31 Great Independent Developers in one month.

Whistles of the Outlasting Insanity

IndieMonth | 421d ago
User blog

By FogKnight 

The horror genre. It’s been one of the most appreciated yet risky types of games to make and sell for the longest time. One of the most vocal reasons is that not many people will actually buy horror games since they don’t like being terrified, which leads to some publishers making their developers create a horror game that isn’t actually that scary - like FEAR 3, Resident Evil 5 and 6, and Dead Space 3.
Now not many publishers are taking risks with the horror genre as the only noticeable triple A game being made for this year is Alien Isolation, which is both unfortunate and yet a relief for horror fans since the risk of having a non-scary “horror” game is slim. The best part is that independent developers are actually trying to create an interesting and frightening experience for gamers to enjoy and fear even without the AAA budget. One of the biggest indie successes for that genre is the one and only Outlast.

Outlast, a major and successful indie horror game, is made and cherished by Red Barrels, a studio that was founded by former Ubisoft and EA developers David Chateauneuf, Phillipe Morin, and Hugo Dallaire. Previously they had worked on games like Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, and Splinter Cell, and actually discussed making a horror game while they were working there before they quit to start a new adventure in independent development. From forums and social networking sites they noticed that many people wanted an innovative and new horror game, which motivated them to found a game studio and start making a new (and great) horror game. Red Barrels and Outlast were born.
When the game finally released on September 4, 2013 on PC, gamers were going in frenzy for Outlast, the high quality horror game from an independent studio. There were a couple of flaws here and there but Outlast is a magnificent but humble gem – which they planned to make even more magnificent and bigger with the game’s first DLC, Outlast Whistleblower.
Outlast Whistleblower is a prequel full of surprises for the base Outlast game as it brings improvements in both a bloody and disturbing atmosphere and insane and unpredictable enemies. David, Red Barrels co-founder and Game & Level Designer, emphasized how the unpredictable enemies actually come from the asylum setting, an interesting move by Red Barrels for both Outlast and its DLC. Furthermore, Whistleblower surpassed the base game itself in terms of narrative, Red Barrels and fans like me agree.

Before I speak about those two sensitive topics for the faint of heart, let me spend a little time on the narrative and plot for Whistleblower. You play as Waylon Park, a software engineer who attempted to blow the whistle about the disgusting and greedy actions of Murkoff Corporation done in Mount Massive to none other than Miles Upshur, the journalist whom appeared as the protagonist in the base Outlast game. It didn’t go smoothly as the employees discovered his brave, but shameful action in their eyes, and decided to enlist him as one of the inmates being experimented on for Morphogenic Engine, which is actually the reason why the asylum went bonkers throughout both the game and the DLC.
Now, time to tense your heart a bit for both the atmosphere and the enemies. The asylum is basically a frightening hell on Earth for sane minds, while it is actually a blossoming paradise for the sick and lunatics. The environment feels old and dated as the asylum is one hell of an old building with all the furniture and the designs being much too antique for a present setting. Most of the rooms are very dark and you need your trusty night vision camera to actually see all the loads of blood being painted on those antique walls and furniture. Beyond that, we experience limbs and organs being cooked like piles of stew, a room full of corpses hung up with some bloodied spikes around, and some areas that are tight and confusing like a maze with an inmate waiting to cross paths with you in a dead end and end your miserable life that is trying to cling onto sanity and escape the miserable hell that is this asylum.

Still think it isn’t frightening? Think again, as there are frightening inmates in Whistleblower including an exclusive appearance of two interesting, but disturbing, gentlemen - The Cannibal and The Groom. Red Barrels wanted new inmates for the DLC to distinguish it from the base game, and they have succeeded here as the two of them were frightening. I won’t talk that much about the Groom since he is the spotlight of the game and it would be a shame if I even got near to spoiling anything, but the Cannibal leaves enough disturbing cooking of the limbs and organs to give you an idea. He even heated a corpse’s head in a microwave - and it exploded all of a sudden while the Cannibal cuts him up with his mini saw and eats his organs openly while you are helplessly watching. If you think that is frightening to no end, then you really don’t want him to chase you as he still wields that mini-saw and its roar echoes the room you both are in. It won’t be pleasant if you get caught by The Cannibal.
Outlast Whistleblower, as expected, made Red Barrels’ magnificent little debut title even bigger and proved that they are worthy of being considered one of the important horror developers in the gaming industry. Unfortunately, there is nothing to share about their next project, but let’s hope sooner rather than later they will reveal it - and that it will surpass their first horror gem beloved by so many horror fans. Thank you for reading, and happy indie month, ladies and gentlemen.

