Outcast - A New Beginning

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Outcast - A New Beginning review


The return of Cutter Slade

A new beginning for everyone

I'll admit that I have not played an Outcast game before. I remember seeing it in video game magazines when I was a kid and seeing it on the store shelves at Circuit City (rest in peace), But, alas, I never had the fortune of playing it. It was 1999, you see, and if I was going to be able to buy a game, it was going to be for my N64. We had a PC that may have been able to run it, but it was the family computer and I wasn't allowed to download anything on it. My time with Outcast, tragically, wasn't to be. The millennium came, and once the relief set in that the Y2K virus wasn't going to explode our little family computer, we moved on. I moved on, in particular, to the PS2, and Outcast became a distant memory. Years went by and Outcast got itself a sequel and even a remake in 2017, and I was none the wiser. Fast forward to 2024, I'm a dad now, I coach my son's soccer team, and I work a 9 to 5, which means I own the computer now, and I can download whatever I want on it! When Outcast - A New Beginning started making the rounds, my ears perked up. The original Outcast had piqued my interest, so was it now my time to delve into the world of Adelpha? It was.

Glorious setting

The first thing I noticed when getting into the game was how beautiful the environments looked. Developed by Appeal Studios on Unreal Engine 4, the world is covered with vibrant flora, reminding me of Pandora from the film Avatar. There are more similarities to Avatar, such as a human soldier on an alien world helping it's natives fight against his own kind, but what sets it apart from Avatar is where Outcast - A New Beginning really shines. Yes, this game has a smaller budget - some might put this in the 'Double A' landscape in contrast to the big budget AAA games from bigger publishers - but luckily enough, Appeal Studios made it work. There's a lot of talking, sometimes whole quests can feel like "talk to this person who will tell you to talk to this other person" but the dialogue should rarely be missed. The characters are often fun and funny, with my favourite being an old near-deaf Talan (the alien race that inhabits Adelpha in this dimension) named Kureg, whom you meet early on in the game. It's full of jokes where he mishears what you tell him, in comedic fashion, of course, only to immediately reiterate what you just said. He's crotchety yet charming.

Traversal is also surprisingly fun, all thanks to your handy jet pack. It's unlocked early on, but doesn't really shine until you upgrade it. By the time I had it fully upgraded, I barely touched the ground. Wing gliding through Adelpha and then slowmo shooting down drones, then landing into a speedy hover mere inches from the ground just feels great and is a testament to the teams efforts.


Unfortunately, not all is perfect in the land of Adelpha. One side effect of the lower budget means that some quests have to suffer. Feeling a lot like busywork to pad out the length of the game, a few quests feel down right archaic is design. Quests will often involve such tasks as playing escort to a hatchling sky creature as it takes a stroll, or collecting 10 drool samples from an alien horse-like creature to return to a villager. Take out whimsy and all you're left with is an escort mission and a fetch quest. Gaming outgrew these tropes as a whole for at least 10 years now. Luckily enough, as rote these quests feel, they never stay too long and are fairly easy. You'll rarely die to the swarms of drones you face or run out of time gathering something.

Hoping to head back out there

Everything Outcast does, it does just well enough. That may sound like a knock against it, but I promise you it's not. It's incredibly hard to make a good game with any budget at any studio. What Appeal did is make a good game that does just enough to keep you playing. In a landscape where every game is either highly polished or barely functioning, it's great to see something that sets a goal and delivers. Outcast: A New Beginning is a prime example of why we need 'Double A' games. I have no nostalgia for Outcast as, as stated previously, that ship sailed long ago, but should you, intrepid reader, journey into its wilds? That all comes down to personal taste, but for me, I'm glad I got my chance to travel to Adelpha. It was fun and hopefully someday I get a chance to go back.

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fun score


Jetpack traversal, beautiful environments, funny characters


Tired quest design