'The Outlast Trials' brings multiplayer to survival horror franchise

Three people, as well as a possible fourth, are depicted on debut artwork for 'The Outlast Trials.'

The "Outlast" survival horror franchise is continuing through "The Outlast Trials," set during the Cold War, and introducing multiplayer to the series.

"No, the game is not VR," the studio behind successful horror franchise "Outlast" reassured fans commenting on its Facebook page announcement.

A first image for "The Outlast Trials" depicts three test subjects wearing night vision apparatus, though this picture illustrates this new game's multiplayer aspect rather than any exclusivity to virtual reality headsets.

Fans could be forgiven for any apprehension, given the "Outlast" games' notoriously immersive nature and a recent reveal for "Half-Life: Alyx" as a VR exclusive.

Set during the Cold War era, a historical period that lasted from the end of World War II to the late 1980s, "The Outlast Trials" offers an opportunity for players to experience a new chapter of the "Outlast" franchise "by themselves or with fellow test subjects."

David Chateauneuf, co-founder of Canadian game studio Red Barrels, confirmed that a proof of concept has been completed and the team would now be focusing on "content creation, variety... and gore."

Established by Chateaneuf and two fellow developers from "Prince of Persia" and "Assassin's Creed" studio Ubisoft Montreal, Red Barrels has released two "Outlast" games to date.

The first, debuting in 2013, took place within a mental hospital, while the 2017 sequel was instead situated within a remote town occupied by a religious cult; both are connected by a devious and cruel research company, the Murkoff Corporation, whose terrifying deeds the player discovers over the course of each game.

Red Barrels did not project a release date for "The Outlast Trials," rather specifying that this third game should not be treated as if it were "Outlast 3"; its setting suggests players could expect even more background on Murkoff's origins compared to "Outlast" prequel expansion "The Whistleblower."

Neither were target platforms announced for the new game, though Red Barrels' previous games are both available across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch; meanwhile, both PlayStation and Xbox are intending to release new consoles late on in 2020, as Google Stadia continues rolling out its streaming service over the course of the year.