Outward is an open world RPG with survival elements mixed in, now I’ve enjoyed some games with survival mechanics more than others but overall, I can’t say that I’ve had the best experiences with them so I was a little worried.
The first thing that struck me once I got into the game is that the graphics looked a little dated, where we are in the current generation, we have seen some spectacular games in the last 12 months and this isn’t one of them.
Within a few minutes of setting up my character the game had committed one of my cardinal sins and really upset me by giving me an achievement for 1 point, just to rub salt in the wound the only other achievement that can fix this horrific act is completing all of the three questlines of the game which will reward you with an achievement for 99 points.
Now this wouldn’t be a problem if the game sucked you in and made you want to play through the game to completion, the issue here is that I am not that kind of masochist.
The game is beset by bugs and issues, the survival mechanics rapidly become a grind, the stamina system is badly balanced especially in the early stages until you level up your character, the fighting system is floaty and uninspiring which in turn causes issues when you get attacked by a random bandit who kills you in 5 seconds flat.
Ultimately all of these issues make the game a real frustration to play, things do improve as you increase your level and especially when you start to learn magic but you really need to grind to get to the level you want to be at and when everything else is so janky in the game it puts you off.
One feature I thought was an interesting idea was the ability to play with another player in split screen both locally and remotely which did seem to make the combat more balanced, even though the enemies did scale up a bit they still seemed more beatable with two, this was possibly down to the fact that the enemy AI seemed to get confused quite easily as to who it should target first.
I ended up travelling to and from the same places, drinking, eating and sleeping along with fighting and getting killed by randomly powerful enemies and not really seeming to get anywhere significant, this was the biggest problem of all for me, there is so much in the game but just none of it stands out as the best feature and nothing generates any real enjoyment.
Overall I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone other than the most die hard RPG fans, there are some decent flashes of ideas in there such as the magic but everything and I mean everything in the game is a grind and lacked enjoyment for me.
With thanks to Koch Media for the Review code.