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E3 2013: Outlast hands-on

E3 2013

You son of a bitch. You got me. I steeled myself to the experience and proclaimed that there was no room for fear. And yet, in the depths of the noise that clutters E3, I was startled so much that I actually jumped. I know how you did it, but by God you got me just the same.


It all happened in an abandoned mental institution set off in the mountains of Colorado. I was tasked, as upstart journalist Miles Upshur, to discover the truth behind what the Murkoff Corporation was doing with the former asylum for the criminally insane. Armed with nothing more than a video camera, night vision option included, I climbed in through an open window ready to explore the darkest underbelly of the place.

“I actually jumped”As a noncombatant, my only tools for survival were based around game mechanics that allowed me to better sneak about. As I moved up to a corner my hands would raise up to the wall, preparing myself to peek around. The simple act of opening a door becomes an extended peek as I slowly and carefully opened each one up, wary of the dangers on the other side.

It’s something that reminds me of the original Resident Evil games but given far greater purpose. Back then the slow creak of the opening door was a disguised loading screen that was meant to build tension, but it was not interactive. In here I’m given full control and no weapons. So I went about, room to room, slowly pushing and pulling as required.


And then, as I pushed open the door into a small library, you got me. In the darkness the shape of the dead body hanging upside-down was indiscernible from an attacker as it swung out in front of the camera. There was a scream; not me, I swear. It was Miles, dammit. And while my reaction wasn’t audible it sure as hell was visual.

“There was a scream”When I finally came upon a villain within the asylum, I acted on instinct and hid. I ran around a nearby corner and stowed myself into an empty locker I had just passed by, right as he smashed open a nearby door. I waited carefully and watched as he made his way by, ignoring the locker as he passed. I listened for his steps to carry him further and further away, and then I made my move.

The act of bolting from my hiding spot and over through the newly opened door was tense. The hallway was dark and even as I peeked down I couldn’t tell how far the man had gone. I walked, on edge, worried that if I began to run I’d make some noise and attract death to my heels.


Shortly after that the demo ended; I had opened another door and this time there was a muscle-bound, facially deformed man waiting on the other side. Only death followed, as the insane were the masters of this domain.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

Gentle persuasion

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