Outcast
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Wednesday, 19 July 2006
An elite team of scientists is sent into recover a probe that went missing during a travel to a parallel universe. The probe ripped open a black hole that threatens earth, finding the probe is essential for the survival of mankind.

Cutter Slade is the main character in the game and the leader of the scientists. Unfortunately your team scatters upon arrival in the parallel universe and you are left on your own in the beginning.

The very first environment of the game is a mountain village filled with mysterious creatures dressed in capes. In the village you will learn the background story of Outcast and go through a tutorial level (which you can’t skip). The mysterious creatures offer their help to find the probe in exchange for you obtaining five relics. Pretty soon you also discover that a cruel dictator oppressing his people rules the parallel universe.

Appeal managed to throw together a solid background story, which intrigues and inspires during the game play. It’s a well-balanced story, that you follow or skip parts of if you rather want some action.

The universe (Adelpha) is quite fun to explore. It’s large enough with five vast continents containing deserts, jungles, ancient cities and rice patties. A notable part of the game is the big desert city with lots of guards, merchants and life.

All of the inhabitants in Adelpha seems as if they have a life on their own. They are out chopping firewood, selling stuff, going to places and talking. In some adventure games the characters just stand there waiting to be talked to, this is not the case in Outcast.

The enemies are quite intelligent and they range from soldiers (of different ranks) to huge dragon like monsters. You really feel like you are fighting against intelligent opponents when getting into trouble with the local armed forces. They move and shoot almost like real soldiers, covering each other.

Outcast was quite innovative graphically when it came in 1999. It was the first game to combine a voxel landscape with polygons (usually characters and buildings). Overall the graphics are still ok with today’s standards, they lack some detail though.

A major nuance with Outcast is the camera that trails the character. It’s often hard to navigate and it often moves into strange positions. Combined with that Slade’s movements aren’t always that smooth can cause headaches. Actually it can cause more than a headache, it also degrades the game play.

The soundtrack is quite impressive and powerful (performed by the Moscow Orchestra). However it’s sometimes hard to see that the music fits with the contexts, from my view the soundtrack has too much classical influence to fit in.

Outcast is a huge adventure game; it has a great story that only gets better as the game hum a long. The camera and character movements could have been better done. They cause a lot of problems; it’s also why this game fails to get the highest score.


Related: Myst, Tomb Raider, Simon the Sorcerer
Developer: Appeal
Website for Game: http://www.outcast-thegame.com/
Publisher: Infogrames
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1999

Requirements:
Pentium II 500 MHz
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card, Windows XP




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