Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Sep 4, 2013
    Red Barrels have done a fantastic job combining an intensely disquieting setting, a unique visual look, and an incredibly effective camera gimmick to ensure that nobody escapes Mount Massive without a few nightmares.
  2. Games Master UK
    Oct 20, 2013
    Survival horror at its most primal, this is an exceptional jaunt into madness. [Dec 2013, p.73]
  3. PC PowerPlay
    Oct 28, 2013
    An unrelenting torrent of gore and terror that plays your nerves like a fiddle...until all the strings break. [Nov 2013, p.94]
  4. Sep 16, 2013
    This game is completely honest about wanting to scare the crap out of me, and being released next to Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, it’s good to have the plain option.
  5. Sep 16, 2013
    If you enjoy a terrifying game and are not prone to heart attacks, this $20 fright-fest is for you. Just be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.
  6. Sep 4, 2013
    Outlast offers a lot for the $20 that the developers are asking: great visuals, a decent story, some solid scares, plenty of checkpoints, and a little bit of openness in both exploration and in dealing with the enemies that can't be fought back against.
  7. Sep 4, 2013
    Outlast simultaneously reminds me of the grainy slasher flicks of the '70s, the gruesome body horror of Clive Barker, and gratuitous modern torture porn. It manages to squeeze a great deal of diversity into what is quite a small package of around six or seven hours, but it doesn't burst or struggle to reconcile the different elements.
  8. Sep 4, 2013
    Outlast perfects this self-inflicted madness in every area of its design, and it's absolutely petrifying. I love it.
  9. Sep 4, 2013
    Even late in the game, it had the ability to get my blood racing and my spine tingling. It’s possible that by the end, Outlast does, in fact, slightly outlast its mechanics and AI, but the novelty of running and hiding and its phenomenal, no-holds-barred presentation definitely make up for it. This is a gross, scary, disturbing game: you should play it.
  10. Sep 4, 2013
    Outlast’s combination of stealth, platforming and horror is exceptional, the benefits of the diverse experience of its highly talented development team always in plain sight.
  11. Sep 4, 2013
    It’s stressful and terrifying in a way that most recent horror games can’t match... I say play it in a brightly lit room surrounded by pictures of kittens. The heart can only take so much.
  12. Sep 12, 2013
    Dark, intense and brutal: Outlast celebrates classic survival horror.
  13. Oct 21, 2013
    Outlast hits most of its objectives, serving as head of a new series for the horror subjective.
  14. Sep 13, 2013
    Outlast is a game designed to frighten even those who deem themselves hard to scare. What we have here is a proper survival-horror game that thankfully doesn’t make the transition to the action genre like so many other horror-themed games these days.
  15. Sep 12, 2013
    It’s certain not to appeal to all gamers, and while I often personally use games to relax and blow off steam, I find that after playing an hour or so of Outlast I’m too wound up to play anymore. Good thing then that the whole game is about five hours long.
  16. Sep 11, 2013
    Outlast is terrifying, brutal and crazy. The story is clever enough to assemble all themes into a complete picture and tie it with some historical facts, but the most important thing is this: Outlast is really scary. Honestly, no game before has made me feel such strong emotions. Outlast is a must buy for all fans of scary stories. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is a fairy tale in comparison.
  17. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 5, 2013
    Outlast is the best horror title this year. [Oct 2013]
  18. Sep 12, 2013
    Red Barrels is a developer that I hope to see more from, and to my knowledge, there's nothing currently like Outlast that doesn't freely give in to cliches on a regular basis (I have yet to play either Amnesia title), and that's enough for me to call it worth playing.
  19. Sep 9, 2013
    Fostering a reaction as elusive and subjective as fear and then circulating it through a game presents a vicious assignment. Outlast nearly completes this task before exhaustively collapsing under the burden of its medium. While Outlast doesn't crack the code, its dreadful atmosphere and relentless tension move the entire genre closer to figuring it all out.
  20. Sep 6, 2013
    A good horror game, with plenty of chills and a very effective setting.
  21. 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.
  22. Dec 5, 2013
    This is probably the most horrifying experience in videogames, ever!
  23. 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’.
