War of the Horror Games: Outlast VS Amnesia

What happens when two promising horror games come out back to back? We all win!

Anyone else ready for some more survival horror games coming over the horizon?Well get ready for the beginning of September because two awesome horror games are coming out on the 4th and then 10th.Let's get the obvious one out of the way and talk a little about Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.We all know Amnesia: Dark Decent mostly for every human with a YouTube channel doing a let's play of it.  It was a well made survival horror game from the makers of the Penumbra series which showed in the gameplay.  In fact, that was the reason I got psyched for that game in the first place.  If you have never played any of the Penumbra games and you love Amnesia, GO PLAY THEM.That aside, not a WHOLE ton is known about the story of this game then the brief description on their site.  This seems pretty close to what the first game did with you, the character and player, not understanding the situation you are in and piecing together things as you go.  Of course it is going to have some interesting twists and turns in the story but what I really want to see is the environments and settings that this game will be taking place in, just like the one pictured below.Running through ankle-deep blood and gore down a metal tunnel projecting my every move and gasp in all directions as my pursuer closes the distance squealing with an unbridled joy.  Ah, what horrors await me...Next is Outlast which is coming out a week before A Machine for Pigs.  This one we know more about. You play Miles Upshur who is a video journalist who is out for a story and finds himself in the Colorado mountain's breaking into an old asylum.  This asylum is no ordinary place though.  With a history of having some of the most mentally unstable people and doctors that were former Nazi's, some odd experiments happened here and now you are stuck there with the left overs... Spooky right?  Not exactly a riveting or original tale but it tells the tale it needs to justify some amazing looking fast paced gameplay with some awesome camera effects. Hopefully this will come out polished and based upon the Red Barrels crew's resumes, I think it is in good hands.We will see who provides the scarier experience soon with both coming out this upcoming month with Outlast on Sept. 4th and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs on Sept. 10th.


I like video games so I talk about them! Works for me!

Published Sep. 4th 2013
  • Destiny P.
    i'd have to say, that i think Outlast is a way more scarier game than amnesia. cause i've play both amnesia and penumbra and they didnt scare me that easily, rather than in Outlast i fricking had my bedroom light on the whole time i recorded.
  • Ron D.
    After seeing Outlast through to the end I found myself disappointed; it relies on jump scares and gore mostly. The enemies that chase you are not particularily terrifying at all. In fact the power of horror isn't what you see, but what you DON'T see. In this way, Outlast fails as a horror game and is more akin to a B-rate movie.

    Gameplay wise it is nothing special at all; it has been done before by Penumbra and, to a lesser extent, the Clock Tower series--the chief difference being the view point--as Outlast is first person.

    Plenty of gore to be had. Rooms full of guts, a scene where someone gets dismembered, etc. To be honest this isn't disturbing; in this day and age any "horror" movie has stuff like this. If you've seen even a single Saw movie or Hostel, the gore of this game won't phase you even one bit.

    Control wise it's fine. But really it isn't difficult to get controls down right when your only actions are looking, moving, jumping, crouching and hitting an action button to interact with things. There are a few quick time events where you'll need to rock your control stick back and forth. Again, not hard to do.

    It does really well with lighting and atmosphere but as many reviews have pointed out, any remote thrills you'll get are quickly diminished when you'll die and have to restart a scene because you got cornered and killed. Trial and error based gameplay is the prescription here.

    Character models are good from a distance, especially when they can be obscured by lighting but when you start to see them up close a lot of the disturbed feeling you'll have will fade. They really are not "all that". Some are rather mediocre and bland.

    Overall I would say it is a disappointment--especially since there is exactly one way to go about everything. Sure there are multiple paths and corridors to take and some players might take different paths to the objective but in the end, you must flip three switches or find a key that can only be acquired a single way. This game is very linear and in some ways more akin to a haunted house ride than a survival horror.

    To contrast an open survival horror, look at the first three resident evil games. They, by comparison, were much more open since you were given no real direction. You had to wander and find what you needed. There is no real exploring of the asylum here. Sure you can check rooms along the way but there is always an objective that you MUST go to. No sidetracking.

    However for its price point, it in some ways redeems itself. IF I had to give it a score it would be a 6/10 and not a point more. Atmosphere is great, trial and error gameplay is not. Railroading is also not okay in my opinion, especially when they had a wonderfully crafted mental asylum with so many nooks and crannies that you'd want to explore..but can't.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    Great insights Ron. I personally find the open world experience more terrifying because I don't know what's coming, if anything. When you're moving mission to mission you know *something* is going to happen, you just don't know what. In RE and Silent Hill, the not knowing was the worst part.

    Curious - did you ever play Fatal Frame? Haven't played it myself, but I've heard consistently good things about that series from friends who are horror fans. Good things like "I screamed, threw my controller, and never restarted that save again." Which, as horror games go, is a pretty strong review.
  • Ron Dunham
    Actually Amy, I have had quite a good amount of experience with Fatal Frame. I would say the series really hits its peak at its second game "Crimson Butterfly". The third likes to get sidetracked a tad too much with a more bizarre story about a tattoo that grows on the protagonist. The fourth game to my knowledge hasn't had a western release but dedicated fans have crafted a translation patch for it.

    The long and short of fatal frame that I will say is that it is very much ingrained in its Japanese horror aesthetics--so if you're not a fan of movies like Ju-on, Housu(despite its' cheesiness), Ringu and the like, you'd find it rubs the wrong way. I happen to love J-horror because a lot of it is otherworldly and in many cases psychological as opposed to western horror which relies heavily on gore. That aside, in some cultures they believe a camera can trap a person's spirit. That is played upon heavily in these games with the "Camera Obscura".

    If you haven't tried Fatal Frame I'd seriously recommend it. The first two games are fine, though as I mentioned, the second game is a better product.

    Just a whole lot more refinement. The third game is okay but it gets distracted a little by its own story. It's hard to describe fully but when you've played through the first two and then try the third, something feels "off". The fourth game feels in many ways like a natural progression of the second in terms of mechanics. There's just a whole lot of good stuff here.
  • JoshLunsfordJr
    look amnesia is a good game but way to long for horror parts, good jump scares but it would take about an hour for them. Outlast on the other hand, im 16 and lol im not a puss, but outlast is a very scary game constant jump scares, and keeps it scary, nothing youed EXPECT, i can barley play this game without screaming, iv played it for about 20 minutes and screamed 3 times, and 1 of the screams wasent even a jump scare. look your probably thinking this kid is a pussy, this game cant be that scary.... just play it and we will see, BUT wear head phones at a good valume at night. then play.

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