If Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the Penumbra games had a baby, that baby would be Outlast. This is classic survival horror - a creepy setting, no weapons, and no way to survive except to hide. You play as a journalist investigating an abandoned insane asylum, based on an anonymous tip of shady goings-on there. The only tool you have at your disposal is a video camera. The main hook of the game is using the camera's IR (night vision) mode to see just what the hell is going around you. It makes for some very effective moments of terror. Imagine knowing something scary and nasty is out there stalking you, but not being able to see what's 3 feet in front of you... yeah, that's the experience in a nutshell. Those moments are what makes this game effective. But unfortunately the whole game is not just those moments. Some parts I found to be somewhat tedious. For example, in one section, you have to explore an area to collect 3 fuses to restore power to something, all the while being stalked by crazy people. It's tense, to be sure, but also makes you realize that you're playing a game with a lame "collect x things" mechanic. It kind of brings you out of the experience a bit. The final section of the game is also sort of hit or miss, as it changes direction in a big way (reminds me sort of how Amnesia fell apart a little bit towards the end). But it's not necessarily bad... just different (I don't really want to get into spoilers at all), so it's one of those things where you might like it or you might not. But the majority of the game leading up to the end is pretty much consistently good. The environment is creepy as hell, the atmosphere is dark, and the "enemies" (mostly disfigured inmates) serve their purpose well. There are a few jump-scares, and the aforementioned fetch-quest sections where you're being chased, but mostly, the horror of the game comes from the combination of atmosphere and having to rely on a camera (whose batteries drain quickly when using IR) to be able to see. On the downside, you sort of get used to things after a while, so the scare factor wears off a bit towards the end. So it's ultimately a good thing that the game only lasts around 4-5 hours. Any more would have been too much. Despite the flaws, there's still lots of good things to experience here, so if you're a fan of this genre, you pretty much have to play this at some point. I think the price is probably fair, but if you can wait, it's definitely worth picking up in a sale.
Technical notes: I ran into a major bug towards the beginning of the game that prevented any further progress (it involves shaking the mouse during a quick-time event). The issue has supposedly been fixed in a patch, but it didn't work for me. There is a pinned post in the Steam discussions explaining how to work around this if it doesn't work for you either.
Postat: 15 septembrie 2013