Review: The Outlast Trials Explained to Parents

Outlast Trials Featured EcranPartage

What parents need to know

The Outlast Trials is the third iteration of the Outlast horror survival game series developed by Red Barrels. This time around, the game features a multiplayer approach, a significant departure from previous games that focused primarily on a single-player experience. The plot takes place before that of the previous two games, during the Cold War, transporting players to an era where paranoia and uncertainty were commonplace.

The main appeal of The Outlast Trials lies in its cooperative gameplay. Players find themselves in the shoes of test subjects undergoing terrifying trials in the laboratories owned by the Murkoff Corporation. The player character must survive the various challenges, or “therapies”, initiated by the Corporation in order to accumulate resources and finally be able to escape. Cooperation between participants is crucial to surviving the horrors around them. The intricate puzzles, deadly enemies, and oppressive atmosphere are all elements that test communication and coordination between players.

Outlast Trials 03 Shared Screen

Over the course of the various “therapies”, the players, who are equipped only with night vision goggles and the few items collected during their mission, must complete extremely disturbing tasks, solve puzzles and avoid enemies. As in other Outlast games, the players have no weapons to defend themselves and must therefore use stealth and strategy to avoid enemies and hide, or cooperate with their teammates in order to create diversions.

Between therapies, or trials, players are repatriated to the Murkoff Corp labs (hub), where each player has a room that they can decorate as they wish. The player can also visit other players’ rooms online. Cosmetic items for the characters and the room are unlocked through exclusive matches and events. It is also where the player can change their basic equipment, improve their skills and meet other players, as well as face them in arm wrestling matches or chess games. It’s possible to do trials with strangers (the game features a fairly fast auto-matchmaking system), or invite your friends to create a team.

Outlast Trials 02 Shared Screen

If you already like and know other co-op games such as Deeprock Galactic, or similar horror games like Dead by Daylight, Left 4 Dead or Prop Night, you will quickly understand the features and become comfortable with the visual cues of the game.

Note that The Outlast Trials is a disturbing horror game and is therefore definitely not recommended for children.

*The game was offered to us free of charge for review purposes, but this does not influence our opinion.*

All images courtesy of Red Barrels.


Release date: 18 May 2023
Developer: Red Barrels
Publisher: Red Barrels
Available on: Steam PC
Available format: Digital
Version tested: Steam PC

Game genre: Horror, cooperation
Themes covered: Horror, torture
Duration of a game: 30 minutes
Duration of the main game/story: Unlimited
Total time to complete everything: Inconnue

Text languages: German, English, Simplified chinese, Traditional chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian,
Voice languages: English, French,

Number of local players: 1
Number of online players: 4

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+

The game is extremely violent and features scenes of intense gore, and urges the players to commit atrocities (torture, poisoning, etc.).

The game features nudity and associated graphic violence.

The game requires very little reading, other than to read a short one-line objective, and the language used is simple.

The game is not recommended for absolute beginners, as it requires a fairly advanced level of execution (moving the camera, activating objects while running, using and collecting items in the dark, etc.).

Local game modes

The game can be played offline in single-player mode only. Other extra-trial features, such as socializing with other players, playing chess or arm wrestling while waiting for therapy, etc. are not available offline.

Online Game Modes

Online, it is possible to carry out solo trials, or to create/integrate teams of up to four people.

The game is currently in Early Access on PC only, but the developers are promising a release on most consoles as well as a cross-play feature that will allow players on different platforms to play cooperatively on the same team.

Expansions/Add-ons (DLC)

There are no extensions at the moment.

Our opinion

The game delivers on its promise; Already, even in Early Access, it works wonderfully and has very little lag. Pairing with other players is pretty fast, and the gameplay experience is smooth. Visually, it’s a success. The environments are well-built and beautiful and the levels look huge. It’s easy to understand how objectives, markers, door latches, alarms, and traps work without explanation, which increases the immersive aspect of the game. No long tutorials or explanations are needed to understand the controls, everything is quite instinctive, whether you have played the other games in the Outlast series or not.

There’s a considerable amount of loading time when starting a new game and at the end of each game, when players return to the Murkoff Corp labs (there are even two loading screens, one to get to the briefing room, and a second to reach the destination). However, the levels themselves and the main hub don’t feature any areas that require a new loading screen for access, so everything is smooth and easily explorable.

Outlast Trials 04 Shared Screen
Visual of the loadout screen

Horror fans will be delighted: the game features a real sense of danger since it is impossible to defend against enemies. The only options are to run or hide. Communicating with hand signals with teammates is also an added challenge and adds significantly to the experience. Some features are reminiscent of the early Left 4 Dead games and remind us that horror classics are classics for a reason! All in all, the game is effective and promises hours of fun, with friends, solo, or with strangers.


About Myriam Baulne

Traductrice agréée aussi détentrice d'un DEC en animation 3D et synthèse d'images, Myriam est constamment à la recherche d'opportunités afin d'allier ses passions pour les jeux vidéo, les TTRPG et la rédaction. Armée d'un solide bagage journalistique, elle est outillée pour vous rapporter toute l'actualité et l'information sur vos jeux favoris.

View all posts by Myriam Baulne