The Outlast Trials, we tried Red Barrels' cooperative survival horror

The Outlast Trials, we tried Red Barrels' cooperative survival horror

The Outlast Trials

The original Outlast put us in the shoes of a journalist determined to investigate an abandoned asylum, while Outlast 2 moved the setting to a remote village dominated by a disturbing sect: in both cases they were passive survival horror with a strong narrative component, but for the new chapter of the Red Barrels series he decided to do differently.

Intrigued by this change of course, we tried The Outlast Trials thanks to the closed beta available for a few days on PC and experimented the idea of ​​a cooperative experience that in some respects mimics asymmetric multiplayer, while remaining rigorously PvE in its mechanics. Did the new journey into the nightmare live up to our expectations?


The Outlast Trials, the investigators The disturbing introductory sequence of The Outlast Trials presents the setting of the game, a large secret facility where experiments are conducted on people attracted by deception, often among the homeless. The character we control also falls into a trap and finds himself in this prison at the Hostel, while around him other men are killed and dismembered for the purpose of some kind of scientific research.

Pain is naturally part of the 'equation, when a staff member screws us in the head with a drill a helmet that includes a night vision device: the darkness and the ability to see through it are now hallmarks of the franchise and could not be missing even in this episode so different from the usual, therefore we will find ourselves using it often during games.

The first phases of the beta are presented as a sort of narrative tutorial, in which our character (created through an editor) is practically dehumanized, forced to give up his identity and his past after being launched inside a building where cruel killers are also prowling and they will try to tear us to pieces in the most violent way possible.

At that point we will only be pawns in the service of the perverse research carried out by this mysterious organization , and together with other desperate people we will face challenges in which we must find objects and inflict pain on others in the hope of being pardoned and gaining some way out of the horror. Will this really be possible?


The spy we must kill in The Outlast Trials The closed beta of The Outlast Trials included a single scenario, "Snitches Get Stitches", set inside of a police station. Our task, along with three other players, was to locate a spy tied to a chair, find a series of keys to open the designated path and lead her to an execution chamber and then roast her using a sort of electrified cage, the all trying to avoid the enemies in the area.

The full game will probably include five missions and, let's imagine, as many locations. To access it you will need to go to a terminal located in the hub where our alter ego and his companions in misfortune are locked up, and using the same device we can set the equipment with its special abilities and unlockable traits: a mechanism that at this moment it has not yet been possible to learn more.


The Outlast Trials, the guard armed with an electric baton hits one of our Once transported inside the scenario, the gameplay of The Outlast Trials it incorporates many of the elements seen in the first two games of the series, with a first-person view and the ability to run (as long as you can), jump over obstacles or slide under them, as well as of course hide inside a closet or under a bed when we want to escape an enemy.

Special abilities provide some timid offensive cues, but ultimately they are only useful tricks i to buy some time in the perspective of escape: the experience developed by Red Barrels remains a passive survival, in which one runs or hides in case of danger but it is not possible in any way to face one's own opponents.

The Outlast Trials, one of the scenarios of the game From this point of view, the similarities with some asymmetrical horror multiplayer are quite evident, including the possibility of putting a fallen teammate back on their feet and tagging them in a any consumables useful to complete the assignment are quite immediate: medicines and boosters, but also bottles and bricks to throw around to distract any guards and refills for the night vision device battery, which obviously does not work forever.

Played a few times, the "Snitches Get Stitches" mission turns out to be fairly straightforward: you have to find keys and open doors for the path of the chair on which the spy is tied to arrive. no to the execution chamber, but succeeding in the enterprise will not be easy due to some disturbing figures that wander around the scenario.

The Outlast Trials plays again with darkness and light When they see us we will have to escape , hole up in the dark or behind an obstacle: a mechanic that from a cooperative point of view is immediately very interesting, because one or more members of the team can perhaps distract the bosses and make their teammates carry out the various tasks until you get to the extraction phase.

It will be interesting to try the full version of The Outlast Trials to check the thickness of the entire outline made up of unlockable skills and traits, as well as the incidence of the degree of difficulty (there are there are four) on the enjoyment of the experience. Our fear is in fact that everything runs out very quickly, and after all, during the tests, completing the same mission has gradually become a simple routine.

Technical realization

The Outlast Trials, one of the scenarios of the game From a technical point of view, The Outlast Trials takes up the style of the previous chapters of the series, succeeding in the difficult task of not seeming too generic in its assets and to equip the characters with a decent set of animations. Gore obviously plays a central role in the experience and there are sequences that you will certainly find disturbing, as with any self-respecting horror production.

The PC version during the closed beta had some inhibited adjustments, on all of them ray tracing, but for the moment it's not a sliver: with an RTX 3070 we had to use a 70% scaler to get a relatively stable 60fps with all graphics options at maximum and an output set to 2160p. Nothing to say, however, on the sound sector, disturbing as expected.

The Outlast Trials stands as a variation on the cooperative-based theme for the survival horror series by Red Barrels, waiting for the next real chapter. own. An experiment born with the world of streamers in mind, we imagine, which undoubtedly boasts good potential and some terrifying sequences, but which for the moment does not seem to have many things to say: we will see how the final version will be.


The formula works Some disturbing sequences Interesting the progression system DOUBTS The experience could be a bit 'an end in itself The only mission of the closed beta does not show all the cards of the project On PC is surprisingly heavy Have you noticed any errors?

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