Gaming has come a long way through the years. Most adults can vouch that the games they played when they were younger-the ones with poorer graphics and a lag in screen movements, were the most incredible games they’ve ever played. There’s a truth in that; the originals are usually the better version of any game. However, when a sequel to a game is released, there’s a pretty big tension surrounding it to be better and more immersive than the first one.
In September 2013, the first-person survival game, ‘Outlast’ was fully released. It was set in a modern time period at ‘Mount Massive Asylum’, a sanatorium for the mentally insane. The character you play is Miles Upshur, an investigative reporter that received a letter telling him about illegal activity at the institution. throughout the game, you encounter scary characters, gory scenes and a lot of jump-scares. It was a complete success for Red Barrels Studio, and came up with enough love and support that a DLC-downloadable content-game was put out in 2014. Today the game is still talked about and other survival/first person games are held up to it’s standards in terms of scare tactics, immersion, and overall experience.
Outlast 2, the official sequel to the game is said to release in fall of 2016. In this game your character is Blake Langermann, another investigative journalist. Only this time, you’re just the cameraman, while your wife, Lynn, is the researcher. The one element that made the original and DLC so popular was the use of a camera and the infrared light feature. It allowed you to continue through the game in the dark and still be able to see things; not only did this give more credibility and a hat tip to the journalistic part of your character, but it also helped to set the mood and keep up with the atmosphere. In the demo, you see there are a few details added onto the initial feature; a ‘sound bar’ is on the camera screen, letting you know which direction a noise was heard from. This addition does nothing but improve the ambiance.
Red Barrels Studio, the developer, have noted, “Outlast 2 will test your faith, pushing players to a place where going mad is the only sane thing to do,” in regards to what kind of experience the players will have. An element added to this game, and one that’s noticeable in the demo version, is that there are children and possibly women in this game. In the first and DLC, the only characters/bodies noticed are all adult males and a handful of the faces are recycled onto multiple ‘bystander’ characters-the ones you pass that are there to help set the mood or make the setting seem real. In Outlast, you ventured into the female ward of the asylum, but never encountered women patients. In the beginning of the demo, Lynn’s voice is heard and later on you see a few children. This added detail puts extra fear and anxiety into certain players; ones with deep maternal instincts and especially ones who cringe at the sound of a child screaming.
It’s not surprise that Outlast 2 has made it on the list of most anticipated games of 2016. The incorporation of a camera, the biggest detail that separated the game from the rest is still used in the sequel and enhanced for the players enjoyment. Nothing but excitement and anticipation envelopes the approach of Outlast 2’s official release date; this will be the sequel to set the real standards of game play to.