Red Barrels’ newest entry on its highly-successful Outlast franchise is now available in early access, and any horror fan should at least take a good look at it. The Outlast Trials serves as the third game in the Outlast series. Much like the two, previous mainline Outlast games, The Outlast Trials is also a survival horror game where players are given no option to fight back against the horrors and monstrosities the game throws their way. It serves as a prequel to its predecessors and is mainly set in a mysterious Cold War experiment facility.
Here is our review of The Outlast Trials.
What is The Outlast Trials?
As briefly tackled above, The Outlast Trials is set during the Cold War back in the 1950s. You play as an unfortunate test subject who has been taken against his will to a secret experiment facility by a mysterious group called the Murkoff Corporation.
As you would expect in any horror title, especially the Outlast series, the environment you play in is claustrophobic and truly frightful. The facility is a maze of weaving tunnels and warehouses filled with hostile creatures and experimented monstrosities. Now, you must survive the trials laid out upon you by working with other test subjects and finally escape this hellhole of brainwashing and mind control.
The story of The Outlast Trials is told through a series of documents and recordings that you find throughout the game. These documents provide insight into the history of the Murkoff Corporation and the experiments that are being conducted at the facility. The recordings also give you a glimpse into the minds of the test subjects, who are struggling to cope with the horrors of the trials.
Much like the two previous Outlast games, The Outlast Trials has received praise for its intense yet gripping atmosphere and masterful use of tension and scares. The game’s main setting, the Cold War-era experiment facility is perhaps the scariest place ever featured in an Outlast game. Believe us, that is saying something. Furthermore, The enemies are well-designed and creepy, and the sound design is top-notch.
However, the game is not without its flaws. The story is somewhat predictable, and the gameplay can be repetitive at times. Additionally, the game is quite short, and it can be completed in a few hours.
How Does it Play?
The Outlast Trials is played from a first-person perspective. True to the rules and norms set by the Outlast series itself, it does not give players the chance to directly fight back using any weapons or whatnot, unlike other survival horror games such as Resident Evil. Players are left with no choice but to brave every encounter cowering behind cover. This vulnerable aspect makes the game more terrifying as one wrong move could spell your demise.
Pretty standard stuff for a new Outlast entrant, right? However, what separates The Outlast Trials from its predecessors is its incorporation of multiplayer features. The game features a four-player cooperative multiplayer where you can select four distinct character classes that each have their own branching skill trees. Each class has a unique ability, allowing players to perform actions such as seeing through walls and healing other players. Furthermore, the player has access to a pair of night-vision goggles, allowing them to navigate dim-lit areas.
This approach is a double-edged sword, to be honest. On the positive side, the incorporation of multiplayer makes the game more approachable and accessible. Players are given the opportunity to enjoy the game with their best mates and share the scares with one another. It makes the game more fun in some way.
On the flip side, however, the multiplayer aspect drains the horror game of its should-be best asset, its scare factor. Because of the multiplayer feature, the scares that should be the game’s most pivotal moments could easily turn into a gag. It can dispel the tension right out of it and the game may just become a party game instead of a gripping horror title. Nevertheless, its multiplayer gameplay is fun, and it can also add a new layer of tension to the experience.
System Requirements to Play The Outlast Trials
The system requirements for The Outlast Trials are as follows:
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti, 2 GB or Radeon R7 360, 2 GB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 40 GB available space
- OS: WIndows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
- Memory: 16 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, 6 GB or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56, 8 GB
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 40 GB available space
Please note that these are the minimum and recommended system requirements, and your actual performance may vary depending on your hardware and settings.
The Outlast Trials is a worthy follow-up to the respected Outlast series. It is dark and disturbing, as you would expect from Red Barrels’ flagship games. It has scares and truly terrifying moments that could stick with you even long after you finish its main campaign.
Furthermore, it also gives you the chance to experience the whole ordeal with your friends and loved ones. While that may take out some of the tension, especially in a horror game, it is still worth trying solely for the fun you can get out of it. Horror games and Outlast fans! Give The Outlast Trials a chance, you won’t regret it.