*Warning: This mini-review contains spoilers for Outlast as well as the Whistleblower DLC. Read at your own discretion.*
The Outlast: Whisleblower DLC is story based and takes place before, during and after the core game. It begins with Waylon Park, a software engineer working with the Murkoff Corporation in Mount Massive Asylum, composing and sending the e-mail to Outlast’s main character Miles Upshur about the need to expose the Murkoff Corporation. This is the same e-mail that is read at the beginning of the core game, the one that brings Upshur to Mount Massive Asylum in the first place. Shortly after sending the e-mail, Park’s deception is discovered and he is unwillingly admitted to the asylum and forced to be exposed to the Morphogenic Engine. Before the tests go too far, the Walrider breaks free causing massive amounts of havoc and chaos. This allows Park to escape confinement, but not before he grabs a camcorder.
The gameplay is basically the same as it was in the core game; running away and hiding from enemies is the only way to survive. The only item that you have with you is the camcorder, which allows you to record occurrences and see in the dark via the use of night-vision. Throughout the DLC you will come across instances that will cause Park to write in his notebook, mostly to his wife Lisa about what he is going through. There are also documents to collect, as was the case in the core game, that shed light on the narrative’s bigger picture. The Whistleblower DLC features some very gruesome scenes including those involving mutilation, torture and cannibalism. This only added to the overall sense of impending doom and horror that comes along with playing this particular DLC. At one point, Park is crippled upon a fall down an elevator shaft. He limps around for the rest of the game which makes the gameplay a little more challenging than it was in the core game for a decent period of time. Due to the fact that the character is slower, you have to make more intelligent decisions since running away is next to impossible when facing a faster enemy.
Waylon Park has one goal throughout the Whistleblower DLC: To escape Mount Massive alive. He treks about various locations on his mission to escape, some of these areas will be familiar while others are completely new. Towards the beginning you find yourself in the underground lab area of the asylum but soon you venture outdoors then back into the asylum, going through new and old areas the entire way – it’s a good mix of familiarity and newness. Due to the time frame in relation to the core game we see things taking place that had already occurred or are occurring when playing as Miles Upshur. Such instances as the chapel burning down after Father Martin burns himself alive, for example.
The enemies you face are mostly new with the exception of one or two short run-ins. Throughout the first half or so Park must avoid coming across a bearded cannibal named Frank Manera. He attempts to kill Park with a buzzsaw and then eat him; it’s obviously imperative that you avoid contact with him. After leaving the general area you start in and heading outside you lose Manera for the rest of the game. The second half or so features Eddie Gluskin as the main villain. He is known for torturing and mutilating his prisoners in order to make them female so that he may “spread his seed”. Some of his victims are cut clean in half while others seem to die from massive blood loss and/or multiple stab wounds. At one point he captures Park, strips his clothes off, and attempts to cut off his genitals with a table saw. Luckily Park is saved from certain death when Gluskin is attacked by another inmate, but that is not the last of him. You spend most of the rest of the game hiding and running from Gluskin. At one point you face Chris Walker, the large antagonist from the core game, as well as the Walrider who played a part in Outlast. There are also various inmates who will try to attack Park throughout which helps to assure you that you are never safe in Mount Massive.
The DLC wraps up as the paramilitary forces arrive at the asylum to take out Miles Upshur, as was seen at the end of Outlast. Park makes his way out the front door and over to Upshur’s vehicle. At this point you see a shadowy figure leaving the asylum, which is assumed to be Miles Upshur’s Walrider-infused body, just before breaking the gates down and escaping. Park is then able to upload the incriminating information on the Murkoff Corporation, even though it leaves him and his family at risk, just before the DLC comes to a close.
Overall I found Whistleblower to be everything that I was looking for, as far as narrative DLC for Outlast is concerned. It helped to tie up the loose ends and explain more about what really happened at Mount Massive Asylum. There was enough diversity in the environments and well as in the antagonists to separate it from the core game, it felt like an extension but not a copy with a different protagonist. I’d highly recommend Whistleblower to anyone who has played through and enjoyed Outlast as it is really a gem of a DLC.
Outlast: Whistleblower is available now on the PlayStation 4 and PC for the price of $8.99.