Zero Punctuation: Outlast 2

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Outlast 2

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Outlast 2.

Watch Video

I have never understood the appeal of horror games. It's a horror game, going into one should completely diffuse any tension from the simple fact that it is a horror game. I get torture porn. Unless your mind is well and truly messed up, there could be something there that gets to you.

Samael Barghest:
I have never understood the appeal of horror games. It's a horror game, going into one should completely diffuse any tension from the simple fact that it is a horror game. I get torture porn. Unless your mind is well and truly messed up, there could be something there that gets to you.

I get the appeal, though no horror game has ever truly terrified me(nor has any film or TV show). Personally i'm not a fan of this sub-genre of horror games where you can't fight back(always found Amnesia highly overrated) and many people like Jim Sterling and Angry Joe seem to agree that after Resident Evil 7, this type of horror game where you do nothing but run and hide from enemies just is not very engaging or interesting anymore.

The main issue with most of those games is that they feel like they are only made so that Youtubers like PewDiePie can make videos of them shrieking into their face-cams while playing them, in hopes that they will get millions of views and drive the target demographic of said Youtubers into buying those games(Amnesia owes a lot of its sales to PewDiePie), but those types of videos seem to be losing popularity and as such, Outlast 2 looks very outdated and feels like it's trying to cash in on a dying trend.

I am having a recurring problem with the video player and haven't been able to get responses anywhere I've looked. Everytime I try and watch a ZP video, or any Escapist video, I get that old ad (That looks like it would be such a sweet waterslide) that just loops over and over again, and I can't get rid of it no matter what I do.

Guy goes to creepy backwoods to rescue wife from a hick cult? Isn't that the plot of Resident Evil 7 as well?

EDIT: Apparently the connection betweeen story and hallucinations, from Wikipedia:

The setup makes no sense. A Christian death cult AND a pagan death cult, in the same rural area? How many people do they think live out there?

JSF16:
I am having a recurring problem with the video player and haven't been able to get responses anywhere I've looked. Everytime I try and watch a ZP video, or any Escapist video, I get that old ad (That looks like it would be such a sweet waterslide) that just loops over and over again, and I can't get rid of it no matter what I do.

Do you have an ad blocker running? I know that sometimes causes issues.

Outlast 2 was absolutely stellar in the visuals and filmography, and surprisingly so it ran incredibly well in my toaster PC.
Other than that... Meh. The improvements on Outlast (1) were minimal (the directional mic was an interesting mechanic with little use), so much that it ended up less whole than the other.

Samael Barghest:
I have never understood the appeal of horror games. It's a horror game, going into one should completely diffuse any tension from the simple fact that it is a horror game. I get torture porn. Unless your mind is well and truly messed up, there could be something there that gets to you.

Just play horror games that actually aren't so much, like Frictional's SOMA.

Did you miss the whistleblower expansion for the first Outlast? That added a fair bit to the stuff going on around the asylum.

I think since FNaF its pretty clear horror devs are going for the Youtube crowd. Its not tense or fun to play, but damn is it gross enough for Markiplier and Pewds to scream at.
And that's basically it. If they can get one of them to play it, boom! Success! Who cares if anyone else likes it?!

If the bad examples of this genre are considered "walking simulators" due to there never really being any danger that you have to deal with (i.e. Machine for Pigs), can we start calling the "good" examples of this genre "crawling simulators"? I say this because that's pretty much all you ever do in these sneak-based horror games: crawl your way from one end of creepy compound du jour to the other since crawling is the only way to get around without having all 50 of the rapidly horny and regrettably disgruntled monsters/whatever come and tear you a new structurally superfluous orifice.

...and then fuck it.

JSF16:
I am having a recurring problem with the video player and haven't been able to get responses anywhere I've looked. Everytime I try and watch a ZP video, or any Escapist video, I get that old ad (That looks like it would be such a sweet waterslide) that just loops over and over again, and I can't get rid of it no matter what I do.

Just remember that if a site is supported by ads, then you seeing the ads is all they care about. If you get locked out of ever seeing the content, that's just fine by them and they have no incentive to fix it.

If you're not the (paying) customer, you're the product.

Speaking of helicopters in survival horror, I think RE1 and RE7 are the only games in the entire series to not have a one crash or explode.

I never saw the appeal of walking horror simulators. Say what you will about the Clock Tower games, but at least in those you had some minor way of defending yourself. Or use hiding spots to get out of a tight jam.

Johnny Novgorod:
Guy goes to creepy backwoods to rescue wife from a hick cult? Isn't that the plot of Resident Evil 7 as well?

EDIT: Apparently the connection betweeen story and hallucinations, from Wikipedia:

Yes, but the point still stands that the school and the backwoods are unconnected. It's not even like he was in Silent Hill, where the childhood trauma would be emerging because it is what defined all his life choices since then. In fact, it flat out stated at the start, that he just suddenly started thinking about it for no apparent reason, and then it became a haunting alternate reality he decides to sort through, in the midst of being chased by psychotic hillbillies and trying to save his wife.