  24. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Oct 24, 2013
    Outlast is as intensive as riding a rollercoaster through a haunted house. It grips you by your neck and drags you through horrors, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It won't last long, though, and works only the first time. [Issue#234]
  25. games(TM)
    Oct 23, 2013
    It won't ever be a classic, but Outlast does enough to be an important inclusion in your collection all the same. [Issue#140, p.113]
  26. CD-Action
    Oct 16, 2013
    Outlast grosses you out (like Condemned: Criminal Origins) rather than making you fear your own shadow (like the first Amnesia did), but nonetheless it’s a great horror. [11/2013, p.81]
  27. Oct 10, 2013
    Outlast is a very positive note in the current gaming landscape and a pearl in the horror genre. The atmosphere is reminiscent of movies like Rec, and the game follows the trend of the modern horror film, shot in first person.
  28. Oct 2, 2013
    Outlast doesn’t do itself any favors with uninspired gameplay elements, that all too often reduce frightening moments to simple routine. Not to say that it isn’t worth the confrontation though. It plays into the fear of being found or chased by something that wants to harm you. That feels primal, and is often absolutely terrifying. This is enhanced by environments that come to life through a great attention to detail. Outlast is a nightmare that’ll stick with you for while.
  29. Oct 2, 2013
    Outlast is able to create true terror in the player, but it falls a bit short in gearing up that feeling when scary things really happen.
  30. Sep 18, 2013
    A little but perfectly accessible, even greatly playable game. It puts forward its hero protagonist and his helplessness, its whimsical hazard, and its great number of properly placed scripts. While playing Outlast you will relive plenty of convulsive experiences, but you will chuckle at the very same time. Gameplay aside, if the game was a bit more creative, it could get a better grade.
  31. Sep 16, 2013
    It’s creepy from beginning to end.
  32. Sep 16, 2013
    Outlast is the pleasant surprise of fall 2013, a true survival-horror game with old-school gameplay and a very scary atmosphere. Fear is what it's all about and that's what you're going to find inside Mount Massive Asylum, and it already makes the game a success. With a very well-made storyline in spite of a touchy ending, Outlast is definitely a reference title rivaling Amnesia or Forbidden SIREN. In spite of some problems which are largely due to the tight development budget, hence the small retail price of 20€, the game will provide gamers with a deep dive into the most dark horrors, which will make you forget the ultimately minor faults that Red Barrels let slip pass. A title that will scare future PS4 owners for sure.
  33. Sep 15, 2013
    Playing Outlast means embracing that horror and walking in it. Even with a handful of small issues, this is a game that will repeatedly make you jump from your seat and for that alone it is worth a recommendation.
  34. Sep 11, 2013
    Outlast is an incredibly effective horror game with a satisfying story, good looks and good pacing. Unfortunately, the whole thing is nearly derailed by linear level designs and painfully simple gameplay. But many horror fans will ignore all that when they discover just how scary Outlast really is!
  35. Sep 9, 2013
    Anyone interest in the need to be scared should check out Outlast. It takes some ideas from Amnesia, but blends them with its own unique gameplay mechanics and setting.
  36. Sep 6, 2013
    Quotation forthcoming.
  37. Sep 6, 2013
    Outlast is the pinnacle of a less is more design philosophy. While other horror titles use jump scares and musical cues Outlast utilizes startling imagery and precision timing to make you call for mommy.
  38. 80
    Some troubles aside, in the here and now, I'll leave this one with the most glowing of compliments. Outlast's not particularly original, but its extremely effective brand of horror makes for a haunted mansion experience that's all too easy to recommend. It's almost as if this one was shoving the finger into all of the horror has-beens' faces: "Look, if you dare, what only ten people can do!" I for one can't imagine they'd like what they'd see.
  39. Sep 5, 2013
    Outlast is an intense experience that knows little of subtlety and much about scaring you out of your mind. It´s a violent, shocking and credible voyage made with technical and artistic mastery, only slightly undermined by its ending and its own concerns about difficulty.
  40. Sep 4, 2013
    Lights off and headphones on is a must. Allow yourself to fall deep in Red Barrels’ asylum and the reward is a frightening descent into the bowels of man’s search for greatness. The sound design is exceptional – even more so when considering this is a lower budget production – and the weight of the world is tight.
  41. Sep 4, 2013
    It’s not so much that it tries to scare you with monsters, blood, or gore that makes the experience so powerful as it is how the game mentally plays with your senses and emotions. Even if you don’t think you’re easily scared, try playing Outlast alone in the dark with headphones on. This intense rollercoaster ride will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you jump out of it a few times too.
