Developers Red Barrel Games has finally given us a sneak peak into the world in which players will be tackling in the next Outlast instalment. All of the images initially look bright and boxy in appearance but if you look a little deeper into the clues each image gives, you'll begin to realise the type of twisted world we are going to be teaming up with our friends and trying to escape together.
I'm the image below, which is the first image that was teased, at first glance it looks like a pretty standard street with pretty flat textures. But upon further observation, you will actually see that this is a studio created area. In the top right, you can see that the clouds are like wooden cut-outs, with flood lighting to light up the street. Which make sense for the flat textures, as all the things in this area are likely to be props, that have been constructed by a ..."crew"?
One other thing we noticed, is just above the grocery, you can see a caged off area, with what looks like the head of a figure peeping out. So it seems in this map, we will be required to break out of this created area, and up into the 'behind the scenes' area. This theory is also supported by all the gating sections above the clouds in the top right.
The teased image 2 doesn't really have any clues that we can spot initially, although this area does give us Bioshock vibes, especially with the Ticket Booth at the back of this space. This image gives us a really good point to discuss about these new Outlast images and that is - It doesn't seem very dark?! In the previous entries of Outlast you are always challenged by the harsh environment and managing how to navigate through the dark. It's this very mechanic that made the previous games really raise the anxiety levels, so having these well lit areas seems like a very drastic change of direction. Although, there have been horror games, that have still been able to scare in well lit areas, so I will reserve my judgement.
One thing we did notice in this image, is the red and white barrel on the right, next to the ticket booth. It has holes in it, in a similar design to the barrels we can use to hide, in Outlast 2. So, it looks like that's back in this one. I imagine, like the previous games, Outlast Trials is going to follow the same structure to engagements, with player needing to run and hide, to escape their pursuers, and then use stealth to bypass them once again.
This image has a lot to talk about, although it doesn't seemingly give anything away, unlike the other two teaser images. One call I notice at first glance, is the giant metal box, in the centre of the room. If you pay attention to it, it looks like its been dropped on a previous player, which might highlight the introduction of mechanical traps. Just look at those red fleshy areas crushed around its rim...eurgh!
Additionally we see many characters in this image, from the two shadowed silhouettes to the painting on the left. You know I said earlier "Bioshock Vibes" well this does it too. These villains look sophisticatedly insane. Donning smart wear completely smudged in grit and gore, with unsettling masks to complete the look.
With the title of this game being Trials and all 3 images showing hints towards "constructed arenas", it seems that this time round, players will be put into several different arenas with the aim to escape. I don't get the feeling that this title will have a story of a single characters escape from beginning to end, but instead you will play as several characters trying to survive. We cannot wait for this title to be shown to the world and love the idea of an Outlast that requires coop play. Although, equally we hope that Trials doesn't veer to much away from the things that made 1 and 2 great games.
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