Outcast Remake Is Happening After All

A remake of cult classic Outcast is still in the works, says the developer of the original. Outcast – Second Contact is being released in March next year, despite some troubled years in development. The original game was released way back in 1999 and was generally well-received by critics, while being thoroughly ignored by the unwashed masses. By this, I mean you. I was barely alive in 1999, so don’t lay any of that at my doorstep.

Outcast was one of the first open-world games and it told the story of a hero who travelled from earth to a newly-discovered parallel universe. The remake is following the same tale, putting you in the shoes of Cutter Slade, special forces dude, who is sent into the alternate dimension of Adelpha to Lock That Shit Down.

If this news sounds familiar, that’s because the developers already lived through a failed Kickstarter a couple of years ago. They asked for $600,000 back then but received just under half of that amount. And yet, the project lives on.

You can still play a slightly-cleaner version of the first game, dubbed Outcast 1.1, on Steam. But this new one is even more beautified. There’s no word on exactly how the game will change – will it co-opt some new mechanics? Or will it stick feverishly to it’s source material? – we don’t know. But we do know that the controls will at least be revamped. Because, you know, the 90s.

I’m also obliged to tell you that Outcast is the 57th Best PC Game Of All Time. Years of consuming games journalism has compelled me to utter this sentence. And I honestly do not know why. All the older staff at RPS laugh whenever someone talks about Outcast, and I laugh with them, nervously, falsely, wretchedly.

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31 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Flavour Beans says:

    Ain’t gonna lie, saw the preview image for this article and thought we were being treated to extended coverage of NMS. :P

    • bill says:

      Hven’t play NMS, but imho Outcast has some similarities… at least to what people have claimed about NMS.*

      It has amazingly beautiful worlds with deep cultures, creatures, languages etc… and then the game is basically about repeating a few shallow actions again and again in each lovely location.

      *I don’t know if NMS is actually like that, but it seems to be a common claim.

      • skittles says:

        Outcast was a much deeper game, especially for its time. Looking forward to this.

        NMS in comparison is barely skindeep on literally everything. Culture and whatnot is non-existent. Interaction with the world is limited. I have been amusing myself lately by going back over videos for NMS and seeing how many lies we were fed. I think it the greatest example of marketing lies since maybe Alien: Colonial Marine. Just seeing how much is in prior videos that isn’t in the final game is amazing.

  2. The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

    I can be a bit of a negative nancy when it comes to remakes but Outcast is a game that really deserved a second chance. It had a lot of good ideas that were executed poorly. Hopefully this remake takes the criticism of the original to heart and sorts out the major issues of the original

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Genuine curiosity: what major issues? Only thing that comes to mind is the very occasional platforming that the game was never suited for but that could hardly be considered major… or on the technical side relying on software rendering rather than hardware acceleration which meant (at the time) a powerful computer was required, perhaps limiting its audience.

      • USER47 says:

        Well, the inventory was pretty sh*t. Plus all the items had names like “CLAPR-T”, no description, same thumbnail and it was just confusing. Also, some systems just didn’t work very well, like the system for localization of NPCs through dialogues, the crafting was pretty much useless and the game was full little bugs and exploits.

        I haven’t played it in years, but I remember you didn’t take the fall damage if you got prone during the fall, I remember incoming projectiles disapearing if you switched to optics or back, making you pretty much invulnerable against projectile weapons, I remember incredibly unbalanced weapons and difficulty overall and so on.

        The game was interesting, but incredibly flawed in many many ways.

      • bill says:

        It looks really nice in those screenshots, they seem to have recreated the tutorial area one-for-one in that second shot.

        But, as much as I loved large parts of the game, it was an incredibly flawed title.
        It looked lovely and had a great sense of place, and they put a lot of effort into some things like language…

        … but the basic gameplay was actually pretty lightweight and repetitive.
        They gave you all these cool tools like teleporters, decoys, etc.. and then most of them were much less effective than just blasting everyone. (plus they all had dumb names so you couldn’t remember what was what).

        The tutorial introduced (incredibly picky!) stealth, and then it was basically never a viable tactic in most of the game.

        They made these detailed worlds with cultures, factions, etc… and most levels seemed to boil down to completing the same basic “gather the objects” goals.

        They seem perfectly able to update the graphics, but to be honest I still love the outcast 1.1 graphics. The question for me would be whether they can make the gameplay deeper, the tools more useful, introduce other options than combat, and generally make the whole thing feel less repetitive.

        • jj2112 says:

          Not to mention the abysmal AI. Combat was exceedingly easy.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            I don’t recall the combat AI being particularly poor and the ambient social AI was quite sophisticated for its time. A lot of it was probably smoke and mirrors and perhaps more design than AI but the Talan behaved and reacted more naturally in 1999 than the characters in many modern games.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Yeah, ok, I’ll give you that. Item visual design and naming was bad, impossible to see at a glance what item did what.

