I've been waiting in anticipation for Outlast: Whistleblower
for what feels like forever. Probably ever since I found out that it was in production. That would have been around the time when I played the first game with my boyfriend. Knowing that I have a love for all things abandoned and historical, and that I would need to fill the void that was finishing Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
, he suggested that we check out Outlast.
He was right.
We played the first game huddled around the glow of my laptop. Playing the game this way made for a special sort of special game experience, as my laptop really isn't up to gaming standards. There was some lagging and chugging, often turning the chase scenes into an almost comical experience. But overall, I really loved the game. Traversing the dilapidated Mount Massive Asylum really appealed to the urban explorer that my soul houses, and the part of my personality that loves learning about the history of mental asylums. I came to love the music, the atmosphere, and more so than I expected, the tormented and traumatized victims of the Murkoff Corporation.
This past week, we took the plunge and got ourselves a copy of Whistleblower,
and prepared for our return to the asylum of the damned.
My first concern about the DLC was that it would be more of the same. Don't get me wrong, I fully enjoyed Outlast
but I hoped that the second game would enrich the experience. And it did. We got to visit some of the old haunts from the original content, but even more excitingly, we were given the chance to explore new areas. It seemed like the range of motion for our character had been expanded; now we could climb up onto sub-roofs and scale walls a little bit better. There were areas of the game that I couldn't have ever predicted would have existed, that allowed me to once again capture that feeling of nervous exploration. Whistleblower
also provided the chance to see some of our old fiends (no, that's not a typo) from the first game. It was neat to see the naked twins (whom I nicknamed Edwin and Enoch...heh...), Father Martin, Chris Walker and Dr. Trager's torso. It was all a great reminder that we were in the same universe still, and helped to solidify a timeline for the events of the DLC. The game didn't rely too heavily on fan service moments like seeing old characters, and certainly offered a host of new characters who were just as interesting and twisted in their own, broken ways.
The atmosphere was perfect, and the music achieved the same quality that worked so well in the first game. It drew a violin bow over my tightly strung nerves, making the experience all the more tense and pleasantly unpleasant.
What I admired most about Outlast: Whistleblower
was that it seemed to be an intentional love letter to the original game's audience. Now, when I say love letter, I don't mean the nice kind that you look forward to getting on Valentine's day. I mean the kind of love letter that you find on your porch at 3 am, suspiciously crumpled and covered in a vaguely sticky substance.
Yeah. It was that kind of love letter.
The game seemed to directly address criticism that was given for not having women patients and staff in the game, even though you travel through the women's ward at one point in the original game. As it turns out, the fate of the women in Mount Massive was much worse than even the Murkoff Corporation could have expected, and they were shipped off to their very own facility. God knows what that place might have to offer, but I really want to see it at some point. Perhaps in a sequel. We also meet Eddie Gluskin (a darling amongst the Whistleblower
fandom) and learn about his dark proclivities towards women.
Another criticism that the game seemed to meet head on was the ending of the first game. A good chunk of the audience seemed to think it was a huge downer ending. Personally, I liked it. The ending for the DLC seemed like a bright and hopeful ending, until you consider the implications that the Walrider is now free to cause havoc outside of the walls of Mount Massive.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time playing Outlast: Whistleblower
. I think it struck a good balance of referencing old material and bringing new material to the table. The characters are once again, unforgettable. The ideas presented in the game are just as disturbing as they need to be to stick with you long after you've stopped playing. I feel like I need to take sometime to mull over the themes in the game before going into more depth about them, but for the time being, let me just say that Whistleblower
stands on it's own two feet in terms of being a great game.
LOOK WHO CAME: