. To be fair to the game the graphics are gorgeously rendered. The camera's Night Vision effect in particular is well done and it's nice to actually see Mile's hands when he actually performs an action.

    However, the experience starts to fall apart almost
    immediately. What's wrong with this game? Well where do I begin? For one, the setting. Asylums are seriously overplayed as horror settings. We get it, crazy people are scary. The so-called scares are predictable and hokey. The story is the same warmed over pap we've seen over and over and over and over and over again. An evil Mega Corporation has been performing unethical experiments that got completely out of control blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Mercernaries blah blah Ham fisted religious undertones blah. There's no mystery at all. Furthermore it falls into the exact same trap that the Dead Space games fell into. The graphic designers are so proud of their work on the monsters that they just can't bear to keep their babies in the dark, so they have the monsters prance around in plain view like they're so happy to be seen. Also, the poorly designed stealth mechanics make enemy encounters frustrating rather than scary.

    I see that the game was heavily marketed as being "designed by veterans of some of the biggest franchises in history." This is a flaw as far as I can see. These veterans just kept on doing the same thing they've always done, and the result is that they did the same thing we've always done and the game falls into the same traps it always has. These developers could have learned so much from the Amnesia series since it's obvious that Outlast desperately wants to be Amnesia. The developers would have benefited from another playthrough.
  3. Sep 5, 2013
    As said before, the game loses his essence of horror itself on the very 10~30 minutes. After that is "go there", "oh, there's a very predictable problem and you have to take another route", "oh a bad guy on the way and you gotta run and hide, hearing your heavy breathing" etc...

    Horror?! Seriously, Gone Home was scarier.

    Seems like a bad movie where you can't wait for it to finish
    and say for sure "yeah it sucks".
    It amazes me how a game that took me about 4 hours to finish, bored me as much Outlast did.

    The idea of "can't fight any enemy" made me think that "this could be interesting", but the AI is really easy to outrun. I didn't ran out of battery neither died on the entire game play (pretty much the entire meta-game).

    And what about the notes?! Some crack-wise spiderman-like comments from a character that runs the entire game...

    I was expecting much, much more from this game. Very disappointing.

    I'm giving 3 because the gore was delivered as promised.
  4. Sep 4, 2013
    Honestly, Outlast is a good game, but it's nothing special. If you cross Condemned, FEAR and Amnesia, this is what you'll get. It's, however a very calculated game. I see calculated as opposite to cleverly planned. Especially the beginning of the game feels as if Red Barrel were devs that played Amnesia and wanted to remake it on a AAA-level. It has a massive mass market appeal with its quite predictable plot (find a keycard, oh, now electricity is broken, go to the cellar to turn it back on) and clichéd setting. There's not much variety in gameplay, nor in story (which has loads of horrendous plotholes) and the horror is not very subtile. Sometimes the game is screaming "look I'm scary!" especially with the sometimes absurd amount of gore and copy-pasted scare-setpieces. While Amnesia is scary because you can't see what scares you, Outlast is supposed to be scary because you see everything. Sure, it's 20 bucks, you'll get your fun out of it, but it's not scary and terrifying in a revolutionary way. There are a few jump scares here and there but mostly it's kind of predictable. My money is on Amnesia: A Machine for pigs. Expand
  5. Sep 8, 2013
    It's a linear game without any puzzles. Instead it's full of jump scares. Graphics are nice and the camera effect looks cool but it could've been much more. It's short and has none replay value. I wonder if we ever again see actually good horror in video games or will everything just be jump scare after another.
  6. Sep 4, 2013
    Absolutely my favorite horror game to date. I felt the immersion within the first 10 minutes of game play. The best time to play is after nightfall. Lights off and undisturbed. Turn up the AC for a chilly room. Then blast the surround sound. You will not be disappointed.
  7. Sep 5, 2013
    The game is not bad, is actually pretty enjoyable sometimes....
    The scariest thing about the game are not the monsters, or the jump scares, but the motion blur, which cannot be turned off (unless you turn off all the effects), but the game still looks great with all the effects at minimum......
    Fix the motion blur option please!
  8. Sep 4, 2013
    Amazing! This is an instant favorite. Beautiful introduction, simple and classic controls, and an absolutely frightening experience. To those looking for a thrilling and memorable game, I recommend Outlast without reservation.

