Jimquisition: Jimquisition Awards 2013 - Horror of Outlast

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I've heard good things about Outlast, but didn't expect it to show up. Well done, small little horror game, well done.

Interesting choice...Not really, 5 out of 7 Survival Horror games from indies is normal. May be higher, haven't played it. Do it have a intentional player arc?

Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

Casual Shinji:
Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

The characters in Amnesia are named and have dialog. Not anonymous at all.

Casual Shinji:
Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

These games are excellent, you shouldn't let pining for yesteryear put you off.

I guess you could call these more 'atmosphere driven horror games'. The industry hasn't been doing great story driven 'horror' games for a while. The genre has kind of splintered. I guess you could call the Walking Dead a very story driven horror game but it is more adventure.

I would have actually put Machine for Pigs instead of Outlast. I found the horror to be a little more cerebral. Outlast was ten kinds of scary, but to me it felt like the same jump-scare every time. I mean with Amnesia the horror subtly changes from of the pigs, to what are the pigs, to where are your kids, to what does the machine do, to what did YOU do, etc...
But for Outlast it always was the dude dejur chases you through increasingly derelict rooms. Maybe its me, but seen one blood filled surgery room, seen them all. Or seen one decidedly empty wheelchair underneath a flickering light, again, seen them all.
Ultimately, Outlast ran out of steam for me...

Jimothy Sterling:

Casual Shinji:
Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

The characters in Amnesia are named and have dialog. Not anonymous at all.

Scrumpmonkey:
These games are excellent, you shouldn't let pining for yesteryear put you off.

I guess you could call these more 'atmosphere driven horror games'. The industry hasn't been doing great story driven 'horror' games for a while. The genre has kind of splintered. I guess you could call the Walking Dead a very story driven horror game but it is more adventure.

As I said I haven't played them, and Outlast actually looks really good. I heard it was going to be available on PS4, so I'll definately check that out.

I guess it's just the old Silent Hill fan in me talking. Where the horror wasn't just used to scare you, but to reveal whatever skeletons the protagonist might have hidden, and to get into their head. It helped bring more weight to the fear I think.

Casual Shinji:
As I said I haven't played them, and Outlast actually looks really good. I heard it was going to be available on PS4, so I'll definately check that out.

I guess it's just the old Silent Hill fan in me talking. Where the horror wasn't just used to scare you, but to reveal whatever skeletons the protagonist might have hidden, and to get into their head. It helped bring more weight to the fear I think.

No you very obviously haven't played either Amnesia game have you. These are not just cheap scare games, that is the exact thing the games actually do. Amnesia is predicated on trying to find out what the NAMED protagonist did to make them want to erase their memory, the basis of the game is getting inside his head. I'm not sure why you're arguing this point, you're basically saying "I have no idea what I'm talking about, no experience or knowledge of the product, but I'm going to make a public judgement anyway"

Jump scares CAN be fun, so I would partially agree. However, they can also be overused, tedious, and therefore boring.

Not having played outlast, I can't speak to which way they went, but I do tend to believe Jim. Why? Because Jim told me to.

Seems like an interesting game. I believe I bought it during the last sale.

Holy hell do I disagree with Jim on this one. I played Outlast and found it to be really, really, really boring, except for the parts where I was laughing or just mildly amused. Everything was so over the top that it seemed more like parody than anything else (especially the overly polite pair of rapist), the scares were so predictable and mechanical I felt as if I were to look behind the characters I would see the spring that they were hooked up to, the camera was annoying, batteries were everywhere so I was never in danger of running out, and the main character is an idiot who broke into an insane asylum, so I couldn't have any less sympathy for him if I tried. OH! And the name of the nutty house was "Mount Massive Asylum" not even D horror movies have names THAT bad.

Casual Shinji:
Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

To be fair character driven horror games tend to miss the point by pretty much telling you "the character is afraid of this" as a way of pulling things out of your control and forcing certain reactions artificially. The anonymous, silent, protagonist does a better job of putting the player into the story, at least in this genere. Not to mention he simple fact that on an indie level budget becomes an issue, and writing for the protagonist and voicing them (which is expected nowadays) can be a huge expense, especially since the protagonist is always there and would be expected to react to everything.

That said Outlast *IS* a good choice, I think it wound up delivering better than either Amnesia II or Huntsman: The Orphanage which were the other two games of the genere I had been watching and purchased.

