Red Barrels has announced The Outlast Trials, a game set in the same universe as — but not a sequel to — the rather terrifying Outlast games. We’ve only got a brief blurb and a piece of key art to go on. That said, we can draw some interesting bits from this without needing to go into wild theories.
Outlast your friends
Right now, we know that The Outlast Trials will be set in the Cold War. Considering previous Outlast games noted that the villainous Murkoff Corporation was involved in MKUltra, we can probably expect that stuff to rear its head here. All things considered, I suspect “trials” in the name is referencing medical trials.
We also know that The Outlast Trials will allow players to take on the horrors solo or with up to three friends. Co-op play is very definitely a thing here. I’m personally hoping that the game will be just as playable and enjoyable solo as in co-op.
That said, this isn’t a VR game. Yes, I know — the people in the key art look like they’re wearing retro VR goggles, but I’m afraid Red Barrels has already nixed that idea. In the announcement on Facebook, the team noted, “And no, the game is not VR.” Those are perhaps night-vision goggles instead, to avoid finding an explanation for people in (probably unwilling) trials to tote around a camcorder.
This is likely the project that Red Barrels teased on Facebook ages ago. Back in 2017, another Facebook post indicated that the Red Barrels team was working on “something a lot of [players] have been asking for,” which was a “distinct experience set in the Outlast universe.” At the time, the team was trialing it to see if it could work. With this announcement, it seems they’re confident they’ve got it sorted.
The Outlast Trials is still in the early stages of production, so don’t expect it anytime soon. Regardless of when it launches, I’m fairly certain it’ll scare the hell out of me because I’m a complete coward.