Outlast became one of my favorite survival horror games and I gave it a 9 in my review. The game, however, left me wanting for more jump scares and thus I was naturally excited to quickly dive into its story related DLC, Whistleblower.
YOU BLEW THE WHISTLE, TIME TO RUN
It All Started With the Whistleblower - The story of Outlast begins with a journalist named Miles Upshur exploring Mount Massive Asylum after getting a tip-off from an anonymous source. You were asked to expose a syndicate organization called Murkoff Corporation, who have been conducting crazy experiments on the asylum’s inmates. In Whistleblower, you play as Waylon Park aka the anonymous source. Mr. Park is a software consultant who gets caught red handed by the corporation, shortly after he leaks out the information. From then on you wander through the asylum reaching out for help and hopefully make an escape. Whistleblower's story does a fantastic job in providing a good back story to Outlast and even goes beyond the final moments from the original game.
Terrifying Characters and Tense Moments - Just like in the original game, your handy camera with the night vision mode is the only thing that helps you navigate through the darkness of the asylum. The mental patients are scattered throughout the asylum. While some are sane and harmless, the rest will stop at nothing to kill you. Some of them from the original game, like the big dude called Chris Walker who for some reason keeps calling you “Little Pig,” return to hunt you down in Whistleblower. There's also a surprising cast of new characters in the form of variants who will take you on a ride to hell.
Looks and Sounds Unreal - Major props to the small team of developers at Red Barrels, for their enormous effort in the audio-visual aspects of Whistleblower. I praised the original game of Outlast for its dark visuals and terrifying soundscape, and I am happy to report that it remains immaculate and ever present in the Whistleblower DLC. Seeing through the darkness via the green lens of the handy cam alone is enough to keep you tensed throughout the entire game.
MORE TENSE THAN SCARY
Feeling of Familiarity Brings Down the Fear Factor - Even though players get to explore newer areas in the asylum in Whistleblower, you will come across places which you had previously visited from the original game. In Outlast, you progress from one level or area to another by completing objectives. These objectives could be something like turn a valve to power on a generator or push a button, and Whistleblower is no different. Right from the start, I knew exactly what I had to do and where I had to go, and thus this sense of preconceived anticipation actually made my overall experience rather tense than scary.
The Jump Scares Are Hit or Miss - One other aspect of Outlast, which I enjoyed a lot was its jump scares. They got me all the time during my playthrough, but in Whistleblower, these jump scares were sometimes just audio cues with no visual confrontation. I was either looking elsewhere with the camera when a jump scare was triggered or maybe the jump scares weren’t scripted or maybe I just simply became immune to them. I had no such issues with the original game.
Jump scares in Whistleblower weren’t executed properly like in the original game, which is easily its biggest shortcoming. I got into the DLC to get freaked out by the jump scares, but I ended up enjoying and showing care for the story. The DLC did provide me two hours of solid content, but without any real scares. Whistleblower DLC retails for $8.99 on PlayStation Network and Steam.