YMMV / Outlast

  • Author's Saving Throw: The ending to Whistleblower is this for fans who disliked the ending of the original game.
  • Broken Base: The ending's becoming quite controversial, especially on YouTube. Some were disappointed with it because Miles suffered through so much and players put so much effort into escaping the asylum, only to get anticlimactically shot to death, thus rendering everything pointless. Others enjoyed the fact that Miles didn't make it out alive because they expected it, and it fit the tone of the game. The same people also liked that the Walrider wasn't stopped, since it could lead to a possible sequel.
    • And then the DLC came out and retconned Miles' death, or at least revealed it was a Disney Death, if his survival was intended all along.
    • There's some debate over whether or not Outlast 2 should include the ability to fight. Some claim adding one would take away from Outlast's unique method of play as well as the atmosphere of helplessness, while other argue it would make gameplay less frustrating (and would combat the Fridge Logic of why Miles or Waylon don't at least attempt to salvage some sort of weapon from their surroundings)
    • Is Outlast ableist against the mentally ill? For some, it's the latest example of media portraying the mentally ill as violent and dangerous, using them and the abuse heaped against them for cheap scares. The game's defenders (some of whom are in fact mentally ill) point out that the game - through the files, notes, and characters such as the Pyro - makes VERY clear that the inmates' violent tendencies are the result of Murkoff's inhumane experiments and torture rather than mental illness, and that most came to the asylum to seek psychiatric help for their genuine psychological problems (such as addiction, PTSD, schizoaffective disorder, etc). There's also the fact that only a few of the inmates are actually violent towards you, with the rest mostly cowering away or catatonic.
    • Is Outlast discriminatory against the religious? For some, it's the latest example of media portraying religious people as violent fanatics. One of the main antagonists is an insane and religious person that professes belief in a god and kills himself in a chapel. In addition, the being he worshiped is not benevolent and turns out to not be divine or even supernatural. This is possibly even more egregious in the second game.
    • Whether Outlast 2 should have a female protagonist, or at least have female characters. Some worry that, given the games' frequent use of sexual violence and nudity as well as the horror genre's reputation for using women solely for titillation, female characters would only be eye candy with their torture played for Fanservice rather than horror. Others think female characters would bring much-needed diversity to the horror genre, and that the game has already set up a significant plot thread regarding the Walrider's effect on female patients as well as provided a potential female antagonist (Helen Granat).
    • Fandom's treatment of Eddie Gluskin has faced increasing backlash, with many angry over him getting the woobie treatment despite the fact that he's an unrepentant Serial Killer who attempts to mutilate and rape the main protagonist.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After getting chased and thrown around by Chris Walker throughout most of the game, it's arguably satisfying to see him get thrown around like a ragdoll by the Walrider before being pureed through an airduct fan.
    • Similarly, the same thing happening to Blaire in the end of Whistleblower, especially after he had deliberately screwed you over so many times now, along with all the other atrocities committed under his watch.
    • There's also Eddie getting impaled on a metal pipe after attempting to kill/mutilate you
  • Critical Dissonance: Downplayed. Whilst critics have been giving Outlast good to average reviews, it is received more favorably by players.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • After being chased by the crazed Dr. Trager for a level, Miles kills him by pulling him partway into a descending elevator, crushing him. If you pull out your camcorder to record it, Miles' note is remarkably laconic: "How to make Trager juice. Step 1: squeeze."
    • Father Martin's death is pretty disturbing, to say the least. However, if you record it, Miles' note regarding the situation is a hysterical case of Mood Whiplash: "I can't believe Father Martin one-upped Jesus Christ himself in shitty ways to die."
    • At one point in Whistleblower, you can see an inmate holding a severed head... and playing basketball with it.
    • Gluskin. The guy captures other inmates and severs their private parts. Why? To make them pass as women. Make of that what you will. For many, it crosses back over when we get to see his "process". Legs hurt yet?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The soundtrack as a whole, but the eerie choir that plays when you enter the room with the three patients watching the TV deserves special mention.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The labs are brightly lit unlike the dark areas seen before, and tends towards linear chases rather than the nerve-wracking stealth you've seen up until that point.
    • Averted with Whistleblower: the final act is a grueling cat-and-mouse chase in the bowels of Mount Massive between Waylon and Gluskin.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Eddie Gluskin of all people has a lot of female fans. His tumblr tag is rife with fanart and ask blogs. Some people know and accept that he's evil and love him for it; others seem to downplay or outright ignore the fact that he's a dangerous psychopath.
