Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Outlast Whistleblower Review: A Wonderfully Frightening Expansion

It goes without saying that Outlast made quite the impression on gamers when it was released in 2013. It followed in the tradition of Amnesia, which means it was actually a scary game unlike most AAA horror games that wouldn't know scary even if it came up and bit them. That said, I was pleased when I heard about the DLC coming out for Outlast in the form of Outlast: Whistleblower.

Outlast: Whistleblower serves as both a prequel and continuation for Outlast. You play as Waylon Park, a contractor hired by Murkoff to assist them with Project Walrider. Waylon Park is the one who sent the email to Miles Upshur at the beginning of the game, and through Whistleblower you will see what slice of hell Waylon had to go through.

Gameplay in Whistleblower is the same as it is in Outlast. You rely on a camera to light up dark areas, while trying to run and hide from the various crazy people that are loose in Mount Massive Asylum. Whistleblower doesn't add any new mechanics into the game, and relies on the polished formula that made Outlast such a big hit in the first place.

The environments in Outlast Whistleblower are just as lifelike as they were in Outlast. Red Barrel's designers carefully crafted Massive Asylum to be as realistic as possible. This is taken one step further in the beginning when you see what the place was like when people worked there, making the upcoming incident all the more horrifying when you see people desperately trying to escape. You'll also encounter places from Outlast that the previous main character explored, only there will be some details that make them a different experience altogether.

Outlast Whistleblower's biggest shortcoming is that it falls short on the promise of continuing the story after Outlast. While it serves as a great prologue and then concludes the events that transpired at Mount Massive Aslyum, it felt like they could have done more at the end. To be honest, it just felt like they used the DLC to try and set the scene for a possible sequel down the road. There are even some documents that imply that this is not the last you'll see of Murkoff and it's Umbrella Corporation-like qualities. The only other issue I had with Whistleblower was parts where the gore and violence became a little too gratuitous closer to the end of the DLC. It felt like they were just trying to one up themselves, which isn't necessary.

All things considered, Outlast: Whistleblower is as good as Outlast. It is a fun, short little experience that adds more to the dark, nightmarish story of Outlast. It costs $8.99 and is well worth the price of admission. If you enjoyed Outlast, then I recommend giving Outlast: Whistleblower a try. 

RBFB Rating: B+

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