bittah.com!~ [Game] Outlast & A Machine for Pigs
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Horror games are a bitch to try and sell to anybody, because they demand a kind of respect many people just aren't willing to give, or go along with. Outlast rode the hype train pretty fast up to release, as well. If you're the kind of person that plays these things and alt tabs every 20 minutes to update facebook with 'still not scared LOL' then you need to piss off and go back to sniffing petrol or whatever the fuck it is you do. Game mechanics in this genre are very transparent, so you will need to really put some effort into enjoying them. Lights off, headphones on, no distractions & wait til midnight. If you do any or all of these things, Outlast will give you a good experience of being freaked the fuck out.
So anyway, you're an indie reporter following up a tip about a government project in a mental facility with ties to Nazi Germany and, yeah, not much new here to be honest. Of course, you wait until its a suitably dark and stormy night before you go break in, armed with nothing but a camcorder and a couple of spare batteries. The rest, is spoilers.
What Outlast does good:
Atmosphere. Shits dark, yo. Actually dark. You'll need nightvision from your camera to navigate. Stumbling about a dilapidated hospital in the dark with deranged patients looking for you will mess with your head something fierce. So will flicking on NV to see your new bff is no longer where you last saw him.
Immersion. Unlike most other games, you aren't just a floating head. Your entire body is right there and visible. Every interaction you do has you actually doing it- no magically opening doors and no vanishing objects into an inventory. You are right there. Just you and all your vulnerable-ness.
Fucking with your head & No shitty jumpscares. Well, maybe one, but it barely counts because its so godamm predictable and a small nod to people that know their horror. There's a section of the game that really, really got to me, and that's where you have to go outside. I suddenly found myself actually wanting to stay IN the hellhole I have just barely managed to crawl out out. That feeling, man. That feeling. Getting out was originally my goal, "Dear Diary: fuck this place" I had wrote, but when faced with actually going out and possibly getting away? nope.jpg Going outside was the LAST thing I wanted to do. With a lump in my throat and a bulge in my backside, I did it. And I loved every second of it, despite the skidmarks.
What Outlast does not-so-good:
Story. It's pretty cliche and forgettable. Mental hospital? check. Nazi scientists working for America? check. Psychic studies? check. It's certainly no reason NOT to play the game, but still. -10 points for originality.
Dead Space objectives. "Issac! the mining machine has broken down, find 2 fuses and flick the ON switch!". Every.single.objective is this.
Game engine/design decisions. I HIGHLY recommend you go read the guides on steam for this game and tweak your .ini files (its an UE3 game). Piss off help text and dialogues. I believe there are a few people looking to release some modded files to up the experience for some more hardcore terror or whathaveyou. (enemy alertness can be changed etc)
Overdone gore. This really depends on you and how many times you've been around the block. Either way, you will find yourself becoming desensitized to it all and start seeing through the 'magic' of horror. However, the pacing is reasonably good and has some interesting moments thrown in amongst the rooms full of corpses.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Another game currently riding the hype train and derailing. Honestly, I blame Frictional. Giving this out to youtube retards like Pewdiepie was a dick move because AMFP is not a horror game. At all. At best, it's a mystery/thriller with a pretty decent story. It has a few moments at the beginning that are basically built to get a jump out of you, but that's it. Despite my best efforts to get immersed, it's just not capable of evoking any sort of non-story related emotion beyond the first couple of levels, and that's only because of the hype surrounding the game.
AMFP has you starting off in a similar situation as the original Amnesia game. You wake up, with amnesia.
Story. Takes a bit to get going, but when it does, it's golden.
Dumbing down of basically everything.
- No management of lantern, although its easy to argue the need, given the smaller maps, fewer enemies and the absolutely obnoxious blue filter they put over the game that gives you darkvision for some reason.
- No inventory, because puzzles are solveable within the same room they are presented. You might have to carry something from one room to the next that one time. That's the extent of puzzle solving.
- No sanity loss. Witnessing creepy/spooky things does nothing, staring at monsters & rivers of gore doesn't phase you. Given the nature of the story and your place in it, this is possibly excusable...but still, it's a detriment to making YOU feel anything.
Overall? enjoyable for the story alone. As a horror game it could have been so much more, however.
Both games currently cost $20 on Steam. I can easily recommend Outlast at that price, but AMFP just has that 'I'm a mod with a well written story' feel to it. Wait for a sale, I say.
As for Amnesia... sounds like they've missed the mark with the sequel. Brought out T:V when people were expecting T1 with better graphics. That said... fans of the original are REALLY fans of the original... to the point where it's almost like the new version of Tribes coming out when things go wrong. "OMG DARK DESCENT HAD BEST SCENE IN WATER WTF HAVE YOU GUYS [email protected]#$%^&*" type rage. So may let the dust settle a little bit first then read the reviews.
I keep seeing it come up on webpages and it's name keeps piquing my curiorsity - wtf does it refer to with a machine for pigs?
"This world is a Machine. A Machine for Pigs. Fit only for the slaughtering of Pigs."
It's a bit difficult to explain without spoiling the game, but after waking up with amnesia and quickly working out who and where you are, a huge, mysterious machine begins to roar back to life. The game is set in 1899, 60 years after the events of the first game.
It's made by The Chinese Room, makers of Dear Esther. The best advice I can give you going into AMFP is don't expect an amnesia game.