10/04/2024

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review 7.5/10 "An Outcast No More" ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐ŸŒด @OutcastGame #IndieGame #GameDev

Share This Post On Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share This Post On

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review
I’ve had a spotted history with Outcast, when it was originally released in 1999, I played it briefly over a friend’s house and was entranced by the world conjured and possibilities laid out. The unfortunate thing was, I didn’t have a PC that could really get the most out of it at the time, and I fell away from it – assuming that I’d return soon – but the next time I spent any time with the game was when I picked up Outcast: Second Contact in 2020, and, revisiting the game so long after release highlighted the sheer scope and imagination of developers Appeal Studios, along with the unavoidable fact that the design and mechanics were lodged in a transitory period of the third-person open-world genre, and had aged appropriately.

Thus, when I caught wind of this new entry in the franchise- pseudo-reboot, pseudo-revising, pseudo-revisiting pseudo-sequel – call it what you want – I was glad to discover that I feel that this I finally the most complete, accessible, and wonderful way to know the story of the impossibly named ‘Cutter Slade’, and appreciate the full scale of the dev’s vision. A vision set into motion almost thirty years ago.

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review

Whether you have any history with the franchise or not, this is a great time to dive in! Our story begins with the astonishingly named Cutter Slade teleporting onto an alien planet, outside a monolithic temple. After seeing some locals getting mowed down by a drop ship, he soon gets embroiled in the politics and machinations of the inhabitants of the planet – The Talans – as they fight back (or not, in most cases) against the human invaders.


If you have not yet laid eyes on the bewilderingly named Cutter Slade, imagine Michael from GTA 5...and stop there, really – as the character model is so similar. But imagine him in an orange jumper, with a jetpack, and an oddly honed sense of perspicacity (almost on a level with John David Washington’s character in Tenet), especially when it comes to alien languages, customs, locales, and requirements.


He’s quite a unique character that reminded a little of the protagonist of The Last Oricru in that they both have a pretty frank sense of humour and seem comfortably fatalist when you take into account the situations that they are thrown into, and the weight of importance that lies on their actions and choices.

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review

It works well within the context of the game, as the Talans throw around myriad alien terms for everything from poop and money to specific fruits, rituals, places and emotions. This leads me to one of my favourite aspects of the design – along with something else that I’ll get to next – the instant glossary. At any point through the many, many, MANY conversations – all good, all lore-building – you can hold the right trigger and highlighted terminology will be clarified and simplified, it is a fantastic way of letting the game run rampant with its internal logic and world-building, whilst always remaining accessible to players.


The second aspect that acted as a highlight of my time with the game was the movement and verticality on offer, I thoroughly enjoyed traversal in-game, especially as I unlocked extra boosts, glides, and bursts of speed. The combat also benefits from this, as it does feel up to the player in terms of how they approach the bases that need to be assaulted and looted of all goodies.

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review

Unfortunately, as much as there are really golden moments in the engaging lore of the world of Adelpha, humorous moments in the conversations, breath-taking swoops and dives as you explore the mountain ranges, jungles, deserts and oceans of the planet...there are other aspects that unavoidably bring the enjoyment to a halt. Aside from the unreliable frame rate (something I feel will be patched out soon enough, but I have to mention here), the missions – whilst initially starting off strong – eventually wore me down in the escort missions and reiterations of already completed quests, alongside an overarching sense that the human invaders – the main threat of the game – feel distant and almost an afterthought as you potter around doing seemingly menial tasks for the various towns, such as collecting fruit, or literally getting them booze so that they can get clattered. This sense of a lack of immediate threat hurts the main section of the game, which is where my love of the in-game traversal mechanics kept me ticking over. 


The music that accompanies your adventure is very John Williams-esque and on the nose in how it telegraphs your journey, although in doing so, it makes you feel a bit like Indiana Jones, which is nice.

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review

SUMMARY

Outcast: A New Beginning is a game that captivated me for a long time with a sense of discovery for the flora and fauna of the planet Adelpha. However, the sense of exploration and revelations just doesn’t hold up for the full length of the game, and far too soon, you’ll realise that you are effectively running escort missions, checkpoint races, and delivery quests over and over.


No amount of glorious traversal can paper over the sense of pedestrianism that creeps in the further into Outcast that you go, and that’s what hurts the most as there’s such a strong base here that feels like it isn’t quite fully realised.

Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox ReviewOutcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review

No comments:

Post a Comment

Like what you see in the Games Freezer?
Why not tell us what you think with a few well-chosen comments? :)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Games Freezer Top Posts
find