If you believe the hype, Outlast is the scariest game to hit the market since Amnesia: The Dark Descent. In case you somehow missed it, Amnesia is the game that basically set the new standard for horror games back in 2010. I was extremely impressed with Amnesia when I played it and still consider it one of the best horror games ever made. Outlast takes a lot of lessons from Amnesia, and indeed it even feels a lot like Amnesia (which is perhaps reason enough to play it), but unfortunately my high hopes were dashed by what turned out to be a simplistic, repetitive survival experience. Instead of being the new heralded champion of horror games, Outlast feels more like a merely "average" horror game.
The game begins with you as Miles Upshur driving up to the front gate of the Mount Massive Asylum. You're a journalist who received an anonymous tip warning of illegal activities at the psychiatric hospital; you're there to document evidence and expose the story. The only thing you bring with you is a battery-powered video recorder, capable of recording in complete darkness thanks to night vision. In the beginning, Outlast seems to get the formula right, with this introduction sequence emphasizing a slow, atmospheric build-up before your adventure descends into madness. It's calm, creepy, and foreboding with the lightest sprinkling of jump scares to keep you wary of what you might encounter up ahead.