  • Dueling Games: Probably too early to tell but because this game is compared to Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it might become this to the later's sequel being released on the same month as this game.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dr. Trager. People find him hilarious.
    • Disturbingly enough, Gluskin is rather popular. It's easy to forget that him and Trager only appear about two third after the game started.
    • The Pyro, for his Woobie tendencies.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In the church where Father Martin is about to have himself immolated, he declares it to be your "Penultimate Act of Witness." (Penultimate means "second to the last".) At first you think he's just misusing the term, but in fact he's foreshadowing the fact that he rigged the elevator to take you to the scientific facility where the Morphogenic Engine and Billy Hope are located. Seeing them will be your final act of witness (if you survive.)
    • Mount Massive Asylum is run disturbingly like an asylum from Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Which is fitting, seeing as how it's run by a former Nazi.
  • Fridge Logic: Pointed out in the Two Saiyans Play Let's Plays, the reporter has no gun or taser to protect himself from the patients. He doesn't even have backup. Or a flashlight. Granted all the e-mail said was that there were some twisted and illegal experiments happening at the facility, but he was already prepared to break into the building and all he took with him was a video camera and a phone that he even notes in his journal is being jammed.
    • Miles wasn't aware of the chaos that had been occurring at the asylum. By the time he realizes he's in danger, it's too late to go back for help.
    • And in Whistle-Blower, where did Eddie obtain and/or cobble together those wedding dresses in such a short time-frame?
      • Eddie sets up shop in the vocational block, where there are dozens of sewing machines, mannequins, and probably a ton of extra fabric around. It's plausible that there were already some dresses half-made, or that he's just an incredibly fast tailor; he certainly put together an outfit for himself very soon after the initial alarm began.
  • Fridge Horror: There's a women's ward and reports to be found on female patients, but... where are the women?
    • A document found in Whistleblower reveals that the Walrider began targeting them specifically when it first went rogue, and the vast majority of them were moved to another facility.
    • In Whistleblower Trager's corpse is found fairly close by to where Gluskin hangs his victims. This means that if Miles went a specific direction after killing Trager in the original game, he could have easily ran into Gluskin.
    • Park is forcibly committed at the beginning of Whistleblower for his... well, whistleblowing. How many others in Mount Massive were committed and abused due to being enemies of Murkoff?
      • According to this document from the first game, at least one orderly could have been.
  • Genius Bonus: The painting in Wernicke's cell is Prometheus. Like Wernicke he brought forbidden knowledge to humanity and was punished with imprisonment.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • Anytime someone starts bashing in a door. Especially if there's no hiding spot nearby.
    • "Buddiiiieeeeee!"
    • The rattling of Chris Walker's manacles.
    • Ironically the major tension in the game is the lack of sounds many of the inmates make. It's not unusual to be exploring a room, especially in the dark, and to notice close behind you a hostile enemy suddenly patrolling the area.
      • This isn't helped by the fact that Miles' ragged breathing tends to overpower most outside noise.
    • Frank wields an electric saw which he gratuitously revs up while stalking you. The sound it makes is sure to catch a few players off guard at least once.
      • Unfortunately, it revs for so long that he moves while it's still playing. And then the player is suddenly greeted by Frank's dialogue of having seen you. Noooooo!
        Frank: FEED ME! FEED ME! FEED ME!
    • Eddie sometimes sings or hums while he stalks you.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Documents reveal that Chris Walker is a former military police officer who's likely suffering from PTSD. A document from later in the game reveals that he's actually trying to contain the Walrider by killing everyone he sees, hence why he keeps chasing you. Miles lampshades this after the Walrider tears Walker apart in front of him.
    • Gluskin. There's no excusing what he's done, but his backstory of being sexually abused by his father and uncle does give him sympathy points.
    • The Variants as a whole. Apart from Gluskin (who was a Serial Killer to begin with) and Trager (a Corrupt Corporate Executive) all of them were simply mentally ill individuals who were twisted into murderous beings as a result of Murkoff's torture. A number of them won't even bother attacking you, preferring to simply curl up in a corner or against a wall cowering.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Whistleblower has been accused by critics as being too similar to the original game and not adding anything new. While partly right, this is a major case of Critical Dissonance as fans love it.
