Outcast 2: A New Beginning


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Outcast, the CPU-only voxel engine-powered open world game with beautiful music and appropriate amounts of eurojank, released in 1999 and blew my 14-year-old mind. I vowed to adore the game for life. It reviewed well, but a lack of PR in the US meant Outcast would always remain a European cult hit.

Outcast 2 got cancelled circa 2002, as the move toward console development stalled and publisher Infogrames was slowly but surey imploding itself. With the cancellation of Outcast 2, developer Appeal would eventually fade away as well.

Outcast got updated (these days that'd be called a remaster) to Outcast 1.1 for a GOG release, allowing high resolutions and fixing most bugs that hadn't been seen to previously. A shimmer of hope appeared that there was more on the cards for this game.

In 2017, Outcast got properly remastered as Outcast: Second Contact. New graphics, but otherwise identical to the original. That this actually made it out the door basically confirmed that a sequel was in development.

Now, it looks like Outcast 2 will be releasing in 2023, two decades after the original game. Lenny Moore returns to score the title, original developers are back on board for similar amounts of jank, and the trailer looks more like Advent Rising Remade than Outcast, but there you have it. I'm getting my sequel, and that's all I need for everything to be right in the world. :heart:

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Nice. I never played the original but did play Second Contact. I liked it enough that if I rewound time and played it in 1999, it would seem groundbreaking. However, after playing masterpieces like Skyrim and The Witcher 3, I felt the gameplay didn't hold up.

I think a modern recreation of that alternate universe with all of its unique lore could be amazing.
This has now released and there is a free demo on steam

I've only tried the freeroam part of the demo for the 20min time limit... and I didn't really like it. I especially didn't like how when you glide in the air... you can't steer with the the mouse... but when you hover on the ground you can... felt very off putting.

*late edit*
It is also -vert for Ultrawide beyond 21:9. You you will need to modify the engine.ini with the text below to fix that issue.


INI Location for the game: X:\Users\*UserName*\Appdata\Local\O2\Saved_demo\Config\WindowsNoEditor
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Played and finished it. My verdict is: well it's just okay. 6-7 / 10

Starts bad, generally a bit clunky in terms of presentation. Story is rarely funny even though it tries a lot. Starts to become somewhat endearing by the end.

Combat is pretty easy on normal, weapon mods can let you change how they act (shotgun / sniper etc) but there wasn't enough variety.

Movement is good, eventually, after being very clunky at the start. Once you get like 4 charges and glide and jet glide, it's decent enough to zip around the world. But by then the story is nearly over.

Most quests are not that good, many are fetch tasks (get 5 fruit or find 5 mushrooms) so it seems quite generic and boring. They also have a lot of back and forth nonsense, even in the same town.

Open world activities are pretty limited. You have gork nests which are just small combat encounters but you can barely see anything because the gork nests have all this junk around them. Orym trails are platforming sections, totally trivial when you have all movement powers. Essence shrines are chases, which is kinda just doing the same thing but quicker and with less obstacles. (Temples are just many chases which gets really boring). Bases are combat zones, you just activate terminals in any order and shoot the generator. AI is not that smart but action is pretty rapid.

Imo the game needed more depth, better quests, bit more general polish, more variety to open world activities. But near the end I mostly was enjoying myself just cruising around doing the quick activities.
I tried to play the first one several times but just found the art style too goofy and the gameplay uninteresting. Guess I'll watch some charismatic gameplay videos and try to appreciate it that way. <shrug>
From the taste I got from the demo... the price they are asking is out to lunch. It felt like a $20 dollar game that wanted to be more, but doesn't quuuuite hit it. So maybe $25 or $30 bux would be fair. So it's a hardpass for me at it's current price.
I haven't finished it yet, but here are my first thoughts:

Returning to Adelpha is absolutely fantastic for a life-long fan like me. There are some weird changes the game has made to canon (for as far as the one game from 25 years ago can still be canon), and I'm not yet sure how they've combined the first game's story and the second. Amnesia is doing some heavy lifting here, that's for sure.

The world is beautiful to roam, but is also a little generic: there's just a tad too much space in-between locations and activities, and too few different activities, for the early game. It's clear this was designed for the movement options (glider) you get a few hours into the game. That means Outcast: A New Beginning opens up nicely to the player, but those first few hours can be frustrating. I don't want to make a Red Dead Redemption 2 comparison because Outcast is not in its league, but both do feature that long crawling introduction of people, locations and systems, before letting the player free.

Once you're a few hours in, zooming around the place, solving crimes and putting down bad guys, it's a fun game. Outcast was never a big sales hit and this sequel also feels like a solid 7/10 Eurojank game, trying to punch above its weight. It's nice to see a game try and push its own developer's boundaries. I feel the original was by far the more advanced game, by far the better storyteller, by far the more fun game in terms of combat and puzzles, but the reboot-sequel holds up in being cheerful and making you feel connected to Talan and their plight. The further in I get, the more I like playing it, even around the 20 hour mark where many other games feel like they're outstaying their welcome.

I look forward to uncovering the rest of this version of Adelpha - it's high time the story kicks in properly. But most of all, after Outcast ANB I look forward to replaying Outcast 1.1. I might yet just fall in love with the original game again.