Philippe Morin, from Red Barrels, recently posted on the PlayStation Blog about how the team is aiming to scare fans out of their minds in the upcoming survival-horror title Outlast, which is now set to arrive on the PlayStation 4.
Players assume the role of a journalist with nothing to defend yourself with except your camera, wits, and the desire to not have your head ripped from your body. The team at Red Barrels understands that by making characters feel powerless there is automatically a sense of fear that manifests itself from uncertainty. The game has been designed to elevate your fear by capitalizing on your vulnerability but granting you the necessary skills to run for your life.
“The best games make you feel something, some type of emotion that sticks with you after you’re done playing. And fear is one of the most powerful emotions we can have as human beings. So for us, to make the best game possible, we know that we have to scare the s*** out of you. We’re trying to do that in a number of different ways, but where we start is with the design.”
Designing the core gameplay isn’t the only thing that the team has focused on to ensure you finish Outlast terrified. Players can expect an atmospheric environment that draws inspiration from real-world mental asylums, patients, and treatment techniques.
“We partnered with a scientific consulting firm called Thwacke to get real-world data on mental illness and treatment techniques and make an authentic environment. Since Outlast is set in an asylum and your enemies are escaped mental patients, we felt it was important to portray our characters and setting in a realistic way, beyond just characters chasing you on a map. From the layout of the asylum to how enemies act, most of the game is based on real-world asylums.”
All of these elements will combine into a powerful concoction of fear that flows through your veins as you attempt survival in Outlast. Yet, this isn’t enough for the team at Red Barrels. By choosing to immerse themselves in all things horror they have made a crucial connection to what creates a character’s frightening traits, and it arrives by examining the legends of horror cinema.
“[O]ne of the things that makes a character like Jason or Michael Myers so frightening is their unstoppable drive – no matter what you do, they always keep coming to kill you.”
Are you prepared for the fear that Outlast is hoping to deliver? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.