The last week has seen the release of two big horror games: Red Barrels’ indie game, Outlast, and The Chinese Room’s Amnesia follow-up, A machine for Pigs – but which game is better?
Outlast is currently sitting on a Metascore of 79 and a GameRankings score of 81.50%, while A Machine for Pigs has a 72 Metascore and 71.57% on GameRankings.
It would seem that the two first-person horror PC games are pretty close in terms of ratings, but what are the critics saying about them?
Outlast: “9.10 – Outlast perfects this self-inflicted madness in every area of its design, and it’s absolutely petrifying. I love it.”
Amnesia: “7/10 – Mechanically, A Machine for Pigs deviates significantly from The Dark Descent, and this is where it’s most disappointing. The Dark Descent employed several mechanics that ratcheted up the fear and tension, most notably the insanity system.”
Outlast: “7.8/10 – Annoying design choices and forced moments of repetition have a bad habit of spoiling the mood, but between them is an experience that’s scary as all hell.”
Amnesia: “8.3/10 – Though its sharp fangs of resource management may have been dulled, in place of the swift bite is a deeper, more haunting world that will linger with me much longer than the original.”
Outlast: “7/10 – Most of the time, particularly early on when its quirks are fresh and unknown, it delivers. Even its weakest moments owe their existence not to ineffective ambiance and tension, but rather to excessive confidence spurred by eventual predictable encounters that clash with the promise of the setting.”
Amnesia: “8/10 – This is a captivating adventure, but it’s also a very dark and disturbing one that touches on depressing real-world themes and doles out psychological horror along with monsters and gore. Still, this gives the game added depth and a literary weight that elevates it well above much of the horror genre in general, especially in a game that arrives without much pretension and with a plot device about murderous pig-men.”
Outlast: “7/10 Stop and peer too long into Outlast’s gloom and you’ll see the zips on the monster costumes. Take it at at speed and you’ll find a haunted house worth visiting.”
Amnesia: “7/10 – A Machine for Pigs performs the not inconsequential achievement of maintaining the soul of Amnesia. This is still a game that understands that real horror comes from disempowerment, and from the unseen, unknown and unexplained.”
Outlast: “7.5/10 – Outlast’s blind corners and pitch black sewers possess an illusion of danger greater than the actual threat posed by the monsters they hide. But really, illusions of danger are all games are capable of conjuring — and Outlast conjures them up relentlessly.”
Amnesia: “8/10: Its systems are deeply simplified, its sense of dread less all-encompassing. But it still leaves a lasting impression. The horror it filled me with was more subtle and insidious, and it’s not going to be out of my system for many days to come.”
Outlast: “7.5/10 – Outlast is a virtual tour through a hall of terrors. Even playing the game in full daylight makes me uneasy. However, the game’s overall level design and gameplay were sacrificed at the altar of fear. If you’re looking for an experience that will get your adrenaline pumping, Outlast is hard to beat, but if you’re looking for a meatier horror experience then you might want to run past this one.”
Amnesia: “7.8/10 – The Chinese Room proves once again that it has wonderful, affecting stories to tell and can create environments that ooze atmosphere. The same could be said of some of the horror film genre’s best directors. However, A Machine for Pigs guides players along the bloody processing line too strictly, removing the impact of interactivity.”