It’s all in the name. Outlast tasks you with surviving the Variants in Mount Massive Asylum with few resources and no offensive abilities. That’s right, you’re completely helpless and at the mercy of the blade-wielding psychopaths patrolling the halls. Given that the game’s protagonist, Miles Upshur, refuses to pick up anything that can be re-purposed as a blunt weapon — I guess Red Barrels didn’t feel like making the follow-up to Condemned 2: Bloodshot — it’s up to the player to outsmart and outrun the hostile forces within the asylum’s walls. The following are a few quick tips to prepare the new PS4 players for the horrific situations they’ll find themselves in after starting the game.
As with any stealth game, pacing yourself is key. You won’t successfully sneak past many deformed monstrosities sprinting wildly through each room. While it may be fun to burst through a door and yell “YOLO”, throwing caution to the wind, it isn’t exactly how this game was meant to be played. So let’s discuss a couple smart ways to navigate the environment.
Who knew a door could be so scary? The act of opening each door is a test of your courage because you never know what awaits you on the other side. Fortunately, you don’t have to charge through these doors like Chris Walker. You have the ability to either swing a door wide open or open it slowly. I recommend always going with the slow open. In the event that an enemy is waiting in the next room, you won’t alert them. And if they do happen to see the door creaking open, you can immediately slam it shut and run in the opposite direction.
You might be surprised to find out that in addition to his superhuman ability to open doors at different speeds, Miles can also lean around corners. Such a simple feature has never been so important. Being able to slightly peak around a wall without exposing yourself to whatever horror is around the next bend is the defining factor between staying undetected and having to sprint like a madman back to a hiding spot.
Choosing the Right Hiding Spot
Oh, that bed looks like a good spot to hide under. Or how about that locker? Surely that will save me from the brutes strolling around this hellhole. Right? RIGHT? Wrong. Choosing where you hide is crucial to avoiding unnecessary chases. The enemies in Outlast aren’t always as dumb as they look. They want you dead and they’re willing to open a few locker doors or check under a couple mattresses to find you. What originally seem like safe havens quickly become places to avoid. Trapping yourself under/inside these objects should be a last resort.
It might seem less secure, but you’re better off crouching in a dark corner. The Variants can’t see in the dark, giving you a better position since you can watch their movements with the camcorder’s night vision. Plus, in the event that they do bump into you, you aren’t tied to anything and can freely run away. It’s a better alternative to being ripped out from your locker, thrown to the ground and trying to run away while getting your bearings.
Outrun to Outlast
There is one thing you can take comfort in when it comes to Miles’ abilities and that’s the fact that he is faster than his pursuers. I’m sure the developers don’t want you using this to your advantage in every situation so that you can perform some crazy speed run, but the option is still there. Never sit in a spot for too long because eventually the enemies are going to circle back around to your area on their patrols or they might even search that bed you can’t seem to pull yourself out from under. Sometimes you’ll find yourself positioned poorly with an enemy standing between you and your next objective. If you can’t think of a solid way around, running is always a viable option, as long as you don’t take a wrong turn and corner yourself.
Always Have the Camcorder Out
The camcorder is your best friend. It is the one tool besides your hands and feet that gives you any sort of edge of your enemies. The camera can be used to zoom in on far away objects, giving you the ability to scout out an area or get a close up of items of interest (ex: map) without walking right up to them. Furthermore, Miles only writes down notes about sights and events if the camcorder is recording. If you’re looking to get the Trophy for obtaining all the documents and recordings, you’ll want to make sure the video camera is on as much as possible so that you don’t miss something important. It is worth noting that simply having the camera out doesn’t run down the battery. Only activating night vision will drain the camera’s battery. So you really have no reason not to keep it out.
Batteries and Documents Glow
Batteries are gold in Outlast. They are the equivalent of ammunition for a firearm. The batteries are what aid you in pushing forward through the darkest areas of the asylum. Finding those precious batteries as well as any collectible documents won’t require that you scour every square inch of a room with night vision enabled on the camcorder. These blue-colored items just so happen to glow, making locating them a little easier. Over the course of the game you’ll get used to the signature glint/aura of these items and be able to find them even if they’re tucked away in a dark corner.
Reading the PS4’s Lightbar
Red Barrels take advantage of the DualShock 4’s light bar to help communicate some basic information to players. By default, the light is white. When night vision is enabled, the light turns green, matching the effect on screen. More importantly, the light bar will inform you of your current state of health, if for whatever reason you can’t tell how severely Miles is being beaten. In the event that you escape a pursuer after taking a couple hits, it’s worth checking the light bar before heading out. Yellow means mild damage and red means severely injured. Outlast’s protagonist does have regenerating health, so all you have to do is wait for that light to return to its regular white color and you’ll know it’s safe to venture back out into the hallways.