I never really had the pleasure of putting all of my thoughts about Outlast in the original article I wrote. This is mostly because I hadn’t finished it then. I could lie and tell you it was because I simply never had the time, but the truth is . . . I got too scared.
But can you blame me? Outlast was a scary game. This is despite the fact that it adhered to several genre clichés, especially the trope of the isolated mental hospital; I’m now convinced there have been more asylums in horror movies and video games then there have ever been in real life.
The story of Outlast is the one part of the story that I think could use a bit of shoring up. Protagonist Miles Upshur, a freelance journalist, gets an anonymous tip that something is wrong at Colorado’s Mount Massive Asylum. He drives up there (alone, natch) with a video camera and the best of intentions, ready to get the story of a lifetime. Instead, he spends one of the most harrowing nights on record trying to escape. SPOILER ALERT: He doesn’t make it.
Whistleblower is an expansion of the game’s story, and has promised to be both a prologue and epilogue. You will play as Waylon Park, the man who sends Miles (and other journalists who don’t take the bait) his tip. You will get a first-person view of the fall of Mount Massive, and an insider’s perspective on the craziness and horror of which Miles gets just a late taste.
The problem is that Outlast’s story was a bit lacking. Sure, the premise I outlined above is promising enough. However, near the end of the game, some late twists involve Nazis, some kind of X-Files-style secret conspiracy, and a mysterious energy called The Walrider that may or may not be a demon. It gets ridiculous very quickly. I’m not sure there’s anyway Whistleblower could expand on that premise in a truncated way without seeming itself equally ridiculous.
And, let’s be honest: Mount Massive Asylum is not Black Mesa; I don’t need an extended prologue showing the normal, day-to-day operations of the place just so it’ll seem worse when it all goes south. It’s plenty creepy when I walk in and see body parts laying everywhere.
With that being said, I will buy this DLC. I liked Outlast enough that I think this would have to be an absolute disaster to truly disappoint me.