"moo-therfucker" oh my god. XD

This was beyond hilarious.

Silentpony:
I think since FNaF its pretty clear horror devs are going for the Youtube crowd. Its not tense or fun to play, but damn is it gross enough for Markiplier and Pewds to scream at.
And that's basically it. If they can get one of them to play it, boom! Success! Who cares if anyone else likes it?!

Since Slender, not since FNaF - and I think FNaF itself goes for the YT crowd that is about disecting every single detail in the story rather the webcam screamers like the rest.

Random thought: Someone should make a horror game with creepy hallucination sequences and a video camera, but with the mechanic that your camera shows you what's really happening (obviously, since you can't record a hallucination), so you can distinguish dreams and reality by looking at the pictures and solve puzzles with that mechanic.

nightowlc:
The setup makes no sense. A Christian death cult AND a pagan death cult, in the same rural area? How many people do they think live out there?

You also would have thought two problems would have solved themselves by now. Or at least you'd only have one problem to deal with instead of two at this point.

I don't know. Even in rural America, you don't really have a lot of places where you can have a death cult just operating with impunity. Eventually you'd think someone would notice that bumfuckvilles has a awful high missing persons rate for a town with the population of 100.

I totally forget if Yahtzee reviewed Outlast 1 already.

beleester:
Random thought: Someone should make a horror game with creepy hallucination sequences and a video camera, but with the mechanic that your camera shows you what's really happening (obviously, since you can't record a hallucination), so you can distinguish dreams and reality by looking at the pictures and solve puzzles with that mechanic.

That sounds like an awesome idea, and a missed opportunity for this game.

darkrage6:

Samael Barghest:
I have never understood the appeal of horror games. It's a horror game, going into one should completely diffuse any tension from the simple fact that it is a horror game. I get torture porn. Unless your mind is well and truly messed up, there could be something there that gets to you.

I get the appeal, though no horror game has ever truly terrified me(nor has any film or TV show). Personally i'm not a fan of this sub-genre of horror games where you can't fight back(always found Amnesia highly overrated) and many people like Jim Sterling and Angry Joe seem to agree that after Resident Evil 7, this type of horror game where you do nothing but run and hide from enemies just is not very engaging or interesting anymore.

So Prof. Farnsworth is right! You don't need courage when you have a gun!

Dalisclock:

nightowlc:
The setup makes no sense. A Christian death cult AND a pagan death cult, in the same rural area? How many people do they think live out there?

You also would have thought two problems would have solved themselves by now. Or at least you'd only have one problem to deal with instead of two at this point.

I don't know. Even in rural America, you don't really have a lot of places where you can have a death cult just operating with impunity. Eventually you'd think someone would notice that bumfuckvilles has a awful high missing persons rate for a town with the population of 100.

It's worse than that: the game takes place on a reservation. The moment anyone noticed they were there at all, they would've been forcibly removed. And yet somehow they were there for decades. Plus, the opening name-drops a reservation that, according to wikipedia, is completely surrounded by a national park, so there's another group that would kick them out on finding them.

So does this mean we can finally put this shitty horror sub genre of 'Oooh, look at me, I'm so defenseless -- ain't it scary' to bed now? Which yes, I do still count Resident Evil 7 amongst. Can we finally go back to proper horror games in the vein of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill?

So..... is there an explanation as to why the camera can record the hallucinations? I mean, the camera is not attached to his brain so anything his brain makes up isn't going to be on film.

Casual Shinji:
So does this mean we can finally put this shitty horror sub genre of 'Oooh, look at me, I'm so defenseless -- ain't it scary' to bed now? Which yes, I do still count Resident Evil 7 amongst. Can we finally go back to proper horror games in the vein of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill?

I wouldn't count RE7 since it goes for more of a Grindhouse horror vibe.

Casual Shinji:
So does this mean we can finally put this shitty horror sub genre of 'Oooh, look at me, I'm so defenseless -- ain't it scary' to bed now? Which yes, I do still count Resident Evil 7 amongst. Can we finally go back to proper horror games in the vein of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill?

Being able to defend yourself takes away alot of the fear though. If you can pick up and use weapons, it should really just be so you can see how useless they are.

Any fantasy RPG would be its own horror game if you could not slash and zap everything to death.

(I kind of wish they would make a fantasy horror game, that is basically just Skyrim, but you never get past level 1)

Saelune:

Casual Shinji:
So does this mean we can finally put this shitty horror sub genre of 'Oooh, look at me, I'm so defenseless -- ain't it scary' to bed now? Which yes, I do still count Resident Evil 7 amongst. Can we finally go back to proper horror games in the vein of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill?

Being able to defend yourself takes away a lot of the fear though. If you can pick up and use weapons, it should really just be so you can see how useless they are.

