Outlast Uses Valuable Science Research to Scare the Hell out of You

Thu, Mar 7, 2013

Frisky Misc, PC

Survival horror games have a lot of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to frightening players. These generally involve loud, startling things, or making the player feel outmatched by the terrors hunting him, etc. TriplePoint client Red Barrels apparently wasn’t satisfied with cheap parlor tricks, and has opted to scientifically scare you. This morning, they announced they had contracted a research team, Thwacke, to provide them with data on how humans experience fright and mental illness, so they could recreate those horrible feelings as accurately as possible in their upcoming game Outlast. That’s right — they want the actual science on what makes us feel the worst, the most terrified — and then they want to inflict that upon us.

From the press release:

“The survival horror genre has seen many changes over the years, but the core is always a cerebral experience that capitalizes on anxiety and startles the player,” said Dr. Maral Tajerian Ph.D., neuroscientist and pain researcher. “Due to the background of certain patients in the Outlast asylum, there are a lot of interesting behaviors that could be unsettling to a player.”

Did you catch that? Pain researcher. This guy finds out what is painful to people for a living, and now he is going to use that terrible knowledge on you.

“They’ve been a seemingly bottomless font of everything I need for this story: psychoses, paranoia, and violent perversion,” said J.T. Petty, Outlast scriptwriter.

Okay. Yeah, I’m rapidly reconsidering how much I want to play Outlast. I mean — I haven’t so much as seen anything beyond the initial trailer, but this stuff is already scaring me –

Oh. Ohhh! Oh, I see what you did, Red Barrels. Kudos. Well played.

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