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Sep 17, 2013

Outlast Review and System Requirements

Outlast is a well designed game with a few key misses...

I felt the game and story arc both developed in the same pattern; strong introduction, sagging middle, and a strong end. Unfortunately, most of the game is considered to be the "middle", so for about 5 hours I felt as if I were simply jumping through hoops to finish.

This game suffers from the same thing as the original "Assassin's Creed"; repetition. You are constantly trying to find switches, levers, or keys while being hunted by a particular enemy (a lot of times, one that has chased you before...). I have to admit, the game was able to maintain it's level of scariness for the first encounter... maybe a bit during the second, but after that, the player starts to realize the patterns, understands the AI, and loses all immersion, at least I did. At this point, I found myself giving up on creeping past enemies and slowly walking around corners because I knew I would survive at least one or two hits from the enemy, and all I would have to do to escape is either climb into an air duct or close myself in a room and hide. Nine times out of ten, the enemy would break the door down, walk into my 10x10 room with one bed (which I would be hiding under), and give up his pursuit. Really?! You're not going to check the one and only possible hiding spot??? Oh well...

I don't play many survival horror games. Actually, to be 100% honest, this is my first one! I figured I would give the genre the benefit of the doubt and gave the game a 60/100. Perhaps it is a masterpiece in its own right? To me though, a non-memorable and simple foray through the dark.

To sum up:
Pros:
1) Beautifully designed
2) Strong introduction and ending

Cons:
1) Majority of game is repetitious
2) A.I is predictable and easily fooled (crouching is OP)
3) Extremely forgiving gameplay that removes all drama and tension from encounters.

Verdict: 60/100


System Requirements

Minimum:
  • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 - 64 bits 
  • Processor: 2.2 GHz Dual Core CPU
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX / ATI Radeon HD 3xxx series
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Additional Notes: 32 bits systems are not officially supported, but should work if configured to provide 3Gb of user-mode address space.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 - 64 bits
    • Processor: 2.8 GHz Quad Core CPU
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB NVIDIA GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 6850 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible 

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