For those of you who don’t know, Outlast is a gory first-person horror game. (I like the notice at the beginning that warns you about the violence and gore, and goes on to say “Please enjoy.” Extra classy.)
Before attempting to play this game, I prided myself on my bravery, but I’ve never been a fan of the horror genre. I don’t like excessive, gratuitous gore. I do enjoy a good mystery and if I have to suffer through gore then so be it, but gore for gore’s sake does not interest me.
Also it’s gross.
On the other hand, as I said, I do love a good mystery. I figured horror itself might be more enjoyable if I’m in the middle of it. I had fun at that haunted house escape room, right? What could possibly go wrong?
(Minor spoilery stuff is ahead; in summary: I’m a coward)
FIRST ATTEMPT: Mid-afternoon on a Saturday. I use my headphones for the full effect. I navigate empty hallways, scream a couple of times for jump scares, and start to feel confident in my abilities.
Then I hit the murder room.
ME: Was that an intestine on that tray with the cola? Is that a torso? I’M DONE
SECOND ATTEMPT: After dinner on a Monday. Brother has expressed interest in seeing the game for himself. We successfully navigate to the murder room. Brother points out that to advance in the game, we may need to find a door on the other side. At this point I have already evacuated the murder room and am reluctant to go back.
We discover a door at the other side of the murder room. I advance down the hallway, whimpering, maintaining my character’s crouched position. Unfortunately for me, the only way forward is through an obstacle, which is of course when the big bloodstained brute grabs me and throws me through a window.
Cue the creepy dude with his talk of apostles, after which the character comes to in the main hallway. Keeping him company are more bodies. Delightful.
We move forward. I offer brother to take the controls, but he’s got a cat on his lap and he passes.
I see the big bloodstained brute down what is now the murder hallway. I scream and run away. Down a dark alley. Brother points out this is a bad idea. I go back to the murder hallway and enter a bathroom. Naturally there are dead people in the bathroom. The third toilet has a hand sticking out of it.
Brother has promised to help me navigate the rest of the game. Slowly.