  42. Sep 4, 2013
    It's a great survival horror game, following the steps of previous "hide and survive" games where we cannot attack creatures. We think there's enough talent behind this game to try something different, but still they've created a very scary adventure that we think is worth enjoying.
  43. Sep 4, 2013
    Annoying design choices and forced moments of repetition have a bad habit of spoiling the mood, but between them is an experience that's scary as all hell.
  44. Sep 4, 2013
    The initial hours, when played with a survivor’s unsure intent are electrifying, illuminating a slice of fast, animal terror. Before long, it settles into the mechanical, methodical, human realm, challenged by a few creative late-game curves. By all means check in, get a physical, but you might want to opt for outpatient care.
  45. Oct 1, 2013
    Outlast is an horror game with the great virtue of creating fear and terror with simple but highly effective weapons like dark, scary sounds, desperate escape from mad psychos and perfect locations for the purpose, but lacks a little bit in gameplay variety.
  46. Sep 11, 2013
    An elaborate horror setting with plenty of effective scares – but not quite enough to last the entire game.
  47. Sep 8, 2013
    A good survival horror, but with those guys the expectations were higher.
  48. Sep 7, 2013
    Outlast is a virtual tour through a hall of terrors. Even playing the game in full daylight makes me uneasy. However, the game's overall level design and gameplay were sacrificed at the altar of fear. If you're looking for an experience that will get your adrenaline pumping, Outlast is hard to beat, but if you’re looking for a meatier horror experience then you might want to run past this one.
  49. Sep 6, 2013
    Outlast gets the visuals and sound right, has some great mechanics, and will provoke feelings of dread and horror in even the most jaded gamer. It's cat-and-mouse sequences are a repetitive dirge, but elsewhere this is a strong first offering.
  50. Sep 4, 2013
    Yes, Outlast’s blind corners and pitch black sewers possess an illusion of danger greater than the actual threat posed by the monsters they hide. But really, illusions of danger are all games are capable of conjuring — and Outlast conjures them up relentlessly.
  51. Sep 29, 2013
    Still, it's easy enough to recommend Outlast despite the weaknesses. As far as atmosphere goes, it's at the top of its class and the journey throughout is a well-constructed one, for the most part. It occasionally dips too heavily into common video game contrivances—three fuses littered around the area, three switches for a door, scrounging for batteries, that sort of thing—but it's still a gruesomely enjoyable tale despite its flaws.
  52. Sep 18, 2013
    Although Outlast’s probably not a game you’ll revisit once completed, it’s certainly somewhere you’ll remember for a while to come.
  53. Sep 17, 2013
    If you’re looking for a more cerebral approach to horror, you’re going to be disappointed with Outlast. There isn’t much depth – or replayability, for that matter -in this short, nightmarish rollercoaster, but it will make you jump more than once.
  54. Sep 13, 2013
    It’s a shame the plot and enemies ruin things a bit, because Outlast is a truly effective survival horror for the most part.
  55. Sep 9, 2013
    Outlast is not so impressive visually, but it has a terrific atmosphere that will scare all players. It would have been better with a wide variety of gameplay situations though.
  56. 70
    Repetition and overfamiliarity are always the best ways to nullify fear, but until they set in this is one of the most effectively scary video games ever made.
  57. Sep 5, 2013
    Stop and peer too long into Outlast's gloom and you'll see the zips on the monster costumes. Take it at at speed and you'll find a haunted house worth visiting.
  58. Sep 4, 2013
    Most of the time, particularly early on when its quirks are fresh and unknown, it delivers. Even its weakest moments owe their existence not to ineffective ambiance and tension, but rather to excessive confidence spurred by eventual predictable encounters that clash with the promise of the setting.
  59. Sep 20, 2013
    As a budget Steam release, Outlast offers some cheap thrills for fans of the survival horror genre. Unfortunately its underwhelming visuals, combined with Red Barrel Games’ over-reliance on jump-scares ahead of more psychological frights, made my experience with it feel similar to walking through a haunted house: It’s scary, but not in a very clever way.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1900 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. 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
    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.
    Full Review »
  2. 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 veryAs 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.
    Full Review »
  3. 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 afterAbsolutely 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. Full Review »