    Pros: Elegant game-play with surprisingly high production value. The trailer gives an excellent feel for this game. The experience has been a delight, and I'm
    sure other horror genre fans will agree.

    Cons: Can't close doors quietly (unless I'm missing something). I don't like being forced to slam doors shut as I sneak around... but this is only a minor complaint.
  9. Sep 4, 2013
    Incredibly creepy, a masterpiece of atmospheric engineering. The setting and basic mechanics may be cliche, but the end product will keep your heart racing. Play this in the dark with headphones and you won't be disappointed, especially considering the $20 price.
  10. Sep 9, 2013
    It doesn't take long into the game to look past the pretty visuals to see that the scares and atmosphere are painted on. From the title screen we already begin to experience some problems, there are no advanced graphical options (which to me was a problem as I have a fairly low-end PC luckily this game has great optimisation and I could run it 60fps on highest). There is also no sound options other than master volume. The experience has been on level with a haunted mansion ride predictable, repetitive, non threatening and frustrating jump-scares. It seems the reactions they got from the easily shocked by the body jump-scare behind the door were so fantastic that they decided to reuse the spooky door jump scares over and over and over. It began to be incredibly annoying and laughable that things kept appearing behind doors, fizzling out the suspense completely. Enemies pose absolutely no threat. At one point I ran away from an enemy with a weapon, that, surprisingly, was behind a door. He walked up to the locker I hid in, pulled me out, hit my character in the face and then threw me in the direction to run away, where he never ended up following me. Any true veterans of the horror genres will yawn as this game constantly tries to shock you. This game does nothing new, its story is on par with Killing Floor and the only thing it has going for it is its great optimisation and a cool camera gimmick. I was hoping more but I never expected much, your money is better spent elsewhere. Expand
  11. Sep 4, 2013
    I can see this getting canned for only one reason: national pride.

    Those who've played it will know what I'm talking about. The US did recruit a number of there former enemys specialists and they did perform questionable research...specifically biological and psychological warfare (in fact the game has in the various journals almost word for word excerpts from said research, with names
    dates and locations changed) and I can't fault people for being in denial over those events (for those curious I do recommend a google search or two on the subject...very chilling stuff and a real lesson in monitoring ones government, to serve and protect...sometimes the latter drives those in power to extremes to one up would be opponents.)

    I say this because there's already one review here based solely on this. Now onto the game: It's near flawless in execution the atmosphere is...amazing without a flaw...and the scares are therefore very well designed in that any scare in this little world is a brilliant scare, however there are sections where you are being chased and there is no alternative but to keep running and hope you can crawl or slip through an area your pursuer can't follow these are the weakest feeling parts of the game...they happen a bit to regularly and can't help but feel heavily scripted even if brilliantly so (an enemy has a set pattern of behaviors and they design a small section built around this, with very planned exits)

    I've also heard tell it's rather short, which doesn't surprise me as mentioned every inch was designed with care (sometimes to it's detriment again as mentioned) but for the price it's still easily worth it.

