Outcast – A New Beginning

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Outcast – A New Beginning (Xbox Series X) – Review

Outcast: A New Beginning is the long-awaited sequel to the 1999 version of Outcast. This new instalment is developed by Appeal Studios and published by THQ Nordic. It is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X and PC.

The player will be put into the shoes of the returning main character Cutter Slade. The story takes place years after the first game, let’s say about 25 years difference to cover the gap between the sequel. Slade wakes up to see an amazing-looking world filled with an alien race known as the Talans, sadly for Slade his memory has been erased so it is all a new experience to him again. He is informed the planet he is on is called Adelpha and that it is under threat from an invading force of robots. Slade accepts the job to help defend the world and assist the Talans in their struggles to fight back and keep their villages safe.

As you progress in the early stages, you will discover fast travel locations which are portals called Daokas. These are mainly found near the villages that you will be able to visit and assist with quests. Each village will have a set of quests unique to their needs that will reward Slade with very helpful rewards like, a flying mount to get around quicker and being able to use the native wildlife to assist in combat.

The quests for the villages mainly consist of fetch quests like needing to gather x amount of bugs to deposit into the village as it will all count toward the village reward. Some of the quests did have me feeling like it was a slight drag and prolonged, but I liked how it felt each task I was doing for each village had an impact on all of Adelpha.

The combat was rather fun, you will be given an energy shield to block incoming projectiles and can be used to bash enemies in the face as a melee option. You will also be give the energy pistol so you can start blasting. The game lacks weapons to use, but they make up for it in modules that you can swap out on the pistol and the rifle that you get later.

These modules make the guns act like other weapons with amazing features, with options like smart bullets that will lock on and track a target, another barrel to turn them into a shotgun for a spread shot effect, and my personal favourite the sticky mines, which not only fires a bullet it also leaves behind a proximity mine that will blow up other targets in a small cluster.

So, players can mix and match the modules around to build their desired guns of choice. The difficulty of the game can be adjusted at any time so if you are finding a segment hard or want more of a challenge you can change it to suit your style of gameplay.

Along with the arsenal Slade is also given a jetpack that can be improved on to allow additional features. Features like, a wingsuit to glide across the skies, a gravity booster that will allow you to hover in the air for a short time while aiming the gun to fire down on targets, and improved battery life for the jetpack to allow for more dashes and jumps before needing to land to let it recharge. There are two skill trees that you will need to focus on, a combat one and a traversal one. Earning points for both trees is straightforward; there are side objections in the open world like clearing out a nest of native creatures, or doing an obstacle course, each rewards the player in the resources to advance the skill trees.

Graphically Outcast: A New Beginning is amazing to see and explore, although the world does feel empty of life as you explore as you will come across only small clusters of enemies to fight. The designs of the Talans are done well, at first glance they remind me of the Navi from Avatar despite not being blue.

Each village reflects the Talans design with one village having a library area, the natives in this village were more smartly dressed in comparison to the other tribes in the woods, or the farmland areas. I do sort of wish there was a way to change Slade’s attire, as you play seeing him get around in only a yellow shirt and pants, some form of armour even if it was just cosmetic would’ve been a nice touch.

The audio is another high point in the game with each character you interact with having full-voiced audio lines, there was no down point to just reading and trying to pronounce alien things in your head, so I am grateful that they were voiced. Slade does have an ‘80-’90s wit to his character, so he will make some punch lines in conversations that reflect the age he is used to. There are sections where he will self-narrate what is happening, these segments are more common during the parts where Slade is unlocking a fragment of his lost memory.

In conclusion, Outcast: A New Beginning offers a solid storyline throughout the game, with side quests to partake in, and main quests that can feel a bit slow at times. Once you have more upgrades with the movement unlocked, it makes exploring the open world and visiting side quests fun. There are very minor bugs with enemies getting stuck into terrain, but these can be fixed just by shooting at where they are. They will either return an attack, jump out of what they are stuck in, or just die.

Despite this being a sequel game, you can get away without playing the first to know the lore. As Slade will be regaining his memory in flashback segments as you play, it makes for a great restart point for the long-forgotten series to make a return.

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The Good

  • The world of Adelpha is great to explore
  • Combat and movement gameplay work well together
  • The gun setups work so well
  • A good selection of side quests to test your skill at

The Bad

  • The main missions can feel slow and boring with fetch quests
  • The open world feels empty and needs more random encounters
7
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10

Written by: Shane Walsh

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