Outcast: Second Contact – Xbox One Review
Outcast: Second Contact
Barely a week goes by without another open world game being hailed as the next big thing but step back in time and it was a different story. Outcast was the first 3D open world game and it’s this game that spawned so many pretenders to the throne. Many failed restarts over the last few years have been thwarted for many different reasons. Now we find ourselves in 2017 and as with all games of a certain age it’s entered into remastered territory. I was very sceptical about how Outcast would hold up after all these years. So let’s find out if the world of Adelpha can still hold its own.
The U.S. Government has begun experimenting with matter and antimatter to help them in their quest to seek out new worlds. In 2007 they finally succeeded in creating a stable portal and when they sent a probe through to determine what life was like on the other side it was shot down by lifeforms unknown. This release of energy sends a shockwave back to earth which begins to create a black hole that threatens to destroy the earth in 25 days.
It’s at this point the we are introduced to Cutter Slade an ex U.S. Navy SEAL. The only way to save the Earth is to send Cutter back through the portal to recover the probe and bring it home before our world is destroyed. We’re not going blood though.
Professor William Kaufman, Anthony Xue and Marion Wolfe are sent along with us and each has their own chequered pasts. Unfortunately Cutter gets separated from the others and finds himself in a strange village surrounded by aliens who believe he is the
Ulukai who has been sent to save their planet from destruction.
You soon learn that you must find five Mons which are hidden around Adelpha and conquer the evil ruler of Adelpha, Fae Rhan. This is where your training begins and the camp is your training ground where you learn the games moves and inventory. These trials ease you into the control scheme and once completed Zokrym will open a portal which you can use to travel to new regions as you begin your quest.
As you would expect from a game like this most of the time you’re going to be quests while travelling from one region to the next. There are numerous side quests to complete as well. These missions and side quests help your reputation which gets better over time if you complete them and this will lead to clues being revealed to you regarding the locations of the Mon.
As you progress throughout the game NPC’s will ask you to complete various missions for them. This all sounds very familiar but the difference here is this is an old school game and these characters are not marked out for you on a map like they are these days. There is no indication on screen that directs you to them either. There is a hint on the mini-map though because each character is represented by a different colour.
You’ll have to take your time exploring the land to find these characters. It feels a bit unfair to begin with but once you get into it it’s actually a nice change from the obvious arrows or brightly lit pathways that guide you step by step to wherever you need to go to these days.
By now you’re probably thinking that this sound like every other action game you’ve played before and to an extent you’re right. You can’t just bound around everywhere though. This game has limits and you have to remember that it’s a remaster of a very old PC game. If you see a flight of stairs you should use them. They are there for a reason and you won’t get very far if you don’t. They are there for a reason and that reason is because you should.
The control scheme here is slow and by slow I mean laborious. Everything seems to take a lot longer than it should do so it’s a shame that the old school control scheme hadn’t been updated yes this generation and I think it’s way to clumsy for this generation of gamers to put up with. It took me a while to adjust to it but once I was in the flow it was fine. It just took me a while to get use to it.
As you unlock new regions you bay you can buy various new weaponry and upgrades. These upgrades enhance your current weapons abilities making them much more powerful. As you play along you will also pick up various items which you can sell or change into ammunition. You get a seemingly limitless amount of space to carry as much as you want which means plenty of ammunition for your weapon.
These days we are all use to respawning enemies when we leave an area and come back to it but not here. Anyone you kill here stays dead. This means you can pretty much wipe the world clean of any NPC’s you come across. It’s an old school mechanic that I miss because there is nothing worse that cleaning out an area only to go back a while later and it’s densely populated again.
The soundtrack fits Outcasts world perfectly. It crescendos in all to right places and becomes almost mystical. It is a triumph and it still stands the test of time today. The voice acting on the other hand is pretty abysmal and that’s all I will say about that.
Outcast has been overhauled completely and the graphics look great apart from the strange oil painting opening which I don’t remember being in the original. There’s a sheen to everything and it won’t blow you away compared to something like Rise of the Tomb Raider but us looks far better now than it ever has.
Outcast: Second Contact is still the same game I remember all those years ago and for me that’s enough. The problem is I don’t think that there is enough there for this generation of gamers. Nothing here makes the game stand out and the sloppy controls and dreadful voice acting will be enough to turn most people off straight away. The game world is impressive though and there is plenty to do. The lack of hand holding also adds to the games longevity. If you remember the original this is well worth another go but newcomers might not appreciate the games nostalgic appeal.
Developers: Appeal SA
Publishers: Big Ben Interactive
Review code supplied by Dead Good Media