Outcast Second Contact Review
Besides Super Mario Odyssey and Star Wars Battlefront 2 there is another game I have been looking forward to this fall – Outcast Second Contact. Developed by an re-incarnation of developer Appeal the game exists somewhere between a remaster and a remake of the 1999 game Outcast. Fans of the original have managed to keep the game working to this day. But now a proper redevelopment has seen Outcast’s graphics overhauled to such an extent that one would be forgiven to think this is an entirely new game.
The original Outcast was considered to be ahead of its time with gameplay based exploration of open environments and diverse interaction with NPCs. It also had a unique graphical processing system that relied solely on the CPU. This remake focuses mostly on improving the latter but nearly every part of the game has seen an upgrade. This review is meant to help you decide if 30 euro’s is worth the investment and revisit the world of Adelpha with the sardonic protagonist Cutter Slade.
Now I will add that this is NOT a full review. The game has only been out for half a day at the time I write this. Nonetheless, as I have played the game before I believe I have a complete opinion. In short Outcast: Second Contact is a wonderful remaster. The graphical overhaul is nothing short of brilliant. Whereas the original was always a bit fuzzy, due to the ray casting and the lower resolution, Second Contact is just crystal clear. Right away when the game opens on Adelpha the environments stand out. Within no time I was riding Twon-Ha, travelling through Daokas and blowing myself up with a flaw-thrower.
Not a copy of the original
Of course the game cannot evade the fact that it is remaster of an 18 year old release. I must stress that is not a complete remake, the levels, objectives and gameplay have been copied exactly. In fact there is still a lot of the original code from the GAIA engine running beneath the graphical layer. Thus the game feels like it was made during the late 90s. However, that was a time when I grew up with games so I really don’t mind. This version of Outcast is an effective action adventure game.
The dialog system was ahead of its time and is still effective to this day. Sometimes the voices are not crisp, but it does not impede the player. A few times I managed to get stuck in the environment, but I managed to extricate myself using barrel rolls. Otherwise I think Outcast Second Contact is a remarkably stable game.
You can further tell the game is from the 90s by the somewhat square and artificial build up of the levels. It is within keeping of the original game and I think the developer was right not to change that. If they had they might as well have started from scratch. Outcast Second Contact is not always an easy game, you will have to follow the dialog carefully but the story is well worth the time investment – even if it did remind me of Stargate more than once. Outcast Second Contact is available for PC, Xbox One and PS4. I reviewed the PC version. Though no version for the Switch has been announced it is well within my personal expectation due to the large Indie scene on that platform.
Outcast Second Contact is more than a trip memory lane, its a wonderful game to pla
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