    I very much look forward to see'ing more from these dev's.
  12. May 9, 2014
    An achievement in horror. Tops a lot of what passes off as horror these days (with the exception of the original Dead Space). Incredible setting and characters. You become immersed in the world. I can't wait to play games like this on the oculus rift..imagine that. Red Barrels knows horror. You think Saw, Amnesia, Bioshock Infinite were scary? Play this with the lights off and the headphones turned up. Highly Recommended. Can't wait to see what else they cook up. Would be cool if we could get a physical edition of this and the dlc someday. Expand
  13. Sep 4, 2013
    1st of all this game is a mood game, atmospheric game, with tensions and it is also paranoia inducing.
    I have played countless of these games myself, from the very 1st Resident Evil & Silent Hill on PS1 back then, Fatal Frame series, then Dead Space, Amnesia, Scratches etc etc...the list is a long one.
    Outlast is a masterpiece in what it tries to achieve, which is: primal fears,
    paranoia, and giving you the feeling that you're alone, even if in a way you're not...
    The storyline is quite creepy, and twisted as well, based on different historical facts, being real or not is not really important, as if it would be real, i wouldn't want to know about it...seriously. Some things are better kept hidden and secret. Conclusion, Outlast isn't a game for you to play at noon, with sun and bright lights through your window and little birds...If you do that, you'll ruin the whole mood. Instead, play it late at night, close all the lights and put your headset on, or pump up the volume of your speakers...Then play...
    Come back here later, and i tell me it wasn't scary...You won't
  14. Sep 11, 2013
    I think this game is slightly overrated. Here's why: 1) There is a fundamental problem with the mechanics of the game that lead it to be overly boring and repetitive. The problem stems from the fact that you cannot attack enemies and thus don't need to regulate health, stamina, ammo, etc. All you can do is hide. It's ridiculous that I can't fight back when some scrawny guy missing his skin is beating me to death. 2) because of (1) above, you tend to get your ass kicked over and over until you've memorized a map and this is both frustrating and not scary when you get killed for the 20th time by the same wimp 3) the puzzles tend to emphasize knowing the map (collect X of some item) which relates back to (1) and (2) and finally 4) the story isn't really all that interesting or subtle. It's your typical sort of Resident Evil Operation Racoon stuff that's been done to death. Otherwise the game is OK. The graphics, sound effects, and general ambiance of the level design and atmosphere are top notch and this is why I give it 7/10. Expand
  15. Sep 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So I finished the game and taking with the two feelings, the story was downright bad and towards the end you will be a little shocked. The atmosphere you breathe icy breath until the end of the back and this is definitely a great title that his promise. It really is a game of survival horror and full of unpleasant moments.

    What struck me at the game but was greatly disappointed by game time. I finished the game for four hours, I enjoyed so only two nights and I feel very disappointed. The game had great potential and I feel very deprived. It is above average and great horror game that the knee precipitated a very short game time and sometimes poor AI.
  16. Sep 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Outlast was by no means a poor game, and had all the ingredients for an amazing horror game. However, these ingredients weren't used to the fullest.
    The beginning of the game was amazing. The atmosphere sucked you right in, and the scares were placed just right to both scare you and teach you the game. As it got towards the middle and end, things began to lack off. Repetitive scare tactics lost their edge, and the designers even began to announce the entrance of major enemies to let you be aware that they were there, and that you should be cautious. Over exposure to the enemies was also a minor problem. I became used to seeing freaks everywhere and didn't pay much mind if one hit me. Also, the survival horror aspect is too forgiving (I think this of Amnesia too) a huge, beast of a man is introduced to you by ripping off an inmates head and when you encounter him, he just throws you or slaps you; almost every enemy in the game has to hit you twice.
    The platforming was great because it felt like you were just an average man, not some star athlete. You felt the breathing and effort in the long jumps.
    Lastly the ending areas were lackluster at best, a cliche ending to the game and a huge let down for the mystery and buildup it had going for it. I'll leave the ending at that.
    Overall, it was still worth my money and easily worth playing, just don't expect the 'scariest game ever' as it was hyped for.

