Outcast is a fantastic action/adventure released by Infogrames and Appeal Entertainment. It received good press but also a few criticisms due to its lack of support for 3D accelerators. This is because the developer opted to use Voxel graphics technology which were unsupported by cards at the time. This gave the game a unique graphic style and a neat organic look but was also lead to it being very processor hungry, so on the standard PC of the time it tended to chug along a little. With today?s high-end Celerons and PIII's though the game runs like a dream even at full detail so if you missed it first time around go out and grab a copy now. |
The basic plot is that scientists have been working on an experimental means of punching a hole through to alternate dimensions. After finally succeeding in doing so, things go dreadfully wrong with the probe sent through to this alternate world, and not only has the portal remained open, it is sucking the earth into the hole. Enter Cutter Slade, broad shouldered, square jawed, wise cracking navy seal. Basically your stereotypical hero type! ;) His job is to safeguard the three scientists being sent through the portal to find the probe and close the rift. From the moment of arrival things don?t go as planned, and Slade is left on his own with only the barest of equipment and no idea where the three scientists or the probe might be.
Unlike some titles I could name, Outcast blends action and adventure together quite smoothly and while none of the puzzles hark back to say, the Babel fish in Hitchhiker?s Guide to The Galaxy, they fit seamlessly into the plot and never seem out of place. Most of the plot unfolds through conversations and the voice acting throughout the game is consistently high quality. The various quests and tasks you will go on are suitably interesting and engaging enough to keep you playing to the end.
Action sequences are likewise handled deftly and it can be quite tense and exiting to assault an enemy position while the soldiers behave with plausible intelligence, seeking cover to fire from or trying to flank you. As you slowly recover your equipment over the course of the game you will become quite formidable and as each weapon has three upgrade modes there is quite a selection. I can?t write a review of this game without mentioning the music. Performed by the Moscow symphony orchestra Outcast has one of the most breathtaking themes of any game I have played. Period. Each zone has its own theme that adequately suits the atmosphere of the environment. The music is dynamic and will change to suit the situation, become tense and oppressive when you are in danger in combat for example.
Overall the game does a marvelous job of making the player feel like they are in an alien world with a native language that will take a little getting used to, a variety of bizarre creatures and a suitably surreal environment. I found this game to be engrossing to the extent that I played nothing else until I had solved it. Two alien thumb equivalents up!Reviewed by: Mandrake42