Developer: Red Barrels
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Available on: PC, Playstation 4
Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on a Playstation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Outlast finished on an ambiguous note, with reporter Miles Upshur seeming to become the monster that now roams the Mount Massive Asylum. But before he even got there he got an e-mail from an anonymous man claiming that there was torture going on at the place. Whistleblower tells his story.
You’ll be playing as Waylon Park, a contractor working for Murkoff Corporation who sends out an e-mail to warn about what’s going on at the asylum. Unfortunately he’s caught and forced into joining the patients. When all hell breaks loose at the asylum Waylon now has to escape. The DLC kind of feels like a reversed version of Outlast. You start in the labs, make your way to the asylum, and finally (hopefully) escape. It’s smart how this is done though. By putting you in the asylum while things are going to hell you get to see a lot more of the Murkoff Corporation, someone who was only really mentioned in name a few times in the main game. While characters from the main game make cameos, Whistleblower also features new characters that hunt you. While he’s not the most creepy or memorable, I think Murkoff businessman Jeremy Blair is the most important story-wise in that it finally puts a face to the company you’re spending so much of the game trying to stop. Of course the cannibalistic Fran, the multiple personalities of Dennis, and the absolutely terrifying woman hating Gluskin offer up some wonderfully creepy new scares.
Whistleblower doesn’t play too different from the base game. You’ll get a camera early in that serves the exact same purpose as the one in the main game: night vision and the ability to zoom. It feels a little shoehorned in compared to the main game, but it’s nice to have. Like the main game you’ll mostly be using stealth to avoid enemies and there’s no direct combat of any kind. If you get caught then running is always an option too, and often one that can get you to a safe spot. That said, Whistleblower does focus more on the stealth element and you’re going to want to carefully plan your moves before you continue. Worth noting that the “pull X switches” or “activate Y generator” objectives have been scrapped from the game, which is probably a good thing.
My biggest issue from Whistleblower comes from the level design though. I was constantly getting lost in levels, as the way forward was often hidden in little corners or required me to jump and grab onto ledges I couldn’t see. One part had me hunted by Fran and required me to shut off some gas in another room so I could advance. Only to get by this I had to actually go to the room blocked off by the gas and jump to a nearly invisible platform above it. It’s extremely difficult to see and not exactly the kind of place I’m looking for when I got a guy with a circular saw constantly hunting me down. Moments like these were constantly in the game and the one thing that I really hated about it.
Still, once you get past those moments Whistleblower was a solid DLC addition to Outlast. Fans of the main game shouldn’t hesitate to get this and enjoy the new scares and insanity that the Mount Massive Asylum has waiting for them.