    Enemies lost their scariness and threat
    Reused scare tactics
    Atmosphere was stunning, but fell off near the end
    Had some amazing scares, but too many failed attempts
    7/10 would buy and play.
  17. Sep 5, 2013
    Well this game is really creepy. Do not listen to the douchebags saying otherwise just for the sake of argument and for proving their "manliness" The developers knew how to build tension and scare the sh*t out of me. Some jump scares here and there, but luckily they did not overdone it. Also a lot of sick scenarious and places make this game a rather twisted experience. Nightmarish stuff, well worth giving it a chance. Headphones and nighttime recommended for full effect. Expand
  18. Sep 6, 2013
    The best horror survival game in the genre. The atmosphere is utterly terrifying and very immersive. Audio and visuals are top notch and very impressive not just for an Indy game, but in general. This is an absolute must play for those who are into the horror genre.
  19. Sep 5, 2013
    Probably my most anticipated horror game of 2013, Outlast, attempts to dethrone Amnesia with it's brilliant graphics, solid atmosphere, interesting story, and bone-chilling thrills. However, does it succeed? First off, lets discuss how much you are getting for $20. The game, as stated previously, looks beautiful. This is easily the best-looking (and best-sounding) horror game to ever be released. The story is intriguing, to say the least, but the ending may leave you feeling your whole adventure was worthless and changed nothing. Controls are solid, and vaulting over obstacles made you feel more competent as a survivor than Amnesia could ever bring, though some objects that I should have been able to vault over, I could not, causing some unnecessary deaths.

    I have only 2 problems with this game: The ending, and the play-time. Like I said, the ending leaves you feeling like playing the game's story was pointless (I'll leave you to figure out how & why). I got about 4 hours out of this game, which surprised me greatly, as I assumed that the game would run for well over 8 hours. I expect the game would have been even shorter had it not asked you to activate a certain number of objects, or to go find a key for a door every 10 minutes. The puzzles could have been more diverse, as they lacked creativity.

    Overall, it's a really well done horror game. Beautiful, atmospheric, and has a decent story. However, the short duration and poor ending are likely to ruin it for a few, as it did for me.

    Graphics: 9/10
    Gameplay: 9/10
    Sound: 9/10
    Story: 7/10
    Play-time: 6/10

    Overall: 8/10

    I recommend getting it. It's a great buy for $20.
  20. Sep 7, 2013
    The visuals of this game are good and the camera gimmick works well enough. The gameplay is very simple. You do a lot of running around, climb, collect journal entries and batteries for your camera. The problem of Outlast is that it isn't scary enough and that it relies heavily on jump-scares. The Asylum as a place is quite boring and the plot of the game is your basic horror schlock. Not a single original idea in this department. Overall,a very mixed experience. Expand
  21. Sep 5, 2013
    Great story,stunning graphics and physics,good parkour ideas,really scary monsters and jumpscares,though some of them are really easy to glitch. Still awesome game Red Barrels! We want more updates,and after some time more games from you!Cheers!
  22. Sep 9, 2013
    Outlast is a well designed game with a few key misses...

    I felt the game and story arc both developed in the same pattern; strong introduction, sagging middle, and a strong end. Unfortunately, most of the game is considered to be the "middle", so for about 5 hours I felt as if I were simply jumping through hoops to finish.

    This game suffers from the same thing as the original
    "Assassin's Creed"; repetition. You are constantly trying to find switches, levers, or keys while being hunted by a particular enemy (a lot of times, one that has chased you before...). I have to admit, the game was able to maintain it's level of scariness for the first encounter... maybe a bit during the second, but after that, the player starts to realize the patterns, understands the AI, and loses all immersion, at least I did. At this point, I found myself giving up on creeping past enemies and slowly walking around corners because I knew I would survive at least one or two hits from the enemy, and all I would have to do to escape is either climb into an air duct or close myself in a room and hide. Nine times out of ten, the enemy would break the door down, walk into my 10x10 room with one bed (which I would be hiding under), and give up his pursuit. Really?! You're not going to check the one and only possible hiding spot??? Oh well...

    I don't play many survival horror games. Actually, to be 100% honest, this is my first one! I figured I would give the genre the benefit of the doubt and gave the game a 6/10. Perhaps it is a masterpiece in its own right? To me though, a non-memorable and simple foray through the dark.