Any fantasy RPG would be its own horror game if you could not slash and zap everything to death.

(I kind of wish they would make a fantasy horror game, that is basically just Skyrim, but you never get past level 1)

Yeah action horror is really difficult to get to work as actual horror. A ton of horror is reliant on a feeling of vulnerability or intimidation, which racking in another round of .45 ACP tends to alleviate.

If you make the weapons too weak to be effective than they might as well not be there at all and the development effort could have been better spent elsewhere, if you make them too effective then you run into the Dead Space issue where the game immediately turns from "tense horror scenario" to "wacky limb-tossing escapade" the moment you find a gun, and if you make them handle like garbage you run the risk of the game being more frustrating than scary (especially on PC, where clunky aiming is just rage-inducing).

The best answer I can think of is to have ammo be very scarce, but if you're the type who saves all their good items for a hypothetical boss encounter then you just end up repeatedly dying and reloading saves until all the tension is lost. Plus it's still like giving the player a security blanket.

I think defenseless horror is probably the way to go if you want an actual horror game, rather than an action game with a spooky coat of paint, it's just tricky to pull off well.

CoCage:
Speaking of helicopters in survival horror, I think RE1 and RE7 are the only games in the entire series to not have a one crash or explode.

In RE1 didn't you see a crashed one from Alpha team?

Saelune:
[quote="Casual Shinji" post="6.949970.23964368"]If you can pick up and use weapons, it should really just be so you can see how useless they are.

Like they did in Resident Evil 7. No matter how often you shoot Pa Baker, he will always come back. I think it is ridiculous to not be able to fight back in any way. In Outlast you can't even shove your enemies away. They are just human beings. Even the pansy-ass protagonist would be able to do something, when frightened and cornered.
It's the old problem of games again "Don't tell me what to feel, MAKE me feel it."

Saelune:

Casual Shinji:
So does this mean we can finally put this shitty horror sub genre of 'Oooh, look at me, I'm so defenseless -- ain't it scary' to bed now? Which yes, I do still count Resident Evil 7 amongst. Can we finally go back to proper horror games in the vein of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill?

Being able to defend yourself takes away alot of the fear though. If you can pick up and use weapons, it should really just be so you can see how useless they are.

Not if it's to an obnoxious degree. See Outlast, and apparent Outlast 2 as well. I'm okay with making the player feel relatively weak in the face of danger, but there needs to be SOME edge you have over the enemy. And I don't count just running around and hiding as one of those, at least not in these types of games.

In what little I've played of Outlast I was more pissed off and annoyed then scared, because the person you played as could've even struggle, kick with their legs, or fend off with their arms. These are basic human responses to being attacked and the protagonist couldn't even manage THAT.

I see Resident Evil 7 as being in the same ballpark, hence why I've decided to ignore it, but it atleast gives you some weapons no matter how shitty they may be, and gives you the ability to struggle free if grabbed.

This idea that things can only be scary if you can't defend yourself needs to stop. It'll lead to developers taking the easy way out with games like this.

And while I'm at it, bring back some motherfucking character to these games. Are we really not tired yet of nameless first-person protagonist, typically with amnesia, trapped in spookhouse?

I would love a Jesus Christ's Passion VR Edition. That would indeed incentivice me towards buying everything needed, if done gory (read:right).

Arnust:

CoCage:
Speaking of helicopters in survival horror, I think RE1 and RE7 are the only games in the entire series to not have a one crash or explode.

In RE1 didn't you see a crashed one from Alpha team?

In terms of actually seeing it happen. In the first game, you only see the aftermath. RE0 shows how the crash went down, if I remember correctly. You are right about it appearing, because I forgot about it.

a friendly dog with the voice of Bob Ross would be really nice

image

Seriously though if the dude was smart he made a copy.

rembrandtqeinstein:
image

Seriously though if the dude was smart he made a copy.

Me thinks you have gotten a bit lost friend. Unfortunately your princess is in another castle. =P

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.949989-Reddit-User-Finds-Starcraft-Source-Code-Gets-Rewarded-by-Blizzard-When-He-Returns-It

I kinda wonder why all the cults that kidnap a woman because she's about to give birth to the Anti-christ/devil's spawn/Nyarlathotep/whatever always have to be such arseholes about it. Personally I would have them just invite the miss over, maybe lure her in with a letter or email like "Congratulations Miss X! You've won an all-expenses-paid vacation at our pictoresque locale in Bum-f*ck-upon-alley!" Or if you actually have to kidnap her, you treat her like an esteemed guest, 'cause she's going to give birth to your lord and saviour so you'd want her to be in her best shape for when the moment arrives.

I'm just saying. Would make it easier, and would also make it harder for people to figure out that you were up to no good.

C117:
I kinda wonder why all the cults that kidnap a woman because she's about to give birth to the Anti-christ

Because it's Wednesday, and league bowling night is on Friday.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here