The Outlast Trials hands-on (Early access): The Outlast Trials is a game that takes the Outlast series, which first appeared six years ago, in a brand new direction but promises to stay true to its essence. On the 18th of May, The Outlast Trials Early Access version took its place in stores. We had an opportunity to access the Early Access version a little earlier with the code provided by the producer and we had the chance to see how the game evolved in the past days.
The Outlast Trials hans-on / Early Access
The Outlast Trials takes us back to the Murkoff Corporation experiments during the Cold War and lets us test them first-hand. When I say test, don’t expect multiple choice questions or “which honey tastes better”. You get the opportunity to see how useful you can remain in the face of events that will push your mental and physical limits. Moreover, you are not alone, there are other subjects like you and you can take the tests together.
These Tests Will Kill You
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Outlast must be the night vision feature, at least that’s what comes to my mind. This time, we can see the surroundings not with extra devices such as video cameras, but with night vision goggles that are almost a part of our body.
Night vision can be a useful feature in environments where they leave us, but it is necessary to use other things in the environment in order not to use it unnecessarily. It’s also important to be wary of toxins that impair our sanity, other people who have already lost their minds, and things (I couldn’t say people) that pose a direct threat to us.
The parts I played were spent in Murkoff’s private facilities, each with a different themed map, filled traps, prop dummies and dangerous creatures as I attempted to survive the tests. Each of these tests promised me improvement points that would help me pass future tests more easily, and eventually true freedom. That is, if I didn’t get beaten to death for accidentally stepping on a window and making a noise.
We can create our own character and customise it within a certain limit. There are many different customisation options such as hair, beard, clothes, visual features. It’s not as detailed as you can create the character of your dreams, but our goal here is to survive, I think it’s enough. Moreover, we even have a small cell that we can customise with items.
We start the tests without any of our items, but in the course of the chapter we can find materials to distract the enemies, medicines to improve both our physical and mental health, and gizmos that can turn the situation a little in our favour.
Murkoff leaves us completely defenceless, in fact, the night vision is free! There is also equipment that can stop enemies for a short time, replenish our health or allow us to see through walls. We can buy the equipments, and improve ourselves and our equipment with the points we get at the end of the tests.
How Much Did Co-Op Affect the Game?
Although the name of the game is Outlast, it is open to debate how the second game is. While playing Outlast Trials, I felt the tension and horror of the first game. There are a lot of places where you get nervous while playing the game alone, and the jumpscare elements, which are indispensable for new horror games, also supports this. Fortunately, they didn’t exaggerate the jumpscare as much as I feared.
You might expect a game that stands out with its Co-op feature to be poorly planned to annoy you when playing alone (Redfall, for example), but the levels I’ve played so far didn’t bother me even when I was alone.
It’s too early to comment on the Co-op of the game, I had the chance to test it a bit in the beta released last October, but a lot of improvements have been made on since then. During the time I played, I did not have the opportunity to experience any co-op experience. After the game is released as Early Access, I could have a chance to play a bit more and update this section of the article.
Nevertheless, while travelling around, there were many points where I thought, “If there was one more person with me, we could complwtw the mission more easily”.
The Outlast Trials Early Access version will be available on Steam and Epic Games on 18 May. The parts I’ve tried so far have managed to give me the first Outlast vibe, and that’s a pretty good for the first impression. I think the co-op will take some of the tension out of the game and balance it with the horrors of what your teammates are doing.
It’s not yet clear how long the Early Access period will last, but the game looks playable even now. I found the difficulty balance to be a bit out of whack in some sections, but I feel like my lack of skill in stealth games might have something to do with that, and I also encountered some bugs, but these are all things that I can accept being in Early Access. As it stands, the game looks good, has almost no performance issues, and the gameplay is very enjoyable for those who like the genre.
More test zones, new abilities and character customisations are said to be coming during Early Access. It is also stated that character development will be handled in more detail. It seems to be a game that both players who love the first Outlast game and players who want to have an enjoyable horror – Co-op experience will like.
You can buy the game from Steam page.