Outlast is a first-person horror stealth game set in a mental asylum.
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Story & Themes
As the main character, players cannot fight. Instead Miles wields a camera with night vision enabled. It is a constant battle to keep the camera supplied with batteries, as losing power will also take away his only source of light. He must escape Variants and meet objectives such as finding key cards, obtaining entry to locked doors, and gathering notes to find out what has happened.
There some religious themes, primarily due to one of the inmate’s preoccupation with being a priest. Miles encounters several religious messages as he wanders the asylum’s hallways.
Other main themes include medical experimentation, humanity, control, and—by virtue of the game’s mechanic—the nature of powerlessness.
We would strongly advise discussing how a horror game like Outlast impacts players in terms of fear and nightmares. This game is meant to provoke anxiety (in adults), and some players might respond negatively to the intense adrenaline rush it inspires. That being said, here are some other conversation starters:
- Do you think this portrayal of mental health is fair or realistic, especially given that people who suffer from mental illness are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence?
- Do you know anyone who suffers from mental health problems, even if they aren’t institutionalized?
- Why do you think mental health patients make good “monsters” in horror games or movies? Is there something about it that is innately scary to people, or is it just the fear of the unknown?
Stealth, Survival Horror
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Cannot be played online