Outlast: Bundle of Terror Sneaks Up on Nintendo Switch

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Outlast: Bundle of Terror snuck up on us this week with a sudden release on Nintendo Switch. Originally released for PC in 2013, Outlast saw several ports for other systems in 2014 and 2015, plus a DLC release in 2014. The DLC, titled Whistleblower, serves as an overlapping prequel to Outlast, and it’s included in the new Switch port. So is this port a Nintendeal? Keep reading to see what we think!

Outlast: Bundle of Terror is the game's first release on a Nintendo console. Keep reading to see if we think this port is a Nintendeal!
Outlast: Bundle of Terror is the game’s first release on a Nintendo console. Keep reading to see if we think this port is a Nintendeal!

STORY
If you’re a horror fan, you’ll love this Outlast’s gruesome story. And trust us; it really is gruesome. We recommend that players younger than 18 pass on this title, and even adult players may want to think twice about playing this themselves if they’re sensitive to violence and gore. In Outlast, you play in first-person as investigative journalist Miles Upshur, who sneaks into a secluded psychiatric hospital nestled deep in the Colorado Rockies after receiving an anonymous tip about the asylum’s questionable practices. (You’ll learn about the tipster in the aptly-titled Whistleblower!) You soon discover that something diabolical is brewing inside Mount Massive Asylum: the patients you find appear tortured and mangled, and the place is strewn with headless bodies, severed limbs, and pools of blood.

You're pulling up to Mount Massive Asylum with your press badge dangling from the rearview. You have no idea what's really in store...
You’re pulling up to Mount Massive Asylum with your press badge dangling from the rearview. You have no idea what’s really in store…

GAMEPLAY
Being a journalist, you pick up (and read) all the classified files you find, and you record what you see with your notepad and camcorder. Your camcorder is especially useful for its zoom feature and night vision setting, but use your night vision wisely, as it’s a massive drain on your camera’s battery. Although you’ll find plenty of spare batteries littered throughout the asylum, you’ll have a hard time proceeding with the game if you run out of spares!

Night vision is absolutely crucial in this title, since you'll often find yourself in dark places.
Night vision is absolutely crucial in this title, since you’ll often find yourself in dark places.

As you play, you’ll learn basic platforming moves, like hopping across gaps, shuffling along narrow ledges, jumping into ceiling air vents, and vaulting over low-rising obstructions. Platforming in Outlast sometimes works as it should, but sometimes it does not, which is often the case with first-person platformers. (However, there isn’t too much platforming in Outlast, so this is just a minor complaint for us.) In addition to platforming moves, you’ll learn helpful tips, like how to push a heavy object in front of a door to barricade yourself from enemies—and how to push an object away from a door so that you can open the door!

The game is good at teaching you a new mechanic. For instance: when you're bound, it tells you how to wiggle out of your bindings and get the heck out of dodge!
The game is good at teaching new mechanics. For instance: when you’re bound, it tells you how to wiggle out of your bindings and get the heck out of dodge!

But even with these tools at your disposal, you really have no way to defend yourself when the “people” you encounter in the hospital want to kill you. You didn’t bring any weapons on your investigative trip to Mount Massive Asylum, and for whatever reason, your character doesn’t fashion a makeshift weapon to fight with. (There’s plenty of broken furniture lying around, so it’s not unreasonable for a journalist to break off a wooden chair leg and start swinging—but we digress.)

When you get hurt, your screen turns red and starts bending out of shape. If you're able to get away and avoid more damage, you can return to normal. But if you end up cornered, there's really nothing you can do!
When you get hurt, your screen turns red and starts bending out of shape. If you’re able to get away and avoid more damage, you can return to normal. But if you end up cornered, there’s really nothing you can do!

For this reason, your goal in Outlast is to not get caught—and if you do get caught, run away as best you can! It’s definitely possible to outrun an enemy, but it’s also quite challenging, especially when that challenge is paired with the intense feeling of being pursued by a giant with superhuman strength and a penchant for ripping off human heads with his bare hands. So when you can, hide in a locker or under a hospital bed, and wait there until the coast is clear.

This is the guy who likes ripping off heads, and he rips yours off if he catches you—like how he caught us here!
This is the guy who likes ripping off heads, and he rips yours off if he catches you—like how he caught us here!

Another big goal in Outlast? Exploration! This game is crafted so that you can only go where the game wants you to go at any given time, so as you play, you’ll slowly make your way through the winding halls of Mount Massive Asylum, which literally is massive. Outlast is structured into chapters, and with each chapter are associated objectives. When you enter certain areas, you trigger notifications for new objectives. For example, after finding ourselves in the hospital’s sewers, we received a new objective: “Find your way out of the sewers.”

Guess what objective we got for this scene? Something along the lines of "Activate the sprinkler system to put out the fire."
Guess what objective we got for this scene? Something along the lines of “Activate the sprinkler system to put out the fire.”

If you ever get stuck, you have two options: consult a walkthrough, or keep wandering to ultimately find a solution for your latest objective. If you keep at it, you’ll likely figure it out, but it may take time. And while the game’s early objectives are fairly easy to accomplish, they get more complex and difficult as the game goes on. This is a good thing, since it makes gameplay more dynamic and interesting, but be warned that the game does get pretty hard as you get close to the end.

Later in the game, you're captured by this guy—and it's definitely not good!
Later in the game, you get (inevitably) captured by this guy—and it’s definitely not good!

GRAPHICS & SOUND
Outlast: Bundle of Terror runs fantastically well on Nintendo Switch, and its graphics are hard to distinguish from an AAA release. The team behind this port did an excellent job keeping the graphics preserved as well as they could. Outlast runs at 720p in handheld and 1080p in docked mode, and we really recommend it docked—especially if you have a good sound system and friends to watch! This title will have you completely immersed with its terrifying soundscape, and whether you hear distant screams, static from broken security monitors, or the clanking of an escaped patient’s metal chains, you’ll find yourself on edge, ready to quickly react to whatever danger comes your way.

The terrifying graphics are really high-quality. Yes, they probably look better on PC—but on Switch, they still look fantastic.
The terrifying graphics are super high-quality. Yes, they probably look better on PC—but on Switch, they still look fantastic.

CONCLUSION
Outlast: Bundle of Terror packs a punch for its price. With two terrifying campaigns, AAA-quality graphics, and incredible sound design, Outlast is a great choice for any fan of the genre. Of course, if you’re into combat, you’ll likely want to skip this one, and the replayability factor may be a bit lacking, but that’s generally the case with games of this genre. For the experience, we think Outlast: Bundle of Terror on Switch is well-worth the price, and if you’re a fan of psychological horror games, we think you’ll be pleased with what this game has to offer.

Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Red Barrels
Developer – Red Barrels
Price – $24.99
Genre – Adventure, Action, Horror
Size – 5.7.GB

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