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I will never understand why Outlast caused such a stir back in 2013, more so after playing its sequel. I suppose I get why folks liked it: playing a videogame version of all those found footage horror films you either love or hate or love to> hate, is a pretty nifty thing.
But there were so many valves to turn, jump scares and unsurprising plot twists.
I can't write about Outlast 2 without recalling Tim's 'charred baby pit' preview headline, which perfectly captures the tone of Red Barrels' survival horror sequel. Pitches like that are a hard mould to break, I imagine, particularly when the series in question has sold 15 million units and has accrued $64 million.
Speaking at Berlin's Quo Vadis conference (via gamesindustry.biz), the developer's Philippe Morin said despite his desire to do "something completely different" next, the success of the Outlast series is difficult to overlook. With this in mind, Red Barrels' next game will be "a departure" from its previous ones, reports GI.biz, but will be set in the same overarching universe.
"If you'd told me a year ago that the project we're currently working on was going to be our next thing, I would have said, 'Nah, I don't think so'," says Morin. "It's an internal struggle. On the one side you have to stay motivated as a developer, but at the same time we have to think about stuff as company owners.
"That's why it took us several months to find the sweet-spot between doing something that's going to please the fans, and something that we're driven by personally. In big studios, they can say, 'If you're burnt out we can always give the IP to a different team'. But that's not the case here."
Morin adds that he and his team are in the prototyping phase of their next venture, and are considering their budget. Outlast had a production budget of $1.36 million CAD (approx £783,760/$1.06 million USD), while Outlast 2 cost five times that.
"Are we going to need the same kind of budget?" asks Morin. "Can it be lower? Right now, I don't know. All I know is that I always make sure we have options on the table: plan A, B, C and D. When you get to the river, you decide which bridge you want to cross.
"I always tell the team that, since the studio is owned by developers, our interests as developers is as important as our interests as shareholders. We don't want to change that."
Gamesindustry.biz's report from Berlin's Quo Vadis conference can be read in full here.
Fans of the Outlast series were treated to a stack of news yesterday evening, all tucked into a post on the game's official Facebook page.
After declaring the series en route to Nintendo's Switch console in the new year, Red Barrels said it has no plans to extend number two by way of DLC in the immediate future.
On the latter, the developer said: "About the future, many of you have been requesting a DLC. While the first Outlast was made with the idea of a DLC in mind, that was not the case for Outlast 2. We’ve considered many options, but none of them felt appropriate for a DLC. Outlast 2 was created to make you feel like a rat in a maze, without any knowledge of what’s outside the maze."
Red Barrels then points players towards the game's offshoot comic series as a means of plugging the narrative gap, before turning to the possibility of a third game. "We will, at some point, make an Outlast 3 and answers will be given," the Facebook post adds.
The post continues: "Currently we’re working on something a lot of you have been asking for... It won’t be a sequel to Outlast or Outlast 2, but it will be a distinct experience set in the Outlast universe. We can’t say more right now, we first need to make sure we can make it work. Like I mentioned, we strive to be risk-takers and this one is a pretty big challenge. If all goes well, we’ll soon be able to reveal more."
Nothing solid there, then. But the wording—"It won't be a sequel… but will be a distinct experience set in the Outlast universe"—to me suggests a VR outing might be in the works.I've reached out to Red Barrels for comment and will report back as and when it replies. Check out the aforementioned Facebook post in full here.
One of the better ‘peer through a camcorder viewfinder while hiding from spooky monsters’ horror games which shambled out of the early tensies, Outlast [official site] is free for keepsies if you grab it in the next two days. Hit the Humble Store before 6pm on Saturday (10am Pacific) and you can nab both Outlast and its prequel expansion, Whistleblower, in DRM-free and Steam key forms. This freebie is to celebrate the end of Humble’s summer sale, which I understand has a great many games going cheap. But not as cheap as free. (more…)
The Humble Store End of Summer Sale itself came to an end today, which means it's time for the Humble Store End of Summer Sale Encore! Yes, seriously, the sale is over but is also still going on, which means you've got four more days to pick up some of those discounted games you were wavering on yesterday, and more importantly, to snag a free copy of the hit horror game Outlast and its Whistleblower DLC.
You should know by now how it works, but in case you've missed the previous sale freebie posts, it goes like this: Hit the Outlast Deluxe Edition page on the Humble Store. Click "Add to cart." Click "Checkout." Click "Get it for free." And just, you know, follow the instructions from there. You'll be links to separate codes for the game and the DLC, which have to be redeemed by October 7.
Outlast, by the way, is very good. Is it scary? "Hell yes," we wrote in our 2013 review. "Outlast can be terrifying, with subtle scares, wonderfully timed surprises, and a crushing sense of dread accompanying you as you inch through the darkened corridors, waiting for something—anything—to happen."
The Humble Store Outlast freebie will be available until 10 am PT on September 23. The End of Summer Sale Encore runs until 10 am PT on September 25.
If you ve ever wanted to experience crucifixion from a first-person perspective, Outlast 2 [official site] will let you scratch that one off your bucket list. Moving away from the first game s psychiatric hospital, developers Red Barrels unearth another necropolis worth of horror tropes in a splatterfest about apocalypse, antichrists and clashing cults.
The most frustrating thing about Outlast 2 is that it s few redeeming features deserve a far better game around them. … [visit site to read more]
The horror, said famous army colonel Walter Kurtz. The survival horror. Outlast 2 [official site] will have some of that, by the looks of things, and good news for impatient people who like to be scared: it has a demo out today. It s a short one at 10-15 minutes and will be familiar to anyone who saw the footage from PAX. But for those of you who were disappointed to hear about the sequel s delay into 2017, it is something to enjoy in time for spoooooky> Halloween.
Ah, the early tensies! Cast your mind back to an era when a Slender Man lurked in every corner, crazed diary entries littered the streets, and Nicola Roberts was making a real go of a solo career. Of all the first-person stealth-o-spookers that followed Amnesia and old balloonhead, Outlast was one of the better ones. Following a touch of DLC, developers Red Barrels announced a sequel would follow in 2016 but… now that’s delayed. You’ll need to wait until 2017 to flee from a murderous religious cult.