I personally am awaiting for someone to look back on "Legacy: Realm of Terror" which was a horror Adventure/RPG hybrid from many years ago, give it some credit for what it did, and start making more games similar to that. "Realms Of The Haunting" is another overlooked game that combined RPG elements with horror and wound up being rather solid and innovative, especially for it's day.

Scrumpmonkey:
No you very obviously haven't played either Amnesia game have you. These are not just cheap scare games, that is the exact thing the games actually do. Amnesia is predicated on trying to find out what the NAMED protagonist did to make them want to erase their memory, the basis of the game is getting inside his head. I'm not sure why you're arguing this point, you're basically saying "I have no idea what I'm talking about, no experience or knowledge of the product, but I'm going to make a public judgement anyway"

Woah, woah, I'm not attacking anyone here! I'm just responding to what I've seen from both games. If I'm wrong about that, then I'm wrong. I'm not in anyway declaring that they both suck or whatever.

You know, maybe I would have been more surprised by your pick... if you didn't put the name in the title of the video. Just saying.
Can't you leave the names out of the video titles until, say, friday or saturday and then put them in afterwards?

Anyone that says that outlast is just jump scares is dumb. The creepiest moments were when you saw patients you didn't know if they were one of those 90% of harmless fellas or that 10% that was trying to eat your face. So when you edged up to them even with chance on your side, you still held your breath. And then there was the dude in the strafe jacket that had nothing against you, he just wanted to follow you.... everywhere you went.

Therumancer:
To be fair character driven horror games tend to miss the point by pretty much telling you "the character is afraid of this" as a way of pulling things out of your control and forcing certain reactions artificially. The anonymous, silent, protagonist does a better job of putting the player into the story, at least in this genere. Not to mention he simple fact that on an indie level budget becomes an issue, and writing for the protagonist and voicing them (which is expected nowadays) can be a huge expense, especially since the protagonist is always there and would be expected to react to everything.

Again, coming at this from a Silent Hill perspective, it's not about producing scares by showing the protagonist be scared. You could say that a running gag with the SH series is that the protagonists never seem to be scared, despite running around through Hell. Acting surprisingly calm and casual even after everything they've witnessed.

Having a (well) characterized protagonist can add to the disturbance. For example, the fact that you're playing a character who doesn't seem to be afraid of the horrors around him can already be really creepy.

I regards to indie developers, I don't think I'd even want a Triple-A horror game anymore at this point. Triple-A has has more or less become all about showing off, and that's a death sentence for horror. No better way to kill the fear than to have an Achievement/Trophy flash up with the accompanying ping.

Scrumpmonkey:

Casual Shinji:
As I said I haven't played them, and Outlast actually looks really good. I heard it was going to be available on PS4, so I'll definately check that out.

I guess it's just the old Silent Hill fan in me talking. Where the horror wasn't just used to scare you, but to reveal whatever skeletons the protagonist might have hidden, and to get into their head. It helped bring more weight to the fear I think.

No you very obviously haven't played either Amnesia game have you. These are not just cheap scare games, that is the exact thing the games actually do. Amnesia is predicated on trying to find out what the NAMED protagonist did to make them want to erase their memory, the basis of the game is getting inside his head. I'm not sure why you're arguing this point, you're basically saying "I have no idea what I'm talking about, no experience or knowledge of the product, but I'm going to make a public judgement anyway"

Woah! That's a little harsh don't you think? Shinji was just speculating, and you've got to outright attack him?

OT: I bet this game is fantastic, but I doubt I'd get much farther than the first scare. Something would jump out, and then I'd punch a hole in the computer.

I'm much waiting for the ps4 release of this.. i bought it when it came out.. but I really just want to couch play it.. not that I couldn't couch play it on the pc...
But I guess I wanted to support this sorts of games coming to the ps4 ... so that... good pick.. I also maybe would have gone with machine for pigs... but this one was probably more effective as a horror game.

Erm.. yeah that!

Big_Isaac:
You know, maybe I would have been more surprised by your pick... if you didn't put the name in the title of the video. Just saying.
Can't you leave the names out of the video titles until, say, friday or saturday and then put them in afterwards?

It wasn't my call. I'm looking into it now.

Is this still coming to the PS4? I could buy it on PC but I have, literally, everything on PC so I'd hope to spread the love and fill up my PS4 hdd with some new not shooter and AC rehash titles.

Never heard of the game before. I'm sure it deserves more than Bioshock Infinite, but jump sacred seriously? I think jump scares is cheap terror.

I'm not a fan of horror games, tried Amnesia, and while interesting at first, it doesn't give me the will to play.
This one seemed more interesting since it has more people on it.

