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Reviewed: Outcast
Author: Chris Kim       Date: October 11th 1999
Page: 4


 
Final Breakdown

Gameplay:

Outcast offers one of the most immersive, large, and deep worlds to explore, ever. Combining elements of adventure and action into one game, Outcast more than satisfies even the most voracious of adventurers. The world of Adelpha, taking place on six different continents, all connected together by the onslaught of the Faeron, have found Oluki (aka Cutter Slade), to defend the world from destruction while saving his comrades at the same time. The storyline is extremely well plotted out and the several non-linear branching quests are amazing. If non-linear is a fashion statement, then Outcast takes the non-linearity of everything from the world and puts them into the Outcast universe. There are over 4,000 different NPC characters to talk to, and they all say different things, and will change their stance on how they view the Oluki as the game progresses along. The action combat of the game is also a lot more involving and fun to play than most adventure games.

Graphics:

Boasting the most impressive use of voxel technology ever, Outcast sports some of the prettiest graphics seen to date. Because the game uses voxels, which are 3D pixels, no hardware 3D acceleration is used nor needed. This then means that the CPU is what does all the rendering, which can be extremely strenuous. So a very fast processor is require to run the game well and look nice. On a higher end machine (400mhz+), Outcast looks simply breath taking. The environment comes to life with its lush color and life like characters. All the movement in the game looks extremely realistic and fluid in motion. The outer terrain looks extremely realistic thanks to the use of voxels. With polygons, the terrain usually receives an extremely flat look, making it unrealistic, but in this game, all that is gone. Ground, dirt, and hills will look like they really should with bumps and inconsistencies. Also, there isn't any need for the most advanced graphics cards, there is bump mapping right into the game! But, the only complaint is that when things get up close and personal, some pixelation is evident.

Sound and Music:

One of the most enthralling and engaging musical scores to come across in a video game for a long, long, long time. Even better than the music in any Squaresoft game, Outcast goes beyond great. The music is full orchestrated 70 minutes of music from the Moscow symphony (they must be great right?), which fills the music throughout the whole game. The correct tone and sound is there to fit the mood of the game, sudden changes and fade outs in music queue key points in the game. Overall, the music makes the game a much more enjoyable experience. Sound effects in the game are simply amazing with use of 3D Sound. Character interaction and voice acting is one of a kind masterpiece, it feels like a movie almost. The sound effects of explosions and battling sounds are very authentic and match accordingly.

Multiplayer: N/A

There is no multiplayer game.

AI Intelligence and Difficulty:

The intelligence of the characters is one of the most sophisticated and impressive AI techniques seen in a game. Enemies will do all the moves of a normal attacker would, moving away from the line of fire, teaming up with fellow soldiers to attack, and other unique sequences, which make the game a much more enjoyable experience. The difficulty of the game is right up to par, even new adventurers will come into the game with little problem. There are so many different missions and ways to play the game, that replay value is very high and possibly won't be tired out fast. The only gripe about the difficulty is that there is quite a bit of an information overload very early in the game.

Controls and Interface:

The interface is rather clean, and easy to use. It's nothing special, but it could use a little polish around the areas of selecting items and saving the game. Even saving the game is part of the gameplay, instead of just leaving the game and saving, all saving is done in game. Only when the path is clear, the player must take out a crystal and wait 5-10 seconds and then save it, which adds an element of strategy to the game, although it can be a bit annoying. The control scheme used in the game is one of the greatest ideas to hit the 3D adventure/action genre, instead of the camera angle actually following the player all the time, the player can move relative to the camera. This makes control a lot easier on the eyes and adds more power to the player.

Overall:

Quite easily the best adventure game this year with a huge world to explore, great storyline, non-linear missions, pretty graphics, terrific sound, good AI and difficulty, and excellent control scheme. Any adventure enthusiast should check out this game immediately!

Glide Underground Editors Choice Award
Pluses (+)
  • HUGE World to Explore
  • Great Storlyine
  • Pretty Graphics
  • Immersive Sound Experience
  • Great AI and Difficulty
  • High Replay Value
  • Great Control Scheme
  • Minuses (-)
  • Requires a Relatively Fast Processor/RAM
  • Interface Could Use Polish
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    Added:  Monday, October 11, 1999
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Score:
    Page: 4/5

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