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.
Five Reasons To Love (And Hate) Free To Play
"Free To Play" is the phrase that's been on everyone's lips lately, particularly in the world of MMOs. It's the new business model that every production executive is cooing over; the model that many have come to hate with a burning, fiery passion. But is it really so bad?
Ten Things Rockstar Did Right With GTA Online
So...by now, most of you are probably aware that Rockstar kind of botched the launch of GTA Online. I mean, they seriously botched it. To the point that it was completely unplayable. At the same time, though...they handled the situation masterfully - there's a lot of stuff they actually did right.
Five Reasons To Look Forward To League's Fourth Season
With this year's LCS drawn to a close, a new season of League of Legends is just about upon us. It's bringing with it some very, very big changes. Trust me when I say they're something to be very, very excited for.
Indie Game Of The Week: Magicka
This week, I'm revisiting an old favorite of mine - and one that I desperately hope you've heard of. Magicka tells the tale of one to four homicidal, sociopathic wizards, their not-vampire instructor, and an eldritch abomination that threatens to destroy the whole world. Did I mention you can blow up pretty near anything you've a mind to?
Indie Game of The Week: Huntsman: The Orphanage
This week, I'll be taking a look at Huntsman: The Orphanage; a rather fresh take on the horror genre that manages to convey fear and anxiety without any violence or gore whatsoever. It's actually pretty impressive.
Ten Ways Social Media Has Changed The MMO
Social networks have effectively changed the way we...well, do pretty much everything. We interact differently, work differently, and even view the world differently since the birth of Facebook - there's even talk that it's bringing about a fundamental change in the way we think. It should thus come as no surprise that they've also had a considerable impact on the world of MMOs.
Indie Game Of The Week: The Bridge
This week, we're going to take a look at puzzle platformer "The Bridge," a rather esoteric game about a mad scientist, impossible geometry, and a reckless disregard for the laws of time, space, physics, and gravity. Shall we get started?
League: Ten Tips To Help You Be A Better Support
Historically, support has kind of been the butt-monkey role of League of Legends. In spite of being one of the most valuable and vital roles in the game, few people ever seem to want to play it. As a result...there aren't all that many people who can actually play it well. We need to change that.
Indie Game Of The Week: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
For those of you who've been living under a rock, I've some news: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs has finally released. It's about as terrifying as everyone expected it to be, but for entirely different reasons.
Ten Things You Need To Understand About League of Legends
There are many possible reasons behind Riot's success with League of Legends, but that's not what we're here to discuss. Instead, we're here to talk about something else. We're here to talk about the fact that, outside of the upper tiers, the vast majority of players simply don't get it. We're here to lay a few ground-rules for those people, ladies and gents.