Outlast: Whistleblower DLC (PS4) Review – A Tense But Underwhelming Return
arrived earlier this year on PS4 (previously a PC exclusive released last year), it certainly made it's presence known. Due to being free on PS+, and not many games to play on the new system, many gamers tried it out not knowing what to expect. And boy did they get a shock. Those who stuck around long enough found a very solid horror title that was very interesting in the way it presented itself and ultimately a great game. You may have thought you wouldn't go back to Mount Massive ever again, but now there's new DLC that could change. Or perhaps you're best not to go back on that promise.
One of the main reasons for this DLC is to tie up the story from the previous game. You play as Waylon Park, the whistleblower who originally sent an email to Miles Upshur in the main game that triggered this whole series of events. We learn why Waylon was at Mount Massive and why he sent his email in the first place. It is nice how everything ties together but I wasn't that interested in the story to begin with so expanding upon this was interesting but ultimately not why enjoyed playing Outlast
The length of the DLC is pretty long considering the length of the original game was around five hours and this will take around two hours to finish, longer if you were to collect all documents and recordings. It is a good length as the pace never slows down as you move to new areas very swiftly and push the story forward throughout most of your time.
Price however could be an issue when you consider the short length. Due to the recent PS4 release being free on PS+, I didn't mind paying for the DLC as the overall cost for both the main game and this DLC seems worthwhile. But if you bought the game and now this DLC you could feel slightly short changed considering most people will only want to play through the whole thing once.
The violence in Whistleblower
does not cut any corners and somehow manages to even top the main game in the amount of craziness on display. Patients are seen performing increasingly disgusting acts, enemies do more than just torture or kill this time and a few scenarios involving our protagonist made me feel rather sick. This was probably the best part of the entire DLC and the only aspect of the experience that managed to match that of it's main counterpart.
During the first half of the campaign there is a single enemy that keeps pursuing you from area to area. He's very well designed and pretty damn scary with a buzz saw for a weapon, the sound will send shivers down your spine before you even know where he is. It definitely had a strong Nemesis (Resident Evil 3
) vibe as an unstoppable force continues to stalk you over and over again. I was disappointed that this wasn't carried on throughout the whole DLC but was very cool while it lasted.
The limited gameplay did become an issue the further I progressed as I become slightly bored with the way enemy scenarios play out. Options are either run or hide and most of the time involve me running around some rooms in a big circle to get an enemy further enough away from a door so I can enter it and get to the next section. It does become really stale after already playing most of the main game this way also.
A recurring problem I had during my time was getting lost as to where I was supposed to be going exactly. With it's extremely dark setting, its so easy to miss an opening in a wall and most easy to miss is when you must climb to access a vent. I didn't have this problem whatsoever with the main game but found myself on a few occasions having to backtrack through multiple areas before finally spotting the tiny area I had missed. This along with the recurring feeling that comes with enemy encounters made getting through the asylum far more tedious than it was previously.
Most of my concerns unfortunately come from just playing the game for too much at this point. The main game and DLC equates to around seven hours of playing and the things that I loved to begin with start to become more frustrating as the game progresses. The jump scares that were great to begin with become so predictable in the way they play out that you really know when to expect them. Bar one or two occasions, they just fell completely flat for me.
I was a huge fan of Outlast
when I played it for the first time on PS4 this year. I thought writing it off as just a series of jump scares was underselling the game and really was one of my favorite horror games for a long time. Unfortunately Whistleblower
doesn't really replicate these feelings too well. While still tense, the limited gameplay and predictable sequences made me more bored than scared. I'm hoping a full sequel can really add more to the experience than this DLC which doesn't change up anything from the main game, bringing all of it's faults and wearing thin the best parts originally. Considering how great so many DLC releases have been recently, this definitely isn't one you absolutely need to spend your time on.