The Outlast Trials review

by on April 22, 2024
Release Date

March 5, 2024


I’m not really sure where Outlast stands in the league of horror franchises because you seldom hear it mentioned in conversations. Silent Hill, this. Resident Evil, that. However, if it was up to me, Red Barrels is one of the best at what it does, and the only game to genuinely terrify me was Outlast 2. I don’t scare easily, but something about that got under my skin, and as much as it was a struggle to review it, I’ve never played a game quite like it. The Outlast Trials is a prequel to Outlast, and while it’s not packed full of story, there’s still that signature fucked up horror that drew me in instantly.

If you’re hoping The Outlast Trials has a solid story at its core, you may be disappointed. Apart from some initial background at the beginning and the occasional note scattered around the levels, there’s not a lot of story. Personally, I’m not playing it for character development or a great plot, I’m playing it to see how depraved one game can get. There are other Outlast games you can play for that, and this one is all about blending the fear and fun into one multiplayer experience.

I played it in Early Access last year and while it was good, it wasn’t quite there yet. There were various bugs I encountered, and the AI was unbalanced and either easy to escape from, or religiously on my tail. Now, playing on PS5, it’s as smooth as a sharp blade through tender flesh. It also looks incredible, if watching people getting butchered in glorious detail is your thing. I’ve put in quite a lot of time in The Outlast Trials, and I didn’t encounter any glitches or issues that ruined the experience.

It still feels relatively short. The Outlast Trials let you loose upon five stages involving locations like an orphanage, a toy factory, and carnival, each with their own objectives for completion. I mentioned it in the Early Access review, but the writers have had some seriously messed up ideas, and I would love to speak to them one day. Coming up with the most grotesque and brutal ideas seems like a lot of fun, but while it is gory, it never takes itself too seriously. Like later entries in the Saw franchise, they push the boundaries of what is acceptable while showing glimpses of dark humour as well.

While the freaks that chase you around can be chaotic and unhinged, they’re also smart enough to know when to chase you and when to stalk you. They’re crazy, and it didn’t matter if I was ten minutes in or ten hours, my heart would still race whenever I turned a corner to find one of them there. It’s in those few seconds that feel like a lifetime where The Outlast Trials wins. Enemies react to noise very well, and if you see them and make the slightest crunch on glass or get too close, prepare to run away. I’m so grateful this has been sorted because it made each trial exciting and ultimately nerve-wracking in the process.

The Outlast Trials also lets you play solo, and even when you’re on your own it is still a lot of fun. It’s arguably much scarier on your own because the focus of the enemy is entirely on you, but when friends are involved (or even strangers), you’ll struggle to not laugh your head off when they scream down the microphone as the deranged cop who loves tasering people starts chasing them relentlessly. It does run its course, but the longevity will improve as new updates are added; something I’m sure Red Barrels is planning on doing after the initial release brings in more players.

There isn’t a game like The Outlast Trials out there. Something this deranged and utterly bonkers doesn’t exist in the multiplayer environment, and I hope more people give it a chance because it will only encourage the developers to keep on adding new content to it over the coming months. AI has been improved dramatically since early access, and the visuals are stunning on PS5. While the levels are well-designed and offer a range of challenges for you to complete alone or with friends, it would still benefit from more content. If you need a good scare and prefer your horror the more disgusting the better, you can’t go far wrong with this one.


Great visuals
Well-designed environments
AI is much stronger
Fun with friends


Not a lot of content right now
Can get repetitive after a while

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

The Outlast Trials is in better shape now it's out of Early Access, and while AI and fixes have been made, it's still light on content.