    To sum up:
    1) Beautifully designed
    2) Strong introduction and ending

    1) Majority of game is repetitious
    2) A.I is predictable and easily fooled (crouching is OP)
    3) Extremely forgiving gameplay that removes all drama and tension from encounters.
  23. Sep 30, 2013
    I will never understand the popularity of this game. It's not Amnesia... it's not even Doom 3. It combines the gameplay of the former with the aesthetics of the latter-- exactly the *opposite* of taking the strongest part of each game. The result is a lame brown next-gen sludge that isn't scary or even creepy at all, just obnoxious and loud and distracting.

    Aesthetically, the game is
    a mess. Areas are not only well-lit, but it feels like light sources have been placed specifically to guide the player through the maps. The Zombies run like Olympic athletes and there's military corpses everywhere, which your character does not loot for weapons even though he feels his life is in danger. There's piles of blood and gore that don't really make you feel anything, and everything has a mundane explanation.

    The game is constantly playing super-loud panic noises instead of, you know, maybe gradually leading up to it. The much-praised "realism" works against the game, with tiny details not quite adding up right. Everything from highlights on skin to animations that are slightly out of synch. The Uncanny Valley has a place in horror, of course, but here it's applied exactly the opposite of where you want it. The characters

    Meanwhile your character is a friggin' mental patient himself, rubbing his hands all over filthy walls and rusty metal you would never touch in real life. I mean he absolutely *caresses* these surfaces, in a way that no human being ever would. I don't grope all the walls as I make my way through my own house, why would I do it in a video game? It's like watching a porno for mysophiliacs.

    The story constantly flops back and forth between nonexistent and forehead-smacking dumb. I'm sorry, did I call the enemies "Zombies" before? That was a mistake on my part. See, they're technically not zombies. They're just humans who have been given Captain America juice that makes them LOOK like Zombies. So, yeah. The antagonists in Outlast are actually "ugly men who want to kill you for no reason." Way to push the boundaries of creativity there.

    Overall this feels like someone's Unreal Engine deathmatch project, hastily converted into what passes for "survival horror" to the Dead Space generation. Seriously, guys. Don't buy into this garbage. Play some Amnesia, play some Silent Hill. Hell, even Submachine was more of a horror game than this is. Because it sucked you in with a world that appeared superficially normal but when you started to think about it, you slowly realized that the objects making up those rooms were just... wrong. Twisted. Subverted to an outsider's purpose, ineffable but silently implied. Like everything else in the horror genre, Outlast gets this exactly backwards. They start with an overdone trope (creepy old asylum,) and then pile mutilated corpses all over the place, without ever giving you a reason to care or wonder. You never feel curious or intrigued, you never suspect there MIGHT be a scare about to happen but then it never comes. The game is so busy mashing the panic button that it stops working entirely after the first five minutes of play. You become desensitized almost immediately, and from then on the game is a rote Execution Challenge. You're basically playing pac-man in the Unreal Engine with a few dirty wallpaper textures thrown in for flavor.

    This is not horror. This game is all blood and noise. If I wanted blood and noise I'd go play an action game. Red Barrels has somehow made a game that is mechanically a horror game, but which feels like a first person shooter. And in many ways, that is a much worse offense than your Resident Evil 5s and your Dead Space 3s.

    Outlast says "We know all the elements that make up a good survival horror game, and we deliberately chose not to use any of them." Thanks, Red Barrels, for turning a genre that was the last bastion of legitimate emotional connection in modern gaming into a pandering gorefest. I guess this is what happens when you take all your cues from Hollywood.
  24. Sep 8, 2013
    Have to give Outlast a score of 5. I was expecting so much more from this, and it began so, so promising.
    The absolute worst thing about this game is the length. It's so incredibly short..
    It's short, and there's no custom story map editor feature, yet they ask for more money than Amnesia.
    The graphics are amazing, the enemies NPCs are incredibly detailed and look fantastic. I wish
    there was more to find than journals and batteries. I wish you had to maintain your health as well. MINOR SPOILER: Enemies in this game do not disappear, like they do in Amnesia. This is a great plus for Outlast, but since you have no health bar and you regain health automatically, there isn't much risk trying to sneak by an enemy.