        The stealth tutorial was evil (it was so difficult it even included a fail state that let you continue if you failed several times) but in the game proper, while I used stealth sparingly, I found it useful for laying traps and such. But yes, it could have been tuned more generously.

        The only balance issue I noticed at the time was that if you did all the missions to weaken the soldiers’ supply lines and such the finale was kind a cakewalk, but you could argue that was the point.

        I’d say the NPC searching system worked just fine… Was always one of my favourite things about the game, and the one I most wish other games had emulated (*points at NPC* “You want that Talan over there”, instead of “find the GPS marker on your mini map”).

  3. fish99 says:

    Don’t blame me, I bought it. Still got the discs too. I didn’t finish it though.

  4. Kefren says:

    I made it as far as some icy pool you had to swim in to find a triangle or somesuch. I think it was the tutorial.

    • bill says:

      The tutorial is mostly a pain in the ass that’s actually not that great at teaching you anything useful for the game… plus the stealth section in the tutorial is bugged and very strict… and then you never need to use stealth in the main game.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The dreaded underwater level combined with the hated ice level? How did anyone make it past the tutorial?

  5. G-Lord says:

    I was so disappointed when the Kickstarter campaign didn’t make it and I honestly didn’t expect too much after the publisher deal was announced, but those screens totally made my day. Outcast is still my favorite game and really deserves another chance.

  6. Unsheep says:

    Holy cr…. ‘yes’, make this one (and release it on GOG) ! The original is one of the coolest games around in my opinion, it’s quite unique. The GOG version is very good.

  7. Freud says:

    Outcast had a fantastic sense of place. Language, buildings, terrain just made you feel like you were stranded in a strange world.

    It’s one of my fondest gaming memories. I’m not sure I’d want to replay it since gaming has come a long way since then. I couldn’t even imagine the scale and scope of something like Witcher 3 back then.

    • durruti says:

      Heh, didn’t see the comment earlier, pretty much same sentiments over here. Bet the place still holds up, the gameplay probably doesn’t though.

  8. Jalan says:

    Fingers crossed on it being as good (or better) than its predecessor. I wished I didn’t have to write that, given that it’s Outcast, but one too many shite remakes have done much to cloud the water.

    Also, more Lennie Moore music. More Moore. Mooooooooooore.

  9. MOKKA says:

    I really hope that they don’t end up destroying what made the original so unique and instead turn it into just another 3D open world game.

    • durruti says:

      Ugh, someone needs to Ubisoft-proof the shit out of everything and everyone involved in this. We can’t take chances here.

  10. durruti says:

    One of the few games I bought and finished near release, much like Deus Ex because of playing the demo to death. Adelpha just got me, the voxel engine visuals, alien language and all that.

  11. Premium User Badge

    magogjack says:

    Legit one of my top ten games of all time. I played it in like 2010 and felt that it held up, the controls were a little janky but then people still enjoy Gothic and that games controls are much worse.

  12. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:

    Nice, this was one of those magical games from my childhood that I would love to play without the voxels, haha.

  13. MajorLag says:

    I’ve never played Outcast, but I did watch a Let’s Play of it, and it struck me as a title a bit ahead of its time, but a bit flawed. Deserved a second chance I think. I don’t think I’d play a remake, but I would watch an LP of a remake.

  14. florus says:

    Very good news indeed. Since its part of the original team who is making this; I am pre-ordering as soon as that’s possible. Outcast is not for everyone (some of my gaming friends don’t like it), but i loved every second of it.

  15. ToomuchFluffy says:

    Hah, another game which I’ve had lying around for a while and simply haven’t been able to play yet. I remember playing the demo a long time ago and then trying the full game for a bit. Not sure why I stopped, but I think I felt a bit lost. But I used to bounce off of games pretty easily back then.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Relevant again, the Outcast 1 & 2 postmortems:

    link to francksauer.com

    link to francksauer.com

  17. Emeraude says:

    We’ll see. Really going to be a hard task making that game palatable to modern audience without killing what made it special.

    The big fear being that it turns adventuring into tourism.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Then don’t make it “palatable to a modern audience”. Seriously, I know a few people who played it for the first time when it got its GOG release and loved it. I really don’t want to see a game like Outcast be remade to appeal to everyone – it never did, it was never meant to.

      I guess basically I’m just agreeing with you in a long-winded fashion. ‘s what I do.

      • Emeraude says:

        Then don’t make it “palatable to a modern audience”

        That’s reassuring.