The Outlast Trials Review – IGN

Overview of The Outlast Trials

With all of the gory appeal of a cheesy horror movie, The Outlast Trials works even better than it did when I played it in Early Access last year. There’s just something magical about hiding with your besties in wardrobes and under beds as a deeply rude lady with a power drill for a hand hunts you down. What better way to spend a Friday night with the lads? Each of its death games is unique and filled with devilish and gruesome horrors, including formidable killers with cunning and lethal AI, and upgrading your character’s abilities and gadgets is a fantastic reward for surviving all those bloody corridors. Its biggest weakness is that there just aren’t that many levels to play, which isn’t a great feeling when matches are supposed to be all about striking fear into you and your BFFs. Still, my crew and I had a lot of fun with The Outlast Trials, even if that novelty bled out quicker than we would have liked.

The Unique Multiplayer Experience of The Outlast Trials

For those tuning in to this multiplayer torture porn extravaganza for the first time, The Outlast Trials is a cooperative survival-horror game distinguished by its ridiculously macabre vibes. You and up to three of your friends become inmates in a “rehabilitation” center and “volunteer” for a series of death games that have you eluding rampaging sadists while completing puzzles before making a mad dash for the exit. While you might think being hunted by vicious maniacs is an intensely terrifying experience, the over-the-top nature of these villains made me laugh way more than it creeped me out. The fact that you spend each mission in the company of your fellow inmates adds to the hilarity. And that chaotic mix of grisly violence and absurdism somehow go together like popcorn and a good slasher flick, resulting in hours of riotously good times.

I really can’t think of anything out there quite like it.

Originality and Gameplay

It’s also just cool how original The Outlast Trials feels! It bizarrely takes the well-known survival horror genre and turns it on its head by making it an amusing four-player cooperative sport – like the demon lovechild of The Evil Within and Overcooked. I didn’t think that hodgepodge of ideas would go together as well as they do, but it almost immediately becomes apparent just how much potential it has once you’re holding your breath with your buddies as some creepy lunatics search for you in the dark.

Story and Gameplay Experience

If you were hoping for a good story, though, you’ll dive a whole lot deeper into the chest cavity of corpses in search of items than you ever will into some kind of meaningful plot. While there isn’t much of a proper tale to absorb, the game is impressively polished and the enemy AI feels legitimately intimidating to go up against, making each level much more challenging and rewarding for teamwork.

The Outlast Trials is impressively polished.

Replayability and Challenges

On the other hand, there just aren’t that many interesting things to do. After a brief tutorial, you’ll run through five main trials before tackling a final exam. While each of the levels is unique and haunting in its own way, the lack of variety may cause some excitement wear thin. The game offers incentives for grinding and leveling up your character, but the repetitive nature of the gameplay can become dull over time.

There just isn’t enough to keep my interest long-term.

Antagonists and Gameplay Variety

It’s especially odd that all five stages make use of only two antagonists, given the series’ remarkable roster of memorable psychopaths. While the levels are unique in their own way, the lack of variety in the enemies may lead to some monotony setting in over time.