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Reviewed: Outcast
Author: Chris Kim       Date: October 11th 1999
Page: 2

Bearing an unique type of gameplay style, Outcast is definitely not the typical Adventure or Action game that many gamers will come to expect. Coming from the German developer, Appeal, Infogrames certain added a gem of a game to their lineup of great games to hit this season. From the wild adventures of depth and side missions to the incredibly detailed and intriguing storyline, Outcast is a game, which will certainly have a large base range appeal (no pun intended) of players. With a combination of excellent adventuring, action combat, pretty graphics, one of a kind sound, and intelligence, Outcast strives to be one of the greatest adventure/action games of all time.

Temple What?
Water Never Looked So Good

The game is best described as an Adventure game similar with Tomb Raider puzzles and gameplay style, with touches of a First Person Shooter of Rainbow Six in strategic combat, and also elements of an RPG tossed in. Well, the elements are there, how does the game execute? Extremely well indeed, the perfect balance of gameplay is here, lots of difficult, but not illogical puzzles, balanced combat not too far on the action side, but not too boring, and great storyline and character plot development.

The game puts the player in the role of Cutter Slade, an American (go figure) who is sent with his comrades of three others to save the Earth from a disaster. The disaster occurs when a probe satellite is sent off into space to find another dimension. The probe successfully finds another dimension, only problem is that the data that is returned is suddenly cut off by some unexpected force. Then the group of scientists, Slade included, must venture off into space to figure out why the data transmission was cut short and fast because the interception of the probe caused something to go terribly wrong and Earth will be destroyed if the probe is not recovered. Then the scientists arrive at the world of Adelpha, but the group gets separated. The shirt that Slade is wearing, is some weird shirt with a symbol on it that has a meaning in the world of Adelpha, Oluki. Then the fate of two worlds lie in the hands of Slade...

Unique story eh? The story is quite engaging and moving as the game plot moves along. It is almost as if the game is a novel in the way the story moves. Remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? Outcast is almost entirely like that, the story is extremely non-linear.

Swim, Swim, Swim
Fist Fight!

Puzzling and thinking is a critical part of game to succeed. As mentioned before, Outcast is extremely non-linear in all elements of the game, with several different missions and tasks to choose from. Every move and act of kindness that is acted upon to the characters will impact how the end of the game turns out. If the player helps out others and treats them well with the help and kindness they deserve, the ending will be more rewarding than if the player just goes straight for the mission of recovering the missing scientists and probe.

All of the adventuring elements involve receiving tasks and accomplishing them through a series of tasks, which have been assigned to the player by various NPC characters or brought upon by the player himself. These various missions have a very different approach to all of them. Because a load of information is given to the user, there is no way one person could remember all the information given. Thankfully, Outcast provides a Lexicon and a Notepad with all the important information that the player will need to remember is stored. The Notepad writes down all the important information such as tasks that need to be accomplished and what the next item on the agenda is for the mission to be accomplished. The Lexicon is a sort of a handy translator, which when used can store words in the world of Adelpha to decode such messages.

Ridin' the Boat
Go Away Spiders!
I Want Some Riss...

Combat is very unique and interesting in the way that it works. Rather than simply given a million weapons with tons of ammo, the player must search carefully for weapons and ammo and use them carefully as well. Combat is action based, but it is much different from most combat encountered in 3rd person adventure games. Because of the very cool camera angles, fighting is a lot more intuitive and clean. Blasting every single enemy in sit is also not the main idea because most often, the answer is not combat, but rather stealth. The player can crawl on the ground and sneak easily with the help of the camera angles. Sneaking into places and just taking what the player needs and leaving is often the key to solving a situation. Many missions, don't even require the player to attack or kill anything at all. Thanks to the strong AI in the game, combat doesn't involve just shooting at enemies, the player must use tactical jumping and strafing and other maneuvers to attack the enemies properly. Auto-Aim, is also only slightly touched upon in the game, which adds a second element of strategy.

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Added:  Monday, October 11, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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