  • Misaimed Fandom: For a game centered around Body Horror, insanity, science gone wrong and horrific imagery in general, the Outlast tags on Tumblr and AO 3 feature a lot of fans shipping Eddie and Waylon, drawing cutesy fan art for the game, and turning the crazed serial killers into misunderstood bishies.
    • Gluskin is especially prone to the latter treatment, as some people tend to outright ignore or downplay the fact that he was a serial killer before he was subjected to the Morphogenic Engine. A small minority of Eddie fans have gone one further and applied the Ron the Death Eater treatment to Waylon for a) not intervening at the beginning when Eddie is being forced into the sphere, and b) for daring to "reject" Eddie.
  • Narm: Some feel that the highly detailed Facial Horror and Gorn are so over the top that it ruins the realism of the setting and makes some of the inmates almost cartoony.
  • No Yay:
    • You'll quickly come to feel this way about Gluskin.
    • The doctor who licks Waylon's face at the beginning of Whistleblower evokes this.
    • Whistleblower as a whole has very rape-y overtones. In addition to the above examples, the inmate who lets Waylon out calls him a "pretty flower" and promises to "make him purr", and Frank Manera's dialogue has creepy, suggestive connotations ("Gorgeous. Just the smell!") Waylon even describes Manera as looking at him with a hint of "desire"
      • This might be a combination of sheer bad luck but also of Waylon being probably more attractive than Miles. Nobody went full-on creep on Miles, just regular psycho stabby murdery stuff.
  • One-Scene Wonder: While plenty of inmates only show up briefly, the pyro inmate probably embodies this trope the best. He seems relatively composed, and his dialogue is a massive Tear Jerker... only making it worse when he tries to kill you for putting out his fires.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Probably one of the scariest things about this game is that most of the inmates don't attack you, so you never know when one will attack you. It overall makes nowhere feel safe.
  • Squick: During the opening scenes of the Whistleblower DLC, you can hear two doctors discussing a patient's recent dreams/hallucinations during an Engine experiment. A few key phrases are highlighted by one as overarching themes in the dreams: Childhood memories, reptilian features, and sexual connotations.
    • Let's face it, the games run on this.
  • Uncanny Valley: When you enable the infrared vision on your camcorder, the inmates you encounter appear to have glowing eyes.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: It's not uncommon for players to mistake Dennis for a woman initially, given his high-pitched voice.
  • What an Idiot: When Miles is told that the staff of Mount Massive Asylum are conducting experiments on the inmates, instead of contacting the police and bringing them along to investigate, he decides to break into the place at night by himself and sneak around recording everything while hoping to not get caught by anyone. He doesn't even bring any weapons with him to defend himself from the staff, who would obviously try to capture or kill him if they really were doing such things.
  • Wimpification: Poor Waylon gets hit with this hard. Despite repeatedly demonstrating Badass Normal tendencies (And y'know, being married. To a woman he clearly loves. And has two kids with.) fans often turn him into a weepy Uke repeatedly subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse. The character he's most frequently shipped with? Eddie Gluskin, a Serial Killer who alternates between wooing him and calling him sexual slurs and at one point tries to castrate him so that he can be the perfect "bride".
  • The Woobie:
    • Miles Upshur. He goes into the asylum hoping to bring justice to Murkoff, which he already knew was an immoral company, although not to what extent. Once inside he faces terrifying, gore-soaked scenes, is chased relentlessly by several inmates, and goes through insane amounts of pain - being thrown through windows, drugged and knocked unconscious, sliced by shears and beaten with pipes and fists, and so on. He is tortured by Trager, losing two of his fingers in the process, and has no supplies to help bandage the stumps. When it finally seems like he might get to leave, he's near-fatally attacked by the Walrider and ends up as its new host. Then he's shot multiple times in the chest! And unlike Waylon, he doesn't seem to have anyone he can use as anchors for mental support, so he ends up using dark humour and bitterness instead. At the very least, Whistleblower reveals that he manages to escape the asylum, although mutilated and possessed by an incredibly deadly, incomprehensible being.
    • Waylon Park. The man has been having suicidal thoughts throughout the DLC and has a wife and two kids, which makes Gluskin chasing him to force Waylon to be his "bride" a whole lot worse. And for his whistleblowing at the end, Waylon and those that are close to him will likely suffer the consequences. Make worse by the fact that while Miles expresses his angst and frustration through snark and anger, Waylon's journal entry is filled with how he was terrified and miss his family.
    • Then there's the Pyro inmate as described in One-Scene Wonder.
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