Outcast 1.1 Brings HD Support To The 57th Best Game Ever

click to embiggenise

I guess it’s sad that the Outcast HD Kickstarter didn’t work out, but ‘New Game From The People Who Made X’ tends to excite me more than ‘Hey Here’s X Again.’ Hopefully we’ll hear of a new project from devs Fresh3D before too long, but in the meantime there’s been a surprise gift: Outcast 1.1, overhauled from the source code to support higher resolutions and multi-threaded rendering. The much-loved, if adorably shonky, openish world action-adventure gets another day in the sun after all.

It’s a standalone ‘new’ title available on Steam now, costing £4.79/$5.99, with a GoG version due at some point too out now – and unlike the Steam version, existent GoG copies get updated to 1.1 for freesies.

As well as the resolution (very important, given previously the game was locked to teeny tiny pixel counts) and threading stuff, there’s an overhauled UI and controller support.

I.e., everything we ever really needed from an Outcast remake.

I’ve had a quick look, and while me and my big monitor are disappointed the resolution tops out at 1920×1080, it looks really rather nice. Click on this, and on the screenshot right at the top of this post, for a high-res version:

Not exactly 2014 graphics, but nice. Liberated from the blocky edges and general fuzziness of the original version’s limitations, there’s definitely a sense that we’re finally seeing the game as it was envisaged. (I’m not hitting 60FPS, tending to hang around 40FPS instead, but not sure this game benefits hugely from it anyway.) None of the art is different, beyond the sky paintings, but the crispness really redeems it.

Be warned that the controls are still insane out of the box, but you can change ’em.

Here’s the full list of what’s been fiddled with:

  • multithreaded voxel renderer for higher performances
  • software bilinear filtering on polygonal meshes
  • partial redesigned of the HDU to match higher resolutions
  • new high-resolution sky paintings
  • revamped launcher
  • native support of xbox and DirectInput gamepad
  • user-friendly controller configuration
  • selectable voices and subtitles languages
  • a myriad of bugs fixed
  • improved stability

There have been a few mini-patches since it came out last Thursday, so we may yet see more improvements still.

 

What a lovely thing to happen. And just in time for Christmas too. Every time a bell rings, a voxel-powered game gets higher resolution support.

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30 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    So there’s no patch for original owners? I guess I can’t begrudge them the the cost for the work they did, but man, what do I do with my original copy? Toss it? That feels so wrong…

    • subedii says:

      If you bought it on GOG.com, I believe your update is free.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        Actually, I meant a physical copy :)

        • BadManiac says:

          I have it on DVD too, but I bought it from GoG again as soon as I found out about this patch. Felt like a worthy cause if the developers of the patch get some cash from it, it’s on hell of a game! And it works flawlessly with 360 pad! I think that might be the preferred control method now, since the KB+M controls always were a little… wonky.

          • Kempston Wiggler says:

            And it works flawlessly with 360 pad! I think that might be the preferred control method now,

            This I gotta see….if it works I may actually finish the damned game for once!

    • Llewyn says:

      Carry on using it as a music CD, obviously. Wait, does anyone else still use music CDs? Maybe toss it after all.

      Personally I got it on GOG as soon as I could, getting the disc copy installed was a pain when it was new.

      • Jalan says:

        BLASPHEMER!

        You don’t toss a disc with one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever recorded!

    • Tacroy says:

      I feel the same way about my copy of Psychonauts :(

  2. Jerodar says:

    The previous GoG version has been updated for free actually, so just redownload it if you owned it already or buy it here: link to gog.com

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Yep, logged in to say exactly this, if you had it on GOG, you have the new version – and the old one is still available in your free goodies too.
      Do not that there are still some bugs and niggles being ironed out, and GOG lacks Steam’s auto-updating so, in my experience, it can take awhile before you get the patches. Gonna hold off on trying this one ’til I hear it’s more stable, but very much looking forward to it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Niiiiice.

  3. Geebs says:

    sweet

  4. Infinitron says:

    You ought to warn your readers that it might be a tad buggy, RPS: link to youtube.com

  5. 0positivo says:

    I’ve been trying to play this game. As I’ve been trying to play the old elites, and a bunch of other classics that I missed (started gaming pretty late), but I just can’t do it…

    It’s not even the graphics that bug me. For example, Elite 2 graphic style is SPECTACULAR, despite being very symple.

    What really bugs me about these old games, what I think would REALLY benefit from a rework, more than a resolution upscale, is a UI redone

    Because, goddamn, those UIs. If there’s one thing modern games have been getting a LOT better, is just how much more usable the interface is

  6. Durandir says:

    It should also be mentioned that this is what they managed to do since the Kickstarter didn’t work out. If they get some money out of this, and more importantly show that people want this updated, they will be able to update the visuals as well. Seems they are going to keep working on Outcast 1.1 to make it more and more modern.
    Which is why I ended up buying it again on Steam, just to support this. Outcast is one of my favorite games of all time, so having it both on GOG and Steam is just great. Heck, I still got my old CD lying around somewhere.

  7. buzzmong says:

    I can only imagine the horror faced by the poor coders having to dig into code that’s at least 15 years old to tart it up and fix bugs. Fair play to them for actually doing so.

  8. Bobtree says:

    It’s very nice of them to update this despite the Outcast HD Kickstarter failing. I bought the original on GOG in 2010, so Kudos to Fresh3D for their support.

  9. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Holy God.

    Just downloaded my copy from GoG and …WOW. The gamepad controls COMPLETELY transform the experience of playing this! i don’t feel like I’m fighting with the game any longer – it just works!

    Superb work, fresh3D!

  10. magogjack says:

    Squeeeeeeeeee!!!!

    This game is amazing, its one of my top ten games of all time, Downloading right now!!!

  11. Risingson says:

    I say stop saying that this is one of the best games ever if you never got further than the third level. Because the game goes downhill just from there and loses all the steam it gathered via repetition, ridiculous quests and all that is already documented in reviews that do more than put screenshots of the first level.

    • Big Murray says:

      What the hell are you talking about? There’s no linear levels in this game. The words “third level” don’t exist in this?

  12. Big Murray says:

    Oh god dammit. I just replayed this a couple of months ago.

  13. zylonbane says:

    Sheesh, even Alec Meer can’t keep GOG/GoG straight. Here’s a handy cheat sheet for future reference:

    GOG: “Good Old Games”
    GoG: DOESN’T EFFING EXIST

    • wu wei says:

      Thank god you’re here to correct this egregious instance of misinformation.

      Jesus christ.

    • Anamon says:

      Yes, hurts everytime I see this. Where do people even get the idea? It was nowhere, never ever spelled anything but “GOG” or “gog”.

      And the bloody complainers every time someone tries to point out a mistake. So should we just not care? Good heavens, Rps might be interested in giving a bit more of a professional impression than some 12-year-old’s blog out there, might it not?

      See what I did back there? It’s not “just” capitalisation or about being a stickler; at some point people will just no longer understand what the heck somebody’s on about.

  14. Klatzy says:

    This is one of my favorite games of yore. I’m going to have to try this out.

  15. pund says:

    I bought the original back in the day for 50 bucks (well, euros)
    I’m probably going to buy this if I have some pennies left start of the new year :)
    still a bit sad I can’t get this ‘upgrade’ for free tho, but I understand that there went a lot of work into whipping this thing into new shape so no complaints from me!

  16. Karomsir says:

    Bought it the day it came out on steam because support! Also this was one of the two or three games I cried at like a little girlperson. ULUKAI HOOO!