The Outlast Trials – Live Through Therapy with Others!

REVIEW – The Red Barrels franchise has taken a multiplayer turn, so the familiar, mostly claustrophobic, relentlessly atmospheric, narrative-driven experience has changed significantly, but somehow manages to remain familiar even to those who may have spent a fair amount of time with the Early Access version on Steam.


Red Barrels invites you to experience mind-numbing terror, this time with friends. Whether you go through the trials alone or in teams, if you survive long enough and complete the therapy, Murkoff will happily let you go…but will you be the same?



Murkoff, Brainoff, All Off


It’s boring that, once again, it’s a company with a seemingly positive but dirty secret behind it all. This time the name of the company is the Murkoff Corporation, and their flyer ad is answered by our character in a desperate situation. He may regret this, as he will get night vision goggles drilled into his head, as we will find out during the tutorial. The basics of the gameplay are the same: you have to sneak around to stay alive against the crazy people who want to take your life, and soon enough Red Barrels will let go of your hand, because then you’ll be in the panic-filled atmosphere of the games, trying to figure out where the hell you’re supposed to go from that particular point. You can crawl into hiding places, crouch, or run fast. For psychosis, it’s worth finding an antidote, but beyond that there are bricks to knock out your opponent, lock-picking pokers, distraction bottles, medkits, and batteries for our goggles. The storytelling is only direct at first, as the story unfolds later in the rest sections.

They take place between the trials, and if we survive enough of them, we can be reborn. Yeah, but how normal can you be when you’ve done unspeakable things to survive? No matter where you are (there’s a toy factory, an orphanage, a carnival and a police station, five locations in all), even though there’s one main mission and usually three side missions, you can easily get lost because the interface doesn’t help you, only the arrows or maps on the locations. We will be faced with some disgusting tasks, and what will be on our minds is not how grotesque it all is, but whether we can complete them in time, because we could be interrupted and stopped at any time. That said, the atmosphere is excellent and of a decent standard compared to previous games in the franchise, even if the mission outline is the same: explore a location, hide, complete a task, escape. Solo or not. Still best played solo. Not out of habit, but because it’s the only way to get the experience you expect from IP. Of course, it is also worth trying the game with friends.



Level up for more playtime


The multiplayer experience is also good, but it’s not new. One player can get distracted and the other can complete the task. The atmosphere isn’t the best either. On the plus side, using less items (like medkits because you didn’t take as much damage), completing missions faster gives you a better rating. This gives you more XP, so you can level up faster. In the hub, the apothecary can give you more stamina or a bigger inventory. The Engineer can give you buffs like scouting your enemies beyond the walls (you can only use one at a time). When you reach level 10, you will get the Shadow Dame, who will give you perks (amps). You can also make cosmetic changes to your character with money you earn in-game, or if you don’t care, you can decorate your room (even if you don’t spend much time there).

Over time, you’ll earn 20 tokens to escape with, but then you can take on more trials, only here with modifiers, so you’ll get more dangerous enemies, zero healing, or fewer inventory slots. This increases replayability, so familiar tasks and activities can be even more exciting IF the game can keep us engaged enough. If not, we’ll just skip it. The enemies may be few in type (different in appearance but not in function), their AI is a bit dumb, and the multiplayer will have fake players with mixed up names. On PlayStation 5, the visuals are fair, the performance is stable at 60 FPS and doesn’t lag. On PC it has 2000-2500 concurrent players (about 37,000 was the record). The question is how long the dedicated servers will survive at this rate.



It survived, but with permanent scars


The Outlast Trials gets a 7.5/10 because it’s a good game, but not good enough to be played more often. Content-wise, if they expand it, maybe once a year, but it’s not that outstanding of a product. Recommended for fans of the genre, recommended for fans of the franchise, everyone else maybe if they have someone to play with.



+ Mood
+ Not just alone
+ Replayability


– Not only alone
– Slightly stupid artificial intelligence
– How long will he survive…?

Publisher: Red Barrels

Developer: Red Barrels

Style: survival horror

Release: March 5, 2024.

The Outlast Trials

Gameplay - 8.2
Graphics - 7.3
Story - 7.1
Music/Audio - 6.9
Ambience - 8.5




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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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