Amnesia: The Dark Descent vs. Outlast

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean These are the modern horror masterpieces that reminded us why we’re afraid of the dark. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this installment of versus we’re pitting Amnesia: The Dark Descent against Outlast to see which is scarier of the two video games. What did you think of this list? Submit your ideas four our next video at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Amnesia: The Dark Descent vs. Outlast


These are the modern horror masterpieces that reminded us why we’re afraid of the dark. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this instalment of versus we’re pitting Amnesia: The Dark Descent against Outlast to see which is scarier of the two video games.

Round 1: Story


In Amnesia you awaken in the seemingly abandoned Castle of Brennenburg, an amnesia stricken Englishman by the name of Daniel must venture deep into the darkness of the stronghold to not only recover his lost memories, but also outrun the monsters that inhabit the castle. As he begins to put the pieces together, Daniel’s own morality comes into question, not to mention the reveal of an artefact known as the Orb, whose overwhelming power threatens to tear open to fabric of time and space itself.

In Outlast you play an investigative journalist called Miles, who infiltrates the Mount Massive Asylum, after receiving a message about the atrocities committed there. What he finds is that the inmates have taken over, and not only are they violent and insane, but experimentation has turned them into hideous creatures that want nothing more than to kill. Only able to run and record the horrors he finds, Miles must try to escape while coming face to face with the likes of the grotesque Chris Walker, sadistic Dr Trager and the enigma known as Project Walrider.

The Dark Descent certainly starts off strong as the frightening nature of the castle and the mystery of Daniel’s amnesia, butOutlast’s non-stop scare train of a story not only keeps us terrified but also intrigued as we struggled to survive, leading to a bittersweet but oddly fitting conclusion.

WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent 0 / Outlast 1

Round 2: Gameplay


In Amnesia, the darkness is just as much of a threat, so in order to survive players must keep their lantern lit at all times with oil and tinder to keep their sanity at a steady level. As for the monsters, there’s no way to fight back against them, so the only chance players have is to run. A great deal of time is also spent on exploration and puzzle solving. In order to progress players must often find a way to start various mechanisms, search for notes in order to recover Daniel’s memories and as well as the history of the Orb.

In Outlast, Miles’ lifeline is his video camera, more specifically the night-vision setting that allows him to see and incoming Variant. As such, finding batteries is a must. The gameplay is much more linear in nature, but the claustrophobic setting, abundance of enemies and fast-pace ensures that each level is never a chore. Much more focus if given to the running and hiding mechanic, since you’ll often have a murderer on your tail. More often than not the only thing standing between you and your death is a single locker.

The uneasiness we feel when entering a new room while hunting for tinder does work to Amnesia’s advantage, but there’s no denying that Outlast’s gameplay is far more polished, especially when it comes to the bread and butter of any horror game; running like hell.

WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent 0 / Outlast 2

Round 3: Level Design


Castle Brennenburg is not a place you want to spend a weekend at. The rustic feel of the stone walls and age-old rooms might not seem that scary, but as soon as you start heading down to the lower levels you’ll find there is a lot to be afraid of. Rooms built for torture, corridors crawling with Gatherers, and of course the infamous flooded cellar, home to the invisible beast that responds to the slightest movement. Even the less grisly features such as the dark forest outside the castle only highlight just how alone and vulnerable you really are.

On the other hand, Mount Massive Asylum is a place that has gone to the dogs, and evidence of that can be seen across every blood-soaked wall. Most of the wards blend together, housing the traumatised and murderous inmates, though some notable exceptions include the rundown prison where you meet the terrifying (and naked) twins, as well as the location of Project Walrider. It may be a lot cleaner but its little consolation when there’s a vengeful, artificial spirt out to rip you apart from the inside.

Outlast’s levels definitely serve their purpose in creating a toxic and fearful atmosphere, but the sheer amount of variety you’ll find in Amnesia is bound to stick with you for longer. You’ll be having nightmares of that flooded cellar long after you’ve turned the game off.

WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent 1 / Outlast 2

Round 4: Legacy


What Amnesia gave the gaming community almost overshadows the game itself. Despite spawning a rather mediocre sequel in the form of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the inclusion of a custom story feature allowed players to put their own imprint on the series with spin-off games of their own making. As such there are hundreds of custom stories out that that range from decent to astounding. As a horror game, the Dark Descent will always be fondly remembered, but perhaps its greatest contribution was encouraging the creativity of its fans.

No such custom stories exist for Outlast, but what we did get is a DLC on par if not better than the original. There’s also a much anticipated sequel on the horizon, and from its demo it’s pretty much assured to scare the pants off us. In Outlast: Whistleblower, players take on the role of the software engineer working on Project Walrider who sent Miles the tip about the terrible goings on. If you need proof as to why this stands above the rest, you need look no further than the character of Eddie Gluskin.

While Outlast certainly offered an excellent follow up, you just can’t compete with hundreds of spinoffs all based around one game.

WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 / Outlast 2

Round 5: Scare Factor


The Gatherers and the Unseen Water Monster have become modern classics in video game horror. Accompanied by that ear-piercing scream, many a gamer was left terrified when they saw that gapingly mouthed monstrosity limping their way towards them. Along with the threat of The Shadow randomly appearing in the form of fleshy residue to block the player’s way, there was plenty of scares to go around.
However once you enter the asylum of Outlast, the game pretty much becomes a buffet of heart attacks. From all the random inmates leaping out at you, Chris Walker and the Twins constantly hunting you down, and yes, the infamous encounter with dear old Dr Trager, who kindly cuts your fingers off with a giant pair of scissors. Whether it’s the jump-scares, the visceral imagery or the genuine fear of who or what is around the next corner, there is never a moment in Outlastwhere you let your guard down.

Amnesia has several iconic scares that no player will forget in a hurry, but it can’t compete with the ferocity and frequency ofOutlast’s; practically every single one of them hit their mark.

WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 / Outlast 3

Outlasting the descent into darkness by just a hair, we have to give the crown of scares to Red Barrel’s magnum opus.
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