Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
Some journalists will do just about anything in the pursuit of a good story. Independent reporter Miles Upshur is one of those. Acting on an anonymous insider tip, Upshur's made his way into the remote Colorado Rockies, where lies the supremely sinister Mount Massive Asylum. Operated by the highly controversial Murkoff corporation, the asylum's been engaged in some downright twisted stuff, all of which has, until now, remained top secret.
Perhaps it should have stayed that way.
Before I dive into the specifics of my review, I'd like to make something clear. See, I've heard a lot of people comparing Outlast to A Machine For Pigs, saying the former is more frightening than the latter. To me, this isn't a fair comparison - they're two entirely different games, each with its own very different approach to horror.
Think of Outlast as a howling, enraged predator, one whose very presence strikes terror deep into your heart. You know when it's near, you know when it's hunting you, yet you can't help but be scared witless as you run desperately away. Machine For Pigs, on the other hand, is a subtler, more sinister kind of beast; one which burrows its way far into your psyche, waiting until you're most vulnerable before lashing out. Neither approach to horror is really objectively 'better' - I myself prefer Machine For Pigs, but I know there are many of you who'd enjoy the former more.
Right. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk a bit about Outlast.
Like most great survival horror titles, Miles is effectively helpless. Sure, he's pretty agile - there are some light parkour elements which will see you scrambling up the sides of buildings and vaulting over obstacles in the midst of a chase - but at the same time, he's not exactly a martial artist. If you get yourself caught, you're pretty much hooped.
In addition to Miles' agility, you're equipped with a video camera that comes complete with a night-vision attachment; this is the only thing that'll allow you to see where you're going (and more importantly, see where your pursuers are) in the asylum's gloom. Use of this feature takes a heavy toll on your camera's battery life, however - you'll need to be constantly on the lookout for more batteries in order to keep yourself charged up and ensure that you're actually able to see where you're going. You'll need to be careful how much you film, and do everything in your power to conserve your camera's lifespan. Trust me, you don't want to have it die on you in the dark.
A horror game is only as good as the monsters it throws at you, and Outlast doesn't disappoint in that regard. Most notable among the creatures that pursue you through the asylum are the hulking, brutish Chris Walker - rarely did I feel so helpless and hunted as when he was stomping about searching for me - and the abnormally cheerful Richard Traeger(though I found that sequence to be a bit more entertaining than frightening).
Outlast may not have disturbed me as much as A Machine For Pigs, but it's still an in-arguably frightening game, complete with top-notch graphics, excellent sound design and awesome (if occasionally sluggish) controls. Oh, it's also longer than four or five hours; so that helps. Pick up a copy for yourself on Steam for $19.99.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."
Five Things Riot Needs To Do With League of Legends
The folks at Riot already have their work cut out for them moving into Season 4, and they?re doing a damned find job of weathering the transition so far. That said, here?s a few changes we?d like to see as the new season draws near.