You're in a pitch black corridor, with only the night vision mode of your camera to help you see, but suddenly you realize your power supply is running low. You search the surrounding area desperately seeking batteries so you can continue the game with a clear view of what's in front of you, when without even a hint of warning a madman bursts through the door armed with a club. You attempt to outrun him and hide yourself in a nearby locker, but soon after, he comes by and starts looking for you. Immediately, you hear the doors of the lockers next to yours being flung open, and suddenly - BOOM - camera batteries run out and now you're alone in the darkness defenceless against a mental patient, knowing full well that death is inevitable. Situations like these come up frequently in Outlast, and its both incredibly bone chilling and all round awesome!
The plot of Outlast isn't particularly ground breaking for the horror genre. You're placed in the shoes of Miles Upshur, a freelanced journalist who gets a tip off about trouble brewing at the local insane asylum. Naturally, Miles breaks in to check it all out and, as you can imagine, things quickly spiral out of control. While Outlast isn't by any means ground breaking story telling (and the ending leaves a bit to be desired) it does deliver on containing some incredibly creepy characters and you soon find yourself not trusting a single character - walking around the various mental patients may be the slowest I've ever walked in a video game due to the anticipation of being attacked at any moment.
Meanwhile, the game looks grim. Character models are fairly terrifying, there's blood and body parts in nearly every room, the colouring is incredibly gloomy... and that all adds to the atmosphere. Graphics can be used against Outlast for a variety of reasons, namely the character designs, but they help bring an added depth of despair and gloominess to an already creepy game.
One thing Outlast manages to do incredibly well is use sound (or lack, thereof) to creep the player out. The number of times I walked down the corridor with no music - just my character's breath and footsteps to keep me company - made me incredibly tense. Building anticipation is something developer Red Barrells have clearly mastered, and boy was it intense.
All in all, Outlast is a fantastic game that really is one of the highlights of the horror game genre, creating a tense, chilling atmosphere while giving you lots of great memories(or not so great ones, depending how you look at it). Outlast is sure to make you tense and free for Playstation Plus members? Thats a steal! Everyone who thinks they can cope with this kind of game should definitely check it out. It's one of the genre's greats.