    I'm gonna hope for some REALLY lengthy DLC to save this game. While I do not like it, I would spend a few more euro to get more of this.
  25. Sep 5, 2013
    There's not much to say. Fluent gameplay, interesting story, good atmosphere. The only downside for me was the fact, that it's not that scary. But still, it's enjoyable.
  26. Sep 6, 2013
    Before I say anything, keep in mind, this is a low price game with many full price features. So, with that in mind, I feel I can be a bit generous with my verdict of Outlast.

    What I consider to be of a full price nature are the graphics (only FSAA currently missing from the limited options, surely the PS4 will be getting some AA, right?), which are very good, not amazing, but great use
    of lighting and perfectly smooth. The sound is also very good, excellent subtleties that don't infringe on the intended mood of the game, although the soundtrack can become slightly cliche at times. Controls are tight, movement effects (crouch, run, look behind, etc) all done ell and, more importantly, not overdone. Again, considering the price, Outlast can and does look and sound better than many full price titles.

    The budget elements only really come down to lacklustre character models some could have looked a lot better and the fact that Red Barrels add a nice touch with showing a close-up of the hand when leaning against walls, etc, but decided to leave it looking rather substandard. Small niggles that wouldn't have taken much time to resolve but would have meant that all of Outlast looked nice, not just most of it.

    Scary? I'm not so sure, not in a Amnesia way, more like a F.E.A.R. way really; which ultimately makes it more of a shocker than an outright horror. Amnesia is the master of pretence, whereas Outlast just throws it at you. It has it's moments but it's not as clever as Amnesia.

    Film grain? Not my thing, but it's there.

    Overall, good, but considering the price tag, I'm going to say very good.
  27. Sep 6, 2013
    I was skeptical when starting to play. I've played a lot of horror-type games and often remain unfazed. This is one of the few games that has successfully immersed me into the game and caused me to jump and my heart to skip a few beats. Well done.
  28. Sep 7, 2013
    Just bought it and played atleast half an hour into it.. I think i can definitely say, the game is about as good as a penumbra or dead space, if better. its got the horror si-fi taste in it witch makes it beautiful. I very highly recommend children under 18 to not play this, it will scare the heck out of young ones. Lots of blood and gore and very heavily horror scenes.. Great game though, great game. Expand
  29. Sep 5, 2013
    WoW i pass this game tonight its take 2:50 Min for me, what can i say pure horror and psychological game i dont care if they take some Condemned and f.e.a.r together in shaker and wo'la Whole new game reborn this is what horror games should be.
  30. Sep 5, 2013
    As a hard core gamer and horror writer/fanatic, I can pleasantly say that "Outlast" combines the best of both worlds into one experience like no other. Trying to hide from a lunatic underneath a bed while you can see or hear his feet shuffling across the room is incredibly breathtaking, and sneaking past any threat feels satisfying. You automatically grad onto corners while standing next to them en you can actually vault over objects and see your own feet, giving you the feeling you're not just a floating head but an actual, volnurable person. The best horror experience in years. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Feb 21, 2014
    A game that is not as innovative as you would hope. It is very old school. Nevertheless, this is a real horror-game and we can guarantee that you will freak out. It may be old school, but it is still a very good game that will blow you away.
  2. Dec 5, 2013
    This is probably the most horrifying experience in videogames, ever!
  3. Oct 31, 2013
    On one side, you have linear gameplay, at times simplistic game design and plenty of clichés. On the other – an exciting opportunity to star in a very cool horror ‘movie’.