House Logo
Explore categories +

Outlast (#110 of 2)

Review: Neverending Nightmares

Comments Comments (...)

Review: Neverending Nightmares
Review: Neverending Nightmares

With the success of the free Silent Hills playable teaser (P.T.) and the upcoming The Evil Within, it looks like horror is returning to mainstream gaming in a big way, likely a result of its proliferation and success in the indie scene. Hits like Outlast and the Amnesia series have shown that clever mechanics and atmosphere trump the necessity for a large budget, paving the way for even more minimalistic experimental projects like the currently trending Neverending Nightmares.

The game, which sought backing on Kickstarter, puts one in the head of Thomas, a young man having undergone deep and affecting trauma trapping him in what appears to be childhood memories. Roaming the endless hallways of what was once a happy home, he’s confronted by disturbing images of a dead sibling and impossible corridors that twist back in on themselves, evoking The Shining. Neverending Nightmares uses an unusual and unique cross-hatched art style that suggests the union of children’s drawings and Edward Gorey’s work, illustrated nearly entirely in black and white. Color is used sparingly to highlight interactive items, and to depict disturbing scenes of horror involving self-mutilation and child murder, which are all the more disconcerting courtesy of the juvenile art style and iconography.

Review: Outlast: Whistleblower

Comments Comments (...)

Review: Outlast: Whistleblower
Review: Outlast: Whistleblower

Last year, indie developer and publisher Red Barrels debuted Outlast, a tense and gripping first-person horror experience about a journalist’s investigation and attempted escape from the fictional Mount Massive Asylum. Despite a disappointing conclusion that drowns in genre tropes, the game represented one of the best, most intense, and immersive gameplay experiences of the entire year, and the new downloadable episode Whistleblower continues that tradition.

Whistleblower begins before Outlast, following the worker who instigates the investigation before he himself is imprisoned in the gothic sanitarium. As the events of Outlast unfold, he frees himself and attempts escapes, aided only with a night-vision video camera identical to the journalist’s. This gives the gameplay an effective found-footage aesthetic, as the player is frequently dropped into pitch-black areas that are only partially illuminated by the camera’s blurry night vision, adding to the tense atmosphere and effectively allowing one to star in their own gruesome found-footage horror film.