The Outlast Trials – Review
Follow Genre: Horror, Multiplayer
Developer: Red Barrels
Publisher: Red Barrels
Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC, PS5

The Outlast Trials – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Simple multiplayer fun
Bad: Lack of content, Could have used a bit more enemy variety
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Outlast Trials was released via Early Access under a year ago on Steam, and developer Red Barrels has been working on the title ever since. After a lot of updates and new additions, the game has been fully released on Steam, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S. Even though we have been actively playing the game for a while now, we were curious to see what the full release had to offer. While for the most part, things have remained unchanged, we still quite enjoyed ourselves.


In terms of story, not much has changed compared to the Early Access version of The Outlast Trials. You’ll be playing as an unnamed character who goes to the Murkoff Facility with the promise of getting a better life when doing so. Sadly, you did not know you would be taking part in horrendous trials, mutilation, and brainwashing sessions to allow you to become ‘reborn’. You’ll meet a few NPCs in the facility, but there’s never really a notion of a narrative to tie all the different trials together. You can find some documents scattered around the levels in order to give you a bit more background information, but that’s basically it. While we would have loved a meatier overarching story, the overall atmosphere makes up for a lot, and with its multiplayer focus, we didn’t mind the absence of an engaging narrative that much.


The Outlast Trials nails the horror aesthetic to a T, and we can immediately suggest avoiding this title if you can’t handle a lot of gore, nudity, and other upsetting images. If this is your thing, however, you’ll have a field day with what this title has to offer. The levels are all designed with a specific theme in mind, such as a prison facility, a courthouse, a carnival, and so on. There are quite a few fun details to uncover, but the stages only have a few interactable elements, such as hiding spots, items for your objectives, and a few collectibles. We very much liked the game’s overall dirty and gritty appearance, and the enemy designs were superbly handled. Even so, the overall scare factor does wear off quickly as The Outlast Trials only has a handful of different enemy types. Your player character can also wear a plethora of different outfits, all fitting for the game’s theme.


In terms of sound design, The Outlast Trials does further heighten the overall creepy atmosphere. The game does not really have any background music, so you’ll have to make do with environmental noises that come from opening doors, traps being triggered, mines exploding, and so on. These are all fairly standard sound effects, but it’s mainly the talking of the creepy abominations that lurk in the dark that will put you on edge. You’ll hear screams from mutilated enemies, the rambling of insane killers, and even the heavy footsteps of the almost giant-like humanoid creatures who are out to kill you. The limited voice acting that is present in the game is also professionally handled.


The Outlast Trials is an online multiplayer first-person horror game in which you’ll have to run through sick and perverted so-called therapy sessions. This essentially means that you’ll have to complete a set of objectives in enclosed areas to make it out alive with your allies. Team play supports up to four players, and the game can also be played with players on other platforms. The latter does immediately increase the player base if you wish to play with random people. While levels can still be tackled solo, The Outlast Trials truly shines when you can play the game with a group of friends. Be warned, however, the final trial has to be played solo.

Truth be told, other than just playing through the levels, completing objectives, and gaining experience, The Outlast Trials is a fairly straightforward title. You will encounter a few gimmicks in a few missions, but for the most part, you have to collect items to open doors or ultimately escape the level. You can opt to be stealthy, rewarding you with a better completion grade, or you can be careless to divert all the attention from your teammates. As you gain more experience when you complete these so-called trials, you can unlock passive upgrades or upgrade your ‘rig’. This rig is an active skill with a cooldown timer you can use. If you are playing with people you know, you can pick different rigs, giving you a more diverse party. You’ll also earn money for level completion, and you can use this to buy cosmetic upgrades for your character or your room in the Murkoff Facility.

Even though The Outlast Trials is technically a horror title, it’s also quite hilarious when multiple people are panicking at the same time. The game does give you a healthy dose of stress when completing trials, but it never gets too scary either, especially when all players are running around in a frenzied panic. We did notice that compared to the Early Access version things got considerably easier to get to the point that you’re allowed to leave the facility. To leave, however, you’ll have to play through the final trial alone, which ramps up the difficulty significantly. When you are ‘reborn’, however, more content unlocks. While this sounds like fun, you’ll once again find yourself playing through the same set of levels with a higher difficulty and other mutators. The balance can be a bit off at times due to random enemy spawns, but all in all, the game proves to be quite manageable. We would have liked a bit more enemy variety as well, as the game holds hardly any surprises after beating only a few of the game’s 15-ish levels.

The biggest issue with The Outlast Trials is not that the game doesn’t play nicely, as it’s a highly polished experience, but there is a certain repetitiveness that kicks in before you reach a high level. We already had a higher level character thanks to our playtime during the Early Access period, but even so, you’ll have seen all the levels before you even reach the halfway mark of the level cap. The game is sorely lacking more trials, and due to this, we don’t see potential players play this title for months to come. As a result, the player base will dwindle fairly quickly.


Even though The Outlast Trials is a bit light on content, and it would have been great to have a more expansive story, it does nail its overall multiplayer co-op horror experience. We very much enjoyed playing through the different trials, and we can see ourselves returning to the game occasionally when new content is released or when new events are underway. Sadly, with its limited amount of content, we do suggest that when you pick this title up you have a set of friends to play the game with, as we wouldn’t be surprised that the player base quickly declines. All in all, The Outlast Trials is an entertaining experience that is very much worth looking into.

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The Outlast Trials – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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