E3 featured more than a few survival horror titles, but one in particular stood out to me thanks to the brilliantly creepy atmosphere and setting that it takes place in, and that game is Outlast 2 from Red Barrels. Outlast 2 lives in the same universe as Outlast 1, but isn’t a direct sequel. Although, while talking to a Red Barrels rep there will be a comic book series released before the sequel comes out to help tie the two games together.
In Outlast 2 you play as Blake, who along with his wife is investigating the disappearance and murder of a pregnant woman. Early on in their hunt shit hits the fan and the two get separated, which kicks off the horrific experience (in a good way) of having to find Blake’s wife with nothing but a video camera to light his way.
The demo I played kicked off right when Blake and his wife get separated. The dark desert atmosphere instantly set the tone of the game, which immediately and consistently kept my body and mind in a state of fear thanks to the unknown. Blake’s dilemma became my own as I stumbled through the desert towards a ramshackle collection of farm houses while hearing curious whispers coming from dark corners, as well as the occasional appearance of a shady looking man watching me from the shadows. Every door I opened gave me heartburn over the fear of what I may find behind them. Would there be a battery for my camera so I could see in the pitch black dark as I hid from whatever force was watching and following me, or would there be some psycho looking to sacrifice me?
These moments perpetuated the fear I felt throughout the demo, and it was palpable, as in goosebumps to the max status throughout my entire body. At times I didn’t even want to continue on, but out of fear of looking like an asshole I pushed on and just kept my tears on the inside as I proceeded towards the demo’s climax, which utterly freaked me the fuck out.
Imagine stumbling upon a satanic cult–complete with a sacrifice room–then alerting them to your presence with nothing to defend yourself from them outside of a freaking video camera, so your only option is to run and not look back at the evil force chasing you. Then imagine this chase heading into a pitch black corn field with other psychos wading through corn stalks with flashlights trying to find you. The experience felt so real and pressing that I literally couldn’t get my barring straight to figure out where I needed to run to not die. This indecision, as in horror films, led to my death as the freaks hunted me down like a pack of wolves, but I appreciated the sweet release of death so I could catch my breath in real life.
If anything, the experience felt very real–almost too real–which is all we can ask from a survival horror game, so I was more than impressed with what Outlast 2 has to offer. It’s easily the creepiest demo I played at E3, and even though I’m a pussy when it comes to survival horror titles, I’m very eager to get back to Blake’s adventure when the full game releases later this year. Both new and old fans of the Outlast franchise are in for a treat, that’s if a treat to you is feeling like you’re life is going to end at the hands of Satan worshipers.
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