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    Outlast

    Game » consists of 7 releases. Released Sep 04, 2013

    Deep within the abandoned halls of Mount Massive Asylum, amateur journalist Miles Upshur sets out to find a good story, and instead finds an evil presence.

    Are the limitations of enemy AI too obvious?

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    mason

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    #1  Edited By mason

    I'm interested in getting this game, but one thing I've seen in Patrick's videos seems like it might break the tension for me.

    It looks like the aggressive inmates have a limited area of influence and will stop pursuing the moment you step outside that area. Even though they should theoretically see where you went and still want to hurt you. Kind of like when I play tag with my nephew and let him get away on purpose.

    Is this the way the whole game operates, or can the enemies feel relentless sometimes?

    There were a few times during Patrick's playthrough where inmate behavior was obviously limited, and therefore less threatening:

    • In the flooded sewer area, the inmate was inches behind him and getting hits in... until the second Patrick (PK) climbed the ladder. Then nothing. I guess they can't climb at all?
    • Inmate sees PK crawl into the narrow passage and just moseys on over to the opening (showing he saw where PK went), but just stands there, not even crouching to look. Then he begins a pointless search routine around the room. I assume the baddie is too big to fit the passage, but his response here feels very old school Metal Gear.
    • There were several moments where PK gets found, runs right past, rounds a corner, sprints down the corridor, but looking back there's no sign of the inmate even peering around the corner. It's as if PK ran out of the AI's sphere of influence and into a designated safe zone, so the inmate broke pursuit. At least that's how it appeared to me.

    I still want to play, but I'm hoping the AI doesn't let you off this easy all of the time. These kinds of games are way less scary for me once I see its limitations.

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    Gravier251

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    #2  Edited By Gravier251

    The AI is largely quite predictable. You are generally pretty safe most of the time as the game is largely broken up into encounter areas where there is usually a single enemy and then parts of just wandering around and getting the notes and documents.

    One of my issues with the game is the damage the enemies do. For the most part they barely hurt and any damage you recieve regenerates reasonably fast. So the game for me largely boiled down to rather than hiding or sneaking at any point in the game I would just sprint, sometimes right at an enemy because it really dosn't matter if they hit you. It just seemed redundant creeping about when you can dash between all the valves/switches at no real risk and get it over and done with quicker. Once you leave the scripted enemy stalking you area/sequence they tend to not follow you, or even at times despawn.

    The game is pretty to look at and animates nicely. I really like first person games showing your body rather than the floating camera or gun approach. I had an okay time with it but I found the atmosphere to be underwhelming and had an over reliance on often cheap attempted jump scares, always with a loud orchestral sting.

    It is a shame, but the enemies are just too visible to examine and pose no threat. There is never really any cause for dread or fear because you can outrun them, or if the room has any furniture at all easily go around it causing them to have to path all the way around after you.

    You might still have an okay time with it, but sadly your observations about the AI being predictable are pretty spot on from my experience with the game.

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    ShaggE

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    Yep. Once you notice the mechanics, stealth becomes pretty much optional. You can basically run right through every enemy unless you're in water, in which case you can just give enemies a wide berth, since they seem to be mostly deaf save for some instances of inconsistent perception.

    Play it for the story and atmosphere (and the amazing night vision effect), but don't expect much from the scares.

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    mason

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    #4  Edited By mason

    I'll still probably play it and enjoy the atmosphere. It's just a shame the AI isn't a little more cunning and lethal.

    No game filled me with more dread than playing Dark Souls and being invaded by another human player.

    Imagine that in Outlast. Another player could take the role of controlling various inmates. He would have the same mobility as you, but with some disadvantages for balance (not as quick/stealthy and no night vision).

    That could be amazing, but would also change the nature of the game. It would have to be less narrative based, at least from the inmate controller's perspective. Also, they'd need to add way more hiding spots and distraction techniques.

    I guess I'm saying, more horror games should take cues from Dark Souls.

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    Ekpyroticuniverse

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    #5  Edited By Ekpyroticuniverse

    @mason: yeah @gravier251:pretty much nails it. Also the game is just not all that scary. Mainly because it is a game made of all the most mundane horror tropes from films rolled into one. The AI is pretty bad and without spoiling it the last environment is laughably un-scary. Wait for Amnesia I guess.

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    Branwulf

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    I just finished it and i'm thinking the same thing, by the end of the game I was just sprinting around for the final objectives and had no issue at all.

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    yinstarrunner

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    Yeah they fucked up the mechanics too much and made it way too "gamey". Once you've figured out it's tricks it completely ceases to be scary.

    I really enjoyed the look and atmosphere of the game though.

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    2HeadedNinja

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    @mason said:

    I'll still probably play it and enjoy the atmosphere. It's just a shame the AI isn't a little more cunning and lethal.

    No game filled me with more dread than playing Dark Souls and being invaded by another human player.

    Imagine that in Outlast. Another player could take the role of controlling various inmates. He would have the same mobility as you, but with some disadvantages for balance (not as quick/stealthy and no night vision).

    That could be amazing, but would also change the nature of the game. It would have to be less narrative based, at least from the inmate controller's perspective. Also, they'd need to add way more hiding spots and distraction techniques.

    I guess I'm saying, more horror games should take cues from Dark Souls.

    That is actually a pretty awesome idea. I wonder how exactly a game like this could play. Death is always a setback for the active player and I imagine with human enemys that would happen quite a lot more often. So I wonder how there could be a single player narrative with this system without making it frustrating for the "main" player. Also what would the incentive be for someone to invade your game.

    Could there be a way to make me play my game and you play your game with both of us invading each other at the same time?

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