Day 11 | Red Barrels

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Derekvinyard13  +   421d ago
Dam this game is creepy that second pic is awesome, environments look scary as hell
BiggCMan  +   421d ago
Everybody has to try Outlast, it's a really interesting game. A bit tough, definitely scary, but a good experience that we don't get very often from horror any more.
Disagree  +   421d ago
true horror games are few and far between. you guys nailed it. every time im on twitch someone is either playing the game for the first time or speed running. its fun to see peoples reactions getting scared lol
rdgneoz3  +   421d ago
"true horror games are few and far between"

Yep, many of the previous horror games have turned away towards making their games more appealing for a larger market. Always glad to see a real gem like this.
randomass171  +   417d ago
This game's appeal was being a truly scary game and it's because there are no guns and no real way to fight the enemy. It's more tense when all you can do is run and hide.
oasdada  +   421d ago
Out last is the game i always wanted.. u dnt need to have a chainsaw or shotgun to complete this genre
MrxDeath  +   421d ago
scary !! just scary !
outlast is so scary and awesome !
love the gameplay and it really brings back the true horror games
XtraTrstrL  +   421d ago
Even though I haven't played in awhile or even finished the game - I might have to buy Whistleblower to support a quality indie team.
Mokastro  +   421d ago
i am actually looking forward to "Alien Isolation", imo its always what an alien game should have been. Glad the horror genre had been revived. Looking forward to Red Barrels next project.
beepbopadoobop  +   421d ago
My friend showed me a clip of this dlc and it looks very intense! Will have to try and play it this weekend!
SpeedDemon  +   421d ago
I still have to play games like this with the lights on. >.>
Kayant  +   421d ago
The one genre I have been conquering for a while now. Never been scared by a horror game before. Maybe now I will be as am more emotional now at my age and this has been praised as a true horror game not some action game. Maybe this is the one to scare my pants off ;)
styferion  +   421d ago
I've tried Outlast in my friends PC, only managed to play for 10 minutes before it creeps me out lol.
Carib  +   421d ago
Outlast is still one of the best games I've played all year! DLC was awesome too.
shadowvisa  +   421d ago
lazyboyblue  +   421d ago
Outlast was fantastic and I even found things out about myself whilst playing it. Like how I'm a huge squealing coward excuse for a man.
dictionary  +   421d ago
I'll buy it for PS4.
MisterAV  +   421d ago
Maybe it's not for me...
ichizon  +   421d ago
Yeah, playing this game on a dark Winter night just might not be for everyone. ^.- The wind and the creaky noises around the house are all turned into potential noises a crazy mental patient would make as he makes his way up your stairwell. Enough to give most people a heart attack.
LukeFair  +   421d ago
This is sooo disturbing... I have to get it!
imahustla19  +   421d ago
this is a crazy ass game. cant wait to try and check out whistle blower when i get the opportunity. keep up the good work.
MightyNoX  +   421d ago
I'll freely admit I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to horror genre yet I can't stop myself from playing them. Outlast and Whistleblower give me tons of good frights.
3styler  +   421d ago
I might try this one out after all, so many good reviews.
coolbeans  +   421d ago
Started playing Whistleblower last week and so far it's been a frightening experience. Not really as impressed with how the levels are laid out though (thus far).
BlueCroup  +   421d ago
I want to try this but the main game made me jump so many times
brandonb21  +   421d ago
loved the game but to cheap to buy the dlc haaha
Emilio_Estevez  +   421d ago
Didn't know these guys came from big game fame to start the studio, explains the polished feel of the game.
RCslayer  +   421d ago
Loved the game, played it at my friends on his PC it was crazy. I jumped a few times just in the first hr alone. One of favorite parts is where you climb up into a hole in the ceiling and right as your about to climb out a guy in a Straitjacket pops his head down. OMG god I jumped about 2 inches off the sofa lol.
pyrocloud7  +   421d ago
What really adds to this games foreboding atmosphere is how absolutely helpless the player feels. It isn't often that we feel this way in games, and it doesn't feel great, it feels awkward and uncomfortable, which is exactly what you should feel when playing Outlast.
theTVsaidso  +   421d ago
Great post. Outlast is definitely a memorable game, have been looking into this expansion.
gobluesamg  +   421d ago
I just wish I could fight back a little bit.
testo6  +   421d ago
gotta love this game :) indies FTW
FITgamer  +   421d ago
Loved this game.
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