Jimothy Sterling:

Big_Isaac:
You know, maybe I would have been more surprised by your pick... if you didn't put the name in the title of the video. Just saying.
Can't you leave the names out of the video titles until, say, friday or saturday and then put them in afterwards?

It wasn't my call. I'm looking into it now.

So once again the bourgeoisie is meddling with the artist's choice. Fight for your work Jim!

"Jump scares are fun no matter what you say."
No, they are not for me in the slightest... I hate jump scares. I also dislike horror in general, since I don't see the appeal of being scared/frightened/whateveradjectiveyouwanttouse.
And yes I know I'm weird for not liking horror, since everyone else on the face of the earth seems to... I wish I could play games like Outlast, but they just get a big nopenope from me. Can't handle it.

I agree with not having the game in the title, a little surprise is better.

Big_Isaac:
You know, maybe I would have been more surprised by your pick... if you didn't put the name in the title of the video. Just saying.
Can't you leave the names out of the video titles until, say, friday or saturday and then put them in afterwards?

But why does it have to be a surprise? It's announced at the beginning of the video, anyway. I'm not sure what the suspense is supposed to be about.

Jasper Kazai:
I also dislike horror in general, since I don't see the appeal of being scared/frightened/whateveradjectiveyouwanttouse.

High five for us people who don't like to be scared! We are not aloooone!

For risk of low content post;
OT: Having never played a horror game and not planning to in the near future, Outlast is the only horror game I've heard named this year besides Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. While the latter might be good, I have a thing against sequels (it's prejudiced I know), so claps from the guy who has absolutely no knowledge of horror whatsover!

Oh, and please don't sap me with a "seriously" post. I already mentioned horror's not my thing, so don't be surprised I haven't heard of any that you might have.

Jim, if farm simulator 2013 does not get an award, I'm boycotting this show you have :)

The only thing keeping me from putting Outlast in my own GOTY list is its absolutely dreadful ending that ruined it all for me. Call me petty, but an ending can very easily make or break a game for me.

Yeah, I'd have to side in with the "We've seen this all done before (American Horror Story, near parody that is, dedicated an entire season to the insane asylum cliche), which lowered a lot of the impact. The inmates all being nearly identical didn't really help spice up variety. The pursuer was made a laughing stock early on by the easy methods of escape, and the huge effort into building up *spoilerder* was kind of a bland payoff. Ending with a sequel hook that just left me wondering if they think they can manage to wring the last sputters of life out of the premise with another game.

Seth Carter:
Yeah, I'd have to side in with the "We've seen this all done before (American Horror Story, near parody that is, dedicated an entire season to the insane asylum cliche), which lowered a lot of the impact. The inmates all being nearly identical didn't really help spice up variety. The pursuer was made a laughing stock early on by the easy methods of escape, and the huge effort into building up *spoilerder* was kind of a bland payoff. Ending with a sequel hook that just left me wondering if they think they can manage to wring the last sputters of life out of the premise with another game.

The ending of Outlast was okay, even if I am usually a romantic. I sort of saw it coming and I have to say I kind of appreciated how it tied itself up fairly well even without a sequel as opposed to simply leaving most of the really big questions hanging.

An Asylum as a setting for horror is a classic one for a reason, and it works well, it all comes down to the story and how good the writing is, which rapidly turns into a matter of opinion. I don't consider "Outlast" to be one of the best "horror asylum" stories I've seen out there, but it is a pretty good work for an indie game, especially at a time when it seems like no one is actually even trying to make horror games anymore.

The attempts at pursuit and stealth mechanics were interesting, and I have to give points because one of the big questions in a horror game is always how you wind up making it a "game" as opposed to little more than a semi-interactive movie where you just walk around and watch stuff happen. I disagree with the current design philosophies that you need to stay away from combat, rather feeling that it comes down to how the combat is implemented, however we are seeing some interesting ideas by the current movement on how you might do it another way, though truthfully forced stealth and evasion sequences are just as bad as combat, especially when it becomes an exercise in dying while I try and figure out where the developers wanted me to go, exploring the environemtn as much as I can while playing dodge the baddie. It manages to make the monsters even less scary than simply action-shooting them does because the whole thing rapidly becomes so absurd that I can almost mentally hear "Yakkity Sax" playing in the backround, especially when my death might come from say getting stuck on the edge of a cabinet or something and unable to work myself free as the monster lumbers up to me. :)

When it comes to "American Horror Story" I actually think it deserves points for trying, being on TV there isn't a whole lot it can do to be really "scary" since that would offend too many people in the audience. It manages to amuse in other ways, and truthfully I thought "Asylum" was kind of cool simply for having the audacity to pretty much throw out every clique there is and actually have them all co-existing simultaneously in the same Asylum at once. I was actually kind of hoping they would work the old "Monster Mash" song in there somewhere. My major complaint was that we didn't really get to see any of the really "big" ones interact... a confrontation between the aliens and the demonic possession would have been classic. :)

I have to play "Outlast". Sounds like my kind of thing. Then again, so did "Amnesia".

