top of page
  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Outlast




At A Glance

  • Released: 9/4/13

  • Reviews:74,356, net overwhelmingly positive, as of 7/2023

  • English Reviews: 31,303

  • Localized in:


  • Had Publisher: No

  • Majority of reviews:

    • English ~30%

    • Russian ~19%

    • Simp. Chinese ~11%

  • Price: $19.99

  • Review report:

    • Negatives: Frustrating at certain points (Solving puzzles?) Polish player upset by regional price increase (Steam suggested this?), poor pacing (too *many* chase sequences and non-stop heart pounding),disappointing ending, gameplay repetitive, started out scary and foreboding for people then deteriorated from there when getting into the gameplay

    • Positives: strong atmosphere, absolutely terrifying (So much so that multiple people have not beaten the game or gotten very far), well-optimized, seems like no one mentioned the graphics of the game despite it being one of the greatest points of the game



Gameplay

  • Head can be moved during ‘cutscenes’

  • Can sprint in every direction except back

  • Took 1.59 seconds to walk the length of the car

  • Sprinting vs walking backwards has a speed difference

  • TV jumpscare turns on automatically, not strictly based on proximity

  • Eventually both the cop beater and the other chaser leave through the door across from the decontamination room

  • The NV light doesn’t follow the zoom when batteries are out

Music

  • Tense, creepy music begins playing upon beginning to scale the scaffolding

  • Thematically appropriate orchestral songs play for each individual enemy, gives them a personality that we get to hear

Sounds

  • Used WWise

  • There is a kind of low bass drop sometimes when the camcorder switches to night vision

  • Once the battery gets low, a buzzy/whirring noise plays and the light starts flickering in and out

  • The tv jumpscare definitely has a crow or some animal in there

  • In stressful areas a heartbeat sound is present, but it's sort of phasey and quiet

Art

  • Top of jeep is about eye-level

  • No realistic physics with the water, mainly audio

  • Interesting, one window with the blinds mostly drawn is just a low-res texture of the entry walkway (even though it is on the wrong side)

  • If crawling up stairs, hand can clip through floor

  • Birds flying outside are 2D sprites, no mesh

  • Interestingly, some of the architecture of the asylum is incoherent

    • The front has a large section of windows, but looking inside the room where those windows should be is a dead end that Chris walks into

      • By the time players get there and have a chance to make a connection they forgot about it (horror takes over + *respectfully* players are not that smart)

  • When freecamming with NV, the green effect is gone, but I can see all there is to it is a small point/spot light

    • I believe the green effect amplifies light that is already in the world

  • Light is still on when the camcorder runs out of battery, but the radius and intensity appear to decrease

  • Outside the asylum area mountains are only half-made, there are no backs

    • Since they are far enough away the tris can be saved, no need to make something the player won’t see

  • Sky sphere is large and has a sunset area, dark forests mountains,clouds

    • There is a section with lightning which illuminates parts of the sphere, how?

      • Can’t be a point light, the entire sphere is lit up

      • Must be a BP that illuminates the darkest parts (forest) and is intensified closer

  • For the intro cutscene, Miles’ body is actually inside the chair of the car

  • The outer car was almost completely dark on the drive up

  • A lot of the intro animations are done on the arms only

  • The animation for walking seems to save the current frame when stopping, then starts at that frame when the player moves again

    • This is a smart way of avoiding stutters with quick click controls

  • Wires on the gate camera were like squares, not a ton of triangles

  • When hanging from a ledge, Miles curls his legs (even though it can’t be seen)

  • When freecamming into the bloody tv room, one of the guys is there in T-pose, unanimated but the wheelchair man is fully animated

  • Windows in the tower outside appear to be displaying a bent ceiling, it looks more like a shader that bends more the farther away you are

  • In the first dark room there is an extra wall jutting out of the far left corner

    • Odd that nearly a decade later it’s still there, was it something I did?

  • In a blocked off hallway a lot of stuff is missing, pieces of the wall, hallways at the end

    • The left side appears to be another hallway, but it could just be a window

    • The other hallway is not rendered beyond a couple of meters

  • Room with the tv doesn’t have any shadows on Miles (not even from the tv light)

  • In the office with a battery, looking outside the window you can see out, but looking from outside in there’s a huge brick wall where the window should be

  • When crawling in freecam, the left leg is animated, even though you don’t see it (maybe as a shadow?)

  • The low-res entrance texture is used for a lot of windows

  • In the abandoned office before the wheelchair guy, outside the windows is the fountain and scaffolding, no texture

    • You can see meshes of the fountain, scaffold, and trees, but the lighting is very dim and minimal (only windows are lit)

  • At the dead security guard with keycard, the light around him appears as a sphere in NV, has it always been like this?

  • When miles sits in the security office chair he doesn’t actually pull it closer, it stays still and he is sitting in midair

  • Before father drugs Miles, he isn’t there yet, and his injection mark is quite far from his ‘neck’

  • For looking at NPCs from afar in NV some features look thin, like head and calves, is this intentional optimization?

  • Reflections on the decontamination window are now a mirrored texture but not exactly accurate (reflected hallway when there is actually a stairwell)

  • Before you get to the cop beaten by the patient, cop is in t-pose, blood effect is continuously playing, and patient is not there

  • When you run into the twins again and shimmy above the prisoners, as soon as Miles hits the window where he can see them, they disappear

  • The eyeballs on all the humans are made of some material that glows when the cam light is shown on them

  • Bugs/insects on the floor are 2d sprites

  • When leaving the building to go outside everything becomes darker (layering another PP effect?)

    • Even lamp posts don’t illuminate well

  • In the sprinter area the fuse place was darkened when i freecam’d back in there

    • This is further evidence that another post processing effect is being used to make dark areas darker

  • Flames are flat billboards facing player

UI

  • Instructions are displayed in plain white text at top of screen

    • Disappears after about 5 seconds

  • 5 zoom modes, the farther you zoom the louder the whirring of the camcorder is

  • Tiny reticle in the middle of the screen

    • Disappears when the camcorder is up

  • The reticle has a very large area of interactability as long as player is facing door

    • At least a foot away from door in either direction

  • When the camcorder is down there is still a grain filter, just lighter

  • When doors are slammed the entire screen shakes a bit


Scare Factor

  • A lot of the lights are pointed up, illuminating from below

    • Was this done intentionally to create unease?

  • Jumpscare with tv turning on

  • Open door to library and a corpse jumpscares

  • Trying to squeeze through bookshelves jumpscares

  • Atmosphere is insanely oppressive and tension-building, never know where the horror will come from or which jumpscare to expect next

Extra

  • Forward speed is 1200, found in .ini for editing

  • Loading screen before game, allows time to load assets

  • When standing still, camera rises slightly up, then lowers for longer to replicate breathing

  • When the camera is held up, behind the scenes that arm is extended outwards and away from the player body, why?

    • Perhaps the best way to avoid having the arm seen

    • If gamers will never see it, who cares how it gets done?

  • Morin camera, brands after last names

Overall

  • Putting my own opinions aside, the art is superb, the animations are fluid, everything is optimized to a perfect degree

  • The story is one that seems to be one people have heard and seen before, but the setting and undertones make it a fresh one for all eyes

  • The game is terrifying, so much so that a massive amount of players bought and played the game without ever finishing it out of fear (only ~23% of players finished the main game)

  • Music and audio in general were also superb


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page