Reviewed on the Playstation 4
Also Available on PC
Developed and Published by: Red Barrels
Whistleblower is the first, and maybe only piece of DLC that has been released by Red Barrels for their first person horror survival game- Outlast. Outlast was originally released on the PC and released on the PS4 back in February as part of the Playstation Plus Instant game collection. In case you haven’t played through this yet you can read my thoughts and review of it here.
This story based DLC is a prequel to Outlast. It allows you to briefly see the Asylum in its pre breakout state as you play the part of, as the title states- a whistleblower named Waylon Park. He was the anonymous worker who tipped off Miles Upshur leading him to investigate the Mount Massive Asylum and of course the shady Murkoff corporation running it. Seeing the Asylum before all hell broke loose is a nice and very interesting change of pace to the rest of the game, sadly though you don’t get too long to see it like this, before you are admitted as a patient against your will.
First of all I have to state that Whistleblower plays exactly the same as the main game, early on you will find a camera to record what is unfolding around you and just like before it has an eerie night vision mode. The night vision ramps up the suspense as you creep around avoiding the inmates who want to make you their latest victim or work of art. Despite Waylon not being a reporter he will make notes about what he records just like Miles. It would have been nice to see a difference between how the different characters play, as in reality it could well be the same person. You quickly forget that you are supposed to be playing the part of a tech assistant who was actually working at the Asylum before the outbreak.
The asylum is once again brought to life very well, you will visit a few areas that you will be familiar with, but there are enough new areas to make the game feel fresh. I did notice that the enemies you will face are slightly different. Many more of your pursuers will be equipped with various weapons, this goes a little way to showing why you are incapable of fighting back as in the original. I found it weird that you would not even try to hit back against enemies that were no bigger than yourself. It was still strange though, running past a corpse of a guard and not being able to try their radio , pick up their gun or even just search them to see if they have anything useful as surely this would be the first thing you would do in this scenario.
The various stages of Whistleblower do seem to have a better layout with more areas to hide away from your would-be killers and, apart from a couple of occasions, it seemed less mazy and confusing. You will still get the hugely frustrating parts where it feels like you are just playing a game of trial and error, especially towards the end of the game. It just isn’t clear what sections you can go through and also when you are well hidden or not.
If you are hoping that this trip to the asylum will be less harrowing and graphic, then you will be disappointed. This game ramps up the gore and in fact includes some of the most graphic and intense scenes I have ever seen in a video game. It can be genuinely terrifying, a fun horror game this is not. These scenes carry more weight due to how convincing the various inmates you encounter have been realised. Just like in the original title you do feel convinced that these are the sort of characters you would find in such an asylum as this, hopefully though I will never find out.
If you enjoyed the main game and wanted to learn more about the story, then you will enjoy Whistleblower. It ties in perfectly with the original game as it is set both before and after the events of Miles. The end of Whistleblower tying perfectly into the ending of Outlast. Make no mistake though, this game has all of the flaws of the original and I did lose the fear factor towards the end of the game, as I felt I had seen all of the scares before and was growing tired of some of the unforgiving trial and error sections. Due to this I feel that Red Barrels have done enough now with this version of Outlast, it took me around 2 hours to complete any longer and it would have completely lost the suspense and terror that makes the game what it is.
A good bit of DLC that adds more to the story and also to the gore but adds absolutely nothing to the game play and I fear removes some of the terror generated first time round.