And while we're on the subject, can we PLEASE stop the uncritical love-in for both "Amnesia" and "Bioshock Infinite"? The first was... not good. I'd have loved it if it had just stuck to being a really good survival horror game, but instead you have to suffer Daniel's awful voice acting and the ridiculous puzzles (what kind of bridge falls down if you throw a tiny pebble at the chain holding it up - have these guys ever even SEEN a chain, or a pebble, anyway? - but doesn't budge if you put your entire weight on it?) plus the constant noisy interruptions from "memories" that don't even make any sense and just take you out of the experience.

As for "Bioshock Infinite"... I mean, I've been playing Ken Levine's games for the past twenty years, almost, and that was the worst one. It was just so linear. I didn't like the combat, and it was ALL combat. Everything about it was over-simplified to the point that the only reason to get through it was to see what happened with the story. And ok, it was a great story, although not particularly original and not told as well as it could be, but still... boring combat, bland enemies, and nothing else... is this what passes for great gameplay nowadays?

I mean, Levine made my all-time favorite game ("System Shock") and a bunch of others that I and many other people consider to be classics. "System Shock", one of the most imaginative and original games ever (as well as one of the best ones) sells under two hundred thousand copies; "Bioshock Infinite", a rather boring FPS with great characters and world design but a completely linear storyline and progression, sells a bajillion? How is this a GOOD thing?

Sorry to be the downer here, guys, but this is just depressing to me. There's about a million other designers, none of whom have a tenth of Levine's talent, making bog-standard FPSs where you get led along linear paths, doing nothing but shooting waves of enemies, while a story that you have zero influence over plays out around you. It might as well be a movie or something. Levine is SO MUCH BETTER than this.

havent gotten around playing it. i wait until its cheaper like 75% off. i played amnesia and it dint scare me at all. it was alright but not scary. i still have other games i have to finish, indie and AAA titles.

Casual Shinji:

Jimothy Sterling:

Casual Shinji:
Not that I've played Outlast or Amnesia, but these new horror games seem to be just anonymous first-person guy wandering around.
I miss the character driven horror games.

The characters in Amnesia are named and have dialog. Not anonymous at all.

Scrumpmonkey:
These games are excellent, you shouldn't let pining for yesteryear put you off.

I guess you could call these more 'atmosphere driven horror games'. The industry hasn't been doing great story driven 'horror' games for a while. The genre has kind of splintered. I guess you could call the Walking Dead a very story driven horror game but it is more adventure.

As I said I haven't played them, and Outlast actually looks really good. I heard it was going to be available on PS4, so I'll definately check that out.

I guess it's just the old Silent Hill fan in me talking. Where the horror wasn't just used to scare you, but to reveal whatever skeletons the protagonist might have hidden, and to get into their head. It helped bring more weight to the fear I think.

That's Amnesia. Penumbra also does that, but a publisher contract expired and it may not be on steam anymore.

They aren't all that gone. On consoles, they are gone completely since Silent Hill died.

I watched my friends play some Outlast the other day (I was too chicken to pick up the controller myself). We only got about 2-3 hours in but I can see why it's a popular game. Horror games like Amnesia and Penumbra aren't really my thing but Outlast had a great, tense atmosphere. Edging your way past guys who may/may not attack you can really get your heart pounding.

Scorpid:
...And then there was the dude in the strafe jacket that had nothing against you, he just wanted to follow you.... everywhere you went.

I love straight jacket guy! Freaked me out the first time I saw him because he quietly crept up behind me. But then I was all like awww he just wants a friend. Can I keep him?

One of my favourite things they did to mess with your head - there's this one spot where you have to creep sideways on a ledge, and there's a guy behind bars. You see that and you're like "oh shit, he's gonna grab me isn't he?" but then he doesn't.

Then a little bit later on you have to do the same thing higher up and THAT guy grabs you.

Outlast is a serious game, guys (NSFW). For real, it's super serious. Stop laughing at it, it's totally a horror game! Please